About this project
Twenty-five stood in a line, cloaked in thick brown robes with voluminous sleeves and large hoods that were pulled low to hide their faces. Quiet and humble, they kept their heads bowed, their shoulders stooped, and their hands folded before them, though not a digit showed from beneath the folds of cloth, not a flash of flesh in the whole line.
“Piety, dignity, poverty”, the old Father Abbot intoned in his nasal voice. He stood alone on the balcony above the main entrance of St.-Mere-Abelle, the most prominent monastery in all the kingdom of Honce-the-Bear, in the northern temperate zone of Corona. Intertwined with the rocky cliffs of the southeastern coast, St.-Mere-Abelle had stood solemn and dark for nearly a millennium, with each generation of monks adding their toil and craftsmanship to the already huge structure. Its gray rock walls seemed to grow right from the solid stone, an extension of the earth’s power.
“Do you willingly enter the service of God?” the Father Abbot asked.
The twenty-five responded with a unified “Yes, say I!”
--The Demon Awakens
Welcome to St. Mere-Abelle, mother abbey of the Abellican Church, the most powerful religious seat in R.A. Salvatore’s fantasy world of Corona! DEMONWARS: REFORMATION is an old-school tabletop roleplaying game that puts you into the role of an Abellican Monk - priests, highly trained martial artists, and powerful magic users.
DEMONWARS: REFORMATION includes:
A game system designed to capture the best aspects of the older generation of tabletop roleplaying games, complete with everything you need to create your own adventures.
A game setting detailing the world of Corona: a fleshed out bestiary full of dangerous monsters, hostile goblins, rival monks, bloodthirsty powries, and more; notable locations with detailed maps, descriptions, and adventure hooks; important characters, including many from the DemonWars books; a distinctive gemstone magic system; and much more.
A new story arc set in the world of Corona after the events of the novel Immortalis. The campaign pits the players, as monks of the Abellican Church, against Marcalo De’Unnero’s renegade Abellican faction and the darker power behind it.
A novella from R.A. Salvatore, introducing players to the world of Corona as it is at the start of the story arc.
DEMONWARS: REFORMATION is a throwback tabletop roleplaying game.
Unlike many of the most recent entries in the tabletop RPG market, combat encounters are easy for a Game Master (GM) to prepare and adjudicate. Rules are open-ended and designed to encourage creativity.
The game mechanics are simple and easy to learn, allowing novice players and GMs to pick up the game quickly and easily. The consistent nature of the mechanics also allows lots of room for improvisation, from both the players' and the GM's perspectives.
The game system is deep and diverse, with many advancement paths for characters to pursue. Veteran RPG players will find no lack of skill combinations and customization options; veteran GMs will have many tools for crafting epic adventures.
DEMONWARS: REFORMATION is set in Corona, a world of magic and monsters, heroism and intrigue.
Corona is the setting for 11 classic novels by R.A. Salvatore—including The Demon Awakens, Mortalis, and The Highwayman. Humans have carved out four major realms—Alpinador, Behren, Honce-the-Bear, and To-gai—but these civilized lands are surrounded by largely unexplored wilderness. Danger and adventure abound, from the Mountains of Fire in the far south, to the blasted wasteland of the Barbacan in the north; from the endless Wilderlands in the west to the Weathered Isles and the Mirianic Ocean to the east.
DEMONWARS: REFORMATION focuses on the kingdom of Honce-the-Bear, a temperate land of rolling hills and deep forests. The majority of the subjects of the kingdom dwell along the long, broken coastline. Several mighty cities sit on the coast or on the banks of the mighty river Masur Delaval, including the throne seat at Ursal. The southern regions are a fertile breadbasket, rolling hills dotted with farms and villages, the peasant farmers ruled over by the many feudal barons in their castles. The north is more sparsely populated; only the hardiest of Honce-the-Bear’s people make their homes in cold Vanguard, near the Alpinadoran border. Fewer still settle in the wild Timberlands, in the northwestern reaches of the kingdom, a land of mighty pines and deep fields of caribou moss, at the very edge of the dangerous Wilderlands.
Corona is a world of heroes. The monks of the Abellican Church, the elf-trained Rangers, the Allheart Knights encased in their finely crafted steel platemail, the desert blademasters of the Chezhou-Lei. This abundance of powerful characters makes the setting ideally suited to a tabletop RPG, as the players take on the role of truly heroic characters.
DEMONWARS: REFORMATION includes a new canonical story arc.
Set in the aftermath of "Immortalis", the conclusion of the Second DemonWars saga, this story centers on the reformation of the Abellican Church, and it begins with a brand new R.A. Salvatore novella, which will be included in every game book.
The Abellican Church is in a state of upheaval. In the last days of the second Demon War, self-appointed Father Abbot Marcalo De’Unnero forced his brutal vision onto the Church. Those who did not adhere to his strict dogmas have been exiled or executed. Now, De’Unnero has fallen, but his adherents still control abbeys throughout Honce-the-Bear.
The few remaining followers of Saint Avelyn’s way have begun recruiting new monks to revive the church. With the support of the new King, Midalis, the hard work of reforming the Abellican Church can begin—and the first task must be to root out the remnants of the corruption De’Unnero wrought.
DEMONWARS: REFORMATION isn’t just a concept and a world - it’s a real, playable game.
We’ve been working on DEMONWARS: REFORMATION for over a year now. Bryan Salvatore built the first prototypes for a tabletop RPG last June, It was designed for extremely fast turn times and cooperative play without sacrificing strategic gameplay. We tabled that version of the game in August, as an interesting experiment but without engaging enough hooks to bring to market.
In December, Bob and Bryan revived that tabletop RPG with a set of radical changes, creating open-ended non-combat mechanics and setting it in the world of Corona. Playtesting started in January, and it has been our weekly RPG group’s preferred game since then. After about six months of refinement, no one in our group has any interest in going back to the games we were playing before.
We originally intended DEMONWARS: REFORMATION to include nearly every group of heroic characters from the world of Corona - the Rangers, Jhesta Tu, Chezhou-Lei, Allheart Knights, Abellicans, and Alpinadoran Barbarians. We narrowed this down to the Abellican Church in February because we wanted to be able to give each group the focus they deserve, without the constraints of fitting them into a short class entry in a larger book. By focusing their monk's training in one of four unique disciplines—or spreading training among two or more disciplines—players can still get a great amount of variety and flexibility out of this one “class”. We’re also able to explore the organization and its place in the world of Corona in great detail, complete with a new story arc. If this project is successful, we would love to produce further products with new character classes, new story arcs and with more detail on different areas of the world.
The game is presently at a very exciting point in its development. All major systems have been installed, so we have a framework for creating compelling gameplay, but there’s still plenty of room for cool new ideas. If this project is funded, we anticipate three to six months of playtesting and iteration before we produce the physical book.
+$45 Additional Game Book
Backers at the MONK tier or above--anyone who is already receiving a physical game book--can add additional game books for $45 each. We can ship no more than 10 game books to you!
+$30 International Shipping
If you want a copy of the game book shipped internationally, add $30 per game book ($20 for Canada). Also note only game books are available for overseas shipping, not signed novels.
If you are international and you want to back us at one of the higher levels, please contact us directly.
Digital Playtest Packet
The Digital Playtest Packet will be sent to all backers who have pledged at least $70 regardless of their level. This includes Shipping, Add-Ons, and people who pledged at levels higher than necessary.
Our funding goal is $50,000--which we've passed! We are funded!
We will produce a high-quality 320-page game book, complete with game rules, setting, a brief adventure and hooks into a larger story arc. The game book will include 16 original pieces of art, half full-color and half black-and-white.
If we fund beyond $50,000, though...
$52,500: Art Upgrade I -- Reached!
If we reach $52,500, we will commission only full-color art for the DEMONWARS: REFORMATION game book (unless the artists want to use B&W for style reasons--we won't second-guess our artists, but we won't restrict them, either!)
$55,000: Art Upgrade II -- Reached!
At $55,000, we will add 4 additional art pieces to the game book, including several larger art pieces.
$60,000: Art Upgrade III -- Reached!
At $60,000, we will add 8 additional full-color art pieces of various sizes.
$70,000: Additional Game Info -- Reached!
If we reach $70,000, we will produce, in addition to the DEMONWARS: REFORMATION game book, a 16-page Extended Rules pamphlet, including two new trade skills, an additional class (the Rogue), and more. When the game book ships, we will send a digital copy of this pamphlet to all backers at the NOVICE or higher level—if you get a copy of the game, you get a copy of the pamphlet, for no additional cost.
$80,000: Monster Portraits -- Reached!
If we reach $80,000, we will include full-color portraits for 24 of Corona’s most iconic monsters--powries, goblins, fomorian giants, and many more!$100,000: Second Novella
If we double our initial target, then as a special thank you, R.A. Salvatore will write an additional original novella set in the world of Corona, available for digital distribution sometime after the game ships. This novella will be free to all our backers who received the first novella—anyone at INITIATE or higher.
$110,000: Character Portraits
If we reach $110,000, sixteen of the most important characters in DEMONWARS: REFORMATION will get their own high-quality, full-color quarter-page portraits.
$135,000: One More Secret!
We really want to tell you what this one is… but not just yet!
$150,000: Additional Products
We really want to make more products in this world, using this rules system. If we can, we would love to keep adding to the world, with new monsters, new characters, new locations—entirely new stories. If we reach $150,000, then we’ll be 100% confident that the demand is out there and we can commit to making a follow-up to DEMONWARS: REFORMATION.
R.A. Salvatore is one of the best-known fantasy authors working today, with over 50 novels published in a variety of settings and worlds. His works include The Legend of Drizzt series, Star Wars: Vector Prime, The Crimson Shadow trilogy, and, most importantly for this project, the DemonWars and Saga of the First King novels. He is the creator of Corona, the fantasy world setting for DEMONWARS: REFORMATION.
Bryan Salvatore is a professional game designer with computer game experience ranging from small, indie projects to AAA online game development. He is currently working as the lead game designer and as a programmer at Tricky Fast Studios as well as serving as the lead game designer for DEMONWARS: REFORMATION.
Geno Salvatore is the co-author of The Stone of Tymora trilogy, a Young Adult fantasy series set in the Forgotten Realms®. He has also written, co-written, and contributed on several graphic novels, including The Legend of Drizzt: Neverwinter Tales, Dungeons and Dragons: Cutter, and Spooks. He has some game design experience, as well: he was a Narrative Designer at 38 Studios from 2010 to 2012.
Project Video: Mike Handverger has been making films and videos for 20 years and has been a gamer for even longer than that. He spends most of his time programming computer games for Tricky Fast Studios.
Original Score: Aubrey Hodges’s music and sound design is heard in video games and television all over the world with a combined total of over 220 games totaling over 128 million units shipped since he began his career. Hodges has been crafting music and audio for video games and television since 1985.
Logo: Brian Labore has been working as an artist for over twenty years. A gamer since childhood, Brian is also a writer and game designer with treasure type N (x5) and Q (x2).
Map (as seen in the Project Video): Also Aubrey Hodges. Composer, artist, cartographer--Aubrey is a man of many talents.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our first wave of playtesters: Mike Handverger, Jim Kelly, Mike Mayhew, Stephanie Piantedosi-Salvatore, Ryan Salvatore, DJ Salvatore and Jim Underdown.
And a very special thanks to Donna M. Parkinson for letting us use the beautiful cover art from Mortalis, as done by the late, great Keith Parkinson.
Risks and challenges
A lot of pieces go into a project like this—design, art, layout, printing, shipping, etc. We have talented people lined up for each piece of the puzzle, but scheduling conflicts can arise. We are confident that if any of our contributors has to withdraw from the project, we will be able to find suitable replacements.
Design and Writing:
We already have a game; we’ve been playing it for months. Our writing experience should be self-evident. We feel very confident in our ability to deliver an excellent product from a design and writing standpoint.
Art and Layout:
We have lined up several artists and a professional layout designer. There is always a risk that prices may change or schedules may not work, but we think that risk is minimal, and we are confident we can find suitable substitutes if absolutely necessary.
Printing and Shipping:
Until we have a finalized layout, we’ll be working from estimates for printing and shipping, but we’re working with professionals, so we feel we have a good idea what to expect here.
All in all, it is possible we may have to make minor changes in schedule or scope—but we think any changes at all are unlikely, and would be minimal. We fully anticipate being able to provide a high quality product in a timely manner.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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