From popular internet game master and game designer, Dave Hamrick and cartographer and painter extraordinaire, Justin David Russell (Epic Werkes Studio) comes BroadSword Magazine, a throwback to the old RPG magazines of the '80s and '90s.
Over 60,000 words of Fifth-Edition compatible EVERY. SINGLE. MONTH. In fact...
It's not a "magazine"... it's a monthly expansion BOOK!
If you never experience the old RPG mags, they were more than just a collection of articles. The old magazines were expansion sets and rules supplements and they were PACKED with content.
Each issue is like getting a NEW jam-packed full-sized Fifth Edition supplement in the mail.
- Full-length adventures. Never run out of campaign material with playtested, full-length adventures for all levels.
- Sub-classes. Add variety to your game with brand new sub-classes for all class levels.
- Monsters. Need more challenges? Look no further than brand new monsters with full stats and ecological notes.
- Spells, Magic Items, Rules Supplement and more! There's so much content that all of it could exist in a book by itself.
Each dynamic issue of BroadSword Magazine includes four NEW and ORIGINAL Fifth-Edition compatible adventures, plus new monsters, races, subclasses, magic items, and more every month in both print and digital PDF formats.
Broadsword operates under the Fifth Edition Open License Agreement, meaning that the game is FULLY compatible with modern Fifth Edition rules of "the world's most popular roleplaying game."
So expect to see plenty of ancient dragons while you're exploring lots of dungeons!
Here is the tentative table of contents for BroadSword magazine #1.
Feature - The Secret of Forsaken Peak Part 1 (The Goblin Mine) by Dave Hamrick and Justin David Russell. The goblins of Forsaken Peak have been acting up lately. You're tasked by your patron (five different options with five different goals) to investigate what they're up to. This is the first part of The Secret of Forsaken Peak megadelve adventure path, set for a group of 5th-level characters.
Bonus - The Secret of Forsaken Peak Castle of Chaos Detail by Dave Hamrick and Justin David Russell. Need a place for your characters to rest in between delves? The Castle of Chaos is the perfect spot. Well, if you ignore the fact that it's managed by a bunch of insane people, that is.
The Battle of Dragard Mine by Dave Hamrick and Justin David Russell. The residents of Dragard Mine discovered something important in the old mountain. Whatever it is, the Beastmen of Kalibar want to get their claws on it. Dragard Mine is an adventure for a group of 11th-level characters and uses Dave Hamrick's original mass combat rules system.
Comes with a double-sided fold out map of Dragard Mine.
Evadimus's School for Gifted Spellcasters by Dave Hamrick and Justin David Russell. How do wizards learn their first spells? At wizardry school, of course! One of the most famous of these schools is Evadimus' School for Gifted Spellcasters. This adventure is for 0-level characters that takes wizards-to-be from commoner to 1st-level caster over the course of a school year.
Trial of Heroes by Dave Hamrick. Every year, the lords of South Castle come together to test adventurers all over the land; not for their sheer might and power, but for their ability to think and work as a team. The Trial of Heroes follows the tradition of RPG magazines of offering up level-agnostic challenges for characters of any level.
One-Shot Adventure by Dave Hamrick. A one-shot adventure in the vein of the old "Side Treks" articles that'll work as a nice little side quest. Theme and plot too-be-determined, although it will be centered around 2nd-level characters.
How to Keep Your Players Engaged by Dave Hamrick. You know the situation: you're explaining an awesome landscape or a tense battle and for whatever reason you can't seem to get your players' attention. Either they're looking at their phones, chatting it up, or just off in la-la-land. Dave Hamrick explains how he keeps his characters engaged in his games and shares some tips on how you can get your players engaged, too.
10 New Cantrips by Dave Hamrick. Everyone has that one or two favorite cantrip that they love to use frequently. But in the end, there isn't a whole lot of variety when it comes to cantrip. Dave Hamrick offers up 10 more cantrips for characters to use.
Mass Combat Basics by Dave Hamrick. To accompany the Battle of Draggard Mine adventure, Dave Hamrick's crafted a full set of easy-to-use mass combat rules that capture the feel of Fifth Edition and lets characters be heroes on wider level.
New Playable Race: Laicosts (Mousefolk) by Dave Hamrick. A DMDave classic, laicosts are scallywag mouselike humanoids that stay in tight knit communities. The article will expand on their world and introduce the playable mousefolk.
Traps & Puzzles Featurette by Dave Hamrick. Need some non-combat challenges for your dungeon encounters? The Traps & Puzzles featurette helps you do just that.
3 New Arcane Subclasses by Dave Hamrick. The first stretch goal hit for the project was opening up three new subclasses. These subclasses are Wizard Teacher Arcane Tradition, Madness Sorcererous Origin, and Warlock Patron of Forbidden Lore.
2 New Subclasses by Dave Hamrick. Another stretch goal opened up two new subclasses. These are as-of-yet undetermined, but will probably be related to Forsaken Peak.
3 Mass Combat Feats by Dave Hamrick. The second stretch goal hit opens up new feats for mass combat campaigns. These will coincide with the mass combat rules.
Monsters by Jack by Jack Hamrick & TBD. My son Jack draws a monster and artists bring it to life.
7 New Uncommon Magic Items by Dave Hamrick. This was a bonus stretch goal--I'll be creating 7 uncommon magic items for you to put into your campaign.
10 New Monsters by Dave Hamrick. More monsters! Already, I have a library of hundreds of monsters on DMDave. What's 10 more?
Random Wilderness Tables by Dave Hamrick. Need some ideas for wilderness dressing? This chart of 100 random wilderness encounter will help spice up your adventures.
Double-Sided Poster by Justin David Russell. The front cover art and the map for Dragard Mine will be featured on this amazing, high-quality double-sided poster.
With each stretch goal, more content will be added to this already-awesome list. Keep an eye out here on the Kickstarter page as well as communications to see what's coming down the pipe for the first issue of BroadSword Magazine.
The best part? The first adventure is already penned and ready to go and the other three adventures are in final draft stages. You can read the original draft on DMDave's website.
That means that as soon as you sign on to this Kickstarter, you can get a digital copy of the first adventure, The Secret of Forsaken Peak: The Goblin Mine by Dave Hamrick and Justin David Russell. It's the first part of a HUGE megadelve adventure path that will be included in the magazine.
We're nuts for the classic RPG 'zines of the '80s and '90s.
However, it costs quite a bit to create a high-quality magazine, thick with original art and solid, playtested rules, all compatible with 5th edition.
Printing a magazine like this takes some serious capital. That's why we're Kickstarting it. We want to make sure we have the funding necessary for print runs tiny to gargantuan.
And we don't want to cheapen it. While the magazine will intentionally have an old-school-vibe to it (black-and-white interior, pen/ink illustrations, etc.) it will still be printed on the highest quality paper available with perfect binding.
"So what's up with BroadSword magazine beyond the first issue? And why should I be excited about it (aka, why should I pay for 12-months of issues?)"
Great question! Here's what you should look forward to with the magazine:
1) Issues #2 - #6 are already mostly planned out. While we've still got a few nitty gritty details to plan on, here is the "themes" for the issues following #1:
- Issue #2 - Horror. To coincide with Halloween, BroadSword will have adventures, articles, and supplements geared around horror stories and monsters.
- Issue #3 - Science fiction. New rules for science fiction along with an accompanying adventure.
- Issue #4 - Winter. Winter based adventures, holidays, and more.
- Issue #5 - Downtime+. Downtime is a cool feature of Fifth Edition, but kinda falls apart at higher levels. The adventures and articles in this issue will address this problem.
- Issue #6 - Gear. Looking for cool, new items for your characters or NPCs? This issue will feature cool weapons, magic items, and more and adventures to compliment them.
2) We're taking submissions for issues #2 and up. As much as I love creating content, to ensure that we can work on a tight schedule, we will be taking submissions from other creators in the community. This includes artists, adventure-crafted, article-writers, and even homebrewers. And we're paying for the content!
3) DMDave has 500,000+ words worth of content to fall back on. Worst case scenario (somehow, no one on earth submits anything), we still have 7 months worth of content to fall back on with DMDave.com. That's nearly 600 articles and 500,000+ words worth of original Fifth Edition content.
4) Multiple Printer Sources. We have three different printers ready to go (include, two of which are associated directly with the business) to print issues in advance. There will be no logistical snafus to slow down printing. And even if there are, we'll be sure to communicate.
5) Total transparency. Subscribers of the magazine will have full transparency of all the forthcoming content. You'll be able to see what's going on and even offer input either on DMDave.com, our social media accounts, the official BroadSword discord channel and more.
6) Experience & Research. I have been in ecommerce for nearly a decade. In addition to experience serving customers online, I have done plenty of research and worked closely with other publishers to ensure that any issue that could come up is addressed ahead of time.
We're 100% invested in this project and want to make sure that it succeeds.
Now it wouldn't be a fun Kickstarter if we didn't have a whole mess of Stretch Goals to offer, too, now would it?
Here is what you can expect to get along with the magazine should we match these goals:
More to come!
We know that not everyone is a "grognard" like JD and I. That's why this book is not only available in Print format, but Digital format (PDF) as well.
As we noted above, the adventure is already completed and ready as both a FREE "blog" version which you can read now and a "preview" version which you'll receive after the Kickstarter ends. However, the finalized PDF for the magazine will have all new art, get a thorough playtesting analysis, and come with a lot more bonus content.
Plus we'll partner with other companies and use their experience in digital production to make sure that the finished products are 100% perfecto.
One of the most exciting things about BroadSword magazine is that it features the outstanding art of world-class old-school artist Justin David Russell (Epic Werkes Studio). JD is a traditional illustrator, using pen/ink and oil paints to make his creations.
Check out some of his art below:
This time, we're offering both preview and playtest material for those who want to try the content out before its official launch.
What's the difference between the two?
- A playtest involves running at least one of the adventures. Playtesters are acknowledged in the magazine's credits, and have a real say in the difficulty, balance, and playability of the final creation. We'll send backers information on how to sign up.
- A preview just means an early look, without providing any formal feedback and without a listing in the credits. No signup or reports required.
Everyone who pledges at the $10 level or more gets a FREE copy of Broadsword Magazine preview.
Here is what you can expect from each of the pledge levels.
- Supporter - You just love us and want to show your support. Awwwww, thanks! :)
- Broadsword #1 PDF only - You just want to read it and print the magazine at your leisure. This pledge level is only $10 and includes all the cool DMDave/JDRussell content.
- Broadsword #1 Print and PDF - You want to get the first issue of Broadsword in a print-ready PDF format as well as the printed collector's copy. This pledge level is only $15 and will include all stretch goals.
- Broadsword 3-Month Subscription (Print & PDF) - You want to see what's up with the first three issues of Broadsword magazine in both printed and PDF format. This pledge level is only $42 (you save $1 per issue) and includes all stretch goals.
- Broadsword 6-Month Subscription (Print & PDF) - You're down with Broadsword and want to see the first six issues of this milestone series in both printed and PDF format. This pledge level is only $84 and includes all stretch goals (you save $1 per issue).
- Broadsword 12-Month Subscription (Print & PDF) - You're so enthusiastic about Broadsword, you want the first twelve issues of the mag coming straight to your inbox and mailbox. This pledge level is $144 and includes all stretch goals (you save $3 per issue).
We're launching Broadsword Magazine with options for advertisers, too!
Just like the old RPG magazines, we plan on doing some throwback ads both on the rear and interior covers, as well as four pages at the rear of the magazine, and a center insert with smaller ads (kinda like a "trading post").
What's a throwback ad?
Black-and-white, artwork of questionable integrity, etc. You may even reference your fancy, new fangled world-wide-web webpage on the interwebs.
Even though these "website" things sound like a fad. Obviously.
What do ads cost?
Ad prices are fixed right now, meaning no matter how many people jump on this Kickstarter, we're going to keep the rate the same for the first issue.
That means your ad could be seen by thousands of qualified shoppers for an extremely low rate (cheaper than newspaper ads, but with a more targeted marketing).
For those who are worried about too many ads, don't worry. These ads are mostly for fun to add to the old school vibe. The kitschier, the better! Plus, we're only giving up 5% of the entire magazine for this ad space.
Here are the current ad tiers:
- Full-page/full-color advertisement (only 3 available). These advertisements will be printed on the back of the magazine cover and on the interior covers just like in the old school magazines. Starts at $300. Plus, you get one month of advertising on DMDave.com (100,000 impressions per month), newsletter mentions, plus Instagram and Facebook shoutouts.
- Full-page/black-and-white advertisement (only 4 available). These advertisements will appear in the back of the magazine on the last 4 pages. Starts at $225. Plus, you get one month of advertising on DMDave.com (100,000 impressions per month), newsletter mentions, plus Instagram and Facebook shoutouts.
- 2.5" by 4.75" advertisement (Black/White) (only 40 available). These small ads will appear throughout the magazine, again adding to the "old school vibe" of Broadsword. Starts at $40. Plus, you get 8,000 impressions on DMDave.com.
Plus, all advertisers get a PDF copy and physical of Broadsword #1!
Even if you don't have a business, you can use the ad to say thanks! Or give a shoutout to somebody you love, or even propose to JD Russell.
Ad-Ons for Additional Issues
Some of you have expressed interest in getting both an add and the full subscription plan. Here's how you can do it:
1) Select the advertising plan that you want to do.
2) Adjust your pledge amount up by one of the following subscription plans (it already includes the first issue):
- 3-month subscription: +$36 (includes shipping, US only)
- 6-month subscription: +$87 (includes shipping, US only)
- 12-month subscription: +$165 (includes shipping, US only)
3) Email me at email@example.com or contact me via Instagram to confirm your intention.
For details on how to do all this, here's a guide for add-ons: How to Do Add-Ons
So who are the creative nut jobs behind this incredible project? Here are the folks involved in the creation of Broadsword Magazine:
Justin David Russell (Epic Werkes Studios), Artist and Creator is also a grognard roleplayer, having played just as long (if not longer). He's the creator of the The Forsaken Peak adventure path's setting, the illustrator of all the maps, interior artwork, and cover illustrations for Broadsword magazine. He's one of the hardest working illustrators in the roleplaying world today. You can see his artwork above.
Dave Hamrick, Designer and Publisher has been a roleplayer and GM for nearly 28 years. He's also a full time writer and author, business owner, and game designer. He's the guy that maintains DMDave.com and writes most of the material for it (over 500 articles with nearly 1,000,000 words of original Fifth Edition content), including all adventures in the first issue of Broadsword magazine. This isn't his first rodeo, either. He's owned an Amazon business for four years as well as multiple digital media sites and has countless contacts in both the game and product fulfillment industry.
Still not sold? Check out what folks have to say about our content:
"Amazing content and takes into careful consideration all mechanics and lore surrounding not just 5e but prior editions." - Facebook fan
"Great Content. Good ideas and monster creation." - Facebook fan
"Keep up the great work, DMDave, really enjoy all your creations!" - Patreon fan
Regarding the launch of BroadSword magazine:
"Cool! This sounds awesome and I’m looking forward to checking it out when it goes live. Always looking for 5e adventures done in the vein of old Dungeon Magazine." - Kickstarter Follower
"Yes, and yes. Did I say yes? Yes I did." - Kickstarter Follower
"I’m super pumped for this can’t wait I’ll definitely be get the year subscription on launch." - Kickstarter Follower
From Kickstarter Backers:
"I have a 0% chance to be able to write/edit/make something like this happen but for the last year or so I have been hoping that SOMEONE would make a magazine similar to Dungeon. I am just a print kind of guy, PDFs don't do it for me." - Kickstarter Backer
"Thank you and I'm excited about this. I was a very long-time subscriber to Dragon, Dungeon, and Kobold Quarterly so this is exactly what I've been waiting for!" - Kickstarter Backer
20,500 + Followers on Instagam (with a 20%+ engagement rate)
Risks and challenges
The entire magazine is drafted and ready. We've sourced the costs with manufacturers and they're just waiting for our final art. The only thing missing are the commissions and backer elements as well as any necessary adjustments from playtesting. All of the interior cartography is completed as well as is the cover art and most of the interior art. However, there's still a little work to do in art, adding in any extra details, playtesting, editing, and development, not to mention layouts and final designs.
However, Dave Hamrick, the lead designer has been a professional game and product designer and fulfillment specialist for four years. He already owns his own Amazon business and has an extremely popular website with 150,000+ monthly viewers. Plus, he has multiple contacts in the book industry and China and a printer is already lined up with deposits pre-placed. In addition, he's working closely with veterans of Kickstarter projects, with over 5 projects between them. Finally, he writes for a company that specializes in product development and design with over 100 employees. All of these experts are assisting in consultation on the product to ensure success of the Kickstarter itself and its subsequent fulfillment.
For future issues, submissions will be accepted to ensure regular content and DMDave has nearly 600+ original articles on his site to pull from if need be (including a ton of previously unreleased articles).
Plus, we're giving ourselves 4-5 months before the first issue to create the first six issues' worth of content. Our printers are already prepared for monthly editions and will have proofs/artwork/etc in their hands 2-3 months in advance of printing. Any hiccups in transport, content creation, etc. will be communicated to all subscribers in advance so if there are any problems subscribers will have plenty of advance notice. If the magazine ends for any reason, any outstanding fees will be returned to subscribers in a pro-rated format.
There are no additional projects on the table. This is it. Nothing to get in the way or screw up logistics.
We require no external review or approval from other companies to make this magazine happen, and we've been working on it long enough to see it is coming together well.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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