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200+pp color PDF/hardcover with a wealth of magical items, each with quests, backstory, NPCs, and integration with the Dark Obelisk AP.
200+pp color PDF/hardcover with a wealth of magical items, each with quests, backstory, NPCs, and integration with the Dark Obelisk AP.
200+pp color PDF/hardcover with a wealth of magical items, each with quests, backstory, NPCs, and integration with the Dark Obelisk AP.
193 backers pledged $10,404 to help bring this project to life.

About

Dark Obelisk:Artifacts & Artifice Collection (Pathfinder/5E)

$10,404

193

TL;DR: The Value Proposition  

If you play Pathfinder or 5E/Fifth Edition, this book will be valuable to you.

On the fence?  Check out the sample magical item, Abhorrent Naginata, available for free only during this KS campaign.  It's 10 pages of lavishly-detailed goodness, all dedicated to a single, nifty magic weapon.  It's a good example of what to expect... times dozens of items!

Illustration credit Kim van Deun
Illustration credit Kim van Deun

This product is a massive, 200+ page full-color PDF and hardcover roleplaying supplement that will enhance any Pathfinder or 5E campaign in any setting.

Artifacts & Artifice will be a richly detailed hardcover gaming sourcebook, and companion to one of the most ambitious and massive indie RPG adventures in recent memory.  

AA2 Unlocked!

As of 16-May, we've unlocked the Stretch Goal of a second book: Artifacts & Artifice 2.  This will be "more of the same" goodness that is in AA1, plus more focus on integration with the mythology of Dark Obelisk and the campaign setting of the Realm of Aquilae.

Background & Overview  

Dark Obelisk 1 was planned to be a 64-page softcover urban adventure. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, and months of development, it evolved into a 1,000-page mega adventure with more than 50 NPCs, delivered in the form of two massive hardcover books.  

Dark Obelisk 2 was planned to be a modest continuation of the adventure path. In the course of its KS campaign, it saw a tenfold increase in funding, and more than a dozen Stretch Goals.

One of these Stretch Goals was "Artifacts & Artifice", initially intended as a 32-64-page softcover, that introduces some rare and exceedingly cool and unique magical items from the Realm of Aquilae, the campaign setting of Dark Obelisk.  

It was offered as an add-on for backers of Dark Obelisk 2.  In all honesty, it was created mainly as an excuse to collaborate with another successful and insanely creative indie RPG author.

This campaign seeks to make it more awesome, and to offer it to folks who didn't get a chance to get on board with it initially.

Illustration credit Jack Kaiser
Illustration credit Jack Kaiser

Context & Project Goals

The world of Dark Obelisk is rich and deep, and yet the products published thus far have only scratched the surface of what will be an enormous mythology, spanning countless worlds.  Although products like the Extended Pregenerated Characters and Dark Obelisk 1 have enormous amounts of useful crunch and NPC / monster content, the world of Aquilae has not yet added a great deal of content to your campaign in the way of magical items, weapons, arms and armor.

Artifacts & Artifice is a book intended to achieve many goals:

  • Add unique, interesting, and useful magical items (weapons, armor, spells, artifacts, wands, rods, rings, potions, and much more) to any RPG campaign.
  • Serve as a sourcebook of quick and easy-to-insert Quests and NPCs featuring the new items, that can be used in any RPG campaign or adventure.
  • Be more than simply a "list of items and stats", making it easy for any GM to integrate the items into any campaign.

Integration

That second goal above, to make it easy for GMs to integrate items into a campaign, is important.  Most GMs have seen PDF after PDF, or book after book, of compendiums or sourcebooks that list out or include magical items.  Though many of these are high quality, most of them amount to "here's the item, here's what it does", and maybe if you're lucky there's a sentence or two of description.

That's not what Artifacts & Artifice is about.

Each and every magical item will have a feel, a weight to it, imbued by 2-10 pages of dedicated content that supports more than just the ho-hum stats.  Each item will have the following:

  • Description and crunch effect, cost, etc. with example statblock(s) 
  • History and background 
  • Rumors and lore 
  • One or more quad-statted NPCs, who uses the item as part of their gear
  • Hooks to integrate the item into any campaign or adventure 
  • At least one Quest featuring the item, its effects, its history, or the NPC example.

Integration With Dark Obelisk

Every item will not only be fleshed out and ready to easily insert into any RPG campaign, but will become part of the broader mythology introduced in Dark Obelisk, and the campaign setting of Aquilae.

Future books may reference these items, NPCs may wield or recognize them, or they may have a pivotal or minor plot role in a Quest or main storyline.

In Summary...

This is far, far beyond a simple list of magical items!

Current Contents

As of this writing, Artifacts & Artifice will contain the following content.  Each item listed will have ~10 pages of lavishly-detailed content dedicated to it, as well as full-color artwork.  Some items, such as powerful Artifacts, may even end up having mini adventure modules dedicated to them in the book!

Note that since we have unlocked a SECOND book, the counts below will be spread across the two books.  Which ones go where, and whether one or both books have a theme as such, is dependent upon what we end up with in terms of Stretch Goals and overall counts.

56 Total Items:

  • 6x Magic Armor
  • 3x Amulets
  • 15x Magic Weapons
  • 8x Potions
  • 4x Magic Rings
  • 4x Magic Rod / Device
  • 2x Runes
  • 4x Magic Shields
  • 4x Wondrous Items
  • 6x Spells

Stretch Goals

Huzzah, we're funded!  Time to reach for the stars and make everyone's end result even better.

In the list below, "Standalone Adventures" are just that: a chapter in the book that is dedicated to a one-off adventure, easily insertable into any campaign setting or context, that involves one or more magic items and/or NPCs from the book's content.  Some of these may be published or available outside of the Artifacts & Artifice book, but some will be exclusive to the book only.  Some of these could merely be slightly-more-elaborate Quests, and others might be 20+ page multiple-gaming-session behemoths.  (Titles subject to finalization.)

"+X items" means the books grow: more items, more artwork, more Quests, more NPCs, more adventure hooks... more content!  Additional Stretch Goals that add items will do so to the "pool" of all items (see above), which will be spread across both books.

As with other Infinium Game Studio Kickstarters, each time one Stretch Goal falls, another will be announced!

Backer Count Stretch Goal:

  • UNLOCKED!  114th Backer: If (seemingly WHEN!) this project's backer count surpasses my previously-most-successful Kickstarter campaign, I will award a free NPC design and/or magic item design to the backer whose pledge brings us over that threshold.  This is a $75 value, and comes with a full-color illustration assigned to the character or item that that backer helps design.

Financial Stretch Goals:

  • UNLOCKED!  $1,750: Unlock additional Master Artificer pledge level slot; +4 items.
  • UNLOCKED! $2,000: Standalone Adventure: "Twilight Durance".
  • UNLOCKED! $2,250: Unlock additional Master Artificer pledge level slot; +4 items.
  • UNLOCKED!  $2,500: Second Book: A second Artifacts & Artifice tome will be produced, with new pledge levels to take advantage of this opportunity!
  • UNLOCKED!  $3,000: AA1 will have at least 25 items.  AA2 will also have at least 25 items.  50 items total if you pledge to get both.  At least 400 pages of richly-detailed arcane content.
  • UNLOCKED!  $3,250: +4 items, all of which will be in a single Set of gear with synergy bonuses.  With kick-butt dedicated art.
  • UNLOCKED! $3,500: Standalone Adventure: "Side Jobs and Second Chances".
  • UNLOCKED!  $3,750: +1 Artifact with several associated NPCs and Quests.
  • UNLOCKED! $4,000: Standalone Adventure: "Crucible of Shadow".
  • UNLOCKED! $4,250: Free Map Pack for all non-Lurker pledges!  Every pledge will receive a free Map Pack, containing ultra-hi-resolution images for each and every Quest-related map in BOTH AA books.  These map files are great for DMs who want to print their own battlemaps, or for those wishing to integrate them into a VTT kind of gaming approach.
  • UNLOCKED! $4,500: Dedicated chapter for Clothing, including new clothing types such as Badges and Cravats.  Also includes a number of new magical items for whichever book ends up "getting" the chapter.
  • UNLOCKED! $5,000: Dedicated chapter for Jewelry, including new types such as Torcs, Diadems, and Earrings.  Also includes a number of new magical items for whichever book ends up "getting" the chapter.
  • UNLOCKED! $5,500: Dedicated chapter for Spells, including new magical items that are related to them.  Includes a number of new magical items for whichever book ends up "getting" the chapter.
  • UNLOCKED!  $6,000: Dedicated chapter for Cursed Items.  Includes a number of new magical items for whichever book ends up "getting" the chapter.
  • UNLOCKED!  $6,500: Dedicated chapter for alchemical items and concoctions related to Obelisk materials.
  • UNLOCKED!  $7,000: Dedicated chapter for a themed set of items.  Exact theme TBD, but one example is Courtesan's Gear, comprised of items for beguiling, enchanting, illusion, and escape.
  • UNLOCKED! $7,500: KS Exclusive Versions: If we hit this goal, both volumes will be delivered in a Kickstarter Exclusive version.  These versions will only be released to Kickstarter backers of this campaign, and will not be available through normal publication afterwards or as part of subsequent KS campaigns.  In addition to an exclusive KS-only cover, these editions will feature an introduction by the authors and a KS-exclusive magical item that will not be available in the published AA1 and AA2 books.
  • UNLOCKED! $8,000: Additional Themed Set.  Could be a set of coordinated items crafted by a renowned Healer, for example, complete with Lore, Quests, and detailed NPC breakdowns for the legendary alchemist in question...
  • UNLOCKED! $8,500: Additional Themed Set.  Fortune-Teller's Tricks?  Farm-Hand's Prize?  The trough of ideas runs deep...
  • UNLOCKED! $9,000: Additional Themed Set, with dedicated chapter.  Blacksmith's Forgeworks?  Mise en Place of Manna: Food-Crafting Tools of the Eateries of the Gods?  
  • UNLOCKED! $9,500: Additional Themed Set.  Spells and tools from the Direcaster's Journal.
  • UNLOCKED! $10,000: Additional Themed Set, with dedicated chapter: Enchantments from the Brothel Regalia.
  • $10,500: Crowdsourced Artifact.  Backers get to vote on the direction of a powerful magical artifact during development!

Add-Ons

Add-ons will be available in BackerKit shortly following the conclusion of the Kickstarter campaign.

If you are interested in any Add-Ons, the best thing to do is to increase your pledge amount accordingly; that way, the total gets considered against Stretch Goal milestones.

  • $5: Multiformat PDF: Most pledge levels include the book in your choice of rules system formats: Pathfinder or 5E.  This add-on grants you the PDF in the other rules system format.
  • ~$25: Upgrade to Premium Color: This release will feature full-color artwork.  Although the standard print used by RPGnow is perfectly fine, some backers may wish to upgrade to premium color for even crisper colors.  Perhaps obviously, this Add-On only applies to pledge levels that already include a hardcover.
  • $75: Item Design: Help design an item (weapon, armor, rod, staff, spell, etc.) in the collection.  Includes a full-color artwork dedicated to the item you help design.  Note that this capability is included in some of the elite pledge levels; this add-on can be used to add another custom item if you wish.
  • $75: NPC Design: Help design an NPC in the collection who is associated with an item, and/or a Quest related to the stories herein. Includes a full-color artwork dedicated to the NPC you help design and/or name.  Note that this capability is included in some of the elite pledge levels; this add-on can be used to add another custom item if you wish.

This Campaign

This Kickstarter campaign is an opportunity to enhance the content of Artifacts & Artifice, making it more useful and interesting.  

Instead of a 32-64 page softcover, the resulting sourcebook will be a 150+ page, full-color hardcover, with dedicated full-color artwork for each item.  

The Product  

It's a magical-items sourcebook that describes several dozen magical items intended for a broad range of character levels. 

It's intended as a companion to the Dark Obelisk Adventure Path.  But it easily, and seamlessly, integrates with any roleplaying campaign.

All Infinium Game Studio products feature the following:

  • GM- and Player-Friendly Formats: Every single map comes in a GM version with full annotation, and a "redacted" Players version that hides secrets and references and is just more of a battlemap. In addition, each version of each map is included as a separate, ultra-high-resolution image file, for use with DTT/VTT gaming tools or just to print out at larger size. 
  • Print, Mobile, and Print Friendly: Every PDF comes in a print-friendly version with a full-color parchment watermark background, and a smaller-filesize mobile-friendly version with a white background. Check out some examples below.

 

Who Gets What  

Some DO2 project backers will already automatically receive the results based on their existing pledge commitments. 

Because they're all awesome, and believed in me early on. In other words, those backers currently set to receive the Artifacts & Artifice PDF and/or softcover will instead receive the expanded Artifacts & Artifice PDF and/or hardcover book at no extra cost. (Conversely, if you've backed a project of mine, but for whatever reason don't qualify for a copy of AA, then you won't automatically get a copy of the expanded book. Don't remember for sure if you do or do not get AA? Just PM me and I'll be happy to look it up.)

Fulfillment Timing & Hardcopy Shipping  

Shipping for hardcopy and PDF fulfillment will take place immediately upon completion and publication of the finished book.

IGS products are typically developed in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game rules system.  Following completion, the content is converted to the 5E system; this usually takes a few weeks to a month depending on the size and nature of the conversion required.  It's anticipated that with this project, we may be in a position to develop content for both rules systems simultaneously; that's the ideal because then 5E backers won't have to wait to get their results. 

All product fulfillment will take place via DriveThruRPG / RPGnow; if you're backing and don't already have an account, I recommend creating one. It's free.

Risks and challenges

None, really. Man, I hope that doesn't jinx anything. I guess more accurately, time. I can guarantee that it'll be completed, and worth the wait and worth your pledge dollar; I cannot in any way guarantee *when* it will be delivered!

Artifacts & Artifice is already in development, and about 25% of the content is already created. This campaign, if successful, will add a good amount of additional content beyond that.

Extending things will, as I've said, take a bit of extra time, but it's using an established process that I'm quite comfortable with and that has next to zero risk implementing.

So barring a natural disaster, I can pretty much guarantee this will happen. It's just a matter of how long it takes me to finish!

As with everything else I do, how long it takes is a function of the competing elements of my life: three kids, a family, a full-time day job, stupid bodily requirement to get more than 3 hours of sleep a night... that sort of thing.

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    Pledge US$ 1 or more About $1.00

    Lurker

    Get updates from the project as they are made throughout the campaign and product development. Plus, receive a special mention in our Facebook post once the project wraps up. And get your name in the "thank you" section of the final product. Not terribly exciting, right? You should probably scroll down and pledge at a higher, more interesting, level.

    Some pledge levels involve multiple products, and some involve dozens of products that are part of a planned product "pipeline". In all cases, the "Estimated Delivery" of a pledge level reflects when delivery is scheduled to *begin*, not complete!

    Note that some of the planned future products may end up having Kickstarters associated with them to expand and enhance the content (such as this KS!); if you qualify for you automatically receive the upgraded version in such cases without having to contribute to those Kickstarters.

    All other pledge levels receive these minimum acknowledgments and benefits.

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    Adventurer

    Receive a PDF of the Artifacts & Artifice product in your choice of Pathfinder or 5E format. Approx. $25 value.

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    Stretch-Only Adventurer

    Receive a PDF of the Artifacts & Artifice 2 book in your choice of Pathfinder or 5E format.

    DOES NOT INCLUDE AA1. This pledge level is intended for Dark Obelisk 2 Kickstarter backers, who Added On AA during that campaign, who are only interested in the second AA book.

    Approx. $25 value.

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    Adventurer Duo

    Receive a PDF of the Artifacts & Artifice product in your choice of Pathfinder or 5E format.

    Also receive a PDF of Artifacts & Artifice 2, in that same rules system format.

    Approx. $50 value.

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    Hardened Adventurer

    Receive a PDF of Artifacts & Artifice in BOTH Pathfinder AND 5E format.

    Additionally, receive a full-color hardcover of the Artifacts & Artifice book, in your choice of Pathfinder or 5E format.

    Approx. $65 value.

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    Hardened Stretch-Only Adventurer

    Receive a PDF of the Artifacts & Artifice 2 book in both Pathfinder and 5E formats. Also receive a hardcover of AA2 in one of these formats.

    DOES NOT INCLUDE AA1. This pledge level is intended for Dark Obelisk 2 Kickstarter backers, who Added On AA during that campaign, who are only interested in the second AA book.

    Approx. $65 value.

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    Hardened Adventurer Duo

    Receive a PDF of Artifacts & Artifice in BOTH Pathfinder AND 5E format. Also receive a PDF of Artifacts & Artifice 2 in BOTH Pathfinder AND 5E format.

    Additionally, receive a full-color hardcover of the Artifacts & Artifice book, in your choice of Pathfinder or 5E format.

    Finally, receive a full-color hardcover of the Artifacts & Artifice 2 book, in your choice of Pathfinder or 5E format.

    Shipping charge noted in this pledge is a one-time thing, so you basically get free shipping for AA2.

    Approx. $130 value.

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    Forger

    Name a magical item or artifact, and if you wish, assist with its design and backstory.

    Includes PDF copies of both the Pathfinder *and* 5E versions, as well as a single hardcover copy of one of these versions of your choice, with free shipping worldwide.

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    Wielder

    Name and help with design of an NPC, with backstory, featured in association with one of the items in the book.

    Includes PDF copies of both the Pathfinder *and* 5E versions, as well as a single hardcover copy of one of these versions of your choice, with free shipping worldwide.

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    Wielder Duo

    Name and help with design of an NPC, with backstory, featured in association with one of the items in the book.

    Includes PDF copies of both the Pathfinder *and* 5E versions, as well as a single hardcover copy of one of these versions of your choice, with free shipping worldwide.

    Also includes the PDF of AA2 in both rules system formats, and the hardcopy of AA2 in one format of your choice.

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    Forger Duo

    Name a magical item or artifact, and if you wish, assist with its design and backstory.

    Includes PDF copies of both the Pathfinder *and* 5E versions, as well as a single hardcover copy of one of these versions of your choice, with free shipping worldwide.

    Also includes the PDF of AA2 in both rules system formats, and the hardcopy of AA2 in one format of your choice.

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    Artificer

    Forger + Wielder, and then some:

    Name and design an artifact, *and* associated NPC, with their own Quest, backstory, and Rumors and Lore. Also includes full-color artwork for both the item and the NPC you inspire.

    Includes PDF copies of both the Pathfinder *and* 5E versions, as well as a single hardcover copy of one of these versions of your choice, with free shipping worldwide.

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    Friendly Local Shopkeeper

    Receive a stock of 5 hardcover copies of Artifacts & Artifice, in any combination of rules systems (Pathfinder and/or 5E).

    Brick and mortar retailers only, please.

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    Artificer Duo

    Forger + Wielder, and then some:

    Name and design an artifact, *and* associated NPC, with their own Quest, backstory, and Rumors and Lore. Also includes full-color artwork for both the item and the NPC you inspire.

    Includes PDF copies of both the Pathfinder *and* 5E versions, as well as a single hardcover copy of one of these versions of your choice, with free shipping worldwide.

    Also includes AA2 in both PDF format for both rules systems, and in hardcopy format for one rules system.

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    Master Artificer: Paragon

    Collaborate with the authors on a Paragon (good) NPC who has a major plot role in future IGS products in the Dark Obelisk product line.

    Receive a named character, an artifact tied to them, with associated Quest, backstory, and Rumors and Lore.

    Also includes at least one full-color artwork for both the item and the NPC you inspire, as well as digital versions of these artwork files (for use as wallpaper, for example).

    Includes PDF copies of both the Pathfinder *and* 5E versions, as well as a hardcover copy of one of these versions of your choice, with free shipping worldwide.

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    Master Artificer: Vile Archon

    Collaborate with the authors on a Vile Archon (evil) NPC who has a major plot role in future IGS products in the Dark Obelisk product line.

    Receive a named character, an artifact tied to them, with associated Quest, backstory, and Rumors and Lore.

    Also includes at least one full-color artwork for both the item and the NPC you inspire, as well as digital versions of these artwork files (for use as wallpaper, for example).

    Includes PDF copies of both the Pathfinder *and* 5E versions, as well as a hardcover copy of one of these versions of your choice, with free shipping worldwide.

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    Friendly Local Shopkeeper Duo

    Receive a stock of 5 hardcover copies of Artifacts & Artifice, in any combination of rules systems (Pathfinder and/or 5E).

    Also receive 5 hardcopies of Artifacts & Artifice 2 when it is released.

    Brick and mortar retailers only, please.

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Funding period

- (35 days)