Ballista is a new line of adventures and gaming material published by Arcana Creations. The books in this series are all about providing a basic, rules-light, gaming experience making it easy to get into and start playing.
With our CA $3500 reached, we are producing an additional adventure to the original 5. All backers who pledged CA $6 or more is entitled to a copy of this 6th (as yet unrevealed) Ballista release matching the formats of their pledge level.
On top of that, we have also reached our 74 backer goal unlocked access to the BETA copy of the Ballista Rules Companion to all backers once it becomes available.
Arcana Creations is a small hobby-publisher that has produced material for the Castles & Crusades role playing game from Troll Lord Games, as well as material for Swords & Wizardry from Frog God Games. We have collaborated with other publishers such as Brave Halfling Publishing in the past, but now mainly focus on growing and increasing our own product output. 2017 saw the launch of the Arcana Elements imprint to produce non-gaming related books as well as the launch of the new Ballista line in 2018.
The concept behind the Ballista line has changed a lot from inception to implementation. The purpose of this campaign is to properly launch a new gaming line which is compatible with various editions of the world's most popular RPG as well as its relatives and simulacra. With that in mind, the goal of this campaign is the publication of FIVE gaming modules which will need very little additional rule books to actually play.
It is important to stress that Ballista is not a new game system. As written, these modules are compatible with systems like Castles & Crusades, Swords & Wizardry, and many others. However, included in every book on the inside cover is a basic rule set to allow you to run the adventure WITHOUT the need of a rule book if one isn't close at hand. All you would really need beyond the book are some characters, dice, and some friends!
When Arcana Creations started out, in partnership with Brave Halfling Publishing, we released three modules for Castles & Crusades and two of those were subsequently released for Swords & Wizardry in electronic format. These were The Secret of Ronan Skerry, The Ruins of Ramat, and A Trick on the Tain. When they were first released, they were well received but the release was small and limited.
These three modules have been updated and, in some cases, overhauled for the new Ballista line. In addition to these three, we are releasing two new, never-before-published, adventures to round up our selection of five adventures. These are Mystery at Morfurt and Hide in Plain Sight.
The great news about the production of the modules is that the majority of the work is already done! The first three modules are finished and ready to go. The last two modules have already had extensive editing work done on them and are in various stages of layout. Here are print samples of the first three modules:
With your help, we can add the final two modules to the line and get all of these out into the hands of gamers and into wider distribution!
For all the modules being produced, we offer both PDF and physical printed books. The format chosen for these are 6x9 inches and the finalized page count for the first three are 20 pages each. Page count for the last two haven't been finalized yet but they will not fall below 20 pages. In fact, it is probable that Hide in Plain Sight will exceed this page count.
The 6x9 size format was chosen for a few reasons. In terms of the digital format, it is usable on 7" tablets though optimal on an 8" tablet for reasons of portability. The physical format makes it smaller than a conventional book which, along with the softcover nature of the module, makes it light and easier to ship. In fact, all five modules will be shipped in a small box (to better protect the books), and the combined size and weight of the package makes shipping to elsewhere in Canada, the United States, or abroad reasonably affordable. After the exchange rate, it will cost less than $10 USD to ship to anywhere in the continental United States as an example. Prices are similar when shipping to Europe or Australia though it will admittedly take several weeks to reach their intended destination.
Each print module comes with free PDF version of it as well and each module has a MSRP of CA $12.50 each (which works out to no more than about $10 USD). They are printed locally in Montreal, Canada in Pacesetter Silk 80 lbs paper.
THE SECRET OF RONAN SKERRY
The Secret of Ronan Skerry was written by Michael Davis and takes place on an island. It is an adventure which is largely overland and geared towards a party of lower level characters. In it, the party is called upon to investigate the disappearance of a group of monks who man the lighthouse on the other side of the island.
THE RUINS OF RAMAT
The Ruins of Ramat was written by John Adams and this version (based on the original C&C version) was expanded. It now offers additional and optional content in greater depth than the scenario's original concept of a group of adventurers out to help a little girl to rescue her pet and explore a local dungeon. While this version of the scenario can be run as originally intended, making it great to play with your kids, the added content adds more depth and throws a twist making it worthwhile to explore further. It is primarily a low-level dungeon crawl.
A TRICK ON THE TAIN
A Trick on the Tain was written by Keith Hackwood and is primarily a local-area overland scenario. The adventure takes place over a broader region and can firmly be classified as a low-level wilderness adventure taking place in a tundra environment. There are enough ideas in the pages of the module giving plenty of room for a creative GM to flesh out and expand if they wish leading to a larger campaign in the region.
MYSTERY AT MORFURT
Mystery at Morfurt was written by Todd Pote and deals with the children of the village of Morfurt that have suddenly gone missing. Fearing a great evil is responsible, the Earl of the region dispatches a party of adventurers to investigate. It is written as a low-level scenario with a mixture of overland and cave/dungeon exploration.
HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT
Hide in Plain Sight was written by Bill DeFranza and starts with a party of adventurers hired to rescue an Earl's kidnapped daughter but they soon realize that all may not be as they appear. It is written as a low-level scenario and is primarily dungeon-based.
A NOTE ON THE SPECIAL COLLECTOR'S PLEDGE LEVEL
We recently found a limited amount of old stock that was remaining from the Castles & Crusades version of The Secret of Ronan Skerry and A Trick on the Tain. This is a limited reward option and once these are gone, they will not be reprinted. If you are a C&C collector or fan, this might be one of your last opportunities to add these to your collection.
- Upon funding... all backers (CA $6 or higher) will receive an additional adventure becoming the sixth title in the Ballista Adventures line. The format of this additional adventure will match the format available in your pledge level. Title to be revealed later.
- Upon reaching 74 Backers... Each backer will receive a PDF copy of the Ballista Rules Companion (BETA). This reward will be delivered regardless of the success or failure of this project.
No significant stretch goals have been announced at the start of the campaign but that doesn't mean there aren't a couple surprises in store once we surpass our funding goal! There are things we have planned however, any stretch goals that may happen will be offered as digital options only. The choice is, in part, to keep the shipping costs on any physical rewards unchanged. If a physical version of a stretch goal is possible, an option to have this as a purchased add-on will be made available in addition to the free digital version.
In addition to the Ballista modules we have here, we are offering the three current titles published through our Arcana Elements imprint. Simply add the cost of the item to the existing pledge level. For example, if you pledged at the $48 level and wanted to add a copy of Mother of Mortals to your pledge, you would add $20 to the $48 for a total of $68 plus the shipping for your region. Add-Ons will be specified to us once the campaign is over and surveys go out.
- Mother of Mortals ... CA $20
- Star Rover ... CA $16
- Quebec's Distinct Paganism ... CA $30
- Additional Print Ballista Module ... CA $10
- Additional Digital Ballista Module ... CA $5
Please note that, depending on stock levels and shipping destination, any the books could be shipped separately from the Ballista modules. If they do ship separately, they are likely to ship earlier than the rest of the rewards in this campaign.
In the Fairy Forest illustration ©AtelierSommerland - Can Stock Photo Inc.
Risks and challenges
With the material written and the majority of the editing complete, we do not foresee any issues in fulfillment nor do we expect any. Electronic copies will be distributed online via Driverthru RPG (RPGNow) and the modules are produced locally at a reputable printer we've worked with before for other projects. The physical copies will be mailed out from Montreal, Canada.
We've done the necessary research regarding shipping and printing to know that there will be no cost overruns. With regards to shipping, while we managed to keep costs at reasonable levels, the time it will take to deliver packages will take longer if you are located overseas. Shipping can either be inexpensive or fast; it can't be both. For those who would like to expedite their shipping, this can be arranged at a higher cost. Please contact us through through Kickstarter to make arrangements.
The time for fulfillment, given where we are at in the production of these modules, is generous to anticipate any issues we couldn't otherwise foresee. The expectation is this will happen earlier than stated in order to complete this within the specified time frame. In the event that this campaign is more successful than anticipated, there will still be enough leeway to complete fulfillment on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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