Jigsaw Fantasy: Oceans and Deserts - Setting Aids for Gamers
Modular Setting Elements for RPGs or writing, each with notes throughout to help integrate them into any world you wish.
When the heroes cross the desert the magical mirage may reveal the truth of their inner thoughts, or they may stumble upon the ancient Crown of Annem Ka which might tell them of the birth of the world.
As they cross the ocean they meet the Floating City of Ampai to trade or to fight, or perhaps your character is from Red Lock Bay where a community of pirates and misfits prove you don't need laws.
We've been making Jigsaw Fantasy for a year now, as PDF, but now we want to bring these pieces to the real world, in the form of printed books.
Two of the pieces here have never been published before - The Boiling Sea of Ice, and The Emberek Tribes!
Jigsaw Fantasy gets its name from its modularity - every piece of Jigsaw is designed to be able to link up in multiple ways, so you can use them as you wish in order to build into your own setting.
Use Our Building Blocks...
If you like building your own world and your own adventures, but don't want to start from scratch, Jigsaw provides what you need - structured setting elements designed to combine with what you're already doing. Or maybe you want to add something new to an existing world to surprise your players who've met the barbarians from the far north many times - but what of the Selkie?
...But Play in Your Own World
Where a Jigsaw Piece contains something unusual or setting specific it provides advice and examples of how to alter it to fit whatever world you may be playing in. Previous specific examples have included Eberron, Planescape, Thieves' World, Discworld, Middle Earth, and many more. We've also referenced real-world mythologies as diverse as Norse, Ancient Egyptian, and Voodoun. It is easy to put the Emerek Tribes into any desert from the Sivatag to Darksun because we show you how.
On this Kickstarter we're looking to make six pieces into printed books - divided among two sets of three thematically linked pieces:
The first true Jigsaw Fantasy release - excluding free promos - was The Floating City. Since then Amy has written two more pieces tied to life on the high seas, and we've collected them together here:
The Floating City
Ampai is a city that exists atop a flotilla of giant jellyfish, all of which move around one another making maps impossible and travel complicated - especially if you want to stay dry.
Below is an excerpt about a trio of warrior priests from the Academic Quarter. Also included in the piece are details of the entwined faith and history of the place, and the other other priests. The city's different quarters, their people, interests, and politics are described, as well as ways to tie the Floating City of Ampai into your game world through trade or conflict.
Red Lock Bay
A haven for pirates and vagabonds, but also a home for many who've chosen to give up that life, Red Lock Bay is a town built out of a shipwreck, on an otherwise empty island.
But trouble brews where pirates gather, and any adventurer who wanders in will find that there are many things they can get involved in - with the Jigsaw Links giving advice on how to weave even the most distant of plot hooks into a story in Red Lock Bay.
The Boiling Sea of Ice
Never before published, this piece explores the nesting grounds of both Kraken and Selkie, and the many dangers of a realm where the oceans boil deep beneath the ice.
With details of the geography, ecology and society of this realm - also known as "Krakenheim" - we provide everything you need to set a story here, and many hooks on which to hang it.
The Sivatag Desert was the third piece that we published. Since then Loz has written two more pieces related to the desert, and we've collected them together here.
The Sivatag Desert
A huge sandy expanse which most would think were devoid of life but for the camels. But that could not be further from the truth - it's full of plants, animals and geography which will can and will kill you!
Below is an except about the Gyik, huge lizards which roam the desert. Other things you might encounter include the bloodthirsty Sivan cacti, the flying kouzo which turn magic into sustenance, or the magical mirage which taunts travellers with memories of safety.
The Emberek Tribes
Never before published, this piece details the culture and customs of a group of nomadic dwarven tribes who live in the desert with their herds of camels. Despite the shared culture and faith, they will argue about anything except how good moustaches are for keeping sand out of their noses.
Will you befriend them, trade with them, fight them, or some combination of all three?
The Panoply of Annem Ka
Annem Ka is an ancient and long dead culture who ruled a huge empire, yet they never forgot their roots as a desert nation. The emperor would literally bear their gods, bound into mighty artefacts, to display their power and wisdom.
These artefacts still exist, and the gods are looking for great heroes to bear them once more, and define the fate of the world.
We've been making Jigsaw digitally for a year, and over that time we've released a number of short pieces as well as a few samples from larger pieces, for free use by anyone. We've collected them all here, so that you can try-before-you-buy, and see both our style of writing and how the Jigsaw Links work.
For each piece we have a link to DriveThruRPG, as well as a backup mirror for those of you who can't download it from there for any option.
The Wandering Tavern - Mirror
The Floating Leaf is the bar that wasn't there yesterday, and might not be there tomorrow. Cursed to constant motion, it can turn up on any wall in any town - or even in the middle of a forest - as long as there are people around to sell drinks to.
Minor Adventuring Parties - Mirror
Minor Adventuring Parties looks at two groups who may be found dealing with the smaller problems at the periphery of your heroes' adventures - for instance, they might stay in place protecting one village from the invading horde while your heroes rush off to defeat its general.
Crofton's Cutlery - Mirror
Necromancy is a dangerous art, and prone to mishaps - but those mishaps don't all take the form of rampaging hordes of undead (in fact that's often the intended outcome). The Crofton family were the sacrificial victims in just such a mishap.
The excerpts and shorts above give a good idea of the layout of the books, although they are formatted for screen not print, meaning minor changes may occur throughout - for instance the print version will have the layout mirrored for left-hand pages so the side bar remains on the outside.
Each of the six volumes will be an A5 book, with high quality paper and full colour printing. Each volume will be at least 24 pages long, and have a card cover.
The hardback edition will be a single tome, containing all six of those pieces as well as an additional foreword that we'll be releasing during the Kickstarter, containing collected advice and ideas on how to make best use of the pieces.
The luxury collectors' edition will be hand-bound in your choice of a leather or cloth cover (n.b. some countries have limitations on the import of animal products like leather - if you think this might affect you please check before backing). These collectors' editions will be numbered, and no more than ten will ever exist. The highest-pledging backers will receive the lowest numbers, with who backed first acting as a tie-breaker - that's the highest total pledge including any add-ons (see below) so feel free to add more copies of the lower tiers. We will also sign and dedicate them if you wish.
We're keeping things simple with add-ons on this Kickstarter - just pledge at the highest level you want, then add the pledge value (ignoring postage) for each other level you want to add.
For instance if you are a generous soul who wants two lots of the hardback as gifts, and one set of the standard book for yourself, you should pledge at the Master Seer level, add £50 for another seer and £29 for the Wandering Cartographer - for a total of £129.
Note: Only backers at the Epic Hero level can add on a Legendary Adventurer level - those are strictly limited edition.
We intend to order more of each volume than we need to fulfill the Kickstarter orders - our target is based on ordering 250 of each. Of course our backers will get theirs first, and then we will sell the rest at conventions, such as Dragonmeet in December in London and the Student Roleplaying and Wargaming Nationals in Bradford in April. We already attend these conventions selling Concept Cards, our previous product, which we successfully funded through four Kickstarters.
We will also contact local games stores about stocking these books - if you run a games store and would be interested in carrying them yourself, we would love to hear from you.
If there is enough interest we will look into adding a level to our Patreon project to supply printed versions of our pieces each month.
All our previous pieces are available as PDFs via DrivethruRPG (including our previous project, Concept Cards). We have made the decision not to have backer levels for the PDFs of the four pieces already available to keep the focus on the physical product, but the PDFs are included when you back for the physical ones because we think that's fair.
If you would like just the PDFs, there is a special bundle available here. The new pieces will be made available for purchase on DriveThru one month after the Kickstarter ends.
Risks and challenges
We've completed and delivered four previous projects, and have spent a lot of time ensuring that this will be delivered within at most a month leeway of the estimated date - and we're certain the base books will arrive by Christmas.
If you want a full breakdown of the risks and challenges, and how we're prepared for them, check update number 3 - "Risks and Challenges Relocated".Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)