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$3,162 pledged of $5,000 goal
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$3,162 pledged of $5,000 goal
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About this project

Update 10/3/2016

The pledge amounts have been adjusted due to an error on my part. When I set up the campaign I had the pledges set up to charge for shipping, hence the high amount. Now, you simple pledge at the physical reward level you want and no double billing.

Note: Shipping and handling to backers in the U.S. is included in the pledge levels. If you are outside of the U.S. you will need to adjust your pledge to account for the additional postage. Please see the Shipping Section below.

Shadow, Sword & Spell 2E

You hail from a world awash in conflict, danger, and threats. You might be a thief due to your knack for picking the pockets of rich merchants in Gravinia while evading the competition. You might be a raider selling your sword to the highest bidder and fight for any or all as long as the silver flows. You might even hail from mysterious Cal’athar and have an affinity for arcane forces, using them to work spells outside the realm of Man.

Your enemies are many. From hordes of skeletons summoned by necromancers, to slavers seeking to fill their coffers by selling their human goods, to mysteries lurking within mist covered woods, your hero armed with their wits and sword are tested and the outcome is uncertain. All of this stands in your way, challenging you to grab what you can, and make it your own.

If you are lucky, you have braved numerous dangers, made many enemies, and probably killed a few of your foes as well. Your sword arm has grown strong from the battles you have endured. Your nimbleness and brazenness has brought you a reputation as a master thief. The magics you have worked, and the lore you have mastered, have brought you to an understanding of magic’s depth.

You have gone from having little influence or prestige, to now being a person of renown and infamy. You have survived the trials and ordeals before you.

Through your wits, guile, and fortitude, you have fought back the hordes of unholy terror. You have saved countless men and women from the bonds of slavery. You have discovered hidden treasures, long forgotten tombs, and tomes of arcane knowledge.

You have become a hero, an outlaw, even a thorn in the side of the powers that be. Your trials have prepared you, and now, you are ready to inscribe your name upon the rolls of history. The world now will feel your justice. Your enemies will know your vengeance. Those with the power have no choice but to share it with you. You will be a king, and the dynasty you founded shall endure for centuries.

Are you up to the challenge?

Inspired by the writings of Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, and H.P. Lovecraft, Shadow, Sword & Spell is fantasy of a different nature: humanistic. Your heroes seek out to carve their own trail, and the threats they face are outside the scope of humankind.

Art by Alfredo Lopez Jr.
Art by Alfredo Lopez Jr.

About the Game

Shadow, Sword & Spell is set in a world laden with mysteries, magic, and plots. This is a world in which the characters are born and in which they must survive if they are to make a name for themselves. This setting is filled with a smörgåsbord of cultures waxing and waning in power. Various kingdoms, city-states, and regions exist offering the brave, or stupid, numerous challenges. Drawing inspiration from the writers influencing this genre, the world of Shadow, Sword & Spell offers numerous locations teeming with possibilities. This is a world awash in conflict, tinged with magic, and filled with danger.

The stronger you are, the more power you have. Merchants work and scheme to gain more wealth. Nobles work and scheme to achieve power. Priests work and scheme to gain influence. Everyone has an agenda, and often these agendas conflict. Either willingly, or unwillingly, you are dragged into this conflict, and it is up to you to survive. If you can make a tidy profit, then all the better.

The world contains sun-blasted deserts, vine-shrouded jungles, ancient ruins with hidden secrets and more, offering endless possibilities. It is this world that GMs set their adventures in, and players explore.

Your character is a native of The World. They might be a thief, who due to their knack of picking pockets, makes a living in Gravina robbing all, while dodging the competing gangs.

They might be a raider, who sells their sword to the highest bidder and fights for any or all as long as the silver continues to flow.

They might even hail from the region of Cal’athar, and have an affinity for the forces of the arcane that allows them to work spells outside the scope of everyday life. 

In Shadow, Sword & Spell, you create a character who due to some event, some desire, drives you to thumb your nose at your lot in life, and you choose to live the way you want. Society holds no bonds for you, and you choose the life you want to live. Why should the wealthy alone be rich? Why should a weak baron own his own land? You want that, and more, and by Azathoth’s Radiance, you shall!

As your character adventures and grows, she becomes stronger and influential. Over time, she begins acquiring the trappings of wealth, and power. Her influence and fame leads her to command armies, to rule a kingdom, to influence society; — but let’s not get ahead of ourselves — that is, if she survives it!

Art by Jeff Preston
Art by Jeff Preston

Rules Overview

Action in Shadow, Sword & Spell isn’t intended to be realistic. It is not meant to be gritty. It’s meant to recreate the type of action you’re likely to read in books, see in comic books, or see in a movie or television show. The game’s rules, known as 12°, are designed to accommodate this style of play with ease. Action is about doing things in a flashy and larger-than-life way. It is one thing to say your Character is fighting a pack of wolves, it’s another to say they are doing so while balancing on a crumbling wall of a famous ruin.

Every action, regardless of whether your character is swinging a sword, firing a crossbow, or intimidating a merchant, is handled the same way: roll two d12s (2d12), and if the result is equal to or greater than the given Target Number (or TN), the action succeeds. Simple as that!

For example, if your character wants to climb a wall in a raging storm; your character has 12 Nimble (which gives you a +2 bonus of all tests involving Nimble) and a Athletics skill of +8; this is going to be a challenging test, and thus it has a TN 24. Rolling 2d12 your result is 8 and 1, giving you a total of 9. Adding this with your Nimble bonus and skill rank the total is equal to 14 (9 [die roll] +2 [ability bonus] + Athletics skill [+8]). Since 19 is less than the TN of 24 your character fails. Easy as that.

Art by Bradley K. McDevitt
Art by Bradley K. McDevitt

About the Game

First published in 2009, Shadow, Sword & Spell is Rogue Games’ second roleplaying game. The first edition was released as two books (Basic and Expert) but the format was something I was never happy with.

Since 2009, the mechanic driving this game (as well as it’s sister game Colonial Gothic) has changed and adapted through years of play. Things that never worked have been dropped, rules that were never clear, have been clarified, and all revisions had one goal in mind: make the game better.

With Rogue Games' 10th Anniversary approaching next year, I decided it was time to clean the mechanic running the games. I also thought that since I was doing this, I should do something more: have Shadow, Sword & Spell go back to my original intent for the game’s format: one book. The other major goal with this is wanting Shadow, Sword & Spell to match the artistic vision I had.

So how do you meet the goal of vision matching?

New art, new layout and a tighter focus.

That is where this Kickstarter Campaign comes into play.

Allocation of Funds

Shadow, Sword & Spell is a complete game. Everything you need to play or run it is found between the two covers. By backing this your pledge goes to getting the book ready for a full release into distribution. Backing this project gives you access to the game before anyone else gets it, as well as the ability to get a printed copy ahead of everyone. The breakdown of the funding is as follows:

  • Kickstarter Fees
  • Taxes for project’s success
  • Printing and shipping within the United States
  • Editing costs
  • Art costs
  • Layout of book
  • Contingencies 

Furthermore, since the game is written, it has been laid out in a no-art text only format. As soon as you back this project, you gain access to the PDF so you can see that the game is a near finished project. Though the draft still needs to be polished and edited, the game is ready to be played now.

What do you get 

By successfully funding this Kickstarter you get a copy of the game. Here is the break- down of the levels:

  • Pledge $10 Mercenary: You get a PDF/ePub/Kindle version of the Rulebook, all unlocked PDF Stretch Goals and your name in the book as a backer. 
  • Pledge $45 Conquerer: You get a softcover version of the Rulebook as well as the PDF/ePub/Kindle version, any stretch goals in PDF/ePub/Kindle, and your name in the book as a backer. Shipping is estimated at $15 for U.S. addresses. See the Shipping section for estimated international shipping charges.
  • Pledge $55 Hero King: You get a hardcover version of the Rulebook as well as the PDF/ePub/Kindle version, any stretch goals in PDF/ePub/Kindle, and your name in the book as a backer. Shipping is estimated at $15 for U.S. addresses. See the Shipping section for estimated international shipping charges.

Shipping

Your pledge covers shipping and handling in the U.S. and part of the cost of shipping and handling elsewhere. Here is the current best estimates for additional costs outside of the U.S. Add the amount listed below to your pledge to insure your book gets to you.

These are, as of project launch, the current estimates for international shipping for one copy of the Shadow, Sword & Spell Rulebook 2nd Edition (either as a softcover or hardcover) to a select few locations outside of the United States. 

  • Canada: +$20.00
  • Mexico: +$24.00
  • United Kingdom: +$10.00
  • France: +$14.00
  • Germany, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg: +$14.00
  • Rest of the European Union: +$18.00
  • Russia and Asia: +$15.00
  • Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere: +$30.00

Delivery of Digital Rewards

In order to insure that no hiccups happen with getting you your digital rewards I will be using Drivethrurpg.com. At the time of the survey please make sure you provide the email address associated with your Drivethrurpg.com account.

Art by Jeff Preston
Art by Jeff Preston

What no stretch goals? 

Yes and no. 

I am very focused on what I want this campaign to be, and that is to fund the finishing and printing of a new edition of Shadow, Sword & Spell. Any stretch goal must go to making the game better. Too many times campaigns fail to deliver because the stretch goals have costs that outstrip the available funds. This will not happen with this campaign. However, there are some things I would like to add to the game, and if we reach certain benchmarks, they can happen. 

  • $5,000 — The campaign will be a success. You will get your copy of the game. 
  • $5,300 — Release a revised and expanded version of It's in the Wine an original PDF adventure designed for the new edition of the game. This adventure was included in the first edition of the game, but as it is now, does not fit with the new edition of the game. You will get access to this a year before it is available in retail. Note: delivery of this will happen after Shadow, Sword & Spell 2E is delivered. The adventure is in a rough draft, but the real work will not begin once the Rulebook’s text is locked. 
  • $5,500 — Release Tower of the Hand an original PDF adventure designed for the new edition of the game. You will get access to this a year before it is available in retail. Note: delivery of this will happen after Shadow, Sword & Spell 2E is delivered. The adventure is in a rough draft, but the real work will not begin once the rulebook’s text is locked.  Note: delivery of this will happen after Shadow, Sword & Spell 2E is delivered. The adventure is in a rough draft, but the real work will not begin once the Rulebook’s text is locked.
  • $5,700 — Release Into the Depths an original PDF adventure designed for the new edition of the game. You will get access to this a year before it is available in retail. Note: delivery of this will happen after Shadow, Sword & Spell 2E is delivered. The adventure is in a rough draft, but the real work will not begin once the rulebook’s text is locked. 
  • $5,900 — Release Sherwood: The Legend of Robin Hood Shadow, Sword & Spell Edition as a PDF published by Battlefield Press. This will come after the Shadow, Sword & Spell 2E is done and delivered to the backers. 
  • What if we go higher than the amounts listed? 

I have plans, but I do not want to put the cart before the horse. 

Who I am 

Since 1996 I have been a freelance writer and designer and have written for Atlas Games, Guardians of Order, Hogshead Publishing, and Zeitgeist Games (just to name a few). In addition, I have designed two card games (Geek Wars: Battle for the Con and World Championship Dodge Ball), worked on Dave Arneson's Blackmoor, a three time ENnie nomine, and have been a co-winner as well. 

I am the owner of Rogue Games which has been in business since 2007. Since 2007 I have published both Colonial Gothic and Shadow, Sword & Spell. I have produced and published all titles on time, and have met all deadlines imposed by me, or by interested parties. I also a consultant to a number of clients when it comes to publishing books using traditional and non-traditional methods. Finally, I am an experienced book designer and typographer who has done work for numerous clients. 

I have been publishing and selling books professionally for close to 20 years, in addition I have been using Lightning Source as my printer of choice for just as long. This provides flexibility in getting you your copy of the game you pledged for. Lightning Source has printing plants on multiple continents, which gives you the lowest possible shipping cost available. In addition, thanks to my decade-plus experience with Lightning Source, as well as Lightning Sources' own decades of experience, the process runs far smoother and has less headaches for all involved. I know what I am doing when it comes to getting a book ready to print and out the door. 

Risks and challenges

The major risk inheritant in this project is the simple fact Rogue Games is a one person shop. While I have released all Rogue Games release on time, there is always a chance a lighting bolt might strike. I have minimized this by completing as much work as possible prior to launching this Kickstarter. After it is a success, all I need to do is order the art, polish the manuscript, send it to the editor, and pay everyone for their work. Once all of that is done, I simply have to layout the book, get proofs, approve these proofs, and deliver you your game. I can do this with one arm tied behind my back, and thanks to my OCD/Aspergers I am very goal and task orientated.

All the artists who I have lined up are those who I have worked with before. For this project, I want to assure them they have enough time to create, and funding their work is what this Kickstarter is about. Since the book is roughly laid-out, I know what my art needs are, and it will be easy to give my artists the specs they need.

Delivery of the PDF is not an issue, since Drivethrurpg is handling that end for me. The printing and shipping of the books is not an issues due to my using Lightning Source for this task.

In short, even if this is my first Kickstarter, I have a solid plan in place and know how to adapt to any unforeseen situations.

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

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    Mercenary

    You get a PDF/ePub/Kindle version of the Rulebook, all unlocked PDF Stretch Goals and your name in the book as a backer.

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    Conquerer

    You get a softcover version of the Rulebook as well as the PDF/ePub/Kindle version, any stretch goals in PDF/ePub/Kindle, and your name in the book as a backer. Shipping is estimated at $15 for U.S. addresses. See the Shipping section for estimated international shipping charges.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Conquerer

    You get a softcover version of the Rulebook as well as the PDF/ePub/Kindle version, any stretch goals in PDF/ePub/Kindle, and your name in the book as a backer. See the Shipping section for estimated international shipping charges.

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    Hero King

    You get a hardcover version of the Rulebook as well as the PDF/ePub/Kindle version, any stretch goals in PDF/ePub/Kindle, and your name in the book as a backer. Shipping is estimated at $15 for U.S. addresses. See the Shipping section for estimated international shipping charges.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Hero King

    You get a hardcover version of the Rulebook as well as the PDF/ePub/Kindle version, any stretch goals in PDF/ePub/Kindle, and your name in the book as a backer. See the Shipping section for estimated international shipping charges.

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Funding period

- (34 days)