Explore the richly-detailed medieval fantasy world of Aquilae, home of the massively-detailed Dark Obelisk mega-adventures. The Western Realm Gazetteer describes the western continent of the Realm, its religions, its factions, characters, and much more.
Usable as the foundation for endless adventures in Aquilae itself, or as a GM resource to support any existing campaign, setting, or gaming group.
Pledge to get all TEN (10) Realm books that comprise the entirety of Aquilae, over 5,000 pages' worth of highly-detailed content, as it is published, at an enormous discount. Or just pledge to receive the Western Realm Gazetteer on its own.
This may just be the more detailed, huge, and ambitious campaign setting ever conceived, comprising an entire bookshelf's worth of content capable of fueling dozens, if not hundreds, of gaming sessions!
What Is This?
Some context: Dark Obelisk 1 became a 1,000+ page behemoth city setting. Dark Obelisk 2, to be published March 2018, is nearly 1,500 pages of highly-detailed mining town and undermountain cavern complex. Accompanying them are Berinncorte Basecamp, a 700+ page "addendum" to and expansion of the setting of Dark Obelisk 1, and several other books offering new tools and options to GMs of any system or setting.
As enormous as these books have been on their own, they are part of a much larger and more ambitious campaign setting: the medieval fantasy realm of Aquilae: a fully-realized world with dozens of nations, several dozen factions and religions, and hundreds and hundreds of places of interest in a set of two continents that are together roughly the size of Earth's eurasia landmass.
The Western Realm Gazetteer was unlocked as a Stretch Goal during the Dark Obelisk 2 Kickstarter. It is itself an enormous undertaking: providing a fully-realized, ultra-detailed, campaign setting covering the western continent of Aquilae. It will result in a huge product, one that's not only an invaluable base for starting adventures in the realm of the Dark Obelisk books, but also useful by any GM to "mine" for ideas, inspiration, or even just a quick one-session game.
The Core Book
The core Western Realm Gazetteer contains:
- Detailed maps describing half a massive continent, its subregions, and key cities and areas of interest.
- A rich and storied history of the Realm of Aquilae.
- An overview of the gods who influence the Realm, and the system of Tribute which sustains them.
- A description of characters, classes, magic, and day-to-day life in Aquilae, and how to run a campaign in this setting.
- Dozens of factions--guilds, political entities, religious institutions, sects, cults, and more, each with history and full profile.
- Rumors & Lore: Tables with dozens and dozens of informational tidbits the PCs may encounter in their journeys that lead to further adventures in the Western Realm.
Outlines, Freebies, and Previews of IGS Work
For more on the general format / outline of the Campaign Setting books (Aquilae, Darkside, and Oceanic), please refer to this update post.
For more on the format and outline of the Gazetteer books, check out this update.
Finally, for examples of my existing work, check out the following free samples and previews:
- Quadded Statblocks for Variable Difficulty (free)
- Monster: Skelettin (Pathfinder / 5E; free)
- Magic Item: Abhorrent Naginata (Pathfinder; free)
- Atlas / Maps: Dark Obelisk 1 Premium Atlas (not free, but you can preview the maps)
- Adventure: Dark Obelisk 1 Players' Guide (virtually free :); Dark Obelisk 1 Adventure Book (not free, but you can preview)
The Realm of Aquilae
Aquilae is a roughly eurasian-sized spread of land consisting of two continents and outlying islands, surrounded by water. The Western Realm and Eastern Realm each have a great deal of history, tradition, and conflict.
- Aquilae Campaign Setting book, Atlas, Players' Guide, and digital map files
- Western Realm Gazetteer book, Atlas, Players' Guide, and digital map files
- Eastern Realm Gazetteer book, Atlas, Players' Guide, and digital map files
Oceanic Campaign Setting
Within the depths of the oceans surrounding these continents are rich and varied undersea kingdoms, long at peace with the surface world largely through obfuscation and sustaining the myth that these undersea realms do not exist.
- Oceanic Campaign Setting book, Atlas, Players' Guide, and digital map files
- Western Ocean Gazetteer book, Atlas, Players' Guide, and digital map files
- Eastern Ocean Gazetteer book, Atlas, Players' Guide, and digital map files
Littering the mountains, plains, swamps, forests, and savannahs of Aquilae is a network of caves and tunnels known as the Fissures. These caverns once served as an underground system of transportation to weather lengthy periods of torrential and lethal weather on the surface. But over the eons, the conditions of the surface world have brightened, and the Fissures have fallen into disuse... allowing their gradual but burgeoning takeover by forces of chaos, evil, and opportunity.
- Fissures book, Atlas, Players' Guide, and digital map files
Lastly, and most mysteriously, what few of its denizens realize is that what they know as Aquilae is but the "light side" of a lozenge-shaped planetoid. There is another half to the Realm: the Darkside, comprised of exiles from eons past for transgressions against the very Gods that hold sway and demand Tribute from their devotees. A grim and vile realm ruled by chaos and in the grips of evil, uneasy alliances between desperate clans have gathered to push back into the Light Side of the planetoid.
- Darkside Campaign Setting book, Atlas, Players' Guide, and digital map files
- Western Darkside Gazetteer book, Atlas, Players' Guide, and digital map files
- Eastern Darkside Gazetteer book, Atlas, Players' Guide, and digital map files
Approach: Attention to Detail
Short version here is that we're planning hundreds of regional maps, with thousands of areas of interest. Areas of interest could be cities, villages, caves, temples, relics, lairs, towers, etc; there are several dozen types of AOI types.
Here's how it works in a single image: the Realm of Aquilae, broken down into up to 8 books (of which the actual Western Realm Gazetteer is one), each of which contains hundreds of Map Cells, each of which contains dozens of Areas of Interest, each of which consists of dynamic encounters, quests, rewards, and maps:
The entire realm of Aquilae is an enormous eurasian-sized map. This overview map is roughly 12,000 miles wide by 8,000 miles tall. For regional mapping purposes, it's divided into 500x500 mile "cells", each of which will be mapped to a fairly high level of detail.
Here's an example of just *one* map cell: here's the particular map region we're talking about for reference:
...and here's what that single map cell looks like mapped out:
The above would likely be the Players' version, used as a starting point for exploration. See Stretch Goals for more detail, but Hexcrawl versions of every map, as well as GM versions with text labels and symbols, are planned as well.
For example, here's the above map cell coded with a hexcrawl overlay; the corresponding hexcrawl guide would contain information about each labeled cell:
In addition, each map cell has altitude, climate, rainfall, temperature map iterations, like so (clockwise from Altitude in upper-left respectively):
This results in a massive variety and volume of cartographical information about a rich and varied and deeply detailed fantasy world!
A True Sense of Scale
Hopefully you're like me and consider that all to be pretty awesome, and insanely useful as a GM, or simply as a hobbyist / enthusiast.
So what does that mean for the entire scope of this whole enterprise?
Consider that oceanic maps include the ocean floor as well as the underwater portions of coastlines. And then consider the network of Fissures underneath the land. Finally, consider the Darkside of the lozenge-shaped planetoid of Aquilae... an entire second half to explore!
So using that as a guide or proof of concept, the following scope is planned... these numbers are approximate and based on the draft map of Aquilae in its current form, which may be tweaked:
- Western Realm Gazetteer: ~130 map cells
- Eastern Realm Gazetteer: ~120 map cells
- Western Oceanic Gazetteer: ~150 map cells
- Eastern Oceanic Gazetteer: ~140 map cells
- Western Darkside Gazetteer: ~190 map cells
- Eastern Darkside Gazetteer: ~190 map cells
- Fissures: ~100-200 map cells (as fissures do not exist in every area of surface land)
All told, that's over 1,000 map cells of detail, each 500-by-500-mile square rich with dozens of areas of interest detail.
Enough adventure for hundreds of gaming sessions, if not more... or simply to support a thorough and arbitrary exploration of one of, if not the, most ambitiously detailed and complex adventure campaign settings ever conceived.
How is This Possible?
The incredible level of mapping and place of interest detail the Western Realm Gazetteer and its associated books will have are made possible by a set of tools that have started as its own Kickstarter effort, and will fuel practically every Infinium Game Studios product going forward: the FlexTale Encounter Generator (FTEG).
The FTEG is a dynamic approach to randomizing content that allows for an infinite variety of fresh, new, and interesting encounters and content.
There are some "fixed" areas of interest in Aquilae, such as major cities and "event" type of locales. These form the basis of existing books (such as the cities of Berinncorte and Mondaria from Dark Obelisk 1 and 2, respectively) and upcoming books planned.
Over a thousand other areas of interest are more dynamic: when encountered and visited, the GM makes a few rolls on a few tables in the FTEG, and develops interesting, fresh content on the fly.
For those who have played Fallout or Skyrim, the approach and "sprinkling" of content is somewhat similar: it's almost impossible to venture too far into the wilderness without running across something interesting!
The Realm of Aquilae is the campaign setting in which all Infinium Game Studio products take place, most notably the Dark Obelisk adventures.
At first blush, it's a typical, medeival fantasy roleplaying setting, roughly the size of Earth's eurasia complex of continents. Kingdoms, religions, factions, monsters, and characters
Look a little deeper, however... and it's much, much more than it seems on the surface.
The Western Realm Gazetteer ties fully in to all other IGS products, both current and future. It contains many the adventures, settings, and major locales unlocked as part of our pipeline of products, including:
- Berinncorte, setting of Dark Obelisk 1.
- Mondaria, setting of Dark Obelisk 2.
- The Druid Enclave, setting of the upcoming locale book.
- Mistdelve City, Barrowton, Arghastar, the Great Northern Mountains, Greatsnake Compound, the Pit of Hope, the Library Vitae, and many other cities and areas of interest that are focal points or settings for announced books.
However, it is also designed to be a fully usable GM resource in any other campaign setting, or adventure, chock full of rich, instantly-usable content and tools to supplement and enhance any tabletop RPG gaming group.
All rewards, at all pledge levels, include the following.
- PDFs: These are always in full color with outlines, indexes, and hyperlinks for easy navigation. Each book comes in two flavors for convenience: the "standard" version with parchment background texture, and a "mobile friendly" version that has just a simple white background and can be easier on the eyes, particularly when viewing on a mobile device.
- Atlases: If you're entitled to a given book's PDF, you're also entitled to the accompanying Atlas: a full-color, outlined, indexed, and hyperlinked compilation of all of the full-color maps of the book it accompanies. In addition, each Atlas contains both GM and Player-redacted versions of all maps. Gazetteer Atlases will contain additional maps such as temperature, climate, altitude, rainfall, and so on.
- Map Files: Any Atlas you're entitled to will also get you image files (PNG or JPG) in ultra-high (at least 4K) resolution; you can download these map image files for every single map that is in the book or its Atlas. These are invaluable for in-person use with a projector or TV for your gaming sessions, or to use with a VTT or similar online tool.
- Players' Guides: Any Campaign Setting or Gazetteer will also have an accompanying Players' Guide. These are typically 50-125 page full-color softcovers, intended as an orientation, overview, and reference for players running PCs in that geography.
- Hardcopy Print Codes: Any book that you're entitled to in hardcopy also gets you an at-cost discount code: if you want any additional copies, you pay only what the printer charges to produce them. This includes codes for Players' Guides and Atlases as you desire.
The Realm Books
Throughout the campaign description "Realm books" is used to describe the ten core books that are planned in this initiative.
- Aquilae Campaign Setting
- Western Realm Gazetteer
- Eastern Realm Gazetteer
- Oceanic Campaign Setting
- Western Ocean Gazetteer
- Eastern Ocean Gazetteer
- Darkside Campaign Setting
- Western Darkside Gazetteer
- Eastern Darkside Gazetteer
Pledge Levels: Who Gets What
These descriptions will be kept updated as the campaign evolves so you always have the latest info and clarity.
- Free updates as the project progresses.
- Add-Ons via BackerKit once the campaign ends.
- All other pledge levels also include these benefits.
Western Realm Citizen
- PDF of the Western Realm Gazetteer.
Hardened Western Realm Citizen
- Hardcover of Western Realm Gazetteer.
Global Citizen, Western Native
ONLY for those ALREADY ENTITLED to a PDF copy of the WRG (e.g., from a prior Kickstarter reward).
- PDFs of all ten (10) Realm books.
- PDFs of all ten (10) Realm books.
Hardened Global Citizen
- Hardcovers of all ten (10) Realm books.
King of the West, Born and Raised
ONLY for those ALREADY ENTITLED to a hardcover copy of the WRG (e.g., from a prior Kickstarter reward).
- Hardcover of the Western Realm Gazetteer, Collector's Edition, hand-signed by the author.
- Six-fold, high-quality 18" x 27" map board of the Western Realm.
- Four copies of the softcover Western Realm Players' Guide, each hand-signed by the author.
- Old-school, 80's/90's-era AD&D-style "boxed set" box, custom-designed exclusively for King pledge levels for this Kickstarter.
King of the West
As King of the West, Born and Raised, but for those new to the Western Realm Gazetteer.
Started From Mondaria, Now We're King
ONLY for those ALREADY ENTITLED to a hardcover copy of the WRG (e.g., from a prior Kickstarter reward).
As King of the West, but also includes:
- Hardcovers of all ten (10) Realm books.
- During each Realm book's Kickstarter, you'll be able to upgrade any or all to a King boxed set at a discount.
King of the World
As Started From Mondaria, Now We're King, but for those who aren't already getting a copy of the WRG.
Every Inch a King
- King Boxed Sets for every single one of the ten planned Realm books at a pretty huge discount.
- My eternal gratitude for helping make all of this even more awesome.
- One-on-one Skype time with me during the design process, if you want it.
- Note: Each time someone pledges at this level, I will unlock a new, special Stretch Goal that benefits existing pledge levels.
King-Level Boxed Sets
Check out this update post for more info and pix of the prototypes.
What to Expect: Our Approach
Thousands of players and GMs have used IGS products already. For those joining this project as your first exposure to my Kickstarters, you should know the following key things:
- We strive to over-deliver massive, full-color, hardcover books and PDFs that make your pledge dollar worthwhile as a player, GM/DM, or just as a "reading hobbyist".
- The Cartography in our products strives to be world-class. Filled with intricate details, our maps are full-color, and each map comes in multiple flavors: a GM version with markups and secrets, and a Players' Version, redacted to show only what the PCs would see by default. In addition, every single map is available in an ultra-high-resolution image file for use in printing for your own use, or to integrate with a VTT or other gaming tool.
- Characters and NPCs that strive to be novel-caliber, each complete with a background, motivations, faction connections, and conversation.
- We generate heaps of instantly-usable crunch that is fully-conceived, and "quadded" statblocks for each and every creature and NPC: four complete statblocks targeting a wide range of difficulty level.
- All of our products are designed to be flexible: usable by any group of PCs, at any level.
- Perhaps as a consequence of all of the above, our ability to accurately estimate when a product will be delivered is... not terribly awesome, if truth be told.
As with all IGS Kickstarter campaigns, more Stretch Goals will be added as we unlock existing ones.
- Note that ALL TEN Realm Books have been unlocked. These are no longer Stretch Goals or funding mileposts; they WILL happen!
- UNLOCKED! EiaK Pledge: Thanks to the generosity of our first backer at "Every Inch a King" level, I've unlocked a brand-new Stretch Goal: a Faction Book. Faction books are 50-100 page full-color PDFs/softcovers, each dedicated to a faction (religion, guild, etc.). Faction books describe the faction, its history, its membership, its influence, etc., and contain Quests for initiation, maps of hideouts / member residences, and more. Thanks to the generosity of our first EiaK backer, ALL BACKERS will receive a PDF of the first Faction Book FREE.
- UNLOCKED! $7,500: FlexTale Encounter Generator (FTEG). Included as a FREE PDF in all pledge levels will be a copy of the General Purpose FTEG, which includes dozens of tools and tables for randomly, dynamically generating all sorts of GM content. The nearly-20 separate hardcovers that are the FTEG Context Books will likewise be FREE PDFs to all "Global" backers; they will be made available as Add-Ons to all other backer levels. Check out the FTEG KS for more details about this exciting, powerful GM tool.
- $8,500: Second Faction Book. Included as a FREE PDF to all backers; softcover Add-On.
- $10,000: Hexcrawl Tookit. A separate book, a FREE PDF to all backers and hardcover Add-On. This extraordinarily useful toolkit and rules resource guides GMs through the art and fun of running a hexcrawl-based campaign, in whole or in part. Rules, resources, tidbits, and tools for GMs of ANY campaign world or setting, whether you're using hex-gridded maps or not! Links directly in to the WRG and other Realm Books, and the FTEG, but also immensely valuable on its own. This 100-300 page full-color PDF / hardcover compiles nearly three decades of gaming experience and pulls the best of house rules and various rule systems to bring a streamlined, yet richly flexible, overland gaming experience.
- $12,000: Hexcrawl Players' Guide: FREE PDF to all backers; softcover Add-On.
- $13,500: Third Faction Book. Included as a FREE PDF to all backers; softcover Add-On.
- $15,000: FlexTale Solo Adventuring Rules. First announced as part of the FTEG campaign, this hugely useful resource will be a FREE PDF for all backers when it's developed.
- $17,500: Fourth Faction Book. Included as a FREE PDF to all backers; softcover Add-On.
- $20,000: Factions of Aquilae Hardcover. Rather than an assortment of softcover books, at least FIVE Factions' worth of hugely-detailed description will be packed into a massive full-color hardcover book. This will be a FREE PDF to all backers, and a discounted hardcover Add-On.
- Popularity Contest: If we hit MORE backers than any of my prior Kickstarters, I will unlock an additional Faction Book as a FREE PDF.
- Not a Businessman, a Business, Man: If our total funding exceeds all of my prior Kickstarters, I will unlock an additional Faction Book as a FREE PDF.
Prices shown are draft, and will be finalized for BackerKit survey following the conclusion of the Kickstarer campaign.
- FlexTale Encounter Generator (FTEG), General-Purpose:
- $20 PDF, $35 hardcover
FTEG Context Books (19x):
$70 PDF, $125 PDF + at-cost print discount codes
- Dark Obelisk 1 (Adventure Book, Dramatis Personae & Bestiary, and Premium Atlas PDFs): $50
Dark Obelisk 1 (Adventure Book, Dramatis Personae & Bestiary hardcovers and PDFs): $90
- Dark Obelisk 1 Premium Atlas Hardcover: $40
- Dark Obelisk 2 (Adventure Book, Atlas, Players' Guide, and FlexTale Encounter Generator PDFs): $60
- Dark Obelisk 2 (Adventure Book hardcover and PDF; Atlas, Players' Guide, and FlexTale Encounter Generator PDFs): $100
A note on timing: I'm targeting delivery of the Western Realm Gazetteer, and associated updates to the FTEG, Nov/Dec 2018.
Other Realm books unlocked as part of this Kickstarter will likely have their own KS projects, mainly to fuel additional art and other work to make the books as awesome as possible. From a fulfillment standpoint, however, it will take time to deliver everything in scope for this initiative.
Those who have been with me for other Kickstarters know that my ability to estimate how long it'll take me to deliver is not my strong suit... but they also know that I tend to over-deliver when I finally complete work!
Risks and challenges
One obvious caveat is that the maps included in the description are just samples: subject to change. The rough continents of Aquilae will likely be as they are, but I know for example that I want more islands here and there, so there'll be some additional tweaking and terraforming before I finalize the planet.
As this project integrates completely into the world that has formed the basis of all of the significant books that IGS has already turned out, much of the worldbuilding has already been completed. Hundreds of pages of worldbuilding, notes, and sketches are ready to turn into product.
The major remaining risk is time: IGS is almost entirely a one-man shop, and that one man has three young children and a full-time day job. I devote literally every spare minute of downtime to IGS, and to making our products the absolute best, most impressive, and most valuable/usable books I can conceive of, but that devotion to quality amidst other demands takes time.
I will deliver. And I hope you agree that it will be more than worth the wait and pledge dollar. But my estimates as to when are just that: estimates. If you're comfortable with getting what I try to make world-class indie RPG books for a significant discount, and don't mind waiting a bit, then please consider pledging, supporting, and helping to make the results even more awesome!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)