About this project
This project involves the start of a new campaign setting that is compatible with the Pathfinder Role Playing Game by Paizo. A definition for the pen and paper or table top RPG can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role-playing_game_%28pen_and_paper%29
The setting books will include new rules, classes, races, and items. It will also include details on countries, climates, terrain, history, and important figures related to the world of Palegain and its associate planes and worlds. All of this information is designed to supplement the stories told around the table.
A second type of book, called a module, will also be released. Modules are pre-designed story lines that game masters can use to quickly start a game with their friends. While there is plenty of detail to run the story as is, players' decisions and group consensus can and should affect the flow of the story. Even if that completely changes the direction of the story.
A world sent spinning out of balance by Alpha and Omega, two of three primal entities. They thought they would be clever and split a plane into two to see what would happen. The consequence is the destruction of both planes. The third primal entity, the Universe, will not allow that and so intervenes to right what Alpha and Omega fouled up with as little disruption as possible. This will also be a lesson in repercussions to the two primal entities.
Most of the focus will be on the planet of Palegain, but other planets and planes will be included in later supplements. The graphic below shows the process of how the campaign setting took shape. It all started when I was bed-ridden for several weeks and had to occupy my time. So I decided to create my own world. This world would be torn apart into a home plane and a splinter plane. The splinter plane's story would be told through a series of collectable trading card sets and the home plane's tale would be told through an RPG series of modules. Eventually those story lines would be told through a home campaign and a campaign run at Gen Con. The release of the campaign setting is the final step in this long process.
The meta-plot focuses on the consequences of some pretty poor choices and how balance can, one day, be restored. This plot will not interfere with any story being told within a released setting book. For instance in the Gods War Age book, a city won't mysteriously disappear in the middle of the age by meta-plot fiat.
Currently two ages are being explored. The Gods War is the age where the Hero's Love Song module takes place. It is an era of great upheaval where each god has its own faction of worshipers fighting the other gods' worshipers for control of the planet.
Mercenaries are the adventurers in this setting. They are small groups of people who live in the periphery. Shunned by all "normal" society, they form strong bonds with the other mercenaries in their group. Mostly they are the only family they will have and survive by making money doing "dirty" jobs for the wealthy and powerful. The same people that noticeably walk away from them during the daytime and call them "killers", "thieves", "grave robbers". If any respite is afforded, it is within Udriapolis in the north. This is a large city that recognizes mercenaries and at the very least does not spit on them.
The Aftermath age, at the end of which is where the GenCon campaign is set, takes place after the world is destroyed during the Gods War. The large continent has shattered into pieces and a major island has disappeared. All the world's gods have been locked away by Alpha and Omega (two of the three primal entities). Anyone traversing the land now must deal with residual magics and after-effects of technology. Very little tech will work and divine magic is barely accessible.
Underneath everything having to do with Palegain is a theme of balance between the man-made and the natural worlds. Therefore the concept of a super psionic mage mech beast (SPMMB) would not likely happen in Palegain. There are, though, a couple of twists and turns that I will throw in during later releases. Just no super psionic mage mech beast.
Note: The books will not prevent anyone from playing a SPMMB. Have a mass skirmish of them. See the furry mechanical magic arms fly. Go for broke. Just know this sort of thing will not be explored much in the books.
The first two books that I will put out are the base campaign setting and a module. The module, Hero's Love Song, will come out first (August 2011) and be given away for free. The base campaign setting will be out Fall 2011, which will be the first product sold. All characters' Hero Lab files will be available for download.
This is where you come in. What I need help with is the cost of art and publishing of the first two campaign setting books. While the module will be complete, the funds collected here will pay for the printing costs. The Campaign setting will use the majority of the funds for art and printing. The $3000 is an estimate of the final cost. Additional money will be used to cover more art and any additional costs associated with the publishing of the books.
The following shows a brief outline of the tentative release dates.
The Module - Hero's Love Song:
This is a three part module I adapted from a living campaign module I wrote several years ago. Basically I took out all the proprietary stuff and set it in north Palegain. There were some additional cleanup/tightening of the plot and a conversion so that it is Pathfinder Compatible (see Current Status below). Several play tests later, I have my first Palegain module.
Part 1: Lesser Evils (For 6th level mercenaries)
A small mute girl walks into the capital city of Udriapolis. All she has
are the rags she wears and a scorched doll she carries. The questions
pile up and getting to the answers will leave their scars.
Part 2: Disillusion (For 7th level mercenaries) Trust is a tricky beast. It is hard won, but easily lost. Who to trust and when will be important as you dig through the past to learn more about what was behind the tragedy in Londa.
Part 3: Acceptance (For 8th level mercenaries) It is time to confront and deal with what happened in Londa. The children need to face the truth and defeat the fiend that has plagued their peaceful region.
1. There will be a world primer included with this module.
2. It is being released before the base campaign setting book, because I am running this at GenCon this year and I want to give myself a little more time with the campaign setting book.
Pre-generated (with some help from my friends) PCs with backgrounds will be provided.
Base Campaign Setting
So this is my tech/magic mousetrap of a tabletop RPG setting. What I hope to provide is an interesting enough sandbox for the players and GM in which to base their stories. Thus I have several guiding criteria.
1. Any new material should be as balanced as possible
2. The meta-story does not interfere with the storyline. In other words, within the time frame of a released product, I do not plan to destroy a city.
3. The environment and populace will have enough depth so that the GM and players' stories have ample places to hook into.
With that said, I plan to release a base setting book that will contain all general information on Palegain. Later on other books will flesh out certain locations and ages. Each of these can hook into the base setting book.
Additionally each book will be digest sized for easy carrying. I do enjoy weight lifting like the next person and the large hard bound books are pretty, but I like my back and arriving at my next slot all sweaty is not pleasant. For anyone.
The base campaign setting book will have new classes, setting specifics on the core races/classes, new equipment, and new rules. Additional books will "hook" into the base book, so that most of what is in the base book will still be applicable to all supplemental Palegain books. For instance Tech Failure will be applicable in both the Gods War and Aftermath ages, but the gods will by and large not be accessible in the Aftermath age as they are in the Gods War age.
Ex. New Rule: Tech Failure - Each piece of high technology has a tech failure percentage. When a character with spell casting levels in her class wears this technology there is a chance, each day, that it will not work. To determine this, add up the tech failure percentages and have the character roll against that percentage. If the character fails, then the technology will not work for the day. That character can try again the next day. She will know if she failed the save. For example if Tirren, a wizard, wears a throat mic (5%) and computer glasses (25%), there is a 30% chance the technology will not work for that day. She rolls a 15 with high numbers in her favor. Thus the mic and the glasses will not work for the day.
A little about me:
My first role playing experience happened in the early 2000's, when I
joined a live action role playing (LARP) group playing Vampire the
Masquerade. It was the perfect introduction, because it hit on my
interests in theater and improvisation. After a year, I learned about
the joys of tabletop role playing in an evil campaign using the D&D
In 2004, I joined the Living Greyhawk Campaign. At the end of the campaign I had four active characters, each of which I really enjoyed playing. It was through the campaign that I started game mastering, even running a couple interactives. My proudest accomplishment during that time was writing modules and a couple parts of the interactives. The New York region, my home region at the time, had enough writers, so I helped a region (the Netherlands) with fewer writers. From this moment on, I knew that I preferred life behind the GM screen rather than in front of it.
I have run games at Gen Con since 2007, starting with my multi-year campaign. Other cons I have run at include Conn Con and Fear the Con. I have also been to Origins for several years, which is like Gen Con in that it is a large con, but it does feel like a small con at the same time. At the other end of the scale, I have also attended the insanity that is Dragon Con.
High fantasy is not all I enjoy playing/running, but also horror (Call of Cthulu, Dread, World of Darkness), sci-fi (Star Wars), pulp fiction (Savage Worlds), and comedy (QAGS). Yet I still come back to high fantasy. That is where the roots of Palegain exist. Although I want to make it flexible enough to include elements from other genres without feeling like it is an abnormal growth. I hope to accomplish that in this new phase of publishing.
Thank you for considering my project and any support you can give.
So I have been scurrying around, getting all the permissions and blessings needed to put out this material. This work will be Pathfinder Compatible and Powered by Hero Lab.
Here are some examples of the art work included in the module. I hope to use the same artist for the campaign setting:
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