Arcane Invitation: Educating Magical Prodigies in DnD 5e
A toolkit for running modern and fantasy D&D 5e campaigns set at magical boarding schools. Learn magic. Make friends. Save the world.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, June 6 2019 3:59 AM UTC +00:00.
Dear aspiring magus,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been invited to enroll in an ANCIENT and WELL-REGARDED institution for the education of children in the arcane arts. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary tomes and other supplies.
Term begins in the autumn. We await your familiar no later than the end of this month.
The world is more magical than it appears.
Life as a kid in the modern world is hard enough. But hidden away, behind the scenes, there’s a world of magic waiting for you to discover it. A letter comes, delivered by an almost normal animal; perhaps the familiar of a faraway witch. You have been selected. There’s something special about you. An academy of magic invites you to join. A secretive order has selected you as a prospect.
Arcane Invitation is a toolbox for running academic adventures using the most recent edition of Dungeons & Dragons as a core mechanic. You and your friends create kid characters, ready to take on the magical world through the lens of their educational experience. The DM adapts our curriculum of classes, professors, and mysteries into a campaign that brings out the best in your young heroes.
In this tome you’ll find all the classes, feats, backgrounds, spells, magical items and more that will bring your burgeoning spellcaster to life. We provide rules for wands (or orbs or staves) that choose the wizard, puzzles and tests, schoolyard fights, arcane athleticism, social status, mysteries on the school grounds, vindictive or inspirational professors, and more. The mechanics of Arcane Invitation encompass the usual physical encounters, as well as the mental and social battles that take place at places of learning.
While the usual D&D races can be used with Arcane Invitation, the corebook also provides a system for designing school Houses to fill that role for a character. Each House aspires to certain virtues (or vices), which they impress upon their members. Houses are a great way to bind characters together, make them into rivals, or just give them a social hierarchy to navigate. Entire campaigns might plumb the depths of a House’s origins and secrets, or explore the idiosyncrasies of its members.
Arcane Invitation is a D&D adaptation, not a campaign setting. It’s a toolbox and a starting place for building your own campaigns. Heavily inspired by hit books and films set in magical boarding schools, it’s designed to bridge the gap between our favorite young adult fiction settings and our favorite fantasy roleplaying system. It’s whimsical and magical, but artistically and thematically focused on real life. Artwork in Arcane Invitation is made from turning real photos into seemingly arcane situations.
Character classes are built on existing D&D classes, allowing for flexibility in terms of abilities and casting style. If you’d like to be a traditional-style magic user, memorizing spells from books, there’s a class for that. If you would rather just be a rascal, getting by on your luck and wits, well there’s a class for that too. Since they’re all built on the well-tested 5th edition D&D system, they work perfectly and can even be multiclassed or converted into “adult” character classes as the students grow up.
Backer Rewards So Far
Arcane Invitation (PDF). The 160+ page digital corebook, including rules for Houses, classes, feats, backgrounds, magical items, school supplies, new rules for encounters, and all the guidance you need to set up your campaign curriculum.
Arcane Invitation (Hardcover). The 150+ page hardcover full-color corebook, including House rules, classes, feats, backgrounds, magical items, school supplies, new rules for encounters, and all the guidance you need to set up your campaign curriculum.
Mysteries on School Grounds (PDF). A set of mysterious circumstances and encounters for use in Arcane Invitation campaigns. Exploring the castle grounds can be dangerous. Bring a wand.
The Book of Houses (PDF). A codex of secretive orders and scholastic clubs, willing to admit students who advance their agendas and interests. An excellent starting place for designing your school or your character. Unlocked at the $2000 funding level.
Advanced Character Sheets and Example Characters (corebook upgrade). We'll add longform character sheets to the corebook (4 pages), as well as a fully-formed pre-generated study group of plucky magi to make it quick and easy to jump into the action. Unlocked at the $3000 funding level.
Acolytes and Orders (PDF). A supplement for converting the Arcane Invitation system for use in religious organizations. Monastic life can still be exciting, especially when you’re a precocious kid. May the gods have mercy on your soul. Unlocked at the $4000 funding level.
Example School: Braintree Academy (corebook upgrade). A chapter fully detailing an example school added to the corebook. Unlocked at the $5000 funding level.
Advanced Placement (PDF). An in-depth look at the campaign curriculum, with new class pedagogy ideas, fleshed out professors, and arcane secrets only learned by those who study the hardest and have the best mentors. Unlocked at the $6000 funding level.
Expanded Trove of Magic (corebook upgrade). The corebook chapter on school supplies and magical items will be expanded to include 50 example magical items for use in school-aged adventures. Unlocked at the $7000 funding level.
War of the Magi (PDF). Bringing bigger events to your school through mysteries and off-campus adventures. Blending the school atmosphere with an evolving plotline beyond the planned curriculum, venturing into more traditional fantasy mechanics and encounters. Unlocked at the $8000 funding level.
Expanded Bestiary (corebook upgrade). The corebook chapter on magical creatures will be expanded to include 50 monsters and interesting animals, ready for fighting or taming. Unlocked at the $9000 funding level.
The Modern World (PDF). A supplement for integrating modern conventions and technologies into your campaigns. From computers and smartphones to guns and civil rights, broom trips into the city will never be the same. Unlocked at the $10,000 funding level.
First Year ($10). Reading List: Just the Arcane Invitation corebook PDF.
Second Year ($20). Reading list: The Arcane Invitation corebook PDF, the Mysteries on School Grounds PDF, and all other PDFs unlocked through stretch goals.
Third Year ($40). Reading List: The Arcane Invitation corebook hardcover, the Arcane Invitation corebook PDF, the Mysteries on School Grounds PDF, and all other PDFs unlocked through stretch goals.
We’ll be fulfilling both the digital and print rewards using DriveThruRPG / OneBookShelf. They ship to basically everywhere on the planet and their print quality is pretty darn good.
Our plan is to send out an update on the progress of the books on the 1st of each month, as well as whenever a book becomes available or goes out to backers.
If you’re a backer and have any questions, please email me at email@example.com
Risks and challenges
As per most game books of this nature, there is the risk that the writer/developer will become ill or otherwise unable to process fulfillment in a timely manner. It happens. We're dedicated to finishing up our work and getting the goods out to you good gamers though.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter