Beowulf Beastslayer is a brand new retelling of the epic Anglo-Saxon poem in the form of an adventure gamebook - a multi-path book, very much in the style of Choose Your Own Adventure or Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, in which you choose the course of the story. It will form the fourth title in the ongoing ACE Gamebooks series.
My name is Jonathan Green and I am an author, editor and games designer. I am probably best known for my Fighting Fantasy adventure gamebooks, as well as YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, and my Pax Britannia steampunk novels.
I am running this Kickstarter to fund production of Beowulf Beastslayer, which will be illustrated throughout by none other than gamebook fantasy art legend Russ Nicholson. The book will be professionally typeset, laid out, and published by Snowbooks (who also published my other successful Kickstarter projects YOU ARE THE HERO (Parts 1 & 2), the ACE Gamebooks Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland, The Wicked Wizard of Oz and NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!, and the short story anthology Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu).
As well as paying for the production of the Beowulf Beastslayer gamebooks and backer rewards, the initial funding goal will also pay for ten full-page illustrations and small filler images, by Russ Nicholson.
However, the aim is to feature twenty full-page pieces of art in the book, hence the need for Stretch Goals. But if we hit the Stretch Goals, those people who back at the higher levels will receive additional rewards...
If we hit Stretch Goal One, everyone who backs the Kickstarter at the HERALD level (or above) will receive an exclusive Beowulf miniature*, created by master sculptor Paul Muller, based on Russ Nicholson's artwork, and cast by Otherworld Miniatures. Here are the figures of Zagor the Warlock and Balthus Dire that Paul sculpted for the Fighting Fantasy Fest events.
If we hit Stretch Goal Two, Beowulf Beastslayer will feature fifteen full-page illustrations, and everyone who backs the Kickstarter at the HERALD level (or above) will also receive an exclusive Grendel miniature*, again created by master sculptor Paul Muller (based on Russ Nicholson's artwork) and cast by Otherworld Miniatures.
If we hit Stretch Goal Three, Beowulf Beastslayer will feature twenty full-page illustrations, and everyone who backs the Kickstarter at the HERALD level (or above) will also receive an exclusive miniature* of Grendel's Mother, sculpted by Paul Muller (based on Russ Nicholson's artwork) and cast by Otherworld Miniatures.
* All miniatures will be supplied unpainted.
"Listen! We of the Spear-Danes in the days of yore, of those clan-kings, heard of their glory, how those nobles performed courageous deeds!"
So begins the greatest fantasy story of them all, the Old English epic poem Beowulf . It is a story that has fascinated people throughout the ages inspiring the likes of J. R. R. Tolkien, Seamus Heaney and Neil Gaiman.
King Hrothgar's great golden mead-hall Heorot is under a curse, subject to attacks by the mirth-hating night-stalker Grendel. None are capable of destroying the monster, although many have tried, until Beowulf and his company of Geatish warriors cross the sail-road and land on Danish shores...
Beowulf Beastslayer is a brand new take on the Anglo-Saxon epic, re-imagining the events described in the poem as an adventure gamebook. Will you follow the course of events as laid down by the scops and skalds of old, or will you choose a different path and forge your own legend?
Beowulf Beastslayer! A tale of heroes... A tale of monsters... A legend reborn!
In Beowulf Beastslayer, you take on the role of the eponymous hero Beowulf himself. You decide which path to take, which risks to brave, and even which of the strange creatures you will meet along the way to engage in battle.
Success is by no means certain and you may well fail to complete the adventure at your first attempt. However, with experience, skill, and maybe even a little luck, each new attempt should bring you closer to your ultimate goal.
But whether you survive your quest and rise to the level of lauded hero, and maybe even king, or succumb to the likes of the monster Grendel and his sea-hag mother, will be down to the choices YOU make.
In addition to the book itself, you will need two six-sided dice, or a conventional pack of 52 playing cards, a pencil, an eraser, and a copy of the Beowulf Beastslayer Adventure Sheet (spare copies of which can be downloaded from www.Snowbooks.com).
There are three different ways to play Beowulf Beastslayer, thanks to the flexible ACE Gamebooks rules system that was developed for Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland and adapted for both The Wicked Wizard of Oz and NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!
1) You can play through the adventure as you would many traditional interactive gamebooks, by rolling dice to determine the outcome of battles and other events.
2) However, if you prefer, you can ditch the dice and use a traditional pack of playing cards to find out what the Fates have in store for you during the course of the adventure.
3) Last of all, if you prefer, you can ditch the dice rolling and card shuffling altogether, and simply enjoy reading through the story. But be warned, even if you choose to enjoy Beowulf Beastslayer this way, success will still be by no means certain.
You have four different attributes to keep track of during the adventure. When it comes to your Agility, Combat and Endurance scores, rather than being determined randomly, YOU decide where Beowulf's strengths and weaknesses lie.
The fourth attribute is Hero Points. You gain these by performing heroic actions, and lose them by behaving in a way unbefitting of a hero of your status. However, you may also choose to 'spend' any Hero Points you have collected, to make sure battles or death-defying feats go your way.
For fans of fantasy gamebooks from the 1980s and '90s, Russ Nicholson will need no introduction. He illustrated eight Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, including the very first - The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - as well as FF novels and RPG manuals, and continues to provide the illustrations for the Fabled Lands series.
His portraiture and attention to detail - not to mention his undisputed skill at drawing caves - make him the ideal illustrator to bring the world of Beowulf Beastslayer to life, and we are thrilled to have him join our shield company.
So now let me introduce you to Beowulf Beastslayer...
Beowulf Beastslayer is available to backers of this Kickstarter in three different formats - eBook (which will include hyperlinks), paperback, and a special limited edition collector’s hardback.
The gamebook contains an introduction, all the rules you need to play, the adventure itself, a host of illustrations, and an Adventure Sheet for recording your stats as you work your way through the story.
The paperbacks are bound 'long grain'; not printing long grain means the spine cracks when you open the book, and it is much more rigid. There are no UK printers that print long grain and so Snowbooks use Norhaven in Denmark (appropriately enough) specifically so that we can have the books fall open nicely, without causing damage to the spines.
The limited edition collector's hardback will also include artist's sketches and designer's notes.
So check out the rewards below, back the project, tell all your friends, and I'll see you in Heorot, in the land of the Danes...
Thank you for your support.
No matter which level you back at, your support will help to make Beowulf Beastslayer a reality. The different pledge levels feature all sorts of exclusive rewards, from an exclusive bookmark and themed decks of playing cards, to ARU game rolls and signed hardbacks. Also, everyone who backs the Beowulf Beastslayer Kickstarter will have their name appear in the Acknowledgements in every edition of the book!
However, make sure you check out The One Hundred Club too. (Details at the end of the rewards.)
The first 100 people who back at the £100 HERALD level (or above), during the first 100 hours of the Kickstarter's run**, will also receive exclusive miniatures of Beowulf, Grendel, and Grendel's Mother, if the necessary funding stretch goals are achieved, at no extra charge.
There are 100 qualifying rewards for the 100 Club - 20 x HERALD, 70 x HERO, and 10 x KING - and if all of those rewards are pledged for by 1:00pm on Friday 5th October 2018, the Kickstarter will have already surpassed Stretch Goal Two, guaranteeing you at least Beowulf and his nemesis Grendel.
After this time the HERO level reward will increase in cost to £120, and the KING level reward will rise to £300 (if there are any illustration slots left), while the HERALD level reward will no longer be available.
Payment for post and packing will need to be made after the Kickstarter has funded, and will be handled by an external pledge manager, so please be aware that what you pledge isn't everything you will pay.
Rewards will be sent using Royal Mail's tracked and signed for services, where possible, which - for one copy of the gamebook, with the cost of packing added - will work out at approximately £5 for the UK, £12 for Europe, and £15 for the Rest of the World.
The following rewards can be added to any other pledges, or selected by themselves, but please note, they do not automatically come with copies of the gamebook or other rewards.
Please remember, Kickstarter will not charge you anything until the end of the funding period (which is 1.00pm on Wednesday 31st October 2018). Even when the funding period reaches its end, you will only then be charged if we have reached our funding goal (or surpassed it).
Still not sure what comes with each pledge level? Then check out this handy chart:
Having backed Beowulf Beastslayer, you may decide you want to receive more than one copy of the book. Here's how you go about upgrading your pledge.
Pledge at the £20 KARL level (or above) and simply add £15 to your pledge to receive a second copy of the paperback.
Pledge at the £50 JARL level (or above) and add £40 to your pledge to receive a second copy of the signed limited edition hardback, add £15 to receive a copy of the paperback as well, or even add £55 to receive one extra hardback and one paperback copy.
Pledge at the £100 HERALD level (or above) and add £20 to receive a second set of art prints, add £40 to receive a second copy of the signed limited edition hardback, add £15 to receive a copy of the paperback as well, or even add £75 to receive an extra set of art prints, signed hardback and paperback copy of the book.
DON'T FORGET! The first 100 people to back at the £100 HERALD level (or above), during the first 100 hours of the Kickstarter's run**, will also receive exclusive miniatures of Beowulf, Grendel, and Grendel's Mother, if the necessary funding stretch goals are achieved.
** After this time, the HERALD reward will no longer be available, and the HERO and KING rewards will increase in price to £120 and £300 respectively.
Risks and challenges
I am an experienced author with more than 70 published books to my name, including 19 gamebooks. As a result you can be sure that I will see this project through to the end. I also have a formal contract with award-winning UK publisher Snowbooks Ltd to publish this book, pending the outcome of this Kickstarter.
I have run six successful Kickstarters before, to produce YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, ALICE'S NIGHTMARE IN WONDERLAND (the first ACE Gamebook), SHAKESPEARE VS CTHULHU (a short story anthology), THE WICKED WIZARD OF OZ (the second ACE Gamebook), YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2, and NEVERLAND - HERE BE MONSTERS! You can read some of the 130+ 5-star reviews these books have since received on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jonathan-Green/e/B0034P7P60/ref=sr_tc_2_0…
Although my first Kickstarter - the original YOU ARE THE HERO - was delayed, I now have a reputation for delivering my Kickstarter projects near enough on time.
And remember - as this is a Kickstarter, you will not be charged a penny until the end of the Kickstarter's run, and even then, ONLY if the project has reached its funding goal.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)