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Start where you wish and go where you will.  The gamebook world of Fabled Lands is yours to explore.
Start where you wish and go where you will.  The gamebook world of Fabled Lands is yours to explore.
Start where you wish and go where you will. The gamebook world of Fabled Lands is yours to explore.
513 backers pledged €30,589 to help bring this project to life.

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Fabled Lands: The Serpent King's Domain

€30,589

513

DOWNLOAD THE PLAYABLE DEMO

Click the link to enter the city of Dunpala, a home base for your adventures in the full book, yet with secrets and adventures in itself!

Your support has funded the art!  Now see our €30,000 STRETCH GOAL: COLOR INTERIOR.  Reaching the goal means a color map, extra color illustrations in addition to Russ Nicholson's astounding black-and-white, and color Adventure Sheet.

Amazing Kickstarter backers funded Fabled Lands in less than 45 minutes!  Thank you for your incredible support!

See a narrated video of our playable demo and download the demo at the link above.

Choose your own backer icon and align yourself with your favorite character profession.

Witness just what Fabled Lands means to author Jamie Thomson, what this project means to Megara Entertainment, and what open-world gaming means to all three authors together.

Delve into the art of the cover,  a journey we can complete thanks to your funding, and read the back cover blurb.

Learn about scene sponsorship, your opportunity to leave an indelible mark on the world, and how you can have your name credited in the book itself.

Fabled Lands is a gamebook series, that special sort of solo role-playing where you read a story paragraph, make a decision about what you would like the hero to do next, and turn to some other page to read the results.  This series is the first in history to be non-linear: players proceed at will back and forth between books, and each book represents not a story but a region.  The story is up to the player to tell.

You can strive to overcome villains and monsters, or spend the whole game as a merchant trader plying the seas.  Ordinarily, this sort of description would mean an open-world videogame to tax your computer's processors; but Fabled Lands is a BOOK ON PAPER.

Sample Fabled Lands maps by Russ Nicholson, demonstrating the scope of the books
Sample Fabled Lands maps by Russ Nicholson, demonstrating the scope of the books

Authors Dave Morris and Jamie Thomson developed the idea in the 1990s at a time when publishers had begun focusing on other genres.  The gaming world was left short of one of its most innovative ideas.  Today gamebooks are enjoying a resurgence in popularity and we have recruited author Paul Gresty, creator of the Kickstarter gamebook Arcana Agency: The Thief of Memories, to work with the original authors to bring you Fabled Lands: The Serpent King's Domain.

Play as one of six professions - Priest, Mage, Rogue, Troubadour, Warrior or Wayfarer - through varied and overlapping challenges.  Combat skill alone won't save you.  Delve into the mysteries of Ankon-Konu, the Feathered Lands.  Explore ruined Tarshesh, the city of ghosts, and wander into Elaz Carnaquen, the spirit realm.  Walk the trails of the Weeping Jungle, a land rarely seen by foreigners, and face the wrath of the Serpent King, Namagal.  All you need to play is two six-sided dice, a pencil, and an eraser.

And the book, of course.  Megara Entertainment has produced numerous high-quality hardback gamebooks including Arcana Agency and The Way of the Tiger via our older Kickstarter account.  Fabled Lands: The Serpent King's Domain will receive similar treatment.  The interior in this case is to be black-and-white to accommodate classic fantasy artist, Russ Nicholson:

Sample of Russ Nicholson's classic illustrations
Sample of Russ Nicholson's classic illustrations

For fans who already have the original 1990s Fabled Lands, this new book will fit perfectly into the overarching game experience.  New author Paul Gresty is making sure that cross-book section numbers connect as they must, and classic authors Dave Morris and Jamie Thomson are keeping the content on course for the original plan.  You can bring your old Adventure Sheet!

The classic books are not included in this campaign as they are already available online.  Amazon sells all the paperbacks, while Megara has Fabled Lands 1 hardback in a new full-color Collector's version on the Megara website (and FL2 Collector's coming soon).

For new readers and gamers, this book is an excellent starting point: you really can 'start where you wish,' even starting at 'the end.'  There is no absolute start point or end point to the Fabled Lands books; as each book describes a geographic region, you are free to move from area to area - book to book - in any way you wish.  In many cases you MUST read the books out of order to experience the full content!

If we reach basic Kickstarter funding, we can print and ship a collector's edition hardback book, at least 600 game sections long.

But we want to give you more.

We want to give you a new cover by Kevin Jenkins, original Fabled Lands cover artist (and concept artist on Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor 2, World War Z . . . )

We want to give you interior images and a game map by Russ Nicholson, original Fabled Lands illustrator (and artist for Fighting Fantasy, the Fiend Folio, Warhammer Fantasy / 40,000 . . . )

Manufacturing and worldwide shipping (included in every pledge) are costs per book.  Authors are also paid per book.  Art, though, is an up-front and one-time cost of hundreds and thousands of euro.  How difficult can that be to fundraise on Kickstarter?  VERY DIFFICULT.  For an academic explanation, see this essay by Dave Morris.  For numbers, see below:

Chart showing how your pledge for a gamebook pretty much pays to send you a gamebook, period
Chart showing how your pledge for a gamebook pretty much pays to send you a gamebook, period

The stakes are high: this much-needed art will also be used in all future editions in any format.  Yet how can we afford anything with so little money to spare?  Only if you help us.

For each pledge, we will calculate the art funding (profit) and show you the result below.

This is the art meter.

The art meter shows our actual profit from your pledges and what we will do with it.  This is not the same thing as the funding total reported by Kickstarter.  We could reach these goals before OR after reaching our minimum Kickstarter funding goal depending on your support.

Having filled the art meter, we also will run stretch goals that DO derive from the Kickstarter funding total.  See this update for more.

When filling the meter, your pledge will return this much art funding:

  • €35 gamebook = €4 art funding
  • €9 cross-promotion map print = €3.50 art funding
  • €12 Russ Nicholson artbook .pdf = €9.50 art funding
  • €15 signatures, optional personalization, optional credit = €11.50 art funding
  • €275 starting character = €180 art funding
  • €325 scene sponsorship = €65 art funding
  • €1250 Russ Nicholson commission = €587 art funding
  • € XX donation for no reward = € (approximately 90% of XX) art funding

Want to see art in this or any future edition?  Pledge for rewards that grant more art funding.  As the art meter fills, we will allocate money as follows:

€550 - New regional map by Russ Nicholson.  You cannot play a location-based game if you cannot see a map.  At this point we will be able to afford a new map by the original artist.  It will be printed in the book as black-and-white, but Russ will draw it in color for the map print also available during this campaign.

€600 (the €1150 meter mark) - New cover painting by Kevin Jenkins.  Our project image and book mock-up are using placeholder artwork.  Kevin Jenkins is something else.  Just look at what he did for past Fabled Lands books:

Sample of Kevin Jenkins' classic covers
Sample of Kevin Jenkins' classic covers

Awesome.  To be clear: a painted cover by a famous artist costs FAR MORE than the above.  If we reach the meter mark, we will continue to pay half of all art funding to Kevin Jenkins after this point on the art meter.

€40, €90, €200 and €410 (meter marks starting at €1330) - New interior art by Russ Nicholson.  We need Russ to create several pieces of black-and-white art.  These are important for the mood of the game and indispensable for doing page layout, like so:

Sample page layouts demonstrating the use of Russ Nicholson's incidental art, from 1/8 page to 1/2 page
Sample page layouts demonstrating the use of Russ Nicholson's incidental art, from 1/8 page to 1/2 page

On the art meter you will see doubled numbers, such as €180 instead of €90: again, this is to pay Kevin for his cover art.

Further funds paid to the artists.  Production costs contribute to all pledge levels, and this includes commissioning art.  So, starting character pledges include €40 paid to Russ Nicholson for illustrating your character in black-and-white.  Also, scene sponsorship pledges include €200 paid to Russ Nicholson, and take one 1/2 page illustration off of the art meter!

If we fund partway to a mark, we will use the funds at our discretion, such as by commissioning further incidental art.

And, in the end, please remember: this Kickstarter isn't just for a collector's edition.  Your support now is the only way to get proper cover and interior art for any other editions printed in the future.

So, for many reasons, we need your pledge!  Help us make the best gamebook we can make!

Pledge levels are not cumulative, and every reward you receive for your pledge is listed in the pledge level.  You also may 'add on' extra copies of rewards, or create your own pledge level not listed on the right, by raising your pledge the appropriate amount.

The centerpiece reward is this gamebook:

GAMEBOOK: Receive the hardback collector's edition of Fabled Lands: The Serpent King's Domain (€35, approx. $39), may also add signatures from all authors, optional personalization, and an optional credit in the collector's print run (+€15, approx. $16)
GAMEBOOK: Receive the hardback collector's edition of Fabled Lands: The Serpent King's Domain (€35, approx. $39), may also add signatures from all authors, optional personalization, and an optional credit in the collector's print run (+€15, approx. $16)

It will be at least 600 game sections long.  The interior will be black-and-white because that is where Russ Nicholson shows his brilliance.  For his color map, see the cross-promotion rewards in the next section.  Your funding the art meter will be directly responsible for the map, cover, and number of interior illustrations.

SIGNATURES/THANKS pledge.  By selecting this pledge or by raising your existing pledge €15, your copy of the gamebook will be signed by all three authors, you may have it personalized to you ("Thank you, name"), and you may be credited by name in a Kickstarter thanks page printed within this edition.  (This does not apply to any future editions.)

The following rewards also may interest you:

ARTBOOK: Receive a DRM-free .pdf file of Russ Nicholson's art from the 1990s series (€12, approx. $13)
ARTBOOK: Receive a DRM-free .pdf file of Russ Nicholson's art from the 1990s series (€12, approx. $13)
STARTING CHARACTER: Have yourself or your RPG character drawn and described in-game as one of the six starting characters - Priest, Mage, Rogue, Troubadour, Warrior, or Wayfarer, your choice at time of pledge (€275, approx. $304, includes GAMEBOOK)
STARTING CHARACTER: Have yourself or your RPG character drawn and described in-game as one of the six starting characters - Priest, Mage, Rogue, Troubadour, Warrior, or Wayfarer, your choice at time of pledge (€275, approx. $304, includes GAMEBOOK)
SCENE SPONSORSHIP: Have one of six places/characters named and drawn in your honor - Friendly Inn, Blessed Well, Treacherous Valley, Dead Pirate, Cursed Warrior, or Eccentric Peddler, your choice at time of pledge (€325, approx. $359, includes GAMEBOOK)
SCENE SPONSORSHIP: Have one of six places/characters named and drawn in your honor - Friendly Inn, Blessed Well, Treacherous Valley, Dead Pirate, Cursed Warrior, or Eccentric Peddler, your choice at time of pledge (€325, approx. $359, includes GAMEBOOK)
ART COMMISSION: Commission Russ Nicholson for a new black-and-white scene or a redrawn scene from the 1990s series, and receive the physical art (€1250, approx. $1380, includes GAMEBOOK)
ART COMMISSION: Commission Russ Nicholson for a new black-and-white scene or a redrawn scene from the 1990s series, and receive the physical art (€1250, approx. $1380, includes GAMEBOOK)

The gamebook is included at the highest pledge levels, but we ask you to raise your pledge appropriately if you wish to add on other rewards, such as the cross-promotion.

Do you enjoy gamebooks?  Do you want to see even MORE from the Fabled Lands creators?  Then join with our cross-promotion partner, Ashton Saylor, in his Kickstarter bid for his project with Fabled Lands LLP, The Good, the Bad and the Undead:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ashtonsaylor/the-good-the-bad-and-the-undead
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ashtonsaylor/the-good-the-bad-and-the-undead

His project will run from near the end of ours through the end of August.  Each of our projects is offering an electronic map file.  Pledge to a cross-promotion level on EACH project, and, if both succeed, receive a PHYSICAL map print from BOTH projects!  (No extra for shipping.)

CROSS-PROMOTION MAP PRINT: Receive the color version of Russ Nicholson's map, in an electronic file if only our project succeeds, in a sturdy laminated print if you help both projects succeed (€9, approx. $10)
CROSS-PROMOTION MAP PRINT: Receive the color version of Russ Nicholson's map, in an electronic file if only our project succeeds, in a sturdy laminated print if you help both projects succeed (€9, approx. $10)

This is the only way to get the map in color, as the plan for the book is to print it all in black-and-white.  See Ashton's Kickstarter page for the map you can receive from The Good, the Bad and the Undead.

Dave Morris is co-creator of the Fabled Lands series, and also wrote for the Virtual Reality, Blood Sword, and Golden Dragon series, as well as penning a Fighting Fantasy gamebook (The Keep of the Lich Lord) and a number of TV and movie novelisations.  He co-designed the role-playing game Dragon Warriors, has written numerous original novels, and created the episodic comic strip Mirabilis.  Most recently he published an interactive reworking of Frankenstein and, completely unrelated, has succeeded in a Kickstarter project for The Frankenstein Wars.

Jamie Thomson likewise could talk your ear off about all he's done.  From 1984 to 1996 he was a prolific and best-selling author, usually publishing at least two titles per year, including co-writing not just Fabled Lands but also Duelmaster, Falcon, The Way of the Tiger (later on Kickstarter to be extended), and three books of the Fighting Fantasy series: Talisman of Death, Sword of the Samurai, and The Keep of the Lich Lord.  Recently he has published three novels for children: Corvus, Dark Lord: The Teenage Years, and Dark Lord: A Friend in Need.  Dark Lord: The Teenage Years won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2012.

Paul Gresty is an author and game designer specialising in interactive fiction and storytelling.  He has previously written The ORPHEUS Ruse for Choice of Games, as well as Arcana Agency: The Thief of Memories, Megara Entertainment's seminal Kickstarter project.  He is also lead writer of the aforementioned project The Frankenstein Wars.

Richard S. Hetley and Mikaël Louys (not pictured) from Megara Entertainment are co-producers of this Kickstarter campaign.  They have raised more than $100,000 on their previous Kickstarter account (USA-based) for Arcana Agency: The Thief of Memories, The Way of the Tiger, and Lone Wolf - The Board Game.  Richard has edited each product.  Mikaël has done layout and managed contacts with a spectrum of excellent artists.

Our first three Kickstarter projects were a success thanks to people like you.  We're counting on you to help Fabled Lands: The Serpent King's Domain become the best it can be, not just for now but for the future too, as the art you help us fund will be the ONLY art in ANY future edition.

So please spread the word.  Use one of these images for your backer icon on Kickstarter:

Play the free demo, share it with your friends, post about us on online communities, and pledge what you can.  Thank you for your support!

Risks and challenges

We have experience with multiple Kickstarter projects from our prior Kickstarter account, Megara Entertainment LLC. We have learned just how much hidden expenses can grow in Kickstarter projects, and, now that we are working directly from our source of production in Europe, expenses should be lower and therefore risks should be lower.

We are being completely open about where backer funding will go and have focused the campaign toward getting more money above expenses. The intention is that we should have extra space where we can make adjustments as we need without over-promising. We will keep backers notified of any changes along the way.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €1 or more About $1.10

    FOLLOW THE PROJECT. Any pledge at all shows your support for classic gaming and art. You can receive updates, post comments, and follow the project on its journey.

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    Pledge €9 or more About $10

    CROSS-PROMOTION MAP. Receive Russ Nicholson's game map as a DRM-free file. Pledge to cross-promotion levels on our project and with our cross-promotion partner, and if both succeed then receive the game map on laminated 6"x9" thick paper. Free shipping worldwide.

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    Pledge €12 or more About $13

    ARTBOOK .PDF. Download the electronic artbook of Russ Nicholson's classic Fabled Lands illustrations as a DRM-free file.

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    Pledge €35 or more About $39

    GAMEBOOK. Receive the 6"x9" collector's hardback of Fabled Lands: The Serpent King's Domain. Free shipping worldwide.

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    253 backers
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    Pledge €44 or more About $49

    GAMEBOOK + CROSS-PROMOTION MAP. Free shipping worldwide.

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    Pledge €47 or more About $52

    GAMEBOOK + ARTBOOK .PDF. Free shipping worldwide.

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    10 backers
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    Pledge €50 or more About $55

    GAMEBOOK + SIGNATURES/THANKS. Your copy of Fabled Lands: The Serpent King's Domain will be signed by authors Dave Morris, Jamie Thomson and Paul Gresty. You may have it personalized as well (e.g., your name, a thank-you message). Free shipping worldwide.

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    Pledge €59 or more About $65

    GAMEBOOK + SIGNATURES/THANKS + CROSS-PROMOTION MAP. Free shipping worldwide.

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    32 backers
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    Pledge €71 or more About $78

    GAMEBOOK + SIGNATURES/THANKS + CROSS-PROMOTION MAP + ARTBOOK .PDF. Free shipping worldwide.

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    Pledge €275 or more About $304

    GAMEBOOK + STARTING CHARACTER. Receive Fabled Lands: The Serpent King's Domain plus you may have yourself or your gaming persona illustrated by Russ Nicholson, described by the authors, and immortalized IN-GAME as a starting character. Send a message with the six professions in order of your preference upon pledging. First come, first served. Free shipping worldwide.

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    Reward no longer available 6 backers
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    Pledge €325 or more About $359

    GAMEBOOK + SCENE SPONSORSHIP. Receive Fabled Lands: The Serpent King's Domain plus you may have a place and/or character named in your honor, illustrated by Russ Nicholson, and immortalized IN-GAME as per the authors. Send a message with the six options in order of your preference upon pledging. First come, first served. Free shipping worldwide.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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    Pledge €1,250 or more About $1,380

    GAMEBOOK + ART COMMISSION. Receive Fabled Lands: The Serpent King's Domain plus commission Russ Nicholson to draw a black-and-white image of your choice, or re-draw any classic image from the series. You will receive the A4-size art. Free shipping worldwide

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Funding period

- (26 days)