The Age of Legend... Continues!
An age of magic once existed in our world. Lost to history, this time is remembered in the echoes of myth and legend. The land was once besieged by the Horrors, foul creatures from the depths of astral space that seek to feed on and destroy all that is living and good.
Their time -- the time of the Scourge -- has passed. The people of the world have returned to the surface reclaiming the lands that were once their home. Brave heroes band together to explore the wilds of Barsaive, fighting the Horrors that remain and protecting their loved ones from those who would dominate and enslave them.
Earthdawn is a fantasy role-playing game currently in its fourth edition. After more than 25 years it continues to deliver a setting tinged with a compelling mix of high magic and horror flavored with a dash of post-apocalypse and a generous sprinkling of hope.
The Latest Sourcebook
We have released several products for the Earthdawn line in the past five years: Three core rulebooks (Player's Guide, Gamemaster's Guide, and Companion), three sourcebooks (Travar: The Merchant City, Elven Nations, and Questors), a GM Screen, Quick Start Guide, and several entries in our ongoing Legends of Barsaive adventure series.
The next sourcebook is ready to go. This campaign is to help cover production costs of paying the freelancers (writers, artists, and other production staff) who contributed to the book, and pay for printing and physical production.
That new book is The Adept's Journey: Mystic Paths. Planned to be roughly 400 pages, it introduces the concept of Paths, organizations in the Earthdawn game that reflect a particular goal and outlook. They modify an adept's Discipline, giving them access to new talents and unique abilities. This gives you new challenges to face and stories to tell as your character's legend grows.
Some of the paths might be familiar to long-time Earthdawn players, while others bring brand-new concepts to the game. Twelve are included in the book:
- The Brother of Stone is an obsidiman who seeks a greater connection with their Liferock and the living earth.
- A Fire Eater is dedicated to controlling--and gaining power from--an ork's gahad.
- Horror Stalkers are dedicated to tracking, facing, and destroying Horrors.
- The Journeyman is focused on enhancing a human's ability to easily learn magical abilities from other Disciplines.
- Liberators strive to free Namegivers from slavery--whether literal or metaphorical.
- Messengers openly spread news and deliver critical messages, but secretly gather intelligence to ensure Barsaive's independent future.
- Outcasts follow their own path, drawing strength from their personal definition of honor.
- The Purifier devotes their life to healing the world, cleansing it of the Horrors' lingering taint.
- Scholars focus on learning, the codification of accumulated knowledge, and making that knowledge widely available.
- The t'skrang Tail Dancer learns to use their tail to enhance their fighting prowess.
- Windmasters are windlings who turn their mobility and speed into impressive advantage.
- Elves who follow the Woodsman path have unparalleled understanding of, and connection to, the forest they call home.
In addition to these twelve Paths, the book includes three Disciplines:
- Boatmen are a variant of the Air Sailor, focused on riverboats instead of airships.
- The Gauntlet is a new combat Discipline dedicated to unarmed combat and making themselves an implacable living weapon.
- A Shaman is a magician who studies the living world and builds relationships with the spirits of wild places. Of special note, the Shaman has been rebuilt from the ground up with a dedicated spell list and a new type of spirit.
In addition to the rules required to play these varied character options, each Path and Discipline has an in-character essay (similar to those found in Questors) that provides insight into how these adepts see the world and practice their special magic.
Rewards, Add-Ons, and Stretch Goals
Back this Kickstarter, and you get access to the pre-art draft of the manuscript (it will be linked in a backers-only post shortly after the campaign closes). We offer this to show that the text is complete, and give you a look at what you're backing. At this point the book just needs to make its way through the rest of the production process. As the campaign progresses, excerpts of the material in the book will be provided.
We're offering the new book in PDF and physical versions, and the PDF is included with any physical reward. We also have reward tiers that include previously released books in case you missed our earlier Kickstarter or weren't aware the game had returned. The prices here are lower than you'll find elsewhere (even our own web shop), and they are all in print and in stock, so there wouldn't be any additional wait for delivery.
If the bundles are too... complete for you (for example, you already have the Player's & Gamemaster's Guides and just need the Companion), our first suggestion is that you gift those books to friends! But we will also have add-ons for individual books. Prices (and additional shipping charges) are listed below.
You can add one of the Earthdawn anniversary pins for $4. Created for the game's twenty-fifth anniversary, these were available to attendees at GenCon in 2018, as well as some backers of the previous Earthdawn Kickstarter. Like the other books, they are in stock and will ship with your other physical product.
We have two planned stretch goals, which will be available as add-ons if they are unlocked.
First, if we reach $10,000 we will produce a poster-size version of the Barsaive map included in the Fourth Edition Gamemaster's Guide. The art is already done, we just need to put it into production. A new large-scale map has been a popular request, and it would be great if we could bring it to you. Adding on the poster will be $5 for backers.
Second, if we reach $15,000 we will make a hardcover version of the new book available as an upgrade. This is currently planned to be a Kickstarter-exclusive; we will produce enough to fill the orders, but not many more. Upgrading to the hardcover option will be an extra $15. The design for this hardcover will match the hardcovers from the previous campaign: blue cover with silver inlay for the title, logo, and Namegiver portrait.
Two additional stretch goals have been added. If we reach $25,000, all backers who receive any level of product will get the form-fillable PDF character sheet at no extra charge. This sheet automatically derives many game characteristics, as well as fills in Step Dice where appropriate.
At $40,000 we will do a new limited hardcover print run of the core rulebooks. These hardcovers will have a different design than the ones from the first campaign to distinguish them from the originals, and we'll take the opportunity to update them (and the associated PDF files) with errata. These books will be $75 each + $2 shipping.
The anniversary pin can be added to any pledge. If added to a pledge level with print books, there is no extra shipping charge. If added to a PDF-only pledge, a $4 shipping charge will be added. If the poster map is unlocked, it will be available as an add-on for any reward tier with similar shipping charges -- free with any other physical product, $4 on its own. You can get both the pin and poster (if that's all you want) for only $4 shipping.
The hardcover (aka "blue-back") version of the Mystic Paths book (if unlocked) can added as a $15 upgrade to a reward tier that include the physical book. If you want the "deluxe" hardcover version instead, that is a $35 upgrade. Likewise, if your reward tier includes physical copies of the core books, those can be upgraded to the deluxe hardcovers for $35 each (with no additional shipping charge).
For those who are looking to fill in holes in their collection that an existing pledge bundle doesn't satisfy, we are offering single-book add-on options, as follows:
These individual books include the PDF at no additional charge. If you are adding physical product to a PDF-only tier, the first book is $8 shipping (even if it is noted as free shipping above), with added costs based on additional books ordered.
If you want to add an additional copy of Mystic Paths (for example, you're upgrading your print copy to hardcover, but want a softcover as well), softcover is $40, hardcover is $55 (+$2 shipping per book).
For all add-ons, please include the amount of the add-on in your pledge. You will be able to select the specific add-ons as part of the survey at the end of the campaign. You can adjust your pledge amount at any point before the campaign ends.
New to Earthdawn?
Earthdawn is a fantasy role-playing game originally released in 1993. It was named one of "The Millennium's Most Underrated Games" by Pyramid magazine in 1999, and 24th in Arcane magazine's 1996 reader poll of the 50 most popular role-playing games of all time.
Now in its fourth edition, the game delivers a rich setting flavored with high fantasy, post-apocalypse, and horror. After a successful Kickstarter to launch the new edition, the reception from fans has been broadly positive and many more new fans have come into the fold.
Players step into the role of adepts, individuals who draw on a variety of magical powers to explore the world, recover knowledge lost to the Scourge, and fight those that threaten the lives of innocents--including the Horrors that remain in darker corners of the world. Each adept follows a Discipline, defining the focus and scope of their magical abilities. Some adepts hone their fighting prowess, some enhance their mental and social abilities, while others learn and cast spells.
The core game engine of Earthdawn is the Step System. As your character gains power and advances along the path of their Discipline you roll progressively larger dice, with open-ended rolls allowing for potentially legendary results. Adepts can boost their magical abilities through the use of karma, which adds additional dice to your rolls.
The Earthdawn Quick Start Guide (available free at our web shop or on Drive-Thru RPG) provides a great overview of the game system, examples of the magical powers available, and includes sample characters and a brief introductory adventure.
Returning to Earthdawn?
If you've been away from Earthdawn for a while, you'll find many familiar things in the new edition, while others have changed to open up design space and incorporate lessons learned from previous versions, as well as other RPGs released over the years.
First, as mentioned above, the core game engine remains largely the same. The specific dice used at each Step have been tweaked in a couple of places to smooth out some bumps in the underlying probability, but still uses all the common polyhedrals.
The game no longer uses the success level table from previous editions, now the game counts successes--for every five points over the target number, the character scores an additional success. This success mechanic has been incorporated into most of the game's talents, skills, and spells so that--in general--better rolls mean better results.
Earthdawn fourth edition keeps the "talent option" approach to Disciplines introduced in third edition, but refines the required talents at each Circle to be more broadly useful, and improves the choices available at each tier to allow for better customization options.
Spellcasting has introduced a new concept--extra threads--that allow magicians to modify and enhance their spells as they cast them. These options give lower-Circle spells a longer life and more utility over the course of the character's career.
The timeline has been advanced. It is a few years after the Second Theran War, and a new status quo exists in Barsaive. Throal has a new royal family on the throne, and has reduced their involvement in provincial affairs as they recover from the war. Other political powers have started expanding their influence, moving in where the dwarfs have left a void... including the Denairastas clan of Iopos. They have already claimed the city of Jerris, and look for ways to expand their influence even farther.
This is a great time to get back into the game, and this project gives you access to the books we've released so far at a discount. Why not journey back to Barsaive, and build some new legends?
Risks and challenges
We are confident in our ability to deliver this product. The text is written, it just needs to make its way through the rest of the production pipeline. We have already completed and released six books for the Earthdawn Fourth Edition line along with several smaller products.
Of course, any project includes risk. Unforeseen production delays or other issues may crop up that push the release of the final product beyond the currently anticipated date, but we have already factored some wiggle room into our delivery estimates.
We have learned many lessons from our previous Earthdawn kickstarter, as well as the successful projects for our other game lines. While we have more books planned and in development for the future, they will not appear as stretch goals for this project so that we can focus on closing out this campaign and delivering all promised rewards in a timely manner.
We are aware of concerns in the RPG industry about recent announcements of tariffs on books and games. Fortunately, our books are printed and bound in the United States, and thus will not be subject to potential price fluctuations in that regard. We also have an overseas fulfillment partner to help mitigate international shipping rates and related issues.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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