You've probably never heard of me, so let me introduce myself. I've been playing and running RPGs since the '80s and got my start with AD&D. I love roleplaying games and have been playing weekly for most of that time. Last year, a friend and I decided it was time to make a change, and so was born Embers Design Studios.
The Book of Terniel will be our first Kickstarter and our first published adventure. I think you're going to like it so let me tell you a little about it.
- The Book of Terniel follows the PCs as they attempt to recover a stolen magical tome. There are four factions that want this book (and maybe a fifth if the PCs decide to keep it).
- The adventure is written for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is intended for for four to five 1st-level characters that will progress to level 3 by the end (our first playtest was with a group as large as 9 PCs so we'll include some notes for running encounters with larger groups).
- Players can complete this module in many different ways. They may choose to side with one of the 'evil' factions. They may choose to kill everything in their way. They may choose diplomacy. A great deal of effort has been undertaken to ensure PCs are given a long rope.
- There are three acts to the story, each with a different focus in style of play. In the first, the PCs spend time investigating and roleplaying before a short dungeon crawl. The second is a sandbox-style exploration of a swamp. Finally it wraps up with a large dungeon where PCs can choose between stealth, diplomacy, or conflict to bring the story to a conclusion.
Effort has been made at every stage to bring the characters and locations to life - from the hobgoblin warlord that makes pottery, to the slug farms deep in the Fetid Bog, to the friendly druid who is almost never at home as she's out blessing farm fields.
Learn more about the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game at paizo.com.
But wait, there's more! In addition to a great adventure, you'll also get:
- The village of Erien and its surrounds (where this adventure takes place) will be made available through a web supplement and released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license (yes, that means anyone can use Erien and what we create for it privately or commercially).
- A new playable race, the moguren (living, sentient mushrooms), and a race write up for the sahuagin. Both have been kept to a 0-level adjustment race, making them excellent player choices.
- Two new monsters (a farol demon and the Khazar Blood Beast).
- Several new magic items including the Book of Terniel, nanorin stones and the artifact Ill's Bane.
- Eight pre-generated characters with exceptional artwork for several of them (and all of them if we make some stretch goals!).
We are huge supporters of open gaming and that's why we want to release Erien and all of the surrounding land under a license that allows you to build freely on what we start. As Erien will be game-system neutral we felt the CC license was the most appropriate.
Of course the adventure itself will contain Pathfinder Roleplaying Game specific rules that will be handled via the OGL. Things such as the new monsters, NPC stats, and Erien's city stat bloc.
At the end of the day both the OGL and the CC4.0 license allow you to pick up and work with the content either personally or commercially.
One final note, although it is beyond the scope of this Kickstarter, we envision a day in the not-so-distant future when we as gamers come together to build an online repository of free-for-commercial use content that anyone can draw on for any game system they should choose and we think the CC license is the right choice for that.
RPGcommons.org might be a good name for such a repository...
We begin as the PCs arrive in the village of Erien, hired for the simple task of retrieving a package, the Book of Terniel. As the man they are to collect it from is not in town when they arrive, they have some time to explore the village, interact with the residents and maybe meet some of the important people. This time is important as it sets up characters and rumors the PCs will be drawing on throughout the course of the adventure (and beyond, should you choose to explore them).
Once the wizard returns and informs them that the book has been stolen, the PCs must begin their investigations. It shouldn't take them long to learn about the Kaj'Talel, a demonic cult that has taken the book. Drawing on the connections and rumors they unearthed earlier, they'll be pointed to the home of a local farmer where they interrupt an in-progress attack by undead (a second faction seeking the book).
Only after driving off the undead will the PCs be able to find the hidden location of the cults' lair - a long-abandoned mine shaft in the nearby mountains. Inside these caves, the PCs meet and talk with the master of the Kaj'Talel who informs them that, while he did steal the book, it has now been taken from him. Before the PCs can learn much, they are interrupted by invading undead as the adventure transitions into something like a short dungeon crawl.
When the undead are again driven off the PCs turn their attentions to the Fetid Bog. By this time, they should suspect that thawn giants from the bog are in possession of the book. Unfortunately, these giants carefully hide their home and so the PCs must slog through the bog searching for the lair.
This search takes them to many exciting and interesting locales and offers several additional quests. They begin to learn about their enemy: why they stole the book, what they want from it, and what they can expect when they reach the giants' lair. During this section of the adventure, PCs have lots of opportunity for free-form sandbox play as they explore and learn about the bog and its denizens.
Finally, after a long journey, they reach Morrow Home, the lair of the thawn giants. Here, they must use a mix of diplomacy, stealth and strength to recover the book from a superior foe...
We work with several amazingly talented artists and already have a lot of great artwork for this adventure. We're hoping that with your help we can get even more.
First up, let's have a look at a collection of nasties!
From left to right the necromancer Vanya and her servant Varemar, followed by a thawn giant, and a new demon created for the Book of Terniel.
Not everyone in the Book of Terniel is a villain, though! There are lots of villagers for the PCs to meet and interact with including the wizard Silion Tildural, druid Ardrinei Elorni and baliff Minendil Umbalin.
Then, there's this guy. Yes, he's responsible for the demon you see above.
In the nearby mountains, we find the Old Erien Mines that have been abandoned for two generations. Nature has begun to reclaim this land.
Most peasant homes are simple wattle-and-daub affairs where the animals shelter in the house with their owner. The barn and wooden walls of this farmstead mark it as the home of a family of some wealth.
The ruined city of Solastrace holds secrets long forgotten. White marbled walks bespeak a glory lost and statues of perfectly-formed men and women hint at the beauty of its people. On the edge of town lies an area of death and quiet, where the broken remains of thirteen obelisks hide a truth better left untold.
The Book of Terniel will see the PCs visit many places where the action happens. Again we have some awesome hand-drawn maps but with your help we're hoping to include more.
The village of Erien is central to the adventure. The PCs can spend as much or as little time as they like in Erien, meeting its residents and learning about the surrounding region.
Although things begin in Erien, it isn't long before the PCs are out tromping across the landscape in their quest to recover the book.
Old Erien Mines
The first act of the adventure wraps up here in the Old Erien Mines. The PCs will come face-to-face with the master of the Kaj'Talel and his demonic servitor and then must deal with an onslaught of undead.
Everything leads to Morrow Home where thawn giants dwell. In this large dungeon PCs can choose between many avenues to bring the adventure to a close.
Art of the Book of Terniel
This PDF will include all the artwork commissioned for the Book of Terniel as well as a look at the process of creating it. We'll show you the concept sketches that preceded finished pieces and talk with our artists about their process of going from idea to completed work.
You can have this bonus PDF for an additional $10 added to your pledge.
Limited Edition PDF
A Kickstarter exclusive!
This special PDF includes an alternate cover by artist Martin Paz Romero and an extra site (Grimclaw's Den) added to the sandbox portion of this adventure.
This bonus content will be available only to our Kickstarter supporters!
You can add this limited edition PDF to any reward level for an additional $15 added to your pledge (no need to add this to the Level Up! pledge as you're already getting it).
- @ $1,000: Daniel Cannon, author of the RootHome setting, will create another detailed adventure site for the sandbox portion of the Book of Terniel. This site will be fully compatible with his own RootHome setting and serve as a springboard for a future adventure.
- @ $1,500: We'll add a Player's Guide to the Book of Terniel as a second PDF and give it to all backers at the $5 level and above.
- !!! NEW $2,250 STRETCH GOAL !!! Walcott's Journal: This player's aide holds the innermost thoughts of cultist Walcott - including his pencil sketches of many key actors in the adventure!
- @ $3,000: We'll commission additional artwork for ten important NPCs such as Sheriff Anissa, Sartrise the hag, King Griipa and King Pungiir as well as the remaining pre-generated characters.
- @ $5,000: We'll commission hand-drawn maps for 10 additional locations within the Book of Terniel.
- Also @ 5,000 we'll prepare a print version of the adventure that can be added as an add-on to any pledge.
Also @ 5,000 if you're at the $5 level or above we'll add the Book of Terniel to your The City of Brass account when we launch the system and you sign up for an account. If you're a Level Up! supporter or you've added the Limited Edition PDF to your pledge we'll include Grimclaw's Den as well.
- @ $10,000: We'll detail both the goblin city of Muktarm and moguren city of Okarote and release them under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. In addition, we'll commission artwork for these new cities including maps, key NPCs, and an interesting locale or two.
Pathfinder and associated marks and logos are trademarks of Paizo Inc., and are used under license. See paizo.com/pathfinderRPG for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
Risks and challenges
This is our first Kickstarter and there are bound to be hiccups. Having said that, this adventure is already written and playtesting is nearly completed with a second playtest beginning shortly. We'll publish it even if we fail to meet our funding level.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)