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A system-neutral campaign setting for tabletop fantasy role-playing games.
A system-neutral campaign setting for tabletop fantasy role-playing games.
154 backers pledged $5,944 to help bring this project to life.

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$5,944

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 Small patches of light in a dark age. 

Ruin & Conquest is a unique and evocative campaign setting that can be played with any fantasy role-playing game   

This book aims first and foremost to be a toolbox for players and game masters (by whatever name they call themselves) to expand and enrich their tabletop role-playing. It introduces you to the world of Ealand, an island ablaze with conflict, tearing itself apart in the decaying shadow of its once great cultures. Foes set foot upon its shores almost daily, while the land, its people and its gods lash out with the fury of a cornered animal. Within this cauldron of strife, Ealand is a fertile soil for adventure. Where there is death, there is opportunity. Where there is pain, there is profit. Where the fathers cower and the mothers wail, there is room for legends to be born.  

What it contains 

  • All you need to set adventures, campaigns and encounters on the war torn isle of Ealand 
  • History, customs and cultures for 6 distinct humanoid races living on the isle
  • 5 unique ‘Other Folk’ races including the beautiful shapeshifting Vugael and the trickster Dwellers
  • A thorough guide to the major peoples and places of Ealand, leaving just enough room for creativity and exploration
  • Maps showing the islands varied landscapes and main conflicts
  • 15+ tables to randomly generate everything from petty tyrants to grave curses
  • 20+ original creatures for adventurers to encounter,  
  • Detailed story seeds and plot points to inspire great and harrowing adventures
  • A comprehensive primer on warfare of all types in this dark and terrible age allowing intricate and nuanced adventures in the thick of armed conflict
  • Sample encounter locations
  • Information on the technology, weapons, architecture and even the burial rights of the people of Ealand 
  • 35+ Original drawings immersing readers in this isle of strife

Background

The island of Ealand is a shadow of what it was. The builders once raised colossal structures to the skies and created homes of luxury and order. Now all that they erected lays crumbling and broken. Hollowed out and used by brutish men to dominate each other in conflicts over Ealand’s corpse. This is a world already used to bloodshed that has been set ablaze in a war for its very identity. The Saevolk stream in from the sea, extending Volkland deeper and deeper into the island in the slow inexorable march of invasion. With steel and fire, sword and shield, they kill all who stand in their path. The Huus, who should unite to protect their own way of life, squabble and scheme taking every opportunity to settle old scores. The land itself writhes in anger, with all the beasts and spirits of the wild in open hostility with the world of man. 

To adventure in Ealand is to traffic in conflict. To forge your legend in the fires of strife. With war comes opportunity for the brave, the clever, the remorseless and the perceptive. Whichever side of the great conflicts you choose. Battles big and small. Clashes of armies on the field and the tangling of desperate bodies brawling in the smoky mead halls. Whether you’re a Saevolk raider, a brave Huus warrior or even a greedy Guldyn mercenary loyal only to gold, your story can unfold in a myriad of directions. Healers or scholars. Warrior poets or treasure hunters. It matters crucially who you count as friend and foe, and who stands beside you when cold steel is drawn. This island contains all that is needed to gather the fame and honor that will echo through the ages. 

For the players and game masters who choose to set their stories in Ealand, you must understand this is a harsh world, a dark world, but one that can contain beauty and triumph as well. The major themes are conflict between the human races, and conflict with nature. The goal was to create a world that supported complex motivations, difficult situations and enormous fields of moral grey area for players to navigate. I wanted a world that was different. That embraced tales centered on violence between humans but also allowed for plenty of stories about the party against the land itself. A group of adventures can immerse themselves in very real anger between men, or ignore that entirely and adventure against the great beasts and monsters of the wild. 

System-Neutral

This setting is system-neutral, which means it can be used with your favorite fantasy roleplaying ruleset, whatever that happens to be. Simply put, I wanted this world to be accessible to anyone who wants to explore it, regardless of their preferred game. Works with everything from 5e to Lamentations and DCCRPG. 

How do I use it? 

Using this book is easy. You can set an adventure or campaign on the Isle of Ealand taking the setting, characters, and monsters utilizing them to tell engaging tales of danger and menace. Characters would be insiders to this world. Well steeped in the islands history, traditions and people. Ealand is their home either by birth or adoption, and it encompasses much of their world, as islands often do to their people. Another option is to take Ealand and place it in an existing game world. This can be a published setting or an original creation, Ealand can slot into either quite easily. As an island, with its own unique beliefs, geography and cultures, it can just exist in a larger world, somewhere Northwest from a continent, in a cold and unforgiving sea. Adventurers can happen upon its mist-covered shores by accident or assignment. Many great stories can be spun with a foreign party coming to grips with what they don’t understand trapped in an ancient land perpetually in turmoil. Finally, and probably most simply, you can just read the book and pluck whatever ideas you want from it to sprinkle into your own game. There is no law saying the bog-dwelling FennHulm or the Storm Dancers of Ealand cannot live somewhere else. The mysterious and cursed magical artifacts of the Saevolk don’t need to be found only in the geographical confines of the isle. Imagine the book as a thickly wooded path to be wandered down, stopping and admiring what you find interesting. 

However you intend to use the book, I welcome you to this world and its people. May you participate in epic tales with great friends wherever you gather.

 Reward Tiers

Standard - Print + PDF Version 

  • The book (roughly 112 pages perfect bound softcover)  
  • PDF 

Special KickStarter Exclusive Version 

  • The book (roughly 112 pages perfect bound softcover)  
  • PDF
  • Print #1 (Artwork from the book)
  • Print #2 (Map of the island) 
  • Raffle entry for piece of original art from game
  • Membership in exclusive group that gets early access to content related to Ruin & Conquest
  • Name listed in roll of honor in book 

Pledging for Multiple Copies

If you've like multiple copies of either the Standard or Special Edition rewards, just pledge for a multiple of that amount and we'll get you the right number of copies when they're ready to ship. We'll combine shipping on them so this method lets you only have to pay the one shipping fee. 

Example - You'd like two copies of the standard

Select standard reward and add $25 for each additional book you'd like to receive above the original reward amount. 

Why Kickstarter

Ruin & Conquest is written, the art is being finalized and it is just about ready for final editing and layout. All of this has been done out of pocket on the side of my actual day job. And guess what, the book is looking awesome! But it is important to remember, it could be even better. Kickstarter allows Ruin & Conquest to be expanded if the demand is there for it. It lets me add additional art for the book and commission more maps/locations to be illustrated (things I can’t do myself). I’m not looking to get rich off this niche release, or become a full time game developer. This is a passion project, and anything it makes goes back into increasing the value in the book (or funding the next one). Ruin & Conquest is great in its current planned form, really something I’m proud to release and put my name on, but if enough people back it, I can make it even better. 

Inspiration 

This book was inspired by a number of sources... 

  • Classic RPG's of the 80's and early 90's and their focus on creativity, storytelling and incredible art
  • Mythology and folklore always hinting at a mysterious world just out of sight 
  • Punk and it's DIY attitude about just making the things you want to see in the world 
  • History and its limitless inspiration

Stretch Goals

$7,000 - Additional Art throughout the book

$9,000 - New location maps and encounter maps included in the book

$12,000 - Mini adventure included in book 

Artists 

Rich Nerdgore  -  artofnerdgore 

Jamie Jordan - noirfade

Adam Chandler - hollowxsky

 Reza Afshar -  rezaa_afsharr 

 Andrea Piparo  -  andreapiparoart 

 Dale Sarok -  dsarok 

 Brian Profilio -  b.profilio.art 

 Lucas Ruggiero  -  lr_illustration 

 Masruron Nihayanto  -  moronfathers 

 Ahot -  ahot.74 

 Andrew k Mar -  andrewkmar 

 Matt Stikker -  bargainbinblasphemy 

 Sean O'Neill -  babyfaceoneill 

 Ryan Breceda  -  ryanbreceda 

 Theoretical Part -  theoreticalpart

 Joe Wildling -  oldwoden 

 Daniel Shaw -  shaw.illustrations 

Risks and challenges

This is a relatively straightforward project to deliver, although Kickstarters always carry some amount of risk. The manuscript is written, the art is almost entirely complete and the book just needs final layout, editing and printing. Layout and editing has already been sourced along with backups if something falls through and there is time in the schedule to make sure everything is right. The exact printing firm used depends on how successful the Kickstarter turns out to be but there are three able companies on deck to perform wherever the final number falls. While this is my first Kickstarter, I’ve been delivering quality projects on time and on budget for years in my professional life. I’ve locked in the riskiest parts of the project and have plans to execute on the rest.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Print + PDF Version

    Print + PDF Copy of Ruin & Conquest campaign book.

    Includes:
    • Print + PDF copy of Ruin & Conquest
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    31 backers
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Special Edition Print + PDF

    A special KickStarter only edition of Ruin & Conquest

    Includes:
    • Print + PDF copy of Ruin & Conquest
    • 2x Prints (Artwork from the book including a map of the island)
    • Name in the book
    • Membership in exclusive early access group
    • Raffle for original piece of art from the books creation
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    112 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (24 days)