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$150,986
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7days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, October 30 2019 8:00 PM UTC +00:00.

Deep Magic for 5th Edition: A Tome of New Spells & Arcana

A grimoire of over 600 new 5th Edition spells, subclasses & wizardly options for unlimited spellpower from battle magic to void magic!

Deep Magic for 5th Edition: A Tome of New Spells & Arcana

A grimoire of over 600 new 5th Edition spells, subclasses & wizardly options for unlimited spellpower from battle magic to void magic!

$150,986
pledged of $20,000pledged of $20,000 goal
2,686
backers
7days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, October 30 2019 8:00 PM UTC +00:00.

About

H.P. Lovecraft invented the NecronomiconDungeons & Dragons had its Unearthed Arcana, and every fantasy RPG has a grimoire worth of rituals, summonings, and cantrips. No matter how you slice it, magic is at the heart of fantasy. Nothing says magic like a massive tome of spells.

That's exactly what we're compiling here. A tome collecting, updating, tweaking, and expanding every awesome spell, cantrip, and glamour derived from years of the Deep Magic for 5th Edition series—more than 600 new and compiled spells by the best in the business, including Wizards of the Coast staffers and A-list freelancers. And we're adding a lot more to that list: divine domains, new arcane subclasses, expanded familiars and conjured servants, and yes, even more new spells.

This project is not just for wizards and sorcerers. Deep Magic expands the horizons of what's possible for wizards, sorcerers, clerics, and even for rangers and paladins. It offers something new for every casting class, from alkemancy to druid rituals, and from bard to warlock!

With these new spells and options, your characters (or your villains) can become masters of winter magic, chaos magic, or shadow magic. Seek out hidden colleges and academies of lost lore. Learn new runes, hieroglyphs, and cantrips to crack open the walls of reality, or just bend them a bit.

Deep Magic contains all magic from start to finish!

We asked D&D designer Bruce Cordell why magic is so important to fantasy RPGs. He told us this: "I love new spell design because every single spell is a chance to break the rules of reality in a small but important way."

Deep Magic is the ultimate sourcebook for new and variant magic in any fantasy setting, offering over 300 full-color pages. Those pages feature:

  •  At least 12 new schools and styles of magic, including angelic magic, blood magic, chaos magic, dragon magic, elemental magic, ring magic, rune magic, shadow magic, temporal magic, void magic, winter magic, and more
  •  More than 600 spells, including new ones for every spellcasting class in the 5th Edition of the world's first RPG
  •  Dozens of new spellcasting subclasses and 15 divine domains 
  • And much more!

Deep Magic starts by compiling almost every spell published in the Deep Magic series for 5th Edition in the last few years (yes, we did cut a few stinkers!). Better still, this volume updates and expands these spells, to include clarifying errata and revised versions based on player feedback, to improve language, and to update some of the earliest ones to make better use of 5th Edition language and formatting.

Deep Magic also includes more than 100 additional, all-new spells designed by Jeff Lee, Wolfgang Baur, Matt Corley, Kelly Pawlik, Shawn Merwin, Steve Winter, and others--spells that never appeared in the Deep Magic series itself! It will also include dozens of spells written by backers—fully reviewed, developed, and refined by Kobold Press, of course. (And yes, we reserve the right to throw any bad ones out!)

Here's a sneak peek at the Table of Contents as it stands now (very rough layout, of course!). It's not meant to be complete and definitive, just to give you a sense of what's in the book. 

Click to see this sneak peek as a PDF (on Dropbox)

From hardcover volume to virtual tabletops to PDF, Deep Magic provides the formats you use most often, to provide the highest degree of utility and speed of play to your game. Here are the reward options spelled out in table form. 

 If you have questions about what is included in each reward package, please consult the item-by-item listing on the right-hand side of this page.

Submitting a Spell: Each backer may submit a single spell for consideration as outlined in the November 1 locked backer post (which describes how/where to submit a spell--the design part is just writing up a spell in standard format). All spells will be reviewed by the Kobold Press staff, and the designers whose spells are chosen will be contacted and paid for their work, just like any other freelancer. Spell turnover deadline is Sunday, November 10, and the winners will be chosen by Sunday, November 24. See full details in the FAQ on requirements for a successful design.

What's a Kickstarter without a few big goals? This book will get additional spells, backgrounds, subclasses, and other goodies as we hit the right milestones. In particular, the number of backer spells accepted goes up if the total raised goes up, so the more the merrier! 

Note that adding more people to the project does not decrease your odds of having a spell accepted, because the more people who support Deep Magic for 5th Edition, the more backer spells we can choose to print! 

The first three goals are getting funded, adding arcane servants, and expanding the number of backer spells--but those are NOT the only stretch goals by a long shot! See below for the additional unlocks of more backer spells, more backgrounds, and new spell themes and expansions.  

Richard Baker, designer for 3rd Edition D&D, notes:

"Anyone who's ever played a wizard can tell you how important it is to choose the right spell. Big offensive spells are great, but I always felt that the real artistry in playing a wizard resided in choosing spells with multiple uses: offense, defense, and utility.

"For example, the wall of ice spell gives you an excellent defense by blocking off attackers, but you can also drop it on bad guys for decent damage—and it makes a fine bridge or raft over water. Finding unexpected ways to use your spells is the best part of playing a wizard. Finding unexpected new spells is even better.

Ed Greenwood notes: "I love magic.  You can never have too much of it. Big books of it hum and glow and mutter sinister eldritch sagacity in tenebrous corners, keeping me warm on cold and foetid nights.

"Magic is the spark of life, the smiter of evils that come slithering to my door, the fire in my hand against death and tax collectors, and the provider of handy peanut butter sandwiches when it’s just too long and perilous a quest down to the kitchen.

"I REALLY love magic."

Wizards of the Coast and Kobold Press designer Dan Dillon says: "When I look at spells in D&D, I’m primarily looking for something new. That can be a mechanical angle that isn’t well represented in existing magic, or a way to tell a new story better and more vividly than I could with what I had before. Deep Magic delivers both of those in abundance. The spells and traditions are steeped in lore and story, and they translate those tales into mechanics in interesting, often devastating, fashion."

Sometimes you want to add a few things to the pile, and the kobolds want to help! To add to your pledge, consult the list below. To ADD THESE ITEMS: Click the blue MANAGE PLEDGE button on the right and adjust accordingly. 

  •  Additional Hardcover Deep Magic: $40+shipping for a second copy
  •  Additional PDF Deep Magic: $25
  •  Kobold Guide to Magic: print+PDF $20 or PDF $10

Thank you for pledging support through these add-ons!

It takes a lot of kobolds to make a major hardcover. Here's some of the designers, artists, and others who are making Deep Magic for 5th Edition a reality.

Matthew Corley. Matt joined the Kobold Press team as the lead developer and contributing author for Tales of the Old Margreve, and has since written Deep Magic: Combat Divination, helped with a (semi) secret project to expand the Midgard universe, and hosts a show on KP's Twitch channel. When he's not toiling away in the Warrens he's writing for his own imprint, Saturday Morning Scenarios (Lamp's Light Sanitarium and Harper's Tale), creating the occasional speculative fiction, and working with other publishers.

Dan Dillon. Dan fell into RPGs by accident when a family friend pawned off a bunch of AD&D books on him in 3rd grade. Now he's put all that practice to use and gone pro. Today, Dan is a game designer on the Dungeons & Dragons team at Wizards of the Coast. Prior to joining the D&D team, he was a freelance game designer whose previous work has appeared in publications from Kobold Press, Rogue Genius Games, Playground Adventures, Paizo Publishing, and many others. Some of his favorite work includes the Midgard Campaign Setting, and many of the 5th edition versions of Deep Magic installments.

Chris Harris. Over the past decade, Chris Harris has worked on some of the biggest Pathfinder and 5E-compatible books out there. His design work at Kobold Press on titles such as the Midgard Worldbook, Creature Codex, and the Tome of Beasts has earned him nominations for several ENnie and Origins Awards, and one silver ENnie for Creature Codex. For the past two years, Chris has been making the transition from design work to editing, working for such companies as Chaosium and Modiphius, where he says his passion for criticizing others can be put to better use.

Jeff Lee. Jeff Lee has been a gamer for 39 years, and a freelance game designer for the last seven years. He has produced material for Gun Metal Games, Legendary Games, Louis Porter Jr. Design, Rogue Genius Games, among many others. Jeff is the author of Demon Cults & Secret Societies and 12 Peculiar Towers from Kobold Press.

Greg Marks. Greg Marks is an evil mastermind directing a criminal army of precocious felines from Wisconsin. He and his cat minions have worked on products for every edition of Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon and Dungeon Magazines, Fantasy Flight Games’ Midnight setting, Raging Swan Press, Schwalb Entertainment, Catalyst Games, and Kobold Press. Greg and his cats have written too many adventures for organized play campaigns to count, and he has administered several organized play campaigns, currently serving as the Content Manager for D&D Adventurers League. 

Marcel Mercado. Marcel Mercado is an accomplished fantasy illustrator, who works in video games and table-top gaming. His art is found in popular games such as, Gearbox's Borderlands, D&D's Tyranny of Dragons, and Kobold Press' Deep Magic. He has been nominated for a Chesley Award, and he's featured in "Spectrum," "Infected by Art," Imagine FX, and Io9. He is passionate about storytelling, fantasy, and myths. When not working on new illustrations, Marcel reads comic books and ancient history. For Deep Magic, Marcel illustrated the glorious cover art, the beautiful chapter openers, and many other wonderful pieces throughout the book.

Marc Radle. Marc has been the Art Director and lead graphic designer at Kobold Press since 2012. He's done the art direction, layout, and graphic design on hundreds of Kobold Press releases. Marc also occasionally squeezes in time to write - he wrote the Shadows of the Dusk Queen adventure, and was the lead designer on the New Paths Compendium, both from Kobold Press, just to name a few. He's been playing D&D since the late 70s, along with plenty of other great RPGs—Pathfinder, Marvel Superheroes, Champions, Elfquest, FASA’s Star Trek, Star Frontiers ... the list goes on and on.

Steve Winter. Steve Winter has been publishing RPGs professionally, with one job title or another, since 1981. He's worked with Kobold Press on Tyranny of Dragons, Ghosts of Saltmarsh, Tome of Beasts, the Deep Magic series, Midgard Heroes Handbook, numerous Kobold Guides, and many other titles.

Risks and challenges

Kobold Press has shipped over 35 crowdfunded titles since 2006, both small and large, with 13 of them on Kickstarter (this is #14). The Kobolds have won Gold and Silver ENnie Awards for this work, most recently an ENnie for the Creature Codex for 5th Edition in 2019 as Best Monster/Adversary book. The creative team is experienced, and we keep leveling up!

For Deep Magic, much of the spell design, development, and editing work is already done; we worked hard this past spring and summer compiling, honing, and expanding. The book is ready to be laid out. Likewise, we already have cover and interior art commissioned because of our confidence in this book.

The main challenges are in gathering, developing, and editing the additional spell and character text from backers. Backers who pledge at those levels must deliver text promptly, and it will be developed and edited fairly quickly. In practice, we'll move ahead on deadline so long as we have a sufficient number of good choices; backer material has exceeded expectations for our monster books and we hope for the same here!

Oh, and if our Kobold Press HQ is threatened by a rampaging bulette? We're counting on an armored horde of shieldmaidens to save us. Possibly with some saintly paladins and a pair-bonded couple of Nurian portal wizards if it is an infernal bulette...

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