The city is called Redoubt.
And as far as anyone knows, it is the last.
Seven decades ago, there were cities upon cities.
Kingdoms and nations; the remains of ancient empire. Cultures at war and cultures at trade. Humans, dwarves, elves, and others. Magic and monsters, rare but real. And so it was for millennia, through two dynamic ages the lorekeepers and scribes called Ascensions.
Until the world ended.
Most call it the Fall, but whatever term a given people choose to use, it marked the time when everything changed.
Nations crumbled. Races died. Magic sputtered. Nature sickened.
The dead woke.
Welcome to Zileska, a world ravaged by death and undeath. In the Lost Citadel Roleplaying game, you take on the role of a last remaining survivor of your race, be it human, dwarf, elf, or ghûl.
Seven decades ago, the Second Ascension came to a brutal end in a worldwide cataclysm called the Fall. During this period of stark decline, magic began to fail even the mighty elf civilization that was the pinnacle of the age, and as it did, the world's fallen began to rise from their graves. Whether because the doors to the Underworld flew from their hinges, or because the God of the Dead went mad (a popular theory), the end result was the same:
The dead became the Dead.
As the tide of death swept across the lands of Zileska, taking with it city after city, as well as the entirety of the vaunted elf army, the remnants of each fractured culture and racial hold began to retreat to the same place of sanctuary — the mountain citadel of the dwarves, called Elldimek.
Bidden by the Venmir, the humans of the nearby hills and mountains, the other desperate tribes of humanity followed suit: The Ouazi, nomadic clans from the sands of the Eternal Sea. The proud Surinzan, denizens of Zileska's forests and riverlands. The Menhada, peoples of the steppes and former allies of the elves. And the Angat of the southern plains, who until then boasted the most powerful human civilization of the age.
All that remained of huddled humanity found refuge behind Elldimek's dwarf-built walls.
Seven decades is a long time, however. More than enough time to watch refugees become rulers; to see hosts become slaves in their own homes.
Come the modern day, Elldimek is no more. It has been replaced by the city of Redoubt, so named and decreed in the Accord of Last Redoubt — a human treaty drafted by an Angat-led power structure called the Magisterium. Under its terms, the dwarves were stripped of their claims to the city, and those dwarves who weren't executed or exiled became slaves to human masters. In the time since the Accord, some have earned back their freedom, but many still toil under indenture.
Life in Redoubt is especially hard for the poor and the non-human under the Magisterium. Its draconian system squeezes resources and civil liberties alike, all in the name of protecting all that's left of civilization from the threats and depredations of the Dead. Security trumps all concerns.
Redoubt is big, larger than many modern-day cities, home to hundreds of thousands of people. It requires over a day to cross. Its districts are, in some respects, fiefdoms unto themselves, and while they currently work together to rule what remains of sentient life on the planet, every leader knows that ultimate authority is only a few schemes away.
Stiflingly tyrannical where the rich and powerful dwell, hideously crime-ridden where want and poverty nest, and all around — sometimes within the walls themselves — the ever-hungry Dead. Redoubt is a city, a culture, possibly even an entire world, in what certainly seems to be its final hours. And with the exception of certain religious zealots, still convinced mankind is merely being tested, every man, woman, and child knows it.
As a player, you'll get to play characters from all the races and walks of life in the last city of Redoubt: dwarves, elves, and the bestial ghûl; humans of Ouazi, Surinzan, Menhada, Venmir, and Angat cultural extraction, and every combination thereof; merchants, guild members, and nobles; sellswords, slaves, and thieves; members of the elite Foresters, the Undertaking, and the Watch.
The corebook will be at least 278 pages of full-color dark fantasy goodness (and possibly many more, depending on strech goal funding). And its core game expression will be one that runs on the 5th Edition rules of the world's most popular roleplaying game. Most of the content will focus on the setting and on system design that's particular to it, so the corebook does assume that one already has access to the rules set.
The writing and design team on the game includes not only Lost Citadel creators C.A. Suleiman, Ari Marmell, and Jaym Gates, but also the following veteran writers:
- Keith Baker (creator of Eberron, Gloom)
- Jess Hartley (Changeling: The Lost)
- Jesse Heinig (Fallout)
- Natania Barron (Tales of the Lost Citadel)
- Malcolm Sheppard (Mummy: The Curse)
- Khaldoun Khelil (Belial's Brood)
As noted, the initial game design will use the 5th Edition rules, and in that capacity, you'll get to enjoy all the familiar classes and conceits of the game. But in keeping with the setting's essence, and with the idea that the setting is predicated on the gathering together of all the world's different people in one place, we also aim to produce a series of system hacks (see "Stretch Goals"). Each system hack is a conversion product that allows you to run Lost Citadel games using a different thematically-appropriate system, such as A.G.E., the Axiom System, or Pathfinder.
Beyond its design approach, the game will also be available in three different delivery formats: limited edition, standard edition, and digital edition. The limited edition is a handsome hardcover tome bound in cloth and designed to look like those hoary books of yesteryear. By intent, it is exclusive to this campaign and will never be reprinted. The standard edition features beautiful, original Todd Lockwood cover art, and it's the version that will ultimately be available in stores.
For more on The Lost Citadel, feel free to poke around our Facebook page.
Lost Citadel Roleplaying is a partnership between Green Ronin Publishing and the Lost Citadel, a transmedia property developed by C.A. Suleiman, Ari Marmell, and Jaym Gates. This isn't the first time Green Ronin has worked with Suleiman and Marmell (Hamunaptra, Thieves' World), but it does mark the first license partnership between them.
For those unfamiliar with transmedia, the concept is reflected in the setting's expression across multiple different media platforms, simultaneously.
The Lost Citadel's first expression is an anthology of stories called Tales of the Lost Citadel. Filled with award-winning horror and dark fantasy authors — including Bram Stoker Award-winners and -nominees Kealan Patrick Burke, Brian Hodge, Bracken MacLeod, Elizabeth Massie, and Mercedes M. Yardley — Tales offers 15 dark glimpses into life in the last city of the living.
Green Ronin will be releasing that anthology as part of its new fiction imprint, Nisaba, and those interested in picking it up will get their first opportunity here, as part of this Kickstarter project! This book is ready to print, and will be delivered sooner than the rest of the products in this campaign.
Another important element of the Green Ronin partnership is the Lost Citadel Talent Search. Recently, Green Ronin hosted a contest intended to honor both diversity in gaming and that part of the Lost Citadel that's expressly inclusive of women.
In the weeks leading up to the launch of this Kickstarter, Green Ronin invited hundreds of women to submit their writing in the hopes of being chosen to write for the Lost Citadel RPG. In addition to receiving the complete set of products featured in the Lost Citadel Core Set, whoever won the contest would get to work with developer C.A. Suleiman on the first-ever published adventure for the Lost Citadel RPG: A Shadow in the Downs.
Please join us in congratulating the winners of the Lost Citadel Talent Search:
The foundation of the Lost Citadel game is expressed in the RPG corebook and the introductory adventure, but the essence of the setting is one that exists across multiple media at the same time. Due in part to this, we're offering something called the Lost Citadel Core Set.
Green Ronin is publishing the first Lost Citadel anthology, called Tales of the Lost Citadel, as part of its new fiction imprint, Nisaba. Backers who want to steep themselves in the themes, characters, and images of the setting can order the anthology as part of their pledges here, both as a part of reward tiers and as individual add-ons.
Accompanying the anthology is the first-ever novel of the Lost Citadel. Written by C.A. Suleiman and Ari Marmell, it's called The Other Side of Peace and it will also be coming out courtesy of Green Ronin's fiction imprint. Like the other offerings in this Kickstarter, it's available both as part of reward packages and as an individual add-on.
Together, these four products make up the Lost Citadel Core Set!
In addition to those four, this project aims to produce a Lost Citadel Soundtrack, with each Setting Soundtrack stretch goal funding the creation of another pair or trio of songs for the collection. If all goes well, the final soundtrack will feature the musical offerings of D.C.-area band Toll Carom, writer-musician Brian Hodge, and digital sound wizard H. Arnold Jones. However many songs are funded, every backer of this Kickstarter project will receive all of them for free.
Choose exactly how deep you want to get into the world of the Lost Citadel.
Citizen: The Digital Game — The corebook and starting adventure in PDF! In addition to our sincere gratitude, you'll get the complete digital game for Lost Citadel Roleplaying: includes full-color corebook, starting adventure, and all upgrades and bonus material added to the core game through unlocked stretch goals.
Model Citizen: The Digital Set — The Lost Citadel set in PDF! You'll receive the complete digital core set for the Lost Citadel: includes full-color RPG corebook, starting RPG adventure, fiction anthology, Lost Citadel novel, and all digital upgrades and bonus material added to the project through unlocked stretch goals.
Chorus: The Print Game — The physical game products! You'll receive the core game for Lost Citadel Roleplaying: includes full-color corebook, starting adventure, and all upgrades and bonus material added to the game through unlocked stretch goals. You'll also get the PDF versions of these products as a bonus!
Favored Chorus: The Print Set — Everything core in print and PDF! You'll receive the complete core set for the Lost Citadel: includes full-color RPG corebook, starting RPG adventure, fiction anthology, Lost Citadel novel, and all upgrades and bonus material added to the project through unlocked stretch goals. You'll also get digital versions of all these products as a bonus!
Magistrate: The Deluxe Game — The deluxe limited edition of the game! You'll receive the core game for Lost Citadel Roleplaying: includes limited edition color corebook, starting adventure, and all upgrades and bonus material added to the game through unlocked stretch goals. You'll also get the PDF versions of these products as a bonus!
Exalted Magistrate: The Deluxe Set — The deluxe limited edition of the core set! You'll receive the complete core set for the Lost Citadel: includes limited edition color RPG corebook, starting RPG adventure, fiction anthology, Lost Citadel novel, and all upgrades and bonus material added to the project through unlocked stretch goals. You'll also get digital versions of all products as a bonus!
Magister: The Complete Set — The one-stop Lost Citadel shop! A copy of everything the campaign funds in print, and a digital copy of everything offered digitally: includes limited edition corebook, standard corebook, adventure, anthology, novel, and all stretch goals funded (i.e., poster map, GM’s screen, second novel, soundtrack, supplement, and system hacks). No worrying about checking back or managing add-ons just to make sure you get it all. Just click one reward tier!
Beyond the set of products we’re offering from the get-go, as part of reward tier packages, we also have some great stretch goals in mind. With your help, the Lost Citadel can truly flourish.
UNLOCKED! — Hardcover Edition: The ideal presentation of this game is as part of a beautiful, full-color hardback edition. And once we’ve passed this goal, every printed copy of the Lost Citadel RPG will come out not merely in gorgeous full-color, but also in hardcover!
UNLOCKED! — Elizabeth Hand Fable: If we pass this goal we’ll add a lushly illustrated story prologue written by award-winning fantasy writer Elizabeth Hand! When finished, this illustrated fable will become part of the RPG corebook, opening the book and fattening its pagecount accordingly. We're delighted and honored to have a writer of her caliber contributing to our world, and are very excited to be offering her original work as part of our project.
UNLOCKED! — Setting Soundtracks: Brian Hodge & Toll Carom: Funding this goal allows us to offer some musical accompaniment to the game! Anthology contributor Brian Hodge, an accomplished musician as well as best-selling writer, and interstitial band Toll Carom (out of D.C.) will each compose and produce a track of sonic accompaniment for the Lost Citadel. Backers of this Kickstarter project receive these songs for free.
UNLOCKED! — Double-Sided Poster Map: If we surpass this funding mark, we’ll create a full-sized fold-out map of Redoubt, showing its districts and ramparts in glorious color detail. On the other side will be a beautiful regional map by talented cartographer Andrew Law, showing the area that includes the mountain on which the city sprawls. In addition, a print of this lovely map will come included in the back of every copy of the RPG!
UNLOCKED! — System Hack: A.G.E.: If we reach this level in pledges, veteran designer Gary Astleford will create a systems conversion document that allows you to play the setting using Green Ronin's Adventure Game Engine (A.G.E.). This will be a PDF/PoD file that’s free to all backers of the game, and once funded, it becomes available as an add-on, as well.
UNLOCKED! — GM's Screen: If we reach this goal we’ll create the Lost Citadel Screen, a tri-fold gaming screen made of sturdy hardcover board. One side will contain information for running Lost Citadel games, and the other will be decorated with lavish Lost Citadel art. All backers receive the digital screen for free, and the print screen becomes an Add-On. Backers of the Magister tier also receive it in print.
UNLOCKED! — Corebook Expansion: Martial Schools: Passing this goal means we’ll expand the corebook with more writing and glorious Lost Citadel art! Writers Malcolm Sheppard and C.A. Suleiman will add 16 pages of detailed information on the various martial schools operating in Redoubt. Learn how the last people alive combat the Dead!
UNLOCKED! — Lost Citadel Novel #2: If we reach this level in pledges, Lost Citadel writer Brian Hodge will write an original novel set in the world of the Lost Citadel! This novel will be free in PDF/PoD to all who back the project at any tier, and will be delivered also in print to those who back the Magister tier. Once funded, it becomes available as a print add-on, as well.
UNLOCKED! — Setting Soundtracks II: Brian Hodge, H. Arnold Jones, & Toll Carom: Passing this mark allows us to complete the Lost Citadel Soundtrack! Brian Hodge and Toll Carom will each compose and produce an additional track to accompany the first two, and they’ll be joined by sound wizard H. Arnold Jones, who will compose and produce additional tracks to help round out the setting soundtrack. As before, backers of this project will receive these songs for free.
Thanks to all who've helped make this latest Lost Citadel project a success!
Although we've broken down the basic packages into handy one-click reward tiers, every product being offered as part of this project is also being offered individually. That way, it's easy to get exactly what you want for your pledge, and no more or less.
This handy graphic illustrates the state of the project's available add-ons as of today:
As discussed earlier, the finished product for Lost Citadel Roleplaying will be the result of the hard work of not just a distinguished list of freelance talent, but also the effort of the winners of the Lost Citadel Talent Search. Here's a quick look at the two shady undertakers driving this carriage of dark fantasy goodness: C.A. Suleiman (developer/co-creator) and Mark Kelly (art director/lead artist).
C.A. SULEIMAN has contributed scores of books to the hobby games industry’s top properities, including Dungeons & Dragons and the World of Darkness. Along with being developer of the award-winning Mummy line, he co-authored the flagship game Vampire: The Requiem and created the Egyptian fantasy world of Hamunaptra. He’s proud to have shepherded development of the world’s first fantasy campaign — Dave Arneson’s Blackmoor — and to have worked alongside its storied creator. These days, he’s got his hands full as Creative Director of MBG and line developer of both the Unspeakable games and The Lost Citadel RPG. C.A. lives in the D.C. area, where his band Toll Carom is busy toiling away at its latest concept album.
MARK KELLY is a Scottish-born illustrator and designer currently hiding out in the sun-soaked Golden State. His work gravitates toward the dark, macabre, and melancholic, although deep down he’s all about the fluffy kittens and cuddles. In addition to his own illustration work on games like Vampire: The Masquerade and Mummy: The Curse, he is the Art Director of MBG and was responsible for all art, layout, and design on MBG’s inaugural Axiom System RPG, I Am Zombie.
We will be charging shipping after the Kickstarter concludes based on actual costs incurred, using BackerKit or another pledge manager. We want to be accurate in our calculations so backers can get the best deal to include everything that may be added through stretch goals and add-ons.
Shipping will take place in the summer of 2018 and will be charged at cost, so we can only make general estimates based on current shipping weights and carrier options before then. We currently estimate about $13 for the U.S. and about $30 for our furthest shipping zones (e.g. Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, etc.).
We will make every effort to arrange for regional shipping to keep costs low worldwide, but international backers should keep in mind that all pledges that are confirmed after the pledge manager deadline will be shipped from the U.S. at a later date. For non-U.S. backers that will mean increased shipping costs, so watch out for those pledge manager announcements once the campaign closes and please respond promptly!
Also, because of the logistics involved in arranging international shipping, backers in different regions of the world may receive their rewards sooner than others, after the product makes it into distribution in some countries or separately from its availability at conventions or for special promotion opportunities.
Risks and challenges
Green Ronin has done seven previous Kickstarters going back to 2012, so we are well familiar with the process and potential pitfalls. We've seen delays because of production and printing, and we've seen delays because of shipping and customs, even when working with trusted partners. Sometimes these things just can't be foreseen. The good news about the Lost Citadel project is that it falls squarely within our area of expertise: creating, printing, and delivering books. That's something we've been doing since 2000 and we know pretty well how to get those things done efficiently and well at this point. This is about as straight forward a project we can undertake, at least as far as rewards and delivery go.
Even with the challenges that have come up for some of our previous projects, we've never failed to ultimately deliver on backer rewards and have been committed to open communication and transparency about the process throughout. We pledge the same support to this campaign.
We will offer full refunds at any time during the first 14 days after the end of the campaign. You may request a refund for any reason after 14 days and receive a refund of your pledge amount minus all Kickstarter and payment processing fees. We cannot offer refunds for any PDF rewards that have been delivered. Should it occur that a reward cannot be delivered at all, we will of course refund that amount completely.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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