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A worldbuilding resource book, with thirty cultures ready to drop into your campaign or story with little to no adaptation needed.
A worldbuilding resource book, with thirty cultures ready to drop into your campaign or story with little to no adaptation needed.
172 backers pledged $2,149 to help bring this project to life.

About

$2,149

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A supporter of Kicking It Forward

$900 Stretch Goal: A 5,000-word chapter on various ways that society could rebuild in the face of a zombie apocalypse. With several kinds of zombies used in different examples, it should be easy enough to adapt them to other monster-filled disasters zones. 

The elevator pitch 

I am putting together a worldbuilding resource book with detailed cultures designed to fit into your setting with only a minimum of adaptation necessary. Everything will be released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 License, so that you can use it even for commercial projects. 

Because I'm essentially releasing this for free, though, I can't count on making a particular amount of money from this. As a financially-strapped college student, this poses a problem: I can take care of almost everything on my own, but the one thing that I can't do on my own is draw art for the book. 

That's where you come in. 

With a little more detail

From 2010 to 2014 I ran a column on RPG.net that I called, rather unoriginally, "The Culture Column." Every month it gave its readers information about new cultures that they could drop into their gaming campaigns or stories. The ideas were free to use however you wanted, even if you wanted to turn around and sell your story. 

Since the Culture Column closed down a little more than half a year ago, I've been editing and expanding the entries and even adding some new stuff that hasn't been released yet. Going by word count, there's somewhere between two and three years' worth of additional material. You can check out one of the entries here, in its draft form. 

What will be in this book? 

Strange Nations will hold detailed write-ups on thirty different cultures running the gamut from high fantasy to space opera to alternate history and the post-apocalypse. 

There is the city-state of Iditt, where necromancy is accepted and self-mummification is the first step to repaying your lifelong debt to society. There are the Balas, whose buildings hang off the edge of a flat world. There are werejaguars, mad fairy refugees, and wagon-drivers with a religious injunction against touching the ground. 

The entries have a wealth of general-use information as well. In order to make sure that you have everything that you need to use these cultures, I've made sure to include facts on such wide-ranging matters as: 

  • How to get your vitamin c from only meat or mushrooms, and the salinity tolerance of plants in case you want to try growing them on a ship. 
  • Comparisons of various low-tech methods of long-distance communication, from relay running to drums to the Pony Express. 
  • The sizes of various ships from the Age of Sail, and related facts like the number of decks and size of the crew. 
  • How to prepare maize, what cactus can be used for, the ingredients for "carrot whiskey" and more. 

Risks and challenges

There isn't that much to be done on the book besides art. There may be some slight delays if, say, I get sick, but the project itself is backed up and I should be able to recover another version of it even if my computer goes kablooie.

It is always possible that college or work concerns might result in some delays, but this is unlikely.

It is also possible that I might be banished to the Nightmare Dimension, never to be heard from again. If that happens, then there are other people who can handle the final technical bits like perfecting the formatting, and the book should roll out anyway. Should I suffer banishment, spontaneous combustion (of any variety, not just human), or any other unfortunate circumstance, it's all been taken care of.

Should every person be banished to the Nightmare Dimension, then I'm not sure what I'll do, but you can rest assured that I'll do my best to finish this project. And in any case we'd all probably have more to worry about at that point.

Somewhere between the likelihood of "college and work concerns" and "death" is the possibility that this will become much more popular than anticipated, and I won't be able to fulfill the custom backer rewards on schedule because there will be too many. If this happens then I will know that as soon as the campaign ends and be able to tell you an updated schedule within a couple of days.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Get a dish named after you! There is a *lot* of talk about food in this book. What's better than some of that food being named after you?

    (Note: names may be altered just a bit to fit the language)

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Get listed as a contributor and get three PDF booklets from the How-To Cultures series.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Get all previous rewards, as well as a PDF copy of Strange Nations as soon as the book is finished.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    As above, but get a text-only PDF version of Strange Nations to tide you over until the art is finished.

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  5. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Crazy research project!

    I just finished trying to pin down the rates that might be offered by an "apocalypse insurance" company, along with alternative plans, a breakdown of the customer savings, company expenses, and more

    Do you have a crazy idea like this that you want to get figured out? I'll include up to two pages of information, with notes and references attached.

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  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Get all previous rewards, as well as twenty pages of material for a culture that's been customized for your world. History, language, religion, cuisine, and more. Get additional material for one of the cultures mentioned in this book, or get an entirely new one.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    As above, but get fifty pages of material for your culture instead.

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Funding period

- (30 days)