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$452
pledged of $1,000pledged of $1,000 goal
42
backers
15days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, March 3 2019 6:33 AM UTC +00:00.

$452
pledged of $1,000pledged of $1,000 goal
42
backers
15days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, March 3 2019 6:33 AM UTC +00:00.

About

Cover art by Egg Embry, based on Isobel Lilian Gloag's The Kiss of the Enchantress (1890).
Cover art by Egg Embry, based on Isobel Lilian Gloag's The Kiss of the Enchantress (1890).

For the month of Valentine's, the ideals of Chivalry, the power of Enchantment, and the magic of love deserve a place in your 5th Edition fantasy campaign. To ignite that creative spark on game night, Love's Labour's Liberated introduces several thematically-appropriate variations of 5e mechanics. 

Within this zine, you'll find rules for a romance-flavored Cavalier archetype, the Cavalier of Love. A passionate defender of worthy causes, the downtrodden, and even a squire-most-handsome as much as any maiden fair, this idealized fighter makes war for love. 

Cavalier are a champion of a cause.

This likens back to stories where Knights or warriors would actually stand for specific ideals, or they would swear their loyalty to specific duties or concepts. Their skills and abilities are planned around being such champions and keeping the oaths they make.

We see this as an image of knights swearing themselves to defend the Queen, or Joan of Arc, where they fought for specific people or ideals.

Ready to play an Enchanter? Your silver tongue is magical and as spellbinding as the most amorous sonnet; all who meet you want to bask in your presence. For your mage, there's a new spell list that expresses your magics in more evocative ways, and thoughts on how to make your character the paramount paramour.

The Enchanter spell selection is being picked to reflect wizards of legend, more of a "power behind the throne" type of thinking, using examples like Merlin or Circe. Spells will be heavier in Enchantment and Illusion types of spells, but not necessarily restrictive to those. The power base may relate to less combat-oriented abilities, but it does not mean they are useless by any means.

Beyond archetypes and spells, there are Magic Items forged in the fires of love and loss. These treasures are powered by the flames of emotion, offering simple story hooks as well as full adventures to claim them. In addition, expect poetic notes and essays about amore played out in your game. 

Many of the traditional legends and myths that D&D stems from held romanticism in some sense or another. Unfortunately, this often is taken out, and the theme is lost. Our zine is looking to provide information and ways to re-introduce romantic themes to 5e adventures.

Even though the overall design of our zine is connecting the content via adventure hooks, the real goal is to provide content that could be taken and utilized in any 5e setting. We are not looking to create one time use content, but instead content that can help to add some seasoning to a campaign.

Enhancing the feel of this project is the the mood-setting poetry of Leland Beauchamp. 

  • A variant Fighter archetype: Cavalier of Love. NOTE: This will be different than the official Cavalier archetype
  • Enchanter spells list with tips on how to play without needing to fireball everything
  • Adventure ideas/hooks focusing on Chivalry, Lost Loves, and quests to prove your worth
  • Love-themed Magic Items like the Eye of Venus, which connects the wearer and their love, when their amore is physically harmed, it sends the wearer into a berserker rage
  • Other Magic Items with backstories connected to passion and sacrifice and tips for how to connect them to the Player Characters
  • A sandbox-style adventure with maps for 1-3 level characters, "Heart's Hostage"
  • And more... 

Why is all of this ardor packed into an RPG zine? Because there's no better way to share the 5e tabletop love than through a zine! Zines are Cupid's new arrow! As well, a zine lets us spread the love cheaply ($5 for the PDF, $12 for the PDF and physical zine). As part of Kickstarter's February Initiative, Zine Quest, this is a by-the-rules RPG zine. Black and white, 5.5” x 8.5”, saddle-stitched. How many pages? We're thinking this will come in at 36 pages or more. 

Love’s Labour's Liberated introduces the theme of February, love, into your 5e campaign world.  

Over the years, in various campaigns, the power gamer ideal of who could do the most damage or have the biggest explosion didn't appeal to our gaming group. We wanted to focus as much, if not more, on the roleplaying aspects of the game. In many campaigns, it feels like those quiet moments get shoved into the background in favor of one more roll on the random encounter table. At our table, the connections between PC and PC and PC and NPC and NPC and NPC were the stories we cherished the most. Those moments when the characters became more involved in the story are what kept us coming back to the gaming table and ensured our investment in the details of the GM's world.

As such, Love's Labour's Liberated defines characters and options to promote those moments at your gaming table. With these options, you can tell epic stories of the moments between the battles as you focus on the pangs of love and loss among your group. 

What better way to produce the atmosphere of love than through something directly relate to love? Poetry. For the Love’s Labour's Liberated zine, each section will be heralded by a 4- to 6-line stanza. Each of these stanzas will stand on their own and set the tone for the chapter to follow. Yet, they can be brought together as an adventure hook that utilizes all of the information provided. 

Leland Beauchamp shares his plans for the poems and discusses his influences: 

"When the poetry of Love comes up, Shakespeare is one of the first figures to come to mind. Not everyone could capture the writing of Love both positive or negative, gained or unrequited. It is for this reason we went to the Bard for the title of this zine.  

For my poetry within our zine, I would say my influences come from many of the classics like Byron, Shelley, or Tennyson. It can be said that they were the heart of that type of poetic influence. The objective is not to duplicate their work of course; I would never be arrogant enough to think that was possible. Instead, for Love’s Labour's Liberated, I hope to bring a touch of the vision of romance their names bring to mind." 


Image by Rick Hershey. Modified by Egg Embry.
Image by Rick Hershey. Modified by Egg Embry.

Additional copies of the zine are $7 each. 

For international shipments, we’re charging shipping and handling after the campaign. Why? Because rates vary and our budget is extremely tight. 

We plan to ship all rewards in September.

Image by Rick Hershey. Modified by Egg Embry.
Image by Rick Hershey. Modified by Egg Embry.

Leland Beauchamp. Co-designer and co-writer. Who is Leland Beauchamp? He's a poet who was first introduced to RPGs at the age of 6, building a love that has only expanded. This lifelong love for gaming led to an Internship at White Wolf where he helped playtest some of their earlier games. His 5e characters have appeared in Ember Design's Yrisa’s Nightmare and Sunken Temple.

Egg Embry. Co-designer, co-writer, cover artist, and interior artist. Who is Egg Embry? He’s a freelance RPG journalist that writes for:

  • EN World
  • Knights of the Dinner Table
  • Open Gaming Network
  • Tessera Guild

His work revolves around RPG Kickstarters and you may have gotten to this Kickstarter page from one of his articles. He's contributed small parts (mostly through Kickstarter backer rewards) in a variety of 5e projects including Primeval Thule, Yrisa’s Nightmare, The Cruellest Mistress of All, 5th Edition Role Playing Mystical Companions, Slaughter at Splinterfang Gorge, The Dread House, Sunken Temple, and Gaslight Victorian Fantasy

John McGuire. Co-designer and co-writer. Who is John McGuire? He's a novelist and comic book writer, whose works include:

  • The Dark That Follows
  • Hollow Empire
  • The Gilded Age

He also writes a weekly blog on the Tessera Guild site. His 5e characters have appeared in Ember Design's Yrisa’s Nightmare and Sunken Temple.


Interior art will be a combination of original art by Egg Embry and stock art by Rick Hershey. NOTE: The more we fund, the more we’ll replace stock art with original work. 

Isobel Lilian Gloag's The Kiss of the Enchantress (1890)
Isobel Lilian Gloag's The Kiss of the Enchantress (1890)

While questing for the perfect inspiration to cover this project, the painting, The Kiss of the Enchantress (1890), enchanted Egg. The image captured the dual themes of love and sword & sorcery, essential parts of this zine. The original painting by Isobel Lilian Gloag (1865–1917), an English female painter, is a masterpiece of emotion and beauty mixed with danger. Egg could see how it would “pop” in black and white so he redrew it to be the cover of this zine. 

If there's space, there will be a short article about Isobel Lilian Gloag's work and how it inspired aspects of the zine. 

As mentioned above, this will be an RPG zine coming in at 36 pages or more, black and white, 5.5” x 8.5”, and saddle-stitched. Our plan is to follow the advise of Luke Crane, Head of Games @Kickstarter and owner of the Burning Wheel, and print this through Smartpress

Image by Rick Hershey. Modified by Egg Embry.
Image by Rick Hershey. Modified by Egg Embry.

Thank you for taking the time to view the project. We're excited for the opportunity to share Love's Labour's Liberated with you.

Thank you! Leland, John, and Egg previewing Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2e (Onyx Path Gen Con 2018).
Thank you! Leland, John, and Egg previewing Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2e (Onyx Path Gen Con 2018).

Risks and challenges

While this is our first roleplaying zine for Kickstarter, we have experience in running and fulfilling a pair of comic book Kickstarters, and have learned a lot by going through that process.

While we've anticipated getting the print books sent out as soon as we receive them, we know that there can be bumps in that road - so we've set that target for September 2019.

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    The Rose

    The full ZINE in PDF form so you can read it on the computer or burn out an ink cartridge printing it at home.

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    The Love Note

    The PDF plus the printed zine (autographed) shipped in the US for free. International orders will have shipping collected after the campaign.

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    The Declaration

    Same as the $12 level with the addition that you can contribute a short message of love for an individual or thing. In a line or two, declare your love. (We reserve the right to reject inappropriate, vulgar, or unsuitable suggestions.) Limit of 20 rewards of this type.

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    The Love Poem

    Same as the $12 level with the addition of a hand-written, one-of-a-kind poem by Leland Beauchamp. This item will add flavor to your gaming table. Limit of 4 rewards of this type.

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    The Love Item

    Same as the $12 level with the addition that you can contribute one love themed magic item, either the idea or a fully-realized description. (We reserve the right to reject inappropriate, vulgar, or unsuitable suggestions.) Limit of 4 rewards of this type.

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    The Love Convention

    Play at GenCon with Egg Embry, Leland Beauchamp, and John McGuire!

    Same as the $12 level with the addition that you'll have a seat at a reserved table for GenCon 2019, where the creators will run a game for you!

    You will be responsible for your own travel and accommodations to GenCon!"

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