The Driftwood Verses is a gloomy, nautical fantasy campaign setting for old-school tabletop role-playing games. It's directly compatible with Lamentations of the Flame Princess and more broadly compatible with a large selection of traditional systems. The contents can be used as a stand alone setting or slotted into your existing kitchen sink fantasy campaign as a distinct region in a larger world.
The setting was conceived as a Dark Sun-esque re-skinning of standard D&D tropes, starting with the conceit that "whales are dragons." It has since developed into something well beyond that original idea. The major inspirations include stuff like Moby Dick, Dishonored, Sunless Sea, Dune, The Scar, and the Monster Blood Tattoo series.
The book focuses on a blighted maritime region called Walfismeer. It's an impressionistic fantasy setting, a collection of symbols and metaphors come to life. Anachronisms abound. Grizzled mariners pilot haunted, tentacle-powered iron ships across a sludge-poisoned sea. Sinister roachmen quad-wield black powder pistols in hungry cities ruled by vice and bloodsport. Secretly trained navigators employ esoteric disciplines to guide vessels across a mysterious psychic barrier called The Reef. Desperate meerfolk raise sonorous hymns to Leviathan in deep-sea, whale-corpse cathedrals.
This is NOT another rehash of the typical age of sail/talk-like-a-pirate setting. It's something slightly weirder. It's like Melville's Nantucket meets Leiber's Lankhmar with an oil-spill-chic soundtrack by Tom Waits and Bathory rattling in the background.
The whole time I've been writing this book, I've been talking about it over on Google Plus. You can catch up and find tons of excerpts, concept art, play reports, and more by checking out the #driftwoodverses tag over there. Feel free to circle me while you're at it.
FAIR WARNING: The Driftwood Verses is being created with adults in mind. It contains adult language, violence, sexual references, and disturbing imagery. If it were a movie, it would be rated 'R'.
- Introductory comic: Final Pursuit follows a crew of beleaguered smugglers as they attempt to escape from a Chancery gunboat.
- Introduction to Walfismeer: An illustrated overview of the setting and its factions.
- Three new character classes for LotFP: The psychic Navigator who uses sigil foci to unleash mental powers, the quad-wielding Blattarian roachman, and the pitiable Vassal, a vat-grown albino slave species bred to take pleasure in servitude.
- Optional rules for character creation: including quickstart equipment packages and the Toll of the Past table to saddle your character with some emotional baggage, special abilities, and stat modifications before the game begins.
- New equipment and vehicles: Such as the Pavnik Boarding Saber and the Wrecker shipwreck salvage mech.
- Oak and iron: Quick and easy rules for building and fitting ships. 15+ illustrated ship profiles ready for quick reference during encounters.
- Monsters and mariners: An illustrated bestiary containing over 40 creatures and NPCs.
- Campaign hex map: A campaign map of Walfismeer with over 60 detailed hex descriptions including numerous fully mapped and stocked dungeons, adventure sites, and settlements. Enough material to keep a campaign running for months with very little prep.
- D100 Rumor Table: That ties your characters directly into the mysteries and adventures contained in the campaign map.
- An appendix full of useful tables: Random encounters, setting-appropriate character names, ship names, and more.
- Optional rules: Ship-to-ship combat, maritime trade, Chancery justice, fishing, campaign achievements, sludgeblight, and more. Tons of ideas and mechanics that you can use as is or port to your system of choice.
The final product will be a digest-size (5.5"x 8.5") book with a color cover and black and white interior. The final page count is not yet determined, but we estimate it will be 100-150 pages once art and layout are in place. We're offering both soft and hardcover versions.
The goal of this campaign is to provide resources for the final production elements: artwork, editing, cartography, and layout. If we exceed our basic goal, we've got some additional material lined up:
$9,000: Walfismeer Poster Map: UNLOCKED! All print-level backers will receive a 17"x 22" copy of the Walfismeer campaign map.
$10,000: Undertow Supplement: UNLOCKED! All backers will receive the Undertow supplement in print or pdf (depending on pledge level). Undertow is a short (approximately 30 pages) campaign framework/adventure supplement, a collection of events, locations, and scenarios that will drag your Driftwood Verses campaign into a twisted underworld of occult murder. FAIR WARNING: Undertow includes extremely graphic content and is not for the faint of heart. If it were a movie, it would be rated 'R' or worse.
Clint Krause (Writing and Design) is a writer/game designer by day and a French Quarter tour guide by night. He has been publishing small-press RPGs since 2004 and serves as the founder/organizer of Go Play NOLA, a New Orleans-based RPG meetup.
Cassie Krause (Diplomacy and Logistics) is an elementary school teacher and administrator. She has written articles for Femme Gamer and acted as an educational consultant for games such as Happy Birthday, Robot! and Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple.
Sean Poppe (Interior Illustrations) has been illustrating since 2011. His art is featured in a number of small-press RPG publications including CRAWL!, Vacant Ritual Assembly, and The Undercroft. Sean also drew 365 Goblins in 2015, which he chronicled at 365goblins.tumblr.com. Additional work can be seen at beardedruckus.tumblr.com. Sean currently resides in Southwest Ohio with his wife and son.
Katherine Richards (Copy Editing) is a copy editor and proofreader. A member of the Northwest Independent Editors Guild, Katherine has a degree in English and a certificate in editing. She has worked with independent authors, production companies, and print-on-demand services on projects ranging from RPGs and novels to corporate presentations.
George Cotronis (Cover Art) lives in the wilderness of Northern Sweden. He makes a living designing book covers. His latest projects include the Swedish sci-fi RPG Rotsystem and the Evil Hat Games' card game Don't Turn Your Back.
Glynn Seal (Cartography) has been professionally involved in the production of technical drawings for 27 years and semi-professional cartography/design for the last three years as MonkeyBlood Design. In this short space of time Glynn has worked with (and continues to work with) some great clients: DWD Studios, Filigree Forge, Genius Loci Games, Kort’thalis Publishing, InfinitasDM, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Legendsmiths, MesaMundi Inc and the d20Pro Team, Northwind Adventures, ProFantasy Software, Throwigames, SagaGames, Seventh Sphere Publishing, and many others. Glynn first played Red Box D&D over 30 years ago and has played and GM'd on and off ever since.
Radek Drozdalski (Layout Consultant) was born in communist Poland on a rare hot summer day. Currently he resides in NYC and is a part of a game design collective known as Burning Wheel HQ. His most recent layout credits include: Polish RPG periodical Random Encounters (Spotkania Losowe), ODnD hack Miseries & Misfortunes and the Torchbearer adventure, The Secret Vault of the Queen of Thieves. He is a PRA (pigeon rights activist).
Trevor Scott (Video Production and Sounding Board) is a graduate from the film program at NYU and has been creating video magic in various capacities for the past nine years. He has also been designing games for the past three years and is working on publishing his first project by the end of the year and very excited about the prospect!
LEGAL NOTE: This product is an independent production by Red Moon Medicine Show and is not affiliated with Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Lamentations of the Flame Princess is a registered trademark owned by James Edward Raggi IV.
Risks and challenges
Cassie and I have been publishing small press games since 2004. We've experienced many successes, many failures, and have generally learned to persevere through a whole gamut of potential issues. This is our third Kickstarter campaign. Our first two, Don't Walk in Winter Wood and The Stygian Garden of Abelia Prem were both funded and fulfilled successfully without too much drama. We're just as fallible as anyone, but we take this stuff very seriously and we don't give up.
Since we're working with external talent there's always a possibility for a delay that's beyond our control, but we've learned that most problems of this sort can be mitigated through frequent, honest communication with our backers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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