The galaxy in which the Starfinder game is set is a vast, largely unexplored region of space, just waiting for intrepid adventurers to discover it's secrets.
Gun Metal Games brings Starfinder fans new, exotic locations for their characters to visit during a campaign in a new line of Starfinder-compatible products: Descent Engine: The Spacefarers Guide to the Cosmos!
Each product in this game line will reveal new regions filled with a multitude of star systems, strange phenomena, new creatures and much more! The flagship book in this line is The Widow's Tear!
A 160 page, full color, hard cover book, The Widow’s Tear will explore some of the inhabited star systems in the nebula and introduce you to the beings who live there. You’ll learn about their unique histories, their goals for the future and the challenges they face. You’ll read about new technologies, including special weapons and armor, new psionic abilities, magic items, spacecraft, and more!
Many of the creatures you'll find in The Widow's Tear are inspired by the works of H.P Lovecraft, whose Great Old Ones and their spawn are found not only in this book, but are also in the Starfinder pantheon. This book will also provide new, horrific grafts you can easily apply to any creature or race, new hazards for planets and space travel, and rules for insanity. We also have a limited pledge that allows some of you to create your own creatures and hazards!
We’ll introduce new races available for play, including Angarri, the Defiled, Jendova, the Tieflings of the Hellfire Syndicate, and more! Each star system will come with its own map. We even have a limited pledge that will allow some of you to create your own unique star system for inclusion in the nebula! Here's a sample map of the Urus Star System, which will be written by Hal Maclean!
Written by Jeff Lee, "To Save a World" is the introductory adventure for the Widow's Tear!
Faced with an environmental crisis that could destabilize the biosphere of a planet, the system's leaders send a group of adventurers as envoys to a distant world whose advances in bio-engineering could be the solution to halt the catastrophe. However, when their ship arrives at the planet, they find the world abandoned. The population have left aboard great colony ships in the wake of an impending supernova of the system's sun. Now they must follow, searching out one of the colony ships headed for the Widow's Tear nebula to seek out a scientist who may have the answers needed to save a planet and allow them to return home as heroes.
The Widow’s Tear is designed to be a “plug and play” setting you can easily drop into your own Starfinder game regardless of whether or not you are playing in the Starfinder universe, or in a world of your creation! You can use the entire nebula as is or pull any of the star systems, creatures, or races out and drop them right into your game! Likewise, all of the rules are modular, so you can use them however you like.
Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They have trod earth's fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread.
~ The Dunwich Horror by H.P. Lovecraft
Like a dancing mote of dust in a sunbeam might draw the human eye, so is the wandering gaze of the Elder Gods drawn to the Widow's Tear. The area of space within the nebula is like a snarl in the fabric of space-time, a rough burr that chafes the hides of the Great Old Ones, stirring them from their death-like slumber. Central to the idea of this locale is its tie to the darker themes lurking in the Mythos genre. But why? The worst terrors found in the works of Lovecraft and other authors of mythos fiction are extraterrestrial in origin. If races are bold enough to leave their planets of origin and traverse the vast emptiness between the stars, then it is only fitting that they encounter the terrors that spawn there.
Rather than sitting on a speck in some corner of the galaxy waiting for these terrors to descend, the protagonists boldly head into space and confront them. These travelers have advanced technology and a greater understanding of the universe than is currently known. Yet as Lovecraft says, there are things undreamed of in the vast reaches, and in comparison to the horrors that lurk in the expanses of space, they are still frail and finite. It will take more than technology and knowledge to survive. They will need courage, determination, and luck. The blessings of more benign powers would not hurt either.
The Widow's Tear seeks to build on the cosmology of H.P Lovecraft's Great Old Ones. We introduce new Elder Gods to the mythos, along with the creatures and cults which serve them, and we'll even work with some of you to create your own!
Check out the following list of pledges we have in store for you, and choose the one which best suits your needs!
We have a ton of awesome stretch goals planned! Scroll through and check out what goodness awaits! All backers will recieve digital copies of each stretch goal we unlock!
Unlocked!: If we reach 10,000 dollars, we’ll write Cults of the Widow’s Tear, a 48-page supplement which explores the machinations of the Hellfire Syndicate, The spread of Zygant Brood, and more!
Unlocked!: We'll create a pack of 33 custom pawns!
16,000: If we reach 16,000 dollars, we’ll write Secrets of the Tear, a 48-page supplement that explores corporations and other organizations common to the Widow’s Tear! You’ll find new equipment, grafts, spells, psionic powers, archetypes and much more!
26,000: If we reach 26,000 dollars, we’ll increase the size of the book to 240 pages! This means more creatures, more worlds, more cosmic horror goodness for all!
30,000: If we reach 30,000 dollars, we’ll write a pack of 15 Iconic Horrors you can use in your game!
36,000: If we reach $36,000, we’ll write the Time of Chaos, a 96-page supplement which peers into the dark history of the nebula all the way back to its birth. You’ll gain access to forbidden lore, and the ancient technology which allowed the precursor races to travel throughout the nebula, which ultimately led to their corruption by the servants of Shub-Nigurrath. We’ll also provide rules for Void walking and much more!
50,000: If we reach 50,000, We’ll increase the page count to 320 pages!
?????: What else would you like to see? We have some things in mind if we hit all the previous stretch goals, like miniatures and custom dice, but we want to know what you are most interested in!
You can grab the following addons!
Print version of Cults of the Widow's Tear (5.00): For an additional five dollars, you'll get a printed version of the Cults of the Widow's Tear book.
Print version of Left for Dead (5.00): A distress beacon sends the characters to a previously unknown planet in search of survivors of the crash of what appears to be a massive star freighter. Once the party lands on the planet, it becomes apparent that a large number of the ship's crew and passengers were left stranded, but why? And where are they now? This adventure can be a followup to the introductory adventure you get with your pledges, or used as a stand alone adventure for the Widow's Tear or as a part of a campaign set in some other area of the cosmos!
Custom Pawns (15.00): For an extra 15.00, you can grab a set of 33 pawns! These pawns are created by ArcKnight games.
Shipping costs to regions outside the United States can be extremely high in most cases, which makes it tough to successfully fund a kickstarter or hit stretch goals. I completely understand the dilemma International backers face. You love the project, and want to pledge, but you don’t want to take out a second mortgage on your home just to pay the shipping costs. I’ve been doing my due diligence, and I’ve found a solution: Gamesquest!
GamesQuest is one of the fastest growing Fulfillment companies in the EU, offering a great a service for a competitive price. At GamesQuest we pride ourselves on being hobbyists, with a real passion to see the industry grow and prosper. With years of experience shipping games and collectables worldwide GamesQuest are committed to offering a reliable and safe shipping solution for Kickstarters large and small alike!
James Mathe, of Minion Games, recently reviewed them as: "These guys have been very friendly, very responsive, and obviously, speak very good English." "Their customer service dealt with customers directly in a timely manner and they helped quickly resolve the issues we caused ourselves."
For this kickstarter, I'm going to be using Backerkit to collect shipping fees after the kickstarter ends. The reason is simple. Kickstarter has not yet found a way to separate the funds that actually go towards the money we need to raise, and the shipping costs needed to send out the finished product. The result from this oversight, is an artificially inflated “total” amount of money raised, which causes huge problems when determining which funds go where.
Money which is dedicated towards the development costs decreases because we suddenly find ourselves compensating for shipping and handling. As an example, the Interface Zero Savage Worlds kickstarter lost over 16,000 dollars because of shipping costs, which resulted in a reduced budget! It hurt me financially as I struggled to compensate for the lost funds. By using Backerkit, I can avoid this by keeping the shipping fees held separately until I'm ready to ship. Once I'm ready to ship you will be charged for shipping one last time, and rewards will be sent.
Check the following chart to see the estimated costs for international shipping. All prices for countries outside the United States are in British Pounds.
All digital files will be delivered through DrivethuRPG. The system for delivering the files is easy, and you'll always have a backed up file in case you lose your copy. Additionally, every time any pdf is updated (if needed), you'll automatically get the most recent file.
David Jarvis: David has been working in the table top industry for just over twelve years. During this time, his company—Gun Metal Games—has produced over 140 books in both print and PDF. Interface Zero was nominated for an ENNIE in 2015 for Best Interior Artwork, and in 2011 it was nominated for Best RPG of the Year at the U.K Games Expo. He’s successfully funded four previous Kickstarters, and has learned from each of them. Three have seen fulfillment of base rewards, and the last one will be fulfilled in early 2018.
Blaine Bass: A rising talent in the gaming industry, Blaine Bass is on the development team for the Starfinder edition of Interface Zero, and is also the found of the Scrapfinder Facebook page, which presents a ton of cool options for Starfinder characters. He also runs a Patreon campaign, which can be found here: https://www.patreon.com/Blainedecent
Hal Maclean: Hal broke into the table top industry in the traditional way; by selling his writing to Dragon and Dungeon magazines. He was one of their most prolific contributors during the final three years of the print run. In the years since then he has written, co-written, and contributed to a wide range of books, both print and PDF, for numerous publishers. Focusing specifically on Gun Metal Games (and its predecessor Reality Deviant Publications), Hal is a co-creator of Interface Zero. This upcoming February marks the tenth anniversary of the release of one of his more fondly remembered solo projects, “Blight Elves: Architects of Despair” and is among the reasons he never turns down a chance to work with David Jarvis.
Jaym Gates: Jaym Gates has been an author and editor for nearly a decade. Her anthologies include Eclipse Phase: After the Fall, Vampire: Endless Ages, Genius Loci, War Stories, Strange California, and Upside Down. Her fiction has been published in over a dozen places, and is now included in Shattered Queen, a collection from Falstaff Books. She's written for Blue Rose, Firefly: Smuggler's Guide to the Rim, Tianxia: Blood, Silk, and Jade, 13th Age: Bestiary, and Shadowrun. She is the Line Manager for Nisaba Press, and the Editorial Coordinator for Green Ronin Publishing, and an Acquiring Editor for Falstaff Books.
You can find out more about her at jaymgates.com, or on Twitter as @JaymGates.
Jeff Lee: Jeff Lee has been a freelance writer for RPGs for the last five years. He has an extensive list of writing credits with Frog God Games, Gun Metal Games (Interface Zero for Pathfinder), Kobold Press (Demon Cults & Secret Societies), Legendary Games, Louis Porter Jr. Design (NeoExodus Campaign Setting), and Rogue Genius Games, among others.
Michael Hill:Michael has only recently prestige classed into writing for the table top industry, but has been praying to the dice gods for those sweet 20’s for more than two decades. He has been writing his own campaigns and short stories for years, but has not published games work in the past. When not holding down his real job in technology or having fun writing fantasy-gaming material, he can usually be found gaming with friends or playing board games with his wife. Michael is the father of two young daughters whom he is quickly indoctrinating into the mysterious ways of the nerd.
Mike Welham: Mike Welham has been gaming off-and-on for over 30 years, but only recently gave back to his beloved hobby. He won Paizo’s RPG Superstar contest in 2012 and has freelanced for Kobold Press, Legendary Games, Paizo, Raging Swan Press, Rite Publishing, Rogue Genius Games, and Rusted Iron Games. This is his second project with Gun Metal Games.
Robert H. Hudson Jr: Robert has been writing professionally for the RPG industry since 2005. In that time, he’s written for a variety of publishers, including HERO Games, Green Ronin, Misfit Studios, Rogue Genius Games, Gun Metal Games, Hammerdog Games, Kobold Press, and others, and has two ENNIE nominations to his credit.
Risks and challenges
As someone who has been publishing role-playing game supplements since 2005, I can attest to the fact that things don't always go as planned.
Writers and artists pull out of projects, or turn in manuscripts and illustrations late. Editing and revisions sometimes take longer than anticipated. The proofs for books come back from the printer with errors that need to be fixed.
These things can happen. It's a part of the publishing business. But I've been around the block, and I know that a large part of dealing with issues like the ones I mentioned above is communication.
I have regular conversations with everyone involved in this process to ensure that I know things are progressing the way they should be, and if they aren't, I roll up my sleeves and work with my team to find the best solution to a problem before it gets out of hand.
As a backer, you'll receive regular status reports from me about this project. If I do happen to run into issues that might delay this project, you'll be the first to know it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)