This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Tue, March 12 2019 3:03 PM UTC +00:00.
Beneath the spires and stones, the canals and isles, the Catacombs breathe, inhaling life and exhaling danger... and the smell of treasure.
When the brave, greedy, desperate, or foolish venture beneath the stones and soft waves of Pentola they find themselves in a world made by Those Who Came Before, though shattered and marred by some ancient catastrophe which buckled the earth and loosed a seemingly endless flood of magical creatures and monsters into those halls of the dead.
So, what is this?
This single-sheet mini zine (zini, if you will) is an experiment in pushing the envelope for information density, layout, and gameable lore. It is written to be system agnostic, allowing you to take adventurers from any world and game into the catacombs described inside.
The inside spread describes how to procedurally generate dungeons on the fly or in advance complete with dozens of possible encounters and a back cover which is a quick reference for all the mechanics contained within.
What's the status?
The content and tables for the zine are already written and laid out, the only piece that remains is the art for the front cover and the spread.
Why a Kickstarter?
To make it possible to do a small, high quality download-and-print release run of this zini and prove out the format more broadly for other projects. If Beneath the Canals does well, it means we can make more content of this density and format and get it into people's hands sooner and more often.
Beneath the Canals is system agnostic and includes 4 tables with over 250 possible rooms, over a thousand possible demons you might encounter, and over 200 encounters, all in two A5 pages of content. The content and mechanics are designed to be hackable and malleable, leaning into making life as an OSR referee easier, not harder. The physical zine is a single folded piece of A4, giving you an A5 cover, two A5 pages inside for the content spread, and an A5 backcover which includes the quick reference tables.
We are working with Mixam for a potential print-run of the zini as an optional add-on.
- ✔ $250: Stat Blocks - I'll write up and format stat blocks compatible with B/X, Pathfinder, and 5e for the weird Pentolan creatures you might find in the Catacombs.
- ✔ $300: Digital Dungeons - Digital Tables and Randomizers for Beneath the Canals and all stretch goals by Saker Tarsos.
- ✔ $500: Zinicrawl I: Smoldering Gardens of Bone - Additional zini with catacomb map and artwork by Abigail LaLonde utilizing Beneath the Canals for its initial layout and then expanded upon, featuring an alchemical garden in the tombs and tunnels of the catacombs!
- ✔ $750: Toolzini I: Cadavers in the Catacombs - Additional zini detailing corpses and encounters you might discover while exploring the catacombs with art and content by Dungeons & Possums.
- $1000: Zinicrawl II - Additional zini with catacomb map by Foot of the Mountain Adventures and art by Michelle Smallwood utilizing Beneath the Canals for its initial layout and then expanded upon.
- $1250: Zinicrawl III: Breathing Stone - Additional zini written by Zedeck Siew featuring a living one-page dungeon set in the Pentolan Catacombs.
- $1500: Zinicrawl IV - Additional zini with written by Jose Kercado and art by Jay Labelle utilizing Beneath the Canals for its initial layout and then expanded upon.
- $1750: Zinicrawl V - Additional zini with catacomb map and artwork by Spaghetti Quester utilizing Beneath the Canals for its initial layout and then expanded upon.
- $2000: Toolzini II - We just secured the incredible Fiona Maeve Geist as a writer of another full zini, this time to write about reliquaries and ossuaries!
Jay Labelle is a Canadian artist and illustrator that has been bringing life to the fantastical and macabre for over 15 years. They are currently looking forward to a themed sketchbook release later this year focusing on canids in European mythology and are co-illustrating a collection of Canadian folklore tales due out in the summer of 2020.
Some of their work includes:
Michael T Lombardi has been writing and playing tabletop games and supplements for the better part of a decade when he's not busy writing and talking topics related to his IT day job. He's currently working on Pentola: City of Shards, a high-stakes adventure roleplaying game set in the city above the catacombs this project is exploring.
Stretch Goal Contributors
- Saker Tarsos makes modules and helpful web tools for OSR games. He also occasionally writes. You can find his work on his blog.
- Abigail LaLonde started playing RPGs back in '99 and has been drawing for as long as she can remember. She has become fascinated by the Old School/DIY movement and has open commissions for stippling and maps. You can find her work on her Patreon and at ArtStation.
- Dungeon & Possums is a prolific blogger, interviewer, reviewer, and content generator in the OSR. You can find him on his blog and on Twitter
- Pat Eyler (AKA Foot of the Mountain Adventures) is a nerd just coming back to gaming. He draws maps, DMs games, and blogs. You can find his work on his blog and Patreon.
- Michelle Smallwood is a free-lance TTRPG artist who has been working on her traditional and digital style for 20 years. She is heavily influenced by her love of fantasy, old-school TTRPG products, and doom metal. You can find her work in her portfolio and on DeviantArt.
- Zedeck Siew is based in Port Dickson, Malaysia, and has been a journalist, essayist, editor, fiction writer, translator, and game designer. With artist Mun Kao, he is currently creating fantasy RPG zines inspired by the mythistory and material cultures of Southeast Asia, collectively titled: "A Thousand Thousand Islands". You can also find his work on his blog.
- Jose Kercado is a passionate YouTuber, Dungeon Master, and game designer. You can find his work on YouTube and Patreon.
- Spaghetti Quester is an Italian Dungeon Keeper and Pasta Eater.He started playing D&D in the '90s and never managed to stop. Currently, he collaborates as an illustrator with several indie game designers, maintaining an aesthetic linked to the sacred monsters of the fantasy culture of the late twentieth century. You can find his portfolio on instagram.
Risks and challenges
The writing and layout for Beneath the Canals is completed and the art is ongoing - the project is 90% complete and I do not expect any real risk - even with the stretch goals there will be no delay of the initial PDF release.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter