JUST UNLOCKED! DMs SCREEN! 250% Funded. Well done everyone! We now get to add into the download and print list a DMs screen that is packed with all the tables, charts, and useful rules from the book.
Ahoy! My name is Guy Sclanders and I run the YouTube channel How to be a Great GM. I previously wrote the highly popular A Complete Guide to Creating Epic Campaigns. This is my second book, and I need your help to finish it.
A Complete Guide to Nautical Campaigns is as complete a set of new rules designed to run fast paced, fun, and action packed naval games in a 5th Edition RPG. It started as a small add-on for my home game featuring sailing ships. As we used it, we realized there was so much more to the nautical world that the 5th Edition rule books didn't include. We changed ship versus ship rules to be faster and more engaging. Then we added aquatic ships. Then port rules. Then customized ship building. Then magic items. Then ship upgrades. We even added rules for managing large crews and mass crew combat.
And it's all done. The book is just over 170 pages without illustrations. It was written, tested, and rewritten by an amazing team of play testers and editors. It is ready to launch.
There it is. The full table of contents that breaks down the entire project.
Races - We add 5 new playable Aquatic races. The fun Seabolds, the nomadic Merfolk (our own version), the Imperial Aquatic Elves (our own version), the dangerous Sharkhaan, and the mysterious Clawfane.
Expanded Roles Aboard a Ship - We have added in so many new and fun things for PCs to do whilst in command of a ship. No more sitting and waiting for ship combat to happen. Down time is now full of things for a crew and the PCs to do.
Crew - A massive overhaul of the existing 5th Edition approach, we have dynamic crew systems, rules for improving them, recruiting them, undead crew, and so much more. We wanted the crew to feel like they were more than just background NPCs but to not get in the way of a good story.
Ship Abilities - Our ships have Charisma scores... We wanted our ships to do more, faster, and with less fuss for the DM. We also made the ships in our book more variable, giving of the major races in the game ships of their own with abilities to match.
Ships Stores - supplies, food, water, medicine, repairs - our easy to track system makes sure the ship feels alive and like a living space, and gives the DM a massive opportunity for adventures by using the stores the put the squeeze on the PCs.
Ship Combat - A complete overhaul of the existing system. Our biggest focus was maximizing the fun, reducing the redundant rolling, and including every single PC aboard in combat fun. Our approach was to make it fast and exciting.
Ship Actions - We have over 78 ships actions - called Orders in the book - designed to allow any PC the opportunity to make a difference in ship engagements. Attack actions, evasive actions, buffing actions, and magic actions. No wizard in the party, no problem! We have actions for down time too - so that even when sailing for weeks across the bright blue, there is something to do.
Fleets - We have fleet rules, Admiral roles and actions, and even include blockading a port. This is mass combat on a massive scale. No more hand-waving and vague approaches. Having and Admiral comes with costs, but also improves your fleets chance of taking a port, sinking a titanic monster and more.
33 Unique Ships (we stretch goaled up) - We have so many ships - Human, Elvish, Orcish. Goblin. Merfolk, Lizardfolk, Dwarvish, Gnomish... the list goes on. Each with it's own deck plan, mini-adventure, and more. We even have three different ports for your PCs to blockade if they are brave enough.
Building your own ship - Customized rules for building your own sweet ride, but be warned, it's not cheap! This is for the true enthusiast, although not so technical that you'll need to divide your beam by your breach... or whatever it's called. Remember - we wanted it fast and fun.
Ship Upgrades - Our ships scale with your PCs. High level PCs should have ships that match their power. We quickly found that a level 15 mage has no need for a ship... until now. With the magic items we've added, and the upgrade options included in the book, a ship just suddenly got a whole lot more terrifying.
Sea Monsters - And with greater ships, come bigger monsters. We have rules on how to make titanic monsters. Truly massive beasts that require a ship or two to bring down. Rules from upgrading existing monsters, or making your own mean that you will have more than just a kraken up your sleeve.
Great GM Sidebar - And each section features dozens of little side commentaries from Guy Sclanders, author of the book, and host of How to be a Great GM on YouTube. The sidebars include insights, thoughts, and ways in which the section can be used and added to your game.
Costs - How much does it cost to sail from here to there? We've got tables and tables of costs, one ton of cargo - not a problem. We have done the work to give you easy to reference charts so that when PCs ask these kinds of questions you can simply answer them.
That's what is in the book.
So why do we need to Kickstart it, if it's done? Well - to be honest - we can create cool rules, and make sure that all of the above is totally kick-ass, but for layout, and illustrations, we are not that good. We can do it, we did it for Epic Campaigns. We just want it to be done better.
We've reached out to industry professionals and gotten quotes from them on how much art would cost, how much layout and design would cost and we have the number we are trying to raise here. We want to pay artists what they are worth, and not try to get stuff 'on the cheap'.
The basic idea is: We want the art to be as inspirational, and as cool as it can possibly be. So, we need your help.
Join our crew and sail with us as we set out to make the best possible book we can make.
Timelines are simple - the book is done. That's the part that usually takes the longest. Now we need artwork. We've got someone in mind who has said they'll have it ready within 40 days (just the ship sketches for the ship entries).
We have another artist who has given us 21 days for some of the interior art we want to include in the book.
We've struck a deal with Dungeon Fog to help us with the ships maps. They're going to do 15 and we're going to do 15 maps (as it stands, we may need more). They have told us - 15 days.
So that means we're looking at roughly 50 days in total (I'm factoring in sickness, holidays, death, and running out of coffee).
Then there is the layout. Some of it can start whilst the artists are working. Some of it, can only happen after the art is complete. By layout I am including things like all the tables, the charts, the little elements that will make the book look super cool. Interactive PDFs also take time to make sure they work properly and are optimized nicely.
Layout is roughly 20 days - that's what we have been told.
So that is 60 days in total. 3 Months. If we launch in October and we get the funding, we are looking at early November to move forward (we've already begun investing in art so we're a little ahead of the curve already. That means the book should be done by mid-January or early February 2020. Just in time for a New Year new Campaign launch!
We have unlocked our first stretch goal! We'll now release to all backers as part of the Kickstarter these printable PDF Action cards. Each of the Ship's Actions that features in the book is presented on a card, color-coded depending on the type of action it might be and containing all the information needed to execute the order!
Our next stretch goal was voted upon by the current backers and once we unlock 150% funding, we'll be adding 2 additional ships. That's 4 more pages of content to the book, 2 new illustrations, and 2 new maps worth of material! This means the book would be packed with the largest collection of fantasy ships ever assembled for 5th Edition!
With the unlocking of the 150% stretch goal we got to add two new ships to the book! The Orc Raider ship known as a Krulla class and a Goblin air-craft carrier known as a Battree - a goblin ship capable of launching a horde of giant bats! Each of these new additions will get illustrations, maps and full write-up and stat blocks!
200% Stretch - UNLOCKED
The 200% stretch goal isn't far away, a mere 9% at the time of this update. As voted for by the backers, this will add an additional 2 ships to the book, bringing the total book count to 33 ships and ports! It's awesome and amazing. Let's make it happen.
250% Last Target - UNLOCKED
We create a printable DM screen with all the tables, charts and useful bits you might need to run a nautical campaign.
We have been extremely lucky to have the best partners possible for this project. Both are titans in their field, and both have proven track-records. How to be a Great GM has been partnered with both World Anvil and Dungeon Fog for over a year in the production of high-end YouTube content, and the partnership continues into this book.
World Anvil ( www.worldanvil.com ) will host the ship templates allowing your adventures and ships to be easily tracked and recorded.
Dungeon Fog ( www.dungeonfog.com ) is going to help make the maps for each of the ships, and ensure that the maps within the book are all available through their website for use in whatever online virtual table top you may use, or for print.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk is that we don't get the backing. So that isn't as much of a risk as it is a major disappointment for those who want this book to be as good as we do.
We've worked with all of the artists, designers, and publishers before, so we know they can deliver, and that they deliver on time and at high quality.
Shipping isn't an issue as the publishers we work with have three distribution points across the globe, and have signed deals with us regarding delivery costs and times.
There is one element that may contribute to a delay, and that is our inexperience with how Kickstarter Works. So the stretch goals may take longer than we hoped to achieve. But they're pretty cool and so may be worth the added time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)