Chronicles of the Orb: Shaedeam's Song
An epic Gothic horror-fantasy RPG 30 years in the making. Explore the lands. Explore your Dreams. Explore your Fears.
...across the endless span of space and time there is a planet, a unique place within the cosmos. This place will become the focus of countless years of war and peace, slavery and freedom, horror and love. This place will become known as the Orb, and all eyes will watch with marked interest.
The above video features much of our concept art as well as the official theme song for this project.
"Shaedeam's Song" is the first series of realm sourcebooks for the Chronicles of the Orb role-playing game. This is an epic Gothic Horror-Fantasy that defies standard fantasy tropes. Dragons are extinct, hunted to their very last. Fae are god-like creatures living far beyond mortal comprehension. The Divine walk upon Shaedeam's Back... the whole planet their playground of slavery and warfare.
With over 300,000 years of recorded history, the Dreven Empire Shonnestherra covers roughly 70% of the continent of Tagothshaedar (or "Higher Shaedeam"). There are free communities that await membership into this benevolent empire as well as others which prefer their own method of governing themselves. It is in these lands where the story takes place.... The empire is divided into 13 City-States, each under the responsibility of the Noble Houses of the land. They vary from the shining bastion of civility known as Saint Baylen's to the seedy underbelly of the empire called Gadon's Reach.
The mechanical system is called the DPS System (or, 'dice pool scales'). Aspects of your character draw together a dice pool depending up the task your character is attempting. The DPS System is fluid and adaptable. Rather than having set rules for everything, your actions are defined by the way you design them yourself. There are no classes, templates, big math or anything of the such. You make the character that you want to play!
Each character has three Attributes (Physique, Psyche, and Soul), and these Attributes have a number of Traits. Each has a single digit ranging between a +1 to a +6 with "0" being the average. In addition, some characters might have Traits detailing their arcane energy reserves, inner strength, and faith.
There are only eight Skills - Athletics, Combat, Criminal, Mystic, Scholastics, Social, Technical, and Wilderness. Between these, a character can literally attempt anything by rolling the appropriate dice and adding the levels they possess in a given Skill. There are no separate rules for perception, savings throws, resistance rolls or other such complications.
For example, if you are trying to search for tech, it is a simple Psyche-based Technical Skill Check or say you want to avoid a strike in a dangerous encounter, it is a Physique-based Combat Skill Check. Avoiding a curse might take a Soul-based Mystic Skill Check. Players may Specialise their characters in any task that relates to one of the Eight Skills to improve their odds of success, providing a +1 to a +6
Shaedeam's Song many races (or 'miens' as they are called in Shaedeam) are uniquely tied into the realm's back story and meta-plot. Here is a quick look at some of the more popular miens to be featured in the core rule book...
Kehf - They have a noble and powerful demeanour, almost as if they are always looking down at those around them. They use piercings to indicate rank within a tribe – the more limited, the higher in rank. They will also shave parts of their arms and legs to show off fancy tattoos in bright colours. The Kehf never present themselves as natural leaders and no one debates the Kehf and their ability to unite even enemies to work together.
Jminlii - The Agethu Seas are a series of huge inland lakes far too large to be simply called lakes or ponds. The Agethu are known for quite a few things – underground thermal venting that keeps the Seas warm all-year long, beds and hives of several dangerous creatures such as the Ithiulo and Kck'ioahl, and a flourishing underwater kingdom known as the Jminlii Waters. Jminli strive to live in harmony with the world around them, though they are ever ready to fight for the realms they call home.
Nakuron - These relative giants are huge in size and heart. The Nakuron have a very slow birthrate and so they are not exactly a common sight anywhere upon Shaedeam's Back. Nakuron hate to be alone, so most stay in a nomadic society. Some will venture out across the land, but never alone. Indeed, their inability to cope with being alone may be their only fear at all.
M'Kecht Giants - one of the eldest races upon Shaedeam's Back. These dragon-blooded giants have sworn off their great physical powers and try to lead by way of example, becoming a people of introspection, discipline, and respect. Still, there are times their rage may still take control, and when a five-tonne creature gets that mad, the best choice is to simply run.
Tiatok - a comical humanoid with a very frog-like appearance. But you would do well not to say such things unless one has a fondness for the taste of flies. Tiatoks are some of the most powerful wizards and shamans upon Shaedeam's Back.
Uunne - the first of the Chosen of the Divine. One of the eldest upon Shaedeam's Back, the Uunne failed to accomplish their Divine magnate and were banished to Shaedeam as punishment.
Xarui - the eldest of the Fae races. Xarui have a very alien physique and powerful psychic powers, powers that make it difficult to interact with other peoples of Shaedeam. Still, they can often be found in Minoa-Toah or anywhere near tiatoks or gojifae.
Most of these miens are in our video and all are playable races! There are more than 40 new races - never before seen in any RPG, comic, video game or film - all unique to Shaedeam!
The bulk of the funds raised will be going towards finished arts and layout costs for the CRB, Bestiary, and Chorus' Scriptbook.
A portion will go towards the promotional materials, some may be used for little surprises for Backers, including the Special Edition Character Sheets.
A portion of the total will be used to as Pledges for one or two other Kickstarters.
A special Collector's Edtion copy of the Chronicles of the Orb: Shaedeam's Song CRB will be available for the Add-On cost of $25.
A Special Edition 8x12" Character Sheet will be sent to you for the Add-On cost of $15. This can be a character you made, a character from the Chorus' Sciptbook, or a Random Character we make for you. These will be made in full-colour and can be used with wet-erase pens.
More Add-Ons will be coming forthwith.
I decided to share the first Stretch Goals, so here we go:
At $8,000, I will begin a series of World Books that will focus on the other continents. The first in this series would be for Mhazgarshaedar and Uros.
Mhazgarshaedar is the adopted home of the M'Kecht Giants as well as a large Republic. They are open to much more than the Empire, Shonnestherra. But the Temple of Bone, lair of Shi'Ghat the Grey and her army of undead.
Uros is a prison-continent. It is almost impossible to perform anything Mystical, so they rely on scavenged technology and build small, tightly knit villages and small towns.
Risks and challenges
What if we make a mistake in the budget?
We have scheduled the release date for a while in advanced not only to release on Halloween 2019 but to fix mistakes well in advance. We will provide info in a timely manner (at least once a week).
What if the text or art isn't finished?
The CRB is "mostly done", needing about 100 more pages, artwork, and layout. The year will provide more than enough time to complete the other books in the main project. Additional books might take an additional three months per title.
How am I supposed to pronounce this stuff?!
It is going to happen. Refer to the Chorus' Scriptbook for a large lexicon. Also, the CRB will have a section as well. And if it gets in the way, throw it out and just say it how you want to. I wrote it, but you're going to be playing the game. Enjoy it.
- (29 days)