Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 20, 2013.

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Shroud of the Ancients is a fantasy role-playing game set in a shattered world of adventure, intrigue, and peril.

MORE DICE

I have received several requests from backers interested in getting their hands on additional sets of D5 dice. With that in mind, we have created a limited time offer for our fans. Until the end of the kickstarter, we are offering an opportunity for you to upgrade your pledge. If you are already pledging $20 or more, you can add as many extra sets of D5 dice that you want for additional $12 a set. That's over 20% off the suggested retail price with no additional shipping charges.

HOW DO I ADD MORE DICE TO MY PLEDGE?

If you are a first time backer pledging $20 or more, just add an extra $12 to your pledge amount for each additional set that you want. If you are a current backer pledging $20 or more, simply click on "Manage Your Pledge" and add $12 for each additional set that you wish to add to your order. A few days after the kickstarter is complete, we will send out a request to confirm your order. It's that simple. Keep in mind that colors may vary, but they will all be high quality translucent precision dice. Get ready to roll!

WE HAVE EXCEEDED OUR PROJECT GOAL

That's right! Thanks to the support of our backers, we have reached our project goal of $5000. That means that it's time to move on to our first stretch goal. When we hit $7500, every single backer will get a PDF of the The Shroud of the Ancients Sketchbook, featuring the beautiful artwork of Albert Debnam. Get your friends to back the project and eveyone is a winner.

BIG UPDATE

MORE VALUE

Starting immediately, we have made the playtester feedback option (originally only available to $100 backers) available to anyone pledging $50 or more! That means that when you back our project at $50 or higher, you will get all the previews and updates that SOTA playtesters get. In addition to getting a sneak peak before everyone else, you will be invited to help Dark Tavern Press develop the vast continent of Kathlom for the second corebook, the Shroudmaster’s Guide to Terrath. Please note that this pledge level requires you to sign a non-disclosure agreement (just like a playtester).

MORE PLEDGE LEVELS

Also, we have added two more pledge levels and readjusted the prices on several of the existing pledge levels so that you get more Shroud of the Ancients gaming goodness for your money. Check out the new options on your right.

Shroud of the Ancients is a fantasy roleplaying game is set in a post-cataclysmic dystopia where your character lives in the sanctuary known as Aegis; a place where hard-working citizens are often the pawns of political and religious power struggles. A brave few stand up to the corruption they encounter, while others play along, hoping to prosper and endure. Meanwhile, the devastated world outside, which the scholars refer to as Terrath, holds the promise of independence, but at the expense of security. In truth, it is said that only the most experienced souls have a chance to survive the perilous shroud that now cloaks the world.
 
This Kickstarter from Dark Tavern Press is for the first core book for the Shroud of the Ancients D5 Role Playing Game, entitled The Adventurer's Guide to Terrath. It is a complete game book with everything you need to start playing, including character creation, equipment, magic use, geography & game play.
 
Created by Randy Miller and Roderick Edwards, this corebook is the product of more than 15 years of combined adventure writing and game design experience. It is Dark Tavern’s goal to continually create the best quality RPGs and gaming accessories possible. It is our aspiration to entice tabletop gamers enough with this project to help us fund this project in order to bring the Shroud of the Ancients D5 Role Playing Game to players everywhere.

Nearly two centuries ago, Terrath’s second moon shattered and fire fell from the heavens. Ancient Empires and vast kingdoms that had once stretched across the known world were wiped out in a day. A few select races and creatures chosen by the gods were shepherded into the sanctuary known as Aegis. On the dreadful day, known as the Shattering, those inside the sanctuary huddled close and listened to the ground rumble and shake for, what seemed like, an eternity. Then a horrific scream filled the air until it was silenced by a blow that felt as if the god Althair had slammed his fist against the surface of the world. From that moment onward, darkness shrouded each and every day. Aegis held, but the days grew cold and the food scarce. Despite the fear that the gods had punished the world for it's deification of wizards and priests, the people needed magic to survive.

Now, life on the inside is, at least, tolerable. Hazy sunlight pushes through the veil for a few hours each day, giving many a new sense of hope. Throughout the changes, Governess Thea’hal, presumed to be one of the last of her people, has helped to guide the citizens of Aegis to a life of relative normalcy. However, rumors have begun to circulate that the land is facing overpopulation and the Governess is losing her control of the great city of Venur to the heads of the newly formed Monger Houses. It is also said that that very few explorers are returning from the expeditions to the outside world and those that do refuse to speak of the horrors they have seen.       

As an adventurer, you possess the unique skills and distinctions that make you valuable to those close to the intrigue and conflict at the heart of the political and religious struggles inside of Aegis. There are a number of patrons who may need you to help them with a local conflict or perhaps even lead an expedition to the outside where the forgotten cities and temples of Terrath may hold the secrets to the world's survival. But few are eager to venture into the mist, for as it is quoted in the Book of the Exalted Word, “Death awaits those who are unworthy to face the challenge”.

Despite the fears of some of the citizenry, magic is still practiced by a select few inside Aegis. Mana, the energy force which flows over the surface of Terrath and exists inside every living creature, is the source of all magical power. The ability to weave mana (cast spells) is a coveted skill that is never shared lightly, for magic in the wrong hands can be destructive or even deadly. However, with the right connections and the proper training, magic can be wielded by anyone who possesses the spirit and the determination to do so. So you may decide to devote your entire life to the pursuit of arcanum or simply learn enough to heal your injuries or hide yourself from sight. The choice is yours

No matter where fate takes you, limitless opportunities lie ahead. Perhaps, with aid from the gods, you may seek to gain the experience to lead others out of the darkness. Perhaps you hope to acquire fame and fortune in an effort to improve your life. Whichever path you choose to follow, your destiny awaits!

When you create a player character for Shroud of the Ancients, you will build it from the ground up using points assigned by your Shroudmaster (your adventure guide for the game). With those points, you will buy your character's ATTRIBUTES, ASPECTS, SKILLS and DISTINCTIONS.

ATTRIBUTES: Each player character (PC) has five attributes (Might, Agility, Presence, Intellect and Essence) and each of these attributes represents the basic, physical, mental and spiritual components that make up a character. They are used to define how strong, quick or wise they might be.

ASPECTS: Each PC also has five Aspects (Health, Awareness, Will, Mana and Destiny). These scores are resources that the character has to utilize and maintain to survive. Sometimes they are reduced when injured or spent to attack, defend, move or use magic.

SKILLS: Ranks in skills that you possess help define your level of expertise with a particular activity. The higher your rank, the closer you are to your target number for success. 

DISTINCTIONS: These characteristics and abilities fall into two main categories: favorable and adverse. They may help your character in certain situations or they may hinder your ability to get the job done. Either way, they represent who you are and your strengths and weaknesses in the game. 

MAGIC: The flexible magic system in D5RPG is easy-to-learn and challenging to master. It rewards spell-weavers by encouraging creative casting on their part.      

CLASS-FREE & LEVEL-FREE: As in real life, there are no character classes or character levels in the player-driven D5RPG system. Unlike many other game systems that force you down a certain career path with little or no opportunity for creativity, the D5RPG skill based system allows you to improve the skills and abilities that you wish to improve.

THE D5RPG SYSTEM: The Shroud of the Ancients Role Playing Game is powered by the D5RPG system. The game uses 5D5 dice for nearly every determination. Whether its skill checks or damage, it’s all you’ll ever need. One of those dice is the patented D5, known as the Destiny Die, is an exploding die (in RPG lingo), which opens up a realm of possibilities. What it means is that whenever you roll a “5” on that die, you continue to roll it until you stop getting “5”s. This means that heroic deeds, that some other game systems might tell you are impossible, have the potential to be realized.

Our Kickstarter goal is set at only $5,000 and this covers mostly artwork, design, layout, editing and production costs for the Adventurer's Guide to Terrath. The total funding goal is comprised of 10% Kickstarter and Amazon fees, 50% artist, layout, design, editing, and development costs, 10% promotional costs, and 30% printing costs. In the event that we raise money beyond the $5,000 target, the following things will happen:

At $7,500 -  MORE SWAG - Every single backer will get a PDF copy of the Shroud of the Ancients Sketchbook. This 40 page collection, featuring the artwork of Albert Debnam, includes previously unpublished preliminary design skectches, as well as alternate versions of your favorite characters and creatures.

At $10,000 - MORE ADVENTURE - Every supporter that pledges $10 or more will receive an exciting introductory adventure with the corebook to help introduce you to the world of Terrath, as well as the mechanics of the game.

At $12,500 - MORE ARTWORK - This extra money will allow us to contract additional artists to help make the Adventurers Guide to Terrath even more visually dynamic.

At $15,000 - You get us past $15K and we will unlock this Stretch Goal for all to see.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Challenge: One of the biggest challenges we face is meeting the June deadline. It may seem like it's a long way away, but between now and then, the balance of the text needs to be written; final playtesting must be completed; more artists need to be commissioned; the book must be proofread and edited: and finally, it must be printed before the distribution to our supporters can begin. On top of that dice, art prints, and an adventure have to be ordered and shipped as well.

Solution: We will be working daily to meet the deadlines in order to comply with our promised delivery dates. We have never missed a published deadline on any of our previous releases and we do not plan to start now. As far as the all other variables, we have priced out the printing of the book; the printing of the adventure; and the cost of dice and the art prints. We know that there will be events that we cannot predict or control, but we feel that we have prepared for these to the best of our ability.

We at Dark Tavern Press are gamers, game designers and customer service experts. We are dedicated to this project's successful completion and the creation of highest quality game we can produce. We are in this for the long haul and we hope you will join us.

FAQ

  • Yes. The Adventurer's Guide to Terrath is the first corebook in the series and it will contain everything you need to get started playing right away, including sections on character creation, equipment, magic, combat, as well as running the game. The appendices will also include primers for campaigns, adventure seeds, and an introduction to some of the Terrath's most interesting creatures and foes.

    Last updated:
  • When we first started looking into the D5 as a possible addition to our game, we were skeptical as to the fairness of the D5 dice. So I personally talked to Louis Zocchi, the die's creator, and he explained his process of die creation. The short version is that he comes up with the design and the prototype and then they test it by rolling it thousands of times to check to make sure that it averages out. If there are any flaws or issues, they redesign and retool it till its right.

    After we got our hands on some, we tested them ourselves. After all, our game and our name are going to be attached to his design. We rolled them 500 hundred times (in sets of 100) and we discovered that they came out quite fair (2.57). Then we took them to playtests at MegaCon and Coliseum of Comics over the next few months so people could play with them as well and they were as amazed and excited as we were about how they rolled.

    Also, if you need a second opinion, Kevin Cook, the Administrator of Die Collector Forums, also confirms that the test results that he saw showed a perfectly fair die.

    So, have no fear. Yes, they have an odd shape, but they roll great. Besides, tabletop gamers have been rolling odd-shaped dice since 1974, so no worries, folks.

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    SILENT INVESTOR – All backers at this level will be kept in the loop during every step of the production. This includes a first look at new artwork, character sheets and game mechanics.

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    FUTURE EXPLORER – Same as SILENT INVESTOR, except all backers at this level will be listed in the acknowledgements section of the PDF release, as well as the corebook.

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    SEEKER OF DESTINY – Same as FUTURE EXPLORER, except you will also receive a PDF copy of the book, Shroud of the Ancients RPG: The Adventurer’s Guide to Terrath.

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    NOVICE ADVENTURER – In addition to the PDF of the Adventurer’s Guide to Terrath, you will also receive a full set of 5D5 dice so you can start playing as soon as possible. (International Backers, please add $5 for shipping)

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    JOURNEYMAN – As per Novice Adventurer, plus you will be listed in the acknowledgements with the epithet of your choice (for example, John "The Executioner" Doe or Jane “Stealer of Souls” Doe). (International Backers, please add $5 for shipping).

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    INFAMOUS MONGER - You will receive an exclusive signed hardcover of the Shroud of the Ancients D5 RPG release, The Adventurer’s Guide to Terrath, a PDF copy as well, plus a set of five D5 dice. (International Backers, please add $10 for shipping)

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    SEASONED ADVENTURER – In addition to the signed hardcover and a PDF copy of the book (both with your name listed in the acknowledgements) and a set of 5D5 dice, you will receive a PDF of our first adventure for the SOTA RPG a month before it’s available to the public. (International Backers, please add $10 for shipping)

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    BENEVOLENT STATESMAN - Your name will be immortalized forever by having a location or item in the Shroud of the Ancients world named after you, plus you will also receive the Corebook PDF, Hardcover, Dice, PDF Adventure and Epithet. (International Backers, please add $10 for shipping)

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    ADVENTURER OF DISTINCTION - As per the BENEVOLENT STATESMAN, plus you will receive a special limited edition collection of prints featuring the artwork of Shroud of the Ancients. (International Backers, please add $20 for shipping)

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    BRICK & MORTAR SUPPORTER - This deal is just for local gaming stores. This pledge level gets you a great game night package - Four copies of the Adventurer's Guide to Terrath, four sets of 5D5 dice and one copy of the first published adventure for the game. This pledge level is only available to confirmed retail stores with a U.S. shipping address.

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    BEARER OF AEGIS - As per the ADVENTURER OF DISTINCTION, plus you will also receive an additional signed copy of the Shroud of the Ancients D5 RPG release, Adventurer’s Guide to Terrath and an additional set of five D5 dice so your gaming group can start playing. (International Backers, please add $20 for shipping)

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    HONORED EXPLORER – As per BEARER OF AEGIS, except you will receive two extra copies of the exclusive hardcover and two additional sets of D5 dice. That’s a total of four of each (books and dice)! (International Backers, please add $40 for shipping)

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    CHAMPION OF DESTINY - As per HONORED EXPLORER (Listed, PDF, 4X Hardcover RPGs, Dice, PDF Adventure & Art Prints) plus, you become part of the world of Terrath as a SOTA stylized character to be featured in the Shroudmaster’s Guide to Terrath, as well as future projects - including a character portrait of you done by Art Director, Albert Debnam (which you'll receive as a print). Plus you will also receive an additional signed copy of the Shroud of the Ancients D5 RPG release, Adventurer’s Guide to Terrath and an additional set of five D5 dice so your whole group can start playing right away. That’s a total of five books and five sets of dice for those of you keeping track at home. (International Backers, please add $40 for shipping)

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    WIELDER OF THE SHROUD - As per the HONERED EXPLORER, plus you become a Patron of the entire Shroud of the Ancients property and will receive a complimentary copy of every future Shroud of the Ancients D5RPG that we publish for the next five years. (Priceless) (International Backers, please add $50 for shipping)

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    SHROUDMASTER – As per the WIELDER OF THE SHROUD (To sum up, that’s five copies of the corebook, the PDF, five sets of dice, the adventure PDF, the art prints, the epitaph, playtester updates, a copy of every game book we publish for the next five years, plus having cool people and things named after you), we will write a custom adventure for you that will include every character and location or item featured in the previous pledges. (International Backers, please add $50 for shipping)

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    DISTINGUISHED PATRON - You get the SHROUDMASTER package, plus we will run an online adventure for your group on G+, consisting of one 3-hour session for up to 5 players. Also, your books will not only be signed, but personalized as well. (International Backers, please add $50 for shipping)

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    CITY ADMINISTRATOR - You get the SHROUDMASTER package, plus we will run an online micro-campaign for your group on G+, consisting of three 3-hour sessions for up to 5 players. Also, your books will not only be signed, but personalized as well. (International Backers, please add $50 for shipping)

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    GRAND ADMINISTRATOR - You get the SHROUDMASTER package, plus we will run an online mini-campaign for your group on G+, consisting of five 3-hour sessions for up to 5 players. Also, your books will not only be signed, but personalized as well. (International Backers, please add $50 for shipping)

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    MASTER OF TERRATH - As per SHROUDMASTER, plus the game’s creators, Randy Miller and Rod Edwards, will fly to your local game/hobby store, convention or home and hand deliver your vast assortment of goodies. While we are there, we will personally run your custom created adventure and even give you a behind the screen look at any future projects we are working on. (International Backers, please be aware that there will be additional travel expenses that you will have to incur.)

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Funding period

- (55 days)