There is no warning. No scent on the wind. No sound of its presence. No temperature change. No disturbance to radar or satellite. It just returns as naturally as the May early morning dew. An energy force, long dormant, replenishes itself, overflows from its natural, ancient paths and, once again, integrates itself with our world.
On May 1st, 8.00am, great geysers of ethereal mist, swirling light and energy are spewed forth hundreds of feet high. In seconds, the mist segments into strands and wisps and, desperate for life energy, hundreds upon thousands of deadly spirits form into a blizzard of ghostly shapes and descend upon humanity and everything that lives. Coiling, wrapping and choking themselves around their victims, these violent smoke-like creatures kill millions within the first few minutes of their arrival...
Originally conceived within the mini campaign scenario, Scenes from the Mall, Awakened Earth (AE) is a post-apocalyptic, fantasy setting that follows the journey of the player characters as they try to survive in a world where monsters and magic are set to dominate the land. In the Shadow of Wraiths (ItSoW), is to be the first in a series of three source books that look at the setting in much greater detail. You can download a free introductory preview from DriveThru http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/177216/In-the-Shadow-of-Wraiths--KickStarter-preview
The first draft is already complete and currently being reviewed. This kickstarter project is intended to help generate funds to pay for illustrations.
Introducing both the player and the GM to the setting, ItSoW explores the events of Awakened Earth from day 1. Created as normal, modern day citizens that would, otherwise, be living their lives and going about their daily business, the player characters are immediately thrust into the heart of an apocalypse of immense and cataclysmic proportion as the wraiths descend and the decimation of humanity ensues...
Weighing in at 148 pages and consisting of five sections and their associated chapters, ItSoW provides all the information required to run and play games set within the first month of Awakened Earth.
Section 1, The Awakenings.
In addition to providing several modern day archetypal characters that are ready for play either as PCs or NPCs, the opening chapter of this section, Creating a Character, also contains information to assist with building individual, personalised, characters - as well as a handful of new Skills and additional Quirks suitable to a modern day setting.
The second chapter in the section, Chronology of the Awakenings, forms an account of the events that occur in the first 31 days and explores the chaos and hopelessness of the situation as humanity is quickly decimated and society breaks down to nothing more than small clustering groups.
Section 2, Resources.
This section contains notes and statistics for some modern day equipment, home made weapons and specific firearms that may well become the difference between life and death.
Section 3, Magic.
In the Shadow of Wraiths sets the scene as magic energy flows back into the land and becomes a much more proliferate power. The spells, talents, recipes and rituals that are included in this section enable players to create magic using characters that mimic the tarot readers, psychics, new age witches and miracle healers etc. of the “real world”.
Section 4, The GM's Section.
As expected, this section is for the GM's eyes only. As well as providing a number of ideas for scenarios and developing and personalising the setting, the section contains hints and tips on running the game including aspects such as fortune telling, sickness and disease, magical items and artefacts of power. It also introduces the concepts of Ley Lines and Nexus Points and looks at some of the powers that such places can bestow.
Section 5, The Creature Catalogue.
The Creature Catalogue provides full details and statistics for the wraith, exploring both it's behaviour, purpose and the nature of its being.
But wraiths are not the only thing spewed forth with the return of magic energy and the section also contains details and statistics for a number of other spirits, beasts and critters of legend that are set to awaken over the course of the hours, days and weeks that follow.
In the Shadow of Wraiths will be the first of three source books for Awakened Earth and work is already underway preparing the next two:
The Ley of the Land will explore events that take place from June to the end of the first winter and will provide more detail concerning magic, nexus points and Ley Lines. In addition, as humanity truly begins to emerge from hiding, The Ley of the Land will provide guidelines for running scavenging missions and an easily manageable game method for recording acquired resources. (Release date: Autumn 2016)
Communities looks at the future of Awakened Earth and explores the politics, trade and tribulations of the new settlements. Awakened creature XP Profiles, for use as player characters, will also be included as well as details of new and old awakened religions and gods (Release date: 2017)
Risks and challenges
Perhaps the biggest challenge to this project is spreading the word and attracting backers. As an independent publisher on a limited budget, especially one based in the UK, it's particularly difficult to reach out to a wider audience. So, beyond pledging financial support, I am really relying on your help to ensure this project hits beyond its goal. Please let the world know you're behind it by sharing a link to this page on your social media and generally shouting it from the rooftops.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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