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 that describe an enormous and ambitious collection of campaign setting, adventure, and GM tools spanning the next several years of development.
The Players' Guide to Dark Obelisk 1: Berinncorte will be published very soon, and work has commenced on the next two products in the campaign: Dark Obelisk 2: The Mondarian Elective, and Berinncorte Basecamp, which acts as a bridge between the two adventures.
And now, this.
This Kickstarter campaign is an opportunity to enhance and greatly expand the content of one of the planned products resulting from the DO2 campaign: the Pregenerated Characters booklet. This product meant to make it as easy as possible to jump right into an adventure--either in the Dark Obelisk Adventure Path, or indeed any Pathfinder campaign.
This is also an opportunity for those who may have missed the first two Kickstarters to join in the effort--funds raised from the highest pledge levels involving DO1 and 2 will be used to enhance DO2.
TL;DR: The Value Proposition
If you play, or run, a Pathfinder game, this book will save you time. It's as simple as that.
Prefab PCs and NPCs aren't new. But this many of them, covering this many different classes and options, and composed in alignment with a wide array of difficulty levels--that's super-convenient and useful.
It's drop-in character crunch at its finest, its most diverse, and flexible.
It's a book of about 400 pregenerated characters. Though they're intended to be used as PCs, starting points for new players to dive right into a gaming session, they can easily be dropped into a game as NPCs by the GM.
In addition, each pregenerated character shows what I call "Quadded Statblocks"--one separate statblock, individually created for each of four challenge levels. Typically, this corresponds to character levels 1, 6, 10, and 14. The point is to support a wide breadth of gameplay, and to let people start a game at nearly any level of difficulty. Used as NPCs, it means that a GM can easily drop a "scaled" character into a game of any difficulty.
Here's an example of a single Druid character. You can also check out the previews of the published Dramatis Personae & Bestiary book from Dark Obelisk 1.
In addition, all PDF copies of the book include a printer-friendly version, which foregoes the nifty-but-ink-intensive parchment background, like so:
What's in the Book
How many pregenerated characters will be in the book? 400. Or, rather, 100, each with 4 statblocks to represent different difficulty/challenge/CR.
Specifically, we'll cover the 11 Core, 8 Base, 3 Alternate classes... and beyond that, to cover around 70-80 Archetypes. Which ones? Check out the FAQ for the complete list of what's planned.
2-5 pages to cover the lavish crunch-y goodness of each, some intro and mechanics discussion, an index or three... figure a total of 300-400 pages, and over 400 total statblocks.
Feel free to grab the freebie PDF that explains the whole Quadded Statblock concept in more detail. I've found it to be a bit "love it or hate it", but for those like me who rankle at the thought of only being able to run Adventure XYZ if your party is of levels 6-8, the concept is a concise, neatly-packed and immensely-useful godsend.
Free Sample: First Archetype, the Armored Hulk
Check out the free PDF download here.
Who Gets What
All DO1 and DO2 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 Pregenerated Characters softcover will instead receive the Extended Pregenerated Characters book at no extra cost.
- Generally speaking, the more the merrier. I can guarantee in the order of about 100 characters, and if the funding total rises, we might see even more.
Here's the complete set of archetypes I have on my radar to do, between this product and a similar one for each of the other books in the Dark Obelisk Adventure Path:
Core Class Archetype Stretch Goals (110):
- 10 archetypes for the Barbarian class.
- 9 archetypes for the Bard class.
- 15 archetypes for the Druid class.
- 12 archetypes for the Fighter class.
- 21 archetypes for the Monk class.
- 6 archetypes for the Paladin class.
- 8 archetypes for the Ranger class.
- 12 archetypes for the Rogue class.
- 4 archetypes for the Wizard class.
- 3 archetypes for the Sorcerer class.
Base Class Archetype Stretch Goals (77):
- 13 archetypes for the Alchemist class.
- 14 archetypes for the Cavalier class.
- 1 for the Samurai class.
- 8 archetypes for the Gunslinger class.
- 11 archetypes for the Inquisitor class.
- 11 archetypes for the Magus class.
- 6 archetypes for the Oracle class.
- 7 archetypes for the Summoner class.
- 7 archetypes for the Witch class.
Alternate Class Archetype Stretch Goals (5):
- 4 archetypes for Antipaladins.
- 1 for Samurai.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will this delay DO2 and/or other products from that KS campaign?
Yes. By approximately one week.
2. I'm a 5E player and don't care about Pathfinder. Why aren't you doing something like this for 5E?
Primarily because of the differences in the OGL / SRD licenses and content between the two systems. The wealth of classes and archetypes planned for this expansion of Pathfinder characters is vastly beyond what is freely licensed via the 5E SRD.
3. Wasn't the Pregenerated Characters booklet already unlocked as a Stretch Goal in your prior KS campaign? How is this different from what you had already planned?
The Pregenerated Characters booklet that was part of the DO2 KS Stretch Goals covers the 11 core classes. This KS extends what was a 50-page booklet into a 300-page hardcover.
4. Why are you doing this?
The simple answer here is "people asked for it". I'd mentioned in an update that depending on backer interest and sales, I might consider doing an extended pregen PC book; some backers expressed an interest in that, so I'm trying in part to figure out how much interest there really is for this crazy and ambitious idea.
5. C'mon. Aren't you doing this just to try and get more money?
Well, I could tell the stories of how the printer/publisher and BackerKit have screwed me out of close to $5,000 in the past six months, but I'll just skip that for the most part and say "no". My goal and business strategy continues to be to break even with KS funding, with the hopes that profit will come from post publication sales.
So it's not like this new KS is going to net me much of anything. My real aim here is to justify taking a little bit of extra time to satisfy what some backers had requested, and frankly what I think is kinda cool.
And, everyone who's already backed my projects gets something massive extra for free.
6. Can we expect this sort of thing for the other more-than-dozen planned products unlocked as part of the DO2 KS Stretch Goals?
"Maybe" is the honest answer here. It depends on what backers want, what options I conceive of, and what makes sense from an opportunity/risk/reward standpoint.
In general, if I feel there's a chance to make something more awesome, I will err on the side of trying to make it more awesome, and letting the public decide.
You might absolutely love that approach. You might be annoyed by it. I'll point out that it's that kind of thinking that turned a 64-page softcover into a 1,000-page mega-adventure, so like it or hate it, I'd argue it at least translates to a quality product that is more value for your backer dollar.
7. I'm a DO2 backer and would much prefer to just get that, and other, planned products ASAP. This seems a distraction from that. What gives?
Sure, I guess you could consider it like that. But even so, not that much. Turning a 50-page book into a 300-page book doesn't come without an additional investment in time, but it's not six times as much time. While I'm doing the work for the as-planned Pregen Char book, extending it isn't that much more effort really.
And remember: if you have this concern, you stand to gain considerably for your patience in the slight delay!
8. I'm not a huge fan of the Quadded Statblock concept, and don't plan on ever using it. Why should I care about this project?
Okay, that's fine. I respect that not everyone "gets" the QS concept, and/or has a use for it. You're free to simply pick the one "band" of difficulty that applies to your gaming group, and use that; just ignore the others. As such, it's still an enormously useful gaming resource no matter what difficulty your players, no matter what kind of game you're playing.
9. What happens if you fail to meet your funding goal?
Life goes on. I produce the Pregenerated Characters softcover as originally planned, covering all of the 11 Core Classes--still quite a useful little book. It'll be published in early February and you can buy it if you're interested. The people will have spoken, and I will have listened.
At any point, you can also still pre-order any of the products from the first two Kickstarters, or those unlocked via Stretch Goals in those campaigns, at the BackerKit pre-orders site.
10. When will I get stuff?
Immediately upon completion of the campaign, I will send out PDFs for all products you're entitled to, that have been published by that point. At this writing, that includes the following:
- Dark Obelisk 1: Berinncorte: Adventure Book
- Dark Obelisk 1: Berinncorte: Dramatis Personae & Bestiary
- Dark Obelisk 1: Berinncorte: Premium Atlas & Map Pack
- Dark Obelisk 1: Berinncorte: Players' Guide
Other PDF products to which you may be entitled will be delivered immediately as soon as they are published. These include:
- Dark Obelisk: Extended Pregenerated Characters
- Dark Obelisk 2: The Mondarian Elective
- Dark Obelisk: Berinncorte Basecamp
Hardcopy fulfillment of any and all products to which you're entitled will occur upon completion of Dark Obelisk 2: The Mondarian Elective, currently planned to be in the March 2017 timeframe. This is mainly to consolidate shipping.
Risks and challenges
None, really. Man, I hope that doesn't jinx anything.
I've already created all 44 statblocks for all 11 core classes, and have nearly finished laying them out as of the start of this KS.
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.
As with everything else I do, how long it takes is a function of the competing elements of my life: two kids, a family, a full-time day job, Top Chef being really compelling this season, stupid bodily requirement to get more than 3 hours of sleep a night... that sort of thing.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (20 days)