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The GM Guide for 1879 just needs art and then it can go to press! Help us pay artists and cover printing fees! Get an awesome book!
The GM Guide for 1879 just needs art and then it can go to press! Help us pay artists and cover printing fees! Get an awesome book!
100 backers pledged $6,403 to help bring this project to life.

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1879: Gamemaster's Guide

This isn't your great-great-grandfather's London!

Victoria and Albert rule over a steam-powered British Empire that spans two worlds. Thanks to the portal known as the Rabbit Hole, a train ride away from London lies the Grosvenor Land, a new world of fertile plains, towering mountains, giant insects, and Babylonians with battery powered zombies. Seems they got there first, three thousand years ago, and they're not exactly the welcoming sort. The Saurid tribes, lizard-like folk who ride theropods and pteranodons, complicate matters further. Back home on Earth, clockwork engineering has brought mechanical computing to the world, and micro-steam engines drive airships through the sky. Stranger things are afoot, too, as a bit of magic seems to have come into the world with the opening of the portal. People are changing. Secret societies are finding their ancient occult practices a bit more effective. Who knows what might be lurking in the forests these days, or in that shipment from China?

Play as Aristocrats, Soldiers, Big Game Hunters, Weird Scientists, Airship Pilots, Mediums, and more! Explore the Gruv! Maneuver for favour in court! Perform deniable actions for firms that would like their rivals impeded! Confront the terrors of the spirit world, or face off against the lethal fauna of a lost world!

 

From secrets of Her Majesty's government, to descriptions of secret societies, to details of the inventions of the age, the Gamemaster's Compendium delivers a wealth of knowledge and information for the gamemaster to incorporate into their 1879 campaign. Contained herein are the game mechanics for traps and poisons, Engine hacking, airships, horses and other mounts, and gamemaster characters. A large chapter explains the alternate history of Earth, including how the Zulus and Maoris ended up in the regular Army, and how women got the vote generations earlier than in ours, both of which are still having repercussions. Another large chapter describes the Earth presence in the Gruv, from Fort Alice and the research camp at Mount Somerville to the settlements of the British and Prussians. Delve more deeply into the alternate history, challenge your players with complex, ongoing plotlines, and let slip clues of nefarious doings that will require true heroes to oppose and bring the scoundrels to justice!

It's done. It's written. The layout is complete. We will release the draft PDF, with missing art, to everyone who backs for a PDF or higher reward package, so you can see what you're getting.

But it needs art. We've only got full page chapter openers for a third of the book. There's no art of the Giffards, and how can you have a steampunk roleplaying game without airships?

Artists have to be paid. We've got them lined up already. We send them the downpayment, they start drawing. When those drawings are done, we have to have the rest of the cash in hand, as it's due on delivery.

Dodgers scarpering while Smedley holds off the Peelers
Dodgers scarpering while Smedley holds off the Peelers

And there's printing. Books take the kind of rolls of paper you see on a flatbed going down the highway, the kind that takes an industrial crane to lift. Ink by the barrel. Cardstock for the covers, and color printing. Binding glue. Wages for the machinery operators.

You're interested in our game line, or you wouldn't have read this far. Chances are, you've played the game at a convention, or a Friendly Local Game Store, or a demo at somebody's house. You might already have the 1879 Player's Guide. You want the 1879 Gamemaster's Guide. We can make that happen. 

We just need your help.

Look to the right and you'll see the rewards. The 1879 GM's Guide, optionally bundled with the 1879 Players' Guide and the 1879 GM Screen, in softcover print, PDF, and combinations thereof. Pick your product, make your pledge. Make this book happen.

There's two worlds to explore, mountains to cross, battles to fight, and airships to fly. Let's get cracking!

Tally Ho!

Oh, yes, there will be stretch goals.

  • At $7500:
    We strike the medal that's on the cover of the 1879 GM's Guide. If you've met us at a convention, or played in a demo, you've seen and probably received a medal or two from us. These are serious metal, enamel inlay, pinback ribbon, the whole bit, suitable for cosplay. We will strike 100 copies of the medal, and those will go out to everyone who has already pledged for a print copy. We'll make any left over a $5 add-on for any other pledges.
  • At $10,000:
    We release a t-shirt with brand new art. We'll give the shirt to anyone who has pledged for either the All Books Print or Print+PDF bundle. The t-shirt will become a $20 add-on for any other pledge.

There's no secret stretch goals. They're all right here. If we hit some crazy number, we'll figure it out when and if it happens.

Risks and challenges

All projects carry risk. Learning from our past efforts, we want to minimize the project risks as much as possible. As mentioned above, the 1879 Gamemaster's Guide and GM Screen have been written, edited, laid out, and most of the art has been added. All that remains to complete these products is to finish the art and print the books. We've worked with these artists before. They're proven. Our printer is reliable. We've done this before.

While there is always the possibility of something unexpected cropping up, we believe that the chance of completion of these books is very high.

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    Thank you

    Thank you for supporting our campaign! We'll have a mention of everyone who supports our campaign on our website!

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    Signed Book

    ADD-ON. If you already have a physical book or books in your pledge, Andrew Ragland, line developer, will sign them. Please specify any specific salutation or name you want in the post-KS survey.

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    Gamemaster's Guide (PDF)

    Your very own electronic copy of the 1879 Gamemaster's Guide! Go see the Print version reward for the book description in its full glory!

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    Gamemaster's Guide & GM Screen (PDF)

    You get PDF Copies of the 1879 Gamemaster's Guide and the GM Screen! 512 pages of world description, how to be a GM, and bestiaries for two worlds! Plus, you get the PDF version of the Gamemaster's Screen, including a trifold set of reference tables with three color art pieces on the reverse side, a booklet of pregenerated GMCs, a couple of One-Pager adventures, and an adventure generator!

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    Gamemaster's Guide (Print)

    Softcover, 512 pages, print copy of the 1879 Gamemaster's Guide! You get two big chapters of steampunk alternate world material, one for Earth and one for the Gruv! There's a whole section on how to run an adventure, how to put together a campaign, and how to GM in general. We've got expanded rules for equipment, including prosthetics, and a chapter on vehicles. There's two Bestiary chapters, one for Earth and the other for the Gruv! Original artwork by Don Higgins, Yad Mui, and others! What are you waiting for? Tally ho!

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    Both Guides & GM Screen (PDF)

    The full set in glorious digital format! Both books and the GM screen, and no shipping costs!

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    GM's Guide & GM Screen (Print)(EB)

    Early Bird special: Get $10 off this bundle if you're one of the first 50 to pledge! You've read about them in previous reward entries, now get the actual, dead-tree edition, print copies of the 1879 Gamemaster's Guide and the GM Screen! Real paper! Actual heavy-gauge cardstock! Color printing on the GM Screen back!

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Gamemaster's Guide & GM Screen (Print)

    You've read about them in previous reward entries, now get the actual, dead-tree edition, print copies of the 1879 Gamemaster's Guide and the GM Screen! Real paper! Actual heavy-gauge cardstock! Color printing on the GM Screen back!

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    GM's Guide (Print+PDF)

    The 1879 Gamemaster's Guide in both softcover and digital formats! One for at home and one for on the road!

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    Both Guides & GM Screen (Print)(EB)

    Early Bird special price reduction: Get the set! Print copies of the 1879 Gamemaster's Guide, Player's Guide, and GM Screen!

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    Both Guides & GM Screen (Print)

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    Both Guides & GM Screen (Print+PDF)(EB)

    Get $20 off the complete set if you're one of the first 50 to pledge! Print and PDF copies of the 1879 Gamemaster's Guide, Player's Guide, and GM Screen!

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    Both Guides & GM Screen (Print+PDF)

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Funding period

- (30 days)