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A tabletop fantasy game with rules that focus on action & story, revised to include new material and the campaign setting of Ainerêve!

LAST 24 HOURS! Note all print books will be upgraded to full color! Let's make this happen! 

Introducing the Eldritch Role Playing Game 

Eldritch Role-Playing game system (www.eldritchrpg.com) made its debut in 2008, published by Goodman Games, and received many positive reviews. This is a game that uses polyhedral dice but celebrates the narrative, while remaining unabashedly action-oriented. It is a fast game to pick up and play one-shots for those weekend warriors, but also infinitely customizable for GMs desiring a system to make their own for longer campaigns.

This edition will feature a new, supporting campaign world designed to accommodate any GM's whim (see more about that below), as well as expanded sections on monsters, traps and treasures. 

 “…Eldritch is a worthy system for anyone looking for something different, open and flexible. It feels like the start of something. A great idea that is slowly catching on…” (RPGNow fan review) 

Note: see the next section or updates tab for all stretch goals announced to date. 

The Game

An easy, fast-paced game of narrative action
An easy, fast-paced game of narrative action

The Eldritch RPG rules stand out in their capacity to handle many different scenarios and settings with a very flexible and manageable ability-system, which allows for the players to customize and create characters exactly to their liking. The skills and resolution systems are smooth, allowing combat and interactions to flow naturally with no constant need to reference books during play. The mechanics reinforce narration, which overflows to the rest of gameplay, getting everybody into the storytelling groove. Combat is made very abstract, replacing the traditional “attack roll versus target number” with a system of potential harm versus various defense pools. Static numbers are avoided in favor of randomization, so that neither impossible target numbers nor invincible damage resistances spoil the fun. Heroes are powerful in this game, but still vulnerable alone or without good teamwork, and the same goes for villains and monsters. The next narrative turn can be hard to predict in the Eldritch game, which we believe is a positive feature. Players describe how their characters survive, before all defensive points are lost, rather than forcing the Game Master to dictate all consequences. Thus, action scenes are always collaborative. 

Additions and Stretch Goals announced

1. Add +5 to the $35 tier to get the PDF at a discount. Pledging at the $50 level now gets you not only the book and PDF, but a free 12 page mini-adventure set in the world of Ainerêve (see Update 9 for more information on the mini-adventure material). 

2. At $4500, the following products are triggered for all pledge levels: 

An online character generator for GMs and players to whip up PCs and NPCs and/or monsters on the fly. 

Also, Sean Patrick Fannon of Evil Beagle Games has agreed to pen a bonus adventure for the Eldritch RPG in PDF format upon this Kickstarter reaching the goal of $4500 (as revealed on Update 10). Yes, this is in addition to the free adventure I'm throwing in for those at $50 and above, AND in addition to the online character and monster generator at $4500. He will write a short work set in the world of Shaintar (roughly 20 pages), showcasing Eldritch RPG's flexibility and adaptability to other worlds. It will also serve as an excellent introduction for fans of Shaintar to introduce the world to their players, regardless of game system. This extra adventure shall be granted to all pledge levels from $15 up! As stated before, the official campaign world of Eldritch RPG lends itself well to crossover and travel to other worlds (I've always liked 'multiverse' concepts). Ainerêve can serve as a bridge to Sean's own world of Shaintar is a perfect example of a setting that the Eldritch RPG rules can encompass. Moreover, the work will also be made dual-stat for Savage Worlds. So go ahead, run with it in several of your favorite systems!    

3. I have decided to upgrade all of the physical books to full color. The PDF will also be upgraded to full color interior, although I will provide a "printer-friendly" version of the PDF for those who like to print out sections for quick reference. Pledges at the $35 and $50 level get a standard, high-quality full color book (advanced inkjet technology through DrivethruRPG's Print on Demand). Pledges at $100 and above will have "premium full color" book (thicker paper and highest quality laser printing). So the deal got even better! Now we have a free adventure at $50 and above, full color for the PDF and all books, and premium full color for $100 and above (and don't forget the the stretch goals!).

Story and the campaign setting of Ainerêve

Ainerêve
Ainerêve

All in all ERP is a tidy gem of a system that is in no way confined to a single genre. As I mentioned before, the game world of Ainerêve was professionally written by Peter Schaefer. It is open-ended, "sandbox" kind of setting. The world manifests from dreams, existing in its own plane, which is a common theme, chosen in the interest of allowing Game Masters full control and creative license over the nature of their campaign. Inspirations for the setting include the Michael Moorcock’s conception of the multi-verse (which also influenced age-old D&D cosmology), Zelanzy’s Chronicles of Amber, and familiar tropes from classic pseudo-medieval campaign settings. The setting is meant to be highly customizable, yet not an unstable, ever-shifting environment. Ainerêve has core area of adventure with its own history. 

The revised rulebook will give detailed descriptions of the two nations of Maedoen and Piusarmorum, and the vast and mysterious Forest of Meath between them. These are the main areas of adventure featured in Ainerêve, involving three unique lands: the Forest of Meath, a place defined by the Celtic mythology and its eventual transformation into Celtic Christianity; Piusarmorum, defined by Christianity during the time of the Crusades and peopled by a lost company of Templar Knights; and Maedoen, a kingdom founded on the Celtic/Welsh that preceded Roman occupation. 

Piusarmorum is evangelistic and conformist, and their discovery of the heathen Maedoens on the other side of the Forest of Meath roused them to another of their many holy crusades. This one has been going on for at least a hundred years. On the Maedoens’ parts, they war for their way of life and their sidhe brethren. The enchanted and dangerous Forest of Meath, apparently stuck in the middle, manages to flourish despite soldiers tromping back and forth through it. 

A Land of Mystery and Dark Magic
A Land of Mystery and Dark Magic

To get a full appreciation of this interesting campaign setting, I present this quote from Peter Schaefer’s introduction: 

No single description suffices to encapsulate Ainerêve. It is a dream world, a place both above and within the Earth that we all know so well. Based in belief and imagination, Ainerêve is understandably unstable – for we humans are capricious and indecisive creatures. In general terms, Ainerêve is made up of settled lands and unsettled lands. These terms are common and in use, in one form or another, across the dream world. Settled lands are stable regions, internally consistent and relatively static. There can be weird things in settled lands, things that no person on Earth ever saw (but definitely conceived), but even the weird things there are somewhat predictable. In short, things are pretty much like a fantastic Earth. Walk down the road to the baker, and he’ll always be there. Houses don’t get infected with some sap’s random thought of Baba Yaga and walk away on their owners. It is beliefs, solid and lasting, that create settled lands. Over time, as a mythology or religion refuses to fade on Earth, it creates a place in the infinitely malleable Ainerêve"

Strange places await exploration
Strange places await exploration

"Inhabitants come to Ainerêve from two places: dreams and beliefs, and Earth. The first is more common, as Victorian-age children dream a Jack-the-Ripper into existence or early American settlers have nightmares about the fiendish red Indians. Entire unsettled lands have been populated this way, though the inhabitants generally fade over time and disappear unless reinforced with belief. People from Earth occasionally travel to the dream world through a form of unknown magic. (This magic remains unknown because, despite this setting’s connection to Earth, games are intended to be played completely in Ainerêve.) Once there, most end up making their lives there and beginning a new society in whatever settled land they can find. Usually, people from Earth only find their way through to settled lands to which they are close – those based on beliefs similar to theirs...” 

Final words

I hope this overview and preview of the new campaign setting has inspired you to take part in our journey! 

Note: Original Cover art by Peter Bradley. All other art on this page is by Eric Bergeron. 

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The work is already written, including the campaign setting material. I will fulfill all print orders through DrivethruRPG's Print on Demand service, which means there's no risk with overestimating a print run. My pledge levels are simple and straightforward: I will not make promises I don't have the resources to fulfill. I have many talented people who have worked with me on this project, who are ready to take on the challenge of this revised edition as soon as it is funded. The $4000 goal is to pay for extensive illustration, professional layout, developmental editing, and aid with synthesizing several documents into one new seamless whole, and also paying the talented author who penned the campaign setting.

Lastly, I have freelance experience in the industry. I co-authored the World Builder descriptionary with Gary Gygax, authored Insidiae (the book of plots) for Troll Lord games, and contributed to Crusader and Lejends magazines.
I believe once this project funds I can have it ready and out there before April 2014.

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    A PDF of the revised Eldritch Rulebook, complete with all new sections on monsters, traps, treasure, and the campaign setting of Ainerêve.

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    Eldritch roleplaying game hardcover (B&W interior) book, complete with all new sections on monsters, traps, treasure, and the campaign setting of Ainerêve.

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    The PDF, hardbound book, plus a collector's copy of the 1st printing, signed by Dan Cross, co-author of original game, and originator of the Revised Edition.

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