Calidar: Dreams of Aerie

by Bruce Heard

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    1. Bruce Heard 2-time creator on May 16

      Masters on Honor Roll -- haven't decided yet. They had been on CAL1 but not on CC1. Those pledges were $25. As regards UK elections, it's a good thing the Kickstarter doesn't launch until June 14. If there is a significant uptick in the GBP value before then, I'll make appropriate modification at that time.

    2. David Chart on May 16

      Do Masters get to be on the Honor roll? (And just to remind you that there is a general election in the UK on June 8th; I strongly recommend against any plans that rely on the pound staying roughly where it is now.)

    3. Bruce Heard 2-time creator on May 15

      Just reminding everyone that the British Pound's exchange is favorable enough that, if it stays approx. where it is now, there should be no need for extra shipping fees, save for the poster maps. Just a heads up for you folk in Asia-Pacific. This might be of interest to you.

    4. Bruce Heard 2-time creator on May 15

      LOL! Watch it again! :D

    5. Robert Lundgren on May 15

      To be fair, I was doing what I always do on a kickstarter, which is get way to excited and hop around to much. I did watch the video (which is rare for me), but the audio was lost on me as I was paying way to close attention to the maps.

    6. Bruce Heard 2-time creator on May 15

      Thanks, Bob. The plot trends toward urban adventuring/investigation/monster-hunting. Did you listen to the video? If you're going to use Dreams in another universe than Calidar's, then the circus can teleport. I don't see this as a difficult alteration. The system agnostic mention is repeated in the first section, under contents. You really ought to read the contents of a project before bidding on it anyway! :)

    7. Robert Lundgren on May 15

      By the way that was me nitpicking, I think this looks really cool!

    8. Robert Lundgren on May 15

      I'm still a little sketchy on the plot of the adventure, I get the need of not giving to much away, but I'm not sure I got enough to know if it's up my alley.

      Also you might want to play up the "this is in Calidar but easily converted to any high fantasy setting" thing. Even if all that is in the book is a sidebar paragraph of "this doesn't have to fly, maybe it teleports around the multiverse." A lot of people have homebrew settings, might as well try and get their dollars as well.

      Also I know your stuff is generally system agnostic, but might wanna call this out earlier. That what your buying is mostly adventure, and the stats for monsters and such are from your system of choice. And yeah I know it's in your subtitle, but I completely skipped that on my first read and went right to the first paragraph, so might wanna toss it in there as well.

    9. Bruce Heard 2-time creator on May 15

      Barry -- Thanks! One other thing, it should be possible to print various and assorted sections of the decks (if not whole deck plans) right out of the book's PDF document anyway. It wouldn't be as good or as handy as having the higher res files, but it can work well for player handouts.

    10. Missing avatar

      Barry O'Leary on May 15

      That's fair enough. This reminds me that on roll20.net there are ways to sell digital assets like maps, so that could be worth a look, but maybe not as part of a Kickstarter.

      I guess I'll be going for the captain level then, and look for Beyond the Skies at a later date. Make sail!

    11. Bruce Heard 2-time creator on May 15

      Barry -- historically, regardless of what was offered at that pledge level, I've had less than 10 backers. It is just an easy way to access discounted PDF docs, including those that are not available to the public. I'd say that has value in and of itself well worth the $5.

      The 96 dpi main deck image is merely a teaser. The full resolution images for all the decks are only available at Admiral pledge level. I don't normally sell my digital files for graphic work (nor are they listed as add-ons.)

      As regards printed deck maps -- First Mate gets one of the three labeled ones; Captain gets the three labeled deck maps; Admiral gets all six (3 labeled + 3 unlabeled). Alternatively, all these printed maps are available as add-ons at relatively low cost anyway. The expense here lies with postage because these posters are printed at different facilities and, therefore, cannot be bundled with other book purchases.

    12. Bruce Heard 2-time creator on May 15

      Andrew -- the main deck poster map is a top view of the flying circus, therefore: rooftops are shown. Buildings in the aeries have up to 5 floors, usually including a basement on the lower deck. These floors are displayed as insets in the book, next to the rooms' descriptions.

    13. Missing avatar

      Barry O'Leary on May 15

      I guess it's not that $5 is steep, but more that there is only one of the decks available digitally. Even the higher pledge levels only mention the main deck, not the other decks. That seems weird, and if all three are going to be made available then I'd definitely put them all in at the $5 level.

      I know there are Kickstarter campaigns that have a no reward pledge level, but I've never backed one of those. If I want to support the campaign I'll go to $15 and get the PDF.

    14. Andrew C. Durston on May 15

      Bruce, thanks! The video portions showing multiple levels of the same building had me a little confused. Is the main deck map going to show the rooftops of buildings or ground levels?

    15. Bruce Heard 2-time creator on May 15

      The flying circus has 3 decks, all available as add-on poster maps.

    16. Bruce Heard 2-time creator on May 15

      $5 is steep? Yes and no. If you were purchasing this as part of a normal retail transaction, it would certainly be on the high end. But -- this is a crowd funding event. Its purpose is to generate cash to help a product see print. For $5, one alternative could be: "Thank you for your generation donation!" (with nothing further added).

      There is the matter that printed books will be made available, including the two promotional booklets ("Under the Great Vault" and "Skies of Fury") which aren't available at all to the public. These $5 donations will indeed give the backers access to these books. I did not want to add any of the print versions of past titles because I will offer them to Calidar backers at competitive prices after the crowd funding event ends because Kickstarter objects to these kinds of offers being part of core rewards. The benefit of this is that backers can order these books if/when they wish, as soon as the Kickstarter event is officially over, instead of paying for these books upfront and then waiting 4-5 months for me to send them.

    17. Andrew C. Durston on May 15

      Bruce, how many levels are there beyond the 3 mentioned (Main, Lower, Orlop) and are all available as add-on maps?

    18. Missing avatar

      Barry O'Leary on May 15

      $5 for a single deck image seems steep, and there seems to be no way to get the others as add-ons. Can the $5 pledge level just include all the deck plans?

      In Stranger Skies is available as a print enabled PDF via add-on, but Beyond the Skies is not print enabled, is that right?

      Personally I'd like to be able to get a hardcover copy of Beyond the Skies since I only backed at the PDF level for the second campaign. Could there be a way to upgrade the PDF to a print enabled version? Otherwise I'd need to buy a PDF again and then pay to have that printed.

    19. Bruce Heard 2-time creator on May 15

      PDF files acquired with the printed book are print-enabled.

    20. Stomphoof on May 15

      Looks pretty solid to me. I like the option of both soft and hardcover books. Not sure how I feel about the PDF being locked from printing though.

      - CBSA82

    21. Bruce Heard 2-time creator on May 15

      Looks like it should have a $75 from the pov an orderly pattern-centric human mind, but there's no actual need for it. In my past two projects, the gap was even larger ($60 to $250!) :)

    22. justmebd on May 15

      Looks good!! Project description hit all the main points. I'm not sure exactly what you could do, but it seems like you could have something around the $75 level, but I'm not sure what that tier would involve. Food for thought!

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About this project

 

Adventure:  This RPG adventure also is a self-contained mini-setting. Because the action takes place on a flying circus, Dreams of Aerie is easy to adapt to any game world. Drawing on Barnum & Bailey and Cirque du Freak, this  book's main plot elements involve a murder mystery, the rivalries of circus guilds, urban adventuring, and monster-hunting. Countless hooks allow side trips and alternate storylines, as each of the 90+ circus folk hide shadowy pasts and secret motivations. The heroes must contend with secret societies vying for hegemony among circus folk. If left to its own devices, a monstrous presence hidden aboard heralds catastrophic world events.  

Sourcebook:  This book's setting includes the circus itself, standing amid side shows and carnie shacks, themselves surrounded by a ring of permanent shops and dwellings called aeries, perched at the edge of the clouds. Two more decks lie below with all that the Greatest Show on Calidar needs to function, as well as its dark secrets.  Although written for the World of Calidar, this setting is nearly self-contained until the referee starts unfolding the hidden stories of circus folk, and connects them with the chosen game's universe. 

Contents:  Dreams of Aerie is a 124-pg full color book, 8" 3/4 x 11" 1/4, which may gain additional pages and internal art as stretch goals are reached. Deck maps are included in the book, as two-page spreads, along with inset maps.  Deck maps can also be obtained as separate 12"x18" posters, labeled or unlabeled, depending on one's pledge or as add-ons. Guidelines to help adapt system-neutral game statistics to common RPGs, as well as extensive player/referee game aids, are bundled with the book at no charge. These digital files can be printed for quick reference during play.

What is Calidar:  Directly inspired from the author's original Princess Ark’s stories published in the 80s and 90s, adventures in the World of Calidar focus on flying ships. This fantasy setting was created to host new stories and RPG accessories much in the style of TSR’s popular D&D Gazetteers.  The first Calidar book "In Stranger Skies" was nominated for the 2014 RPG Geek Awards’ Best RPG Supplement. It also is a top rated RPG accessory on EnWorld.

 

Airman:  All hands hoay, an' no hornswagglers, says I!  For this contribution, you will own a digital image of the circus's main deck, at 96 dpi resolution (labeled.)  This pledge level also unlocks any digital files offered as add-ons (including those not available to the public), as well as printed deck plans and poster maps.

Master:  Avast ye, matey!  This pledge level earns you the digital copy of Dreams of Aerie (non-print-enabled) as well as the digital image of the circus's main deck, at 96 dpi resolution (labeled.) This pledge level also unlocks any digital files offered as add-ons (including those not available to the public), as well as printed deck plans and poster maps.

First Mate: Shiver me timbers!  At this pledge level, you own Dreams of Aerie's softcover book, its digital copy (print-enabled), your name printed in the book's Honor Roll, the 12"x18" printed poster map of the circus's main deck (labeled) and the digital image of the same, at 96 dpi resolution. This pledge level also unlocks most add-ons.

Captain:  Aye, aye, Cap'n!  At this pledge level, you own Dreams of Aerie's hardcover book, its digital copy (print-enabled), your name printed in the book's Honor Roll, one each of the three labeled 12"x18" printed posters (the main deck, lower deck, and orlop deck) and the digital image of the main deck at 96 dpi resolution. This pledge level also unlocks all add-ons.

Admiral:  Yo ho, yo ho!  A Skylord's life for me.  At this pledge level, you own Dreams of Aerie's hardcover book with personalized message and autograph from the author, the book's digital copy (print-enabled), your name printed in the book's Honor Roll, one each of six 12"x18" printed posters (labeled and unlabeled versions of the main deck, lower deck, and orlop deck), digital images of all deck plans at the full 300 dpi resolution, a cloth sheet with a graphic element of your choice*, AND you also get to name one of the circus's random roustabouts. This pledge level unlocks all add-ons.  Postage (including outside the USA) is included in this pledge.

(*) Cloth Sheets: graphic elements available are (1) a map of the Great Caldera, (2) a map of the Kingdom of Meryath, or (3) the collection of all the gods' symbols.  Format: color, twill cotton, 16"x24" .

This Kickstarter's intent is to fund cover and layout artists, the illustrator, the project editor, and the cost of your rewards (print & postage.) Artist Eric Lofgren has committed to producing the colorful but eerie and quizzical cover artwork needed for this book.  Joe Garcia will bring his trademark humor to internal illustration, bringing to life as many carnie folk as our stretch goals will permit. Janet Deaver-Pack has staked her claim upon the project's editing, while Thorfinn Tait will pull all the pieces together, including the massive number of map insets.  All four and yours truly have worked together before on "Beyond the Skies," Calidar's previous book. "Dreams of Aerie" is to be printed on demand via DrivethuRPG, which eliminates mass printing, warehousing, and retail distribution.

Bruce Heard: I write books because I have a passion. It brought me to TSR in my twenties. Today I do what I do because it is what I wish. Leaving a few more things behind to be best remembered by is my purpose. A rich man I am not, but an older one certainly. If you can help make my dream come true, then I say to you, “Bless your heart, my friend, and happy gaming!”

 

Add-Ons are items that aren't included with your pledges' core rewards. Please let us know which add-ons you want, if any, using Kickstarter private mail. Postage is included for these items, except for a few when mailed outside the USA.  Please do not forget to add to your pledge amount the value of your add-ons, along with any extra postage.   Printed items may not be available until December 2017.

Airman and Master Pledges: They enable you to purchase any digital files (PDFs), printed 12"x18" deck plans, and other poster maps listed as add-ons.

First Mate Pledge:  In addition to the above, this pledge also offers additional copies of the softcover book.

Captain & Admiral Pledges:  These pledges make all items listed as add-ons available.

Available Add-On Items:

  • $20.00 Additional Ca1 "Dreams of Aerie" softcover  (for First Mate pledge level or higher.)
  • $30.00 Additional Ca1 "Dreams of Aerie" hardcover (for Captain pledge level or higher.) 
  • $8.00 Poster Map 1 Great Caldera + $3 for int'l.  Available directly from the author, this poster of the Great Caldera, Calidar's "Known World," is rendered in realistic art style. Non-gloss and measuring 28"x22", it is folded down to approx. 7"x11" and mailed in a large padded envelope.
  • $8.00 Poster Map 2 Kingdom of Meryath + $3 for int'l.  Available directly from the author, this map of the Kingdom of Meryath, a region of the Great Caldera, uses a hex grid and stylized symbols more practical for close up gaming. Non-gloss and measuring 28"x22", it is folded down to approx. 7"x11" and mailed in a large padded envelope.
  • $5.00 Any single Deck Plan (printed 12"x18" labeled or unlabeled)  
  • $3.00 for each additional Deck Plan thereafter ($4 for int'l)
  • $8.00 CAL1 "In Stranger Skies" PDF document (print-enabled)
  • $18.00 CC1 "Beyond the Skies" PDF document (non-print-enabled)
  • $5.00 for either CST1 or CST2 PDF documents (print-enabled): These two 64 page files, "Under the Great Vault" & "Skies of Fury," are available exclusively to Calidar's Kickstarter backers.

A mystery gift will also be provided to all backers after the crowd-funding event runs its course.

For those who didn’t know, if funding exceeds the initial goal of $7,500, subsequent targets are listed here. As they are unlocked, each will add more or better internal art to “Dreams of Aerie.” Stretch goal benefits are included in your core rewards.

Tier 1—Peaceful Chinook: $9,000

The Peaceful Chinook nearly doubles the number of internal illustrations and adds 4 pages to Dreams of Aerie--to a total of 128 pages. Make sail, says I, for our journey merely begins!

Tier 2—Fitful Levanter: $11,500

The Fitful Levanter upgrades the internal art from pencil work to ink work, increases the number of illustrations, and pushes the book's page count to a bold 132. All hands on deck!

Further stretch goals will be revealed as the previous ones are reached!

 

Risks and challenges

As a general note, this is the third Kickstarter event for the Calidar series, the first two being highly successful with many stretch goals unlocked.

Design and Editing:

The book itself is written and awaiting final editing. All floor plans and deck maps (some of which are featured in the video presentation) are complete as well. Those of you who have backed my first ventures (thank you) are familiar with my writing style and design abilities since the 1980s. My long-time partner in life, Janet Deaver-Pack, is a published author and a professional magazine contributor. She has produced and edited a number of anthologies along with much of what I’ve been writing during the past decade. We’re confident that “Dreams of Aerie will be as good as or better than “In Stranger Skies.”

Art, Maps, and Layout:

All artists involved in this project are long-time professionals in the industry. A substantial part of funds raised in this Kickstarter are intended to finance their work. Thorfinn Tait has already produced geographic maps in his own outstanding style. Thorfinn will also handle the final product layout as he has done already and quite well with the first two books. I’ve completed all floor plans and diagrams.

Printing & Shipping

As with the first two books, printing will be handled by Drivethru RPG, ensuring the same quality and choices that “In Stranger Skies” offered. The publisher—me—will handle fulfillment personally, as I did for the first books. No warehousing or retail distribution is needed, as books and deck maps are printed on demand. All materials are made in the USA for the US market or printed in and shipped from the UK for the rest of the world.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About

    Airman

    A digital image of the circus's Main Deck at 96 dpi (labeled)

    Includes:
    • See Add-Ons section for other Calidar items
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    Master

    "Dreams of Aerie" digital file (non-print-enabled)

    Includes:
    • Digital image of the circus's Main Deck at 96 dpi (labeled)
    • See Add-Ons section for other Calidar items
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    Pledge $30 or more About

    First Mate

    "Dreams of Aerie" softcover book (printed on standard color paper)

    Includes:
    • Deck map printed 12"x18" on glossy paper: Main Deck (labeled)
    • Digital image of the circus's Main Deck at 96 dpi (labeled)
    • "Dreams of Aerie" digital file (print-enabled)
    • Backer's name printed in the book's Honor Roll
    • See Add-Ons section for other Calidar items
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    Pledge $55 or more About

    Captain

    "Dreams of Aerie" hardcover book (printed on premium color paper)

    Includes:
    • Deck maps printed 12"x18": Main, Lower, Orlop Decks, labeled
    • Digital image of the circus's Main Deck at 96 dpi (labeled)
    • "Dreams of Aerie" digital file (print-enabled)
    • Backer's name printed in the book's Honor Roll
    • See Add-Ons section for other Calidar items
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    Pledge $150 or more About

    Admiral

    "Dreams of Aerie" hardcover book with the author's autograph & personalized message (printed on premium color paper)

    Includes:
    • Deck maps printed 12"x18": Main, Lower, Orlop Decks, unlabeled
    • Deck maps printed 12"x18": Main, Lower, Orlop Decks, labeled
    • Digital images of all 6 deck maps at 300dpi res. (print-enabled)
    • Cloth sheet with a choice of graphic (see text descriptions)
    • "Dreams of Aerie" digital file (print-enabled)
    • Name a "Random Roustabout" in the book
    • Backer's name printed in the book's Honor Roll
    • See Add-Ons section for other Calidar items
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