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$61,887 pledged of $250,000 goal
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By Frank Mentzer
$61,887 pledged of $250,000 goal
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About

 Legendary Dungeons & Dragons® game author Frank Mentzer presents his own fantasy world, 40 years in the making!

Philadelphia PA, 1978: Singles and spouses gather to tell stories together in a game that has run for 2 years, half as old as the rules themselves. These are the new Role Players, choosing cooperative games over competition. They love the epic tales from Frank’s D&D® game...fun and exciting, the dawn of an era!

Lake Geneva, 1983: Working at TSR, publisher of the game, Frank writes the D&D “Red Box” set and a full line thereafter, selling tens of millions of copies in 14 languages.

Near Lake Geneva, 2017: After a lifetime of gaming experience, the creator of that original campaign offers it for everyone’s use.

Loxley inc proudly presents—Frank Mentzer’s Worlds of Empyrea.

Worlds of Empyrea .com
Worlds of Empyrea .com

 

Producer & Wordsmith Frank Mentzer
Executive Producer, Map, and Graphics Darlene
Design & Development Ted Fauster, Tim Beach
Editing Steven Winter, Anne K. Brown
Art Team Peter Bradley, Don Higgins, Mark Quire, Ogmios
Cartography Alyssa Faden, Anna Meyer
Business Chris Wiese, Kevin “Doc” Wilson
Crowdfunding Engineer Mike Myler  

Legendary Guest Authors
David "Zeb" Cook (D&D Expert, AD&D 2e), Ed Greenwood (Forgotten Realms), Allen Hammack (Ghost Tower of Inverness), Tracy Hickman (Dragonlance, Ravenloft), Harold Johnson (Lost Shrine of Tamoachan), Tim Kask (Dragon Magazine), Len "Leomund" Lakofka (Lendore Isles), Steve Marsh (D&D Expert), Douglas Niles (City of Greyhawk), James M. Ward (Deities & Demigods, Gamma World), “Skip” Williams (Sage Advice, D&D 3e), with a Foreword by Margaret Weis (Dragonlance)

Legendary Guest Artists

Clyde Caldwell, Liz Danforth, Jeff Dee
Jeff Easley, Larry Elmore, Jennell Jaquays
“Diesel” LaForce, Erol Otus, Stephen D. Sullivan

Approved by Judges Guild

Whether your game* is Dungeons & Dragons, RuneQuest, Savage Worlds, Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Hackmaster, or Swords & Wizardry, this box set has the 'crunch' you want. Fans of every fantasy game system will now have a common world to share.

In the future we hope to support more game systems. Loxley welcomes contact with all fellow creators and publishers.

When you have the same scenery, it's easy to try the Intro version of another game system. It's a big world of tabletop gaming out there—take a look around!

You’ve seen the core team of 16 and the amazing list of legendary guests, 11 authors and 9 artists. You’ve heard about the plan to provide game specifics (‘crunch’) for 10 game systems. But what IS the Setting really? What’s there now, and what’s happening soon? Good question. It’s complicated. For the long version click HERE; summary below.

History: This continent is the original home of all demi-humans, who know how to get along with each other and with nature. Humans arrived, tried to conquer the place, but were forced to compromise because they didn’t have an edge. Their realm, Empyrea, has evolved for 3 centuries. Their kings followed a three-prong strategy of cooperation: Minimize technology, promote magic (obeying the gods), Work with nature and the planet for long-term stability and health, and Support knowledge, the arts, and quality of life; avoid misuse of wealth and power.

Place: Empyrea is a rectangle. The left side is a coast with sea monsters. Mountains north, with giants. East is blocked, impassible terrain. Deepwood south, with creatures, then tribes, then evil armies -- and they’re planning to visit soon.

Below is the primitive digital map that has been available to online players since 1992. Darlene is now rendering it in her unique style, Anna is transforming that into 3D imagery, and Alyssa is detailing cities and towns. Guest authors are detailing locations... Inns, ships, shops, and more.

Online campaign map 1992-present
Online campaign map 1992-present

People: The dwur claim the land below, but most dislike sunlight, so noniz handle their surface business. The olve claim the woodlands, and many hobniz are in the gourmet trade near towns. Other ‘niz (brownies and sprites and many more) are about, as are the Others, various odd monstrous races and variations.

Action: Upcoming issues of the realm will emerge as time passes. The call to arms will sound, and the fate of the realm will be decided – perhaps by your characters! Will you run and hide, or are you a real Hero?

How To Play

Start:
 Either your characters grew up here, or they popped in from another place. We’ll provide guidelines for both, and three kits for suggested local character backgrounds (urban, farm, borderlands). In a starting adventure the characters meet and head out seeking fame and fortune.

Your Stuff: You bring your characters, your game system, your style. Magic, monsters, gods? Use whatever you like. Empyrea will be the backdrop to your stories, just some new names at first. More is there when you’re ready for it.  

You seem to be a serious hobby gamer. Consider this a useful tool, a 'second home'. This is a complicated fantasy campaign world, and we can only describe a small part of it in advance. So if you have questions, please post them on any of several sites available. We’re still building that part of things, so bear with us, and help us grow!  

Queen Nuana and King John IV
Queen Nuana and King John IV

 

With the Quick Start Guides (presenting character backgrounds from city, farm, and wilderness life) and starter Adventures, you’ll be playing immediately and learning fast. Supporting materials include the Empyrea Core Book, Player’s Handbook, full color Darlene maps, 3 "Little Brown Books", and a System Book with your preferred FRP rules.

Imagine a game world that we all share, and one that you can shape. All subscribers can add their own designs to the official Worlds of Empyrea—realms that are mostly empty, waiting for you.

See your own inn or tavern come to life! Or is it a shop within a Royal City? Maybe it's an entire dungeon! (Guidelines coming soon.)

With names like Darlene, Elmore, Easley, Jaquays, Otus, Dee, and more, you know the artwork will be of the highest caliber with that "old-school" feel. Speaking of Darlene, here's the Empyreal Valley, newly rendered in her famous style (caution, flashback to 1983):

 

You will receive at least 350* pages of goodness: 
 
  • Empyrea Core Book (perfect bound softback, full color, UV laminated) 
  • Empyrea Player’s Guide (perfect bound softback, full color, UV laminated)
  • Full Color 2-part Darlene Map detailing the entire Realm of Empyrea
  • Three "Little Brown Books" with special details for players and game masters
  • A System Book** with rules for playing in Empyrea using the RPG of your choice

* 350 pages or more; we reserve the right to add more cool stuff if we can. The bigger the Kickstarter, the more you get. Spread the word!
** Additional System Books can be acquired as add-ons (see the Empyrea Add-Ons section below).

Worlds of Empyrea dot com
Worlds of Empyrea dot com

 

TREASURE: Some supplements are Empyreal Treasure Chests. If you pledge $5 or more, you become a Subscriber and are eligible to purchase these exclusive PDF collections at great discounts! In addition, some special Treasures will be available to Kickstarter Backers only. Treasure Chests may include detailed places, magic items, spells, and more by Frank and the design team.

Pledge $400+ and get Free Shipping!

All other backers pay actual postal cost (no handling fee) when the rewards are ready.

See the Project FAQ for estimated shipping costs.

 

A bar in Outland, just days from The Wall
A bar in Outland, just days from The Wall

 

 Lots of additional goodies are in the works, including but not limited to:
  • City Guide Series 
  • Treasure Chest specials
  • Adventure Modules for all 10 Game Systems
  • Interactive Empyrea Website  
  • Novels based in the Worlds of Empyrea
  • And lots more!

MAP SIGNED by DARLENE ($20 + shipping): An extra map of Empyrea signed by Darlene and tube-mailed (remaining unfolded). Perfect for framing!

EXTRA SYSTEM BOOK ($10): Want to play in Empyrea in 5E and Pathfinder? Runequest and DCC? Add $10 to your pledge for each additional rulebook you want to use, and we'll send the matching System Books and their PDFs. Get all ten to be sure! (Shipping will apply if mailed separately.)

VTT MAPS ($25): If you're planning digital adventures in Empyrea, add $25 to your pledge and get high-resolution maps with your rewards!


This is the first major setting to be released for a wide spectrum of fantasy roleplaying games. Game publishers can't afford to support their competitors. By contrast, Loxley inc is a Design House, supporting the roleplaying Hobby. We sincerely hope that similar projects will follow from other creators.

In Empyrea or elsewhere, please support
Tabletop Hobby Gaming!


Western view from Northending
Western view from Northending

This is an historic step... many game systems, many legendary names. Look past the differences in your preferred fantasy games, and embrace our common interests. Empyrea is offered as a small step toward that goal.

Thank you once again for your support. Remember that some pledge levels can only accept a limited number of backers and will quickly lock. Once these rare opportunities are gone, they will never be repeated.    


* Legal Note: All game system names cited herein, and all proprietary parts thereof, are the property of the respective owners. Usage herein shall not constitute any challenge to the ownership or rights thereof. No express permissions are implied or claimed.

 

RPGNetChatroom Q&A — EN World Interview

Please take a moment to actually read the following. Kickstarter requires each Project to summarize its Risks. This is good. Be careful out there.

Risks and challenges

Frank and Darlene are proud to offer a Setting with top quality art, game design, and physical components. It is the debut of an all-new method to support several Game Systems at once. This is innovative and can be cost-effective, but its success remains to be evaluated. This is truly new.

The Team have adapted as we've grown organically, but this is a Temp job for most. We have other jobs, and rich lives. Coordination and communication require constant vigilance for the next 9 months.

Finally: Loxley inc is a new company, as yet unproven... so all the Team members have extensive resumes, each with decades of experience in the RPG Industry. They are actively shaping the entire project. The Team's expertise is the best guarantee of a creative and financial success in this Kickstarter Campaign, and much more to come.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Citizen of Empyrea

    Thank you for your support! The Worlds Of Empyrea website will include the names of all backers and Citizens. You can also increase your pledge during fulfillment (after the Kickstarter ends).

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Empyreal Insider

    Get exclusive Subscriber updates and access to Empyrea Treasure Chests, and a full $5 credit for future purchases from Loxley inc.

    Includes:
    • $5 Loxley credit
    • Empyrea Subscriber
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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Gentleman/Lady of Empyrea

    Be an Insider and Contributor! Send us a character idea and we'll include it in a future published product. Be part of Empyrea.

    Includes:
    • $5 Loxley credit
    • Empyrea Subscriber
    • Empyrea Certificate
    • Your character included in a product
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Esquire of Empyrea

    Increase your credit to $15 and upgrade your status. Send us your character concept!

    Includes:
    • $15 Loxley credit
    • Empyrea Subscriber
    • Empyrea Certificate
    • Your character included in a product
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Laird of Empyrea

    PDFs of all the material in the Empyrea box set (including the Darlene maps!) with one System Book PDF of your choice. Send us a character, too! (Note: Credits in lieu of purchase [above] do not apply to this or higher Levels.)

    Includes:
    • Empyrea Subscriber
    • Empyrea Core Book PDF
    • Empyrea Player's Guide PDF
    • 3 "Little Brown Book" PDFs
    • Darlene Map PDFs
    • System Book PDF for the RPG of your choice
    • Your character included in a product
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Empyrea Box Set #1

    THIS IS IT. The Empyrea campaign setting in a sturdy box with top-quality material from a Legendary Team. Includes everything on PDF, too.

    Includes:
    • Empyrea Subscriber
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 PDFs
    • Full Color 2-part Darlene Map of the Realm of Empyrea (36" x 24")
    • Empyrea Core Book softcover
    • Empyrea Player's Guide softcover
    • 3 "Little Brown Books"
    • System Book for the RPG of your choice
    • Sturdy colorful box
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Aristocrat of Empyrea

    Get your gaming group online in Empyrea! You get the complete Empyrea set with PDFs, AND all maps as high-resolution images for use with ANY Virtual TableTop online platform. Great maps by Faden, Meyer, and Darlene!

    Includes:
    • Empyrea Subscriber
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 PDFs
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 (5 books, system book, maps, box)
    • High resolution digital maps for use with online VTTs
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Baron / Baroness of Empyrea

    Get the boxed set with VTT maps. In addition, your character becomes a leader within the realm of Empyrea! Provide a description of your character idea, and it will instantly be included in Empyrea Box Set #1. You have achieved Noble status!

    Includes:
    • Empyrea Subscriber
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 PDFs
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 (5 books, system book, maps, box)
    • High resolution digital maps for use with online VTTs
    • Your character becomes a leader in Empyrea
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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    Viscount / Viscountess of Empyrea

    Get everything due to a Baron/ess with a higher rank, PLUS a set of unfolded maps (suitable for framing), signed by Darlene, mailed in a tube -- and we pay the shipping. (valid to anywhere in the world!)

    Includes:
    • Empyrea Subscriber
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 PDFs
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 (5 books, system book, maps, box)
    • High resolution digital maps for use with online VTTs
    • All unlocked PDF add-ons
    • Free global shipping
    • Your character becomes a leader in Empyrea
    • Extra tube-mailed unfolded maps signed by Darlene
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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Count / Countess of Empyrea

    Get all the rewards of a Viscount/ess plus a higher rank. In addition, Frank and Darlene will sign and personalize your Empyrea core book!

    Includes:
    • Empyrea Subscriber
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 PDFs
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 (5 books, system book, maps, box)
    • High resolution digital maps for use with online VTTs
    • All unlocked PDF add-ons
    • Free global shipping
    • Your character becomes a leader in Empyrea
    • Extra tube-mailed unfolded maps signed by Darlene
    • Frank and Darlene sign and personalize your Empyrea Core Book
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Marquis / Marquessa of Empyrea

    Get all the rewards of a Count/ess plus a higher rank. In addition, Frank and Darlene will sign and personalize ALL your Empyrea books. It's gaming history in your own library!

    Includes:
    • Empyrea Subscriber
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 PDFs
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 (5 books, system book, maps, box)
    • High resolution digital maps for use with online VTTs
    • All unlocked PDF add-ons
    • Free global shipping
    • Your character becomes a leader in Empyrea
    • Extra tube-mailed unfolded maps signed by Darlene
    • Frank and Darlene sign and personalize ALL your Empyrea Books!
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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Prince / Princess of Empyrea

    Get all the rewards of a Marquis/essa plus a higher rank, and be immortalized: one of the NPCs will have your face! You may specify a different face—a great gift for that Special Gamer.

    Includes:
    • Empyrea Subscriber
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 PDFs
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 (5 books, system book, maps, box)
    • High resolution digital maps for use with online VTTs
    • All unlocked PDF add-ons
    • Free global shipping
    • Your character becomes a leader in Empyrea
    • Extra tube-mailed unfolded maps signed by Darlene
    • Frank and Darlene sign and personalize ALL your Empyrea Books!
    • Your face on an NPC appearing in Empyrea Box Set #1!
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    Pledge $4,000 or more About $4,000

    Duke / Duchess of Empyrea

    Get all the rewards of a Prince/ss plus a higher rank. Personal bonus: Play online as Frank hosts 4 or more games (within 60 days) for you and other backers as players, using a VTT platform by mutual agreement.

    Includes:
    • Empyrea Subscriber
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 PDFs
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 (5 books, system book, maps, box)
    • High resolution digital maps for use with online VTTs
    • All unlocked PDF add-ons
    • Free global shipping
    • Your character becomes a leader in Empyrea
    • Extra tube-mailed unfolded maps signed by Darlene
    • Frank and Darlene sign and personalize ALL your Empyrea Books!
    • Your face on an NPC appearing in Empyrea Box Set #1!
    • Play 4 games online run by Frank Mentzer for Kickstarter backers
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    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    Grand Duke / Grand Duchess of Empyrea

    Get all the rewards of a Duke/Duchess plus a higher rank. As a VERY personal bonus, play an online Campaign as Frank hosts 10 or more games (within 120 days) for you and other backers as players, using a VTT platform by mutual agreement.

    Includes:
    • Empyrea Subscriber
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 PDFs
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 (5 books, system book, maps, box)
    • High resolution digital maps for use with online VTTs
    • All unlocked PDF add-ons
    • Free global shipping
    • Your character becomes a leader in Empyrea
    • Extra tube-mailed unfolded maps signed by Darlene
    • Frank and Darlene sign and personalize ALL your Empyrea Books!
    • Your face on an NPC appearing in Empyrea Box Set #1!
    • Play 10 games online run by Frank Mentzer for Kickstarter backers
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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Archduke / Arch-Duchess of Empyrea

    At this ultimate pledge level you get all of the above rewards, including online play. You also join the ranks of his inner circle of playtesters. Get inside access to future adventures and much more, for years to come! (Note: This position reports directly to the Empyreal Royal Family. You will have obligations.)

    Includes:
    • Empyrea Subscriber
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 PDFs
    • Empyrea Box Set #1 (5 books, system book, maps, box)
    • High resolution digital maps for use with online VTTs
    • All unlocked PDF add-ons
    • Free global shipping
    • Your character becomes a leader in Empyrea
    • Extra tube-mailed unfolded maps signed by Darlene
    • Frank and Darlene sign and personalize ALL your Empyrea Books!
    • Your face on an NPC appearing in Empyrea Box Set #1!
    • You are legend, joining the ranks of Frank Mentzer's playtesters!
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Funding period

- (42 days)