About this project
This isn't a stand-alone game, but a campaign setting for Dungeon World. It's a collection of people, places, races, classes, equipment, monsters, and more, written and designed to help you create and run adventures set in an exotic world that's been ruined by war waged on a cosmic scale.
One of the things I loved about 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons, was how it shook up the cosmology. Though I'd played Planescape for a long time (nearly 20 years), I was never satisfied with the overall layout of the planes, as well as some of the individual ones (like the para- or quasi-elemental plane of salt).
4th Edition not only broke them down to just a handful, but you could more easily get to and survive in them. Early on this gave me the idea of running a campaign that could have been summed up as "pirates of the Astral Sea", but I put it on the back burner since I was in college and already dealing with several other games.
Then Dark Sun came out, and put a twist on the game's implied history. See, in the "normal" setting there was this thing called the Dawn War, in which the gods and primordials fought each other. In the end the gods won, either killing or imprisoning the primordials. Dark Sun flipped this so that the primordials won, which is the reason arcane magic is so harmful.
This made me re-think my original idea: what if no one won?
I imagined a world in which the gods and primordials fought for control over the whole of creation, but in the end nearly everything was destroyed. The remnants from each plane were all mashed together, leaving plenty of empty space, chunks of stone, dead gods and primordials, corpse stars, and other detritus drifting about, with man, beast, and even stranger things trying to survive as best they can.
And so A Sundered World was created.
I used the setting to run my longest and most successful Dungeons & Dragons campaign. My original intention was to publish it for Dungeons & Dragons until 5th Edition was announced, but while we were waiting for the playtest packets to come out, we got into Dungeon World.
Coincidentally my style of DMing, coupled with some houserules, was very similar to how you're supposed to run Dungeon World. So I quickly shifted gears and began converting the material over, building upon it when necessary to create something that was more complete, yet still contained plenty of blank spaces for individual GMs to fill in.
I've made numerous blog posts talking about the setting, classes, monsters, dangers, new rules and material, some playtests, and even a second long-term campaign. There's too much to go into detail here, but you can find all of the play reports here, and a list of content posts here.
At this point the book is about 80-85% written (and is currently weighing in at a hefty 350 pages). I've still got to flesh out some steadings, add some moves to some races and classes, magic items, monsters, and a couple fronts, but the meat of it is basically done.
An Expansive, Mysterious, Dangerous World: Discover floating islands of rock, metal, bone, wood, and more. Explore both the remains of dead gods and their deteriorating dominions. Delve into the shattered husks of dead stars, the birthplace of eldritch horrors. Engage in political and physical combat on the moon, now the domain of the fae courts and fomorians.
Ten Fantastic Races: Humans, dwarves, and fae are probably the closest thing you're used to seeing, and are perfectly fine if you want to go with what you know.
Otherwise you can be a disempowered angel, an emotionless, metallic warrior forged by one of the primordials, a being made entirely out of astral matter wrapped around a thought-matrix, and more.
Kobolds are also in the mix, but probably not like you're expecting: they're small, human-like spirit folk that can merge with materials and transform into animals or fire.
Tarchons are dragon-like beings formed during the bloody death-throes of god, primordial, and the worldfish Bahamut. Born from conflict on a cosmic scale, they are at constant war with each other, which suits everyone else just fine.
Unlike Dungeon World, any race can be any class: you start with a move from your race (though a few let you choose), and when you level up you can choose a move from either your race or class, allowing you to determine just how much race impacts your character.
Of course if you don't want to use this, there are suggestions on how to remove or tweak it.
Six Classes: In addition to being able to use any class out of Dungeon World, there are six new classes:
- The Battlemind: More than a warrior, you are a living arsenal. When combat breaks out you can shape your limbs into deadly weapons capable of hewing through flesh, bone, and even sterner stuff with ease. Your flesh can solidify, becoming stronger than steel and allowing you to shrug off any attack. With enough discipline your body can produce other metals and even regrow missing parts.
- The Invoker: Channel the power of the gods that you either inherited or stole to heal, help, or harm as you desire. Establish your own place of worship, attracting followers and angels to your cause. Eventually, you will even be able to lay claim to another god's ruined dominion, reshaping it into your own personal heaven.
- The Nomad: A Sundered World is vast, and you're one of the few people that knows where everything is...so long as you've been there. You can sense and exploit wrinkles in space, allowing you to extend your senses, teleport, and push or pull objects across vast distances.
- The Shaman: After the Sundering most of the surviving spirits found themselves weakened and without places to rest. You offered up your body and soul as a home for one; in exchange it grants you strength in time of need, and provides insight into the spirit realm. The only drawback is that they're not always easy to get along with.
- The Warlock: You've pledged your service to a powerful entity in order to shortcut your path to power. The upside is that unlike wizards your body and mind don't get worn out from use, and your magic will always do what you want. The downside is that you're only leasing your magic, and if you don't pay up when your patron comes knocking, you'll not only lose them but have to pay "interest".
- The Wizard: Before the Sundering the gods, primordials, and dragons imposed their desires upon reality with word and will. Though you possess but a fraction of both, its more than enough to affect lasting change upon the mutable astral. Though working magic taxes your mind and body, you aren't limited to knowing specific spells.
Compendium Classes: The six compendium classes allow you to better manipulate the mutable astral or time itself, try to stave off the infernal machinations of a demonic force that wormed its way inside your soul, supplicate yourself to the whims of the Winter Queen in exchange for power, and more.
Gear Up And Set Sail: There are some new weapons and armor to be found, but what they're capable of often depends on what they're made of. Sure, your sword could made of copper or steel, but cold iron blades allow you to easily slice through magic, and if you bind a wind spirit to it, you can hurl it great distances.
Lose a limb? No problem: get a metal one implanted. If you've got the extra coin, why not have a channeling rod or retractable blade installed? If you're really into invasive surgery, get a thoughtroot implant so you can stomp around the astral in an enthollow.
Speaking of strutting your stuff, there's a whole section on building your own ship, as well as what goes down when you invariably run into a kytheran carver, or cambion soul ferry looking to fill up some more cages before they head back to Asmodeus.
On that note...
More Monsters: There are ten new monster settings packed with creatures to throw at the players: elemental fish that can divide and combine into a much larger, more dangerous beast, skeletal mastadons that bleed rubies, angels that have been twisted through sin, and eldritch horrors birthed by old gods.
There's also stuff like dragons, but they're not like the dragons you're used to. Ditto for the dark elves and angels:
Sample Fronts: Given that A Sundered World isn't like other settings out there, there's both adventure ideas and some example fronts to get the ball rolling; a rogue chronomancer trying to re-write reality, a massive cthon devouring islands and primordial corpses, an ancient army created before the Sundering, and a host of angels that believes the ends justify the means.
A Chance to Contribute: At the Kickstarter campaign's conclusion, all backers will get access to alpha and beta pdfs. This way you can provide feedback, criticism, suggestions, and so on.
Cheap, Quality, And Nearly Unrestricted Art: Once A Sundered World is published, all of the art, aside from alternate covers, will be available for sale.
As with our Awful Good Art Pack, you will be able to purchase it for an incredibly cheap price (around $10), and there will be virtually no limit to how you use it (basically, no turning around and re-selling it).
If we're handling the writing, editing, layout, and art, and DriveThruRPG is handling printing and shipping, then what do we need money for?
David does a lot of contract work, so the more money we get, the more time he can just focus entirely on this, and the sooner it gets done. The $2,200 amount is, after taxes, what he would charge for the remainder of the "bare minimum" illustrations.
In addition, once this is all said and done, the price for the pdf and books will go up by about $5 each, and the art will be sold separately for personal and commercial use. So by backing this project, not only will it get done sooner, but it'll also cost you less.
David Guyll has been gaming for well over 20 years, and has a wide variety of paper-and-pencil roleplaying, board, card, miniature, and video games under his belt.
He’s maintained the roleplaying game-centric Points of Light blog for over five years, where he reviews games, posts play reports, talks about games and game design, and features homebrewed content.
In the past year he has published a collection of class powers and magic items for Dungeons & Dragons, and as well as a few adventures, numerous classes, and several magic item collections for Dungeon World.
Melissa Fisher is relatively new to the gaming scene—finally managing to get through an entire Dungeon World campaign recently—co-authored several Dungeon World playbooks with David, mercifully edits a lot of his (and others') writing, and is often the test subject for rigorous playtesting sessions.
Risks and challenges
The writing is nearly done, and the art is over halfway there. We're not relying on anyone else to help fulfill this, and there are no stretch goals to add more and more content, potentially resulting in late or lackluster delivery: everything we want to include, we are, simple as that.
If something should happen to cause any delays, we'll let you know. We're both very active on a variety of social networks, maintain a blog, and our group plays every week via Google Hangouts, so it's not difficult to get in touch with either of us.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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