$9,327
pledged of $1,000pledged of $1,000 goal
308
backers
4days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, November 21 2019 6:02 PM UTC +00:00.

Empyrean Investigations: Detective Adventures for D&D 5E

A set of three devious mysteries to test your skills of investigation and deduction, designed for use with Dungeons and Dragons 5E!

Empyrean Investigations: Detective Adventures for D&D 5E

A set of three devious mysteries to test your skills of investigation and deduction, designed for use with Dungeons and Dragons 5E!

$9,327
pledged of $1,000pledged of $1,000 goal
308
backers
4days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, November 21 2019 6:02 PM UTC +00:00.

About

Thanks to all of your support, Empyrean Investigations is funded! I can't wait to bring this batch of mysteries to your campaign. Plus, we've got a few stretch goals coming your way! Let's see what we can do with the rest of this Kickstarter! 

Thank you! 

 “In just about every other book I can think of, we're chasing on the heels of our heroes—the spies, the soldiers, the romantics, the adventurers. But we stand shoulder to shoulder with the detective.”
                          ― Anthony Horowitz, Magpie Murders

Empyrean Investigations is a book dedicated to bringing mystery to life in your home game of 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. Inside these pages, players will find ideas and mechanics for building their own detectives, and gamemasters will discover three investigative adventures as well as a guide to running mysteries in their campaigns.

Tales of detectives and investigations hold a hallowed place in our imaginations. Reading through Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express" or Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" lets us match our wits with those of detectives like Hercule Poirot and Gabriel John Utterson as they explore legendary cases both foul and mysterious. Whether the stories are about petty foibles or supernatural terror, we can't help but turn every page searching for the next clue. 

The three stories included in this campaign are an opportunity to bring the feel of a true investigation to your gaming table. Each case hides cryptic clues and devious plots brought to life by a villainous mastermind. Can your players use their powers of deduction to solve each case and bring these dreadful foes to justice? 

Then it's time to join Empyrean Investigations


 “My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people do not know.” 

          ― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle 

So, what do you get as a new member of Empyrean Investigations? This two-part, eighty page book comes in both digital and softcover forms to fit the needs of every D&D player.  

The first half of the book is the Detective's Handbook, filled with class archetypes, backgrounds, feats, and other options to give players all the options they need to turn any character into a hunter for the truth. Gamemasters can send this chapter to your players to prepare for the mysteries to come!

The rest of the book, Case Files and Evidence, is just for gamemasters. Along with suggestions for running an investigative campaign, these three cases will test your players' skills of investigation, problem-solving, and creativity. Every adventure comes packed with maps for investigations and battles, and new stat blocks for the villains and mysterious creatures hidden within. 

In The Case of the Charred Inn, your heroes must gain the assistance of the Beggar's Network to investigate a sudden spree of arson and murder throughout the frontier city of Ironhold. This case is for a team of 4th level Investigators. 

In The Case of the Emerald Queen, your heroes must ferret out a traitorous spy and stop them from assassinating the Emerald Queen in the grand, elven court of Il'vanor during the Midwinter Festival. This case is for a team of 5th level Investigators.

In The Case of the Whispering Monk, your heroes must track down a missing priest spilling divine secrets and causing untold chaos and unrest that could topple the penitent City of Stone. This case is for a team of 6th level Investigators.

Each case is designed to be played as a standalone adventure, but may also connect in a short campaign as part of Empyrean Investigations, your very own detective agency!

Do you ever struggle to remember names and faces during a complicated adventure? Those gamemasters who want to truly embrace these investigations will enjoy their very own set of Clue Cards, which detail the people, locations, and findings of the heroes as they work their way through the three cases. This digital deck will feature artwork and descriptions for each clue to remind your heroes about important parts of the story and give them the guides they need to complete their investigations! 

Want to be able to access any fantasy crime scene? Get your official Empyrean Investigations badge! Show everyone that you are a fantasy sleuth with these amazing Enamel Pins designed by Meghan Murphy! You can get your very own pin by pledging at the Dressed to Kill level, but anyone can add pins to their wardrobe by increasing any pledge by $13 (shipping included)!

Are you ready to run some investigations for your own players? Backers can also gain access to an Adventure Prep Seminar where you can get your questions answered about how to run through the three cases! Tune into this hourlong, online session and we'll talk about how to lead an investigation, while making sure your players can't immediately see through your devious plans. This seminar will also include some notes for designing your own investigative adventures and mysteries.

PLAY THE GAME: Online Sessions in February and March! If you are really excited about playing, then sign up for an opportunity to play an investigation with me online on Roll20 before running it for your own party. Specific dates and times will go out after the campaign ends with the hopes of making sure everyone can play the case of their choice. 

Stretch Goals Explained! 

[UNLOCKED!] $5,000: Physical Clue Cards will be added on to every pledge level with a softcover version of Empyrean Investigations. These physical cards will be printed on cardstock to give your players a meaningful artifact on your table, with the opportunity to reuse in future games. 

[UNLOCKED!] $6,000: Four Pregenerated Agency Characters will be added to every digital and physical pledge level, allowing players the opportunity to play the four characters on the book's cover! These will be created using some of the rules inside the Detective's Handbook, so they'll be exciting for both new and experienced D&D players. 

[UNLOCKED!] $7,000: Four Character Portraits will give you new artwork to use for the Agency characters either for your players or for new NPCs to fill out your adventure.

[UNLOCKED!] $8,000: Sights and Sounds of Mystery is filled with random tables that let you instantly add an aura of intrigue, horror, wonder, or surprise to your campaign! If you want to get a preview for what this might be like, you can check out my Sights and Sounds of Ravnica on the DMs Guild. 

 “You shall all three listen to Hercule Poirot while he gives you a lecture on crime.”
                          ― Agatha Christie, Taken at the Flood

Hey folks, my name is Richard Malena-Webber. I'm a game and puzzle designer who loves uncovering secrets and wishes the movie National Treasure was autobiographical. There's a real joy in a creating a mystery that makes someone gasp in wonder, and I hope I can bring that excitement to your game! You can find most of my puzzle projects on my website, Atomic Game Theory, and many of my adventures and supplements on the Dungeon Masters Guild

For your listening pleasure, you may be able to tell that I'm obsessed with Sherlock Holmes from this episode of the Obsessed Podcast with the wonderful Joseph Scrimshaw!

Empyrean Investigations' Lead Artist is Alaina Milare, a New Hampshire artist with a particular enthusiasm for character art and the fantasy genre. She is fond of tabletop role-playing games, and loves to draw the characters she discovers. Besides the incredible cover art featuring four wonderful detectives investigating the Charred Inn, Alaina is creating a number of interior art pieces to bring each case to life.  

Every map in these adventures is designed by master cartographer Dyson Logos, who offers many of his designs for free for modification and use as part of his Patreon! Dyson's work is incredible and I have used his fantastic maps in almost every project I've written for the DMs Guild.  


 “We traded off. She could continue collecting Peruvian hairless cats. I could keep the tank.”
                          ― Donald J. Sobol, Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme 

Kickstarter is a fantastic way to reach a wide audience and bring new ideas to life, as I learned in my last project for the Puzzle Keyring. My hope is that this project finds people who love detective stories and D&D, but also those who may love one and have never tried the other. If someone sees this Kickstarter and wants to try D&D for the first time, I'll have done my job right. That's my favorite thing.

There are many ways to publish adventures for D&D, but Kickstarter is also going to allow me to raise funds and gather the art I want to make this adventure sing. In my dreams, we're looking at the fantasy version of Sidney Paget's original 1890's artwork from The Strand, and what I have seen so far from the wonderful Alaina Milare makes me very happy about this project! 

This chart shows the breakdown for the initial goal of $1,000. To make Empyrean Investigations as amazing as possible, I need your support! 

Risks and challenges

“It often seems to me that's all detective work is, wiping out your false starts and beginning again."
― Agatha Christie, Death on the Nile

As with any creative work, the greatest challenge will be balancing the quest to make these stories as great as I can against the need to get these done in a timely manner. With an April deadline, that still leaves plenty of time to edit myself while still ensuring these cases are ready to play as soon as possible.

Currently, the Case of the Charred Inn and the Case of the Emerald Queen are complete and ready for layout. I have also completed a first draft and challenges for the remaining Case. I expect to have these done quickly, which will give me the remainder of the time to complete the Clue Cards. My art needs are already planned out and scheduled!

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    Dressed to Kill

    Dress in style and search for clues with advantage while wearing your very own Empyrean Investigations enamel pin!

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    The Field Bazaar

    A physical copy of the entire Empyrean Investigations book is yours! You'll also receive a digital copy and a digital set of Clue Cards for your own campaign.

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    The Game is Afoot

    You're invited to a private seminar to prepare you to run these cases for your players! You also get both the physical and digital versions of Empyrean Investigations! Let the investigations begin!

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    The Baker Street Irregulars (corrected!)

    Reserve your very own seat at an online playthrough of one of these mysterious cases! These games will occur before the rewards go out, so you'll be among the first to solve each mystery! Backers will have to choose among from three potential dates in FEBRUARY or MARCH, one for each case. Plus, after playing, you'll get the adventure to run for another group of investigators!

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    The Napoleon of Crime (Second Wave)

    You CAN have it all! Backers at this level will receive both copies of Empyrean Investigations, plus an Investigations enamel pin, a set of Clue Cards, an invitation to the adventure prep seminar, and a seat at one of the online game sessions.

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    The Baker Street Irregulars

    Reserve your very own seat at an online playthrough of one of these mysterious cases! These games will occur before the rewards go out, so you'll be among the first to solve each mystery! Backers will have to choose among from three potential dates in October, one for each case. Plus, after playing, you'll get the adventure to run for another group of investigators!

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    • Empyrean Investigations Softcover Book
    • Empyrean Investigations PDF
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    The Napoleon of Crime

    You CAN have it all! Backers at this level will receive both copies of Empyrean Investigations, plus an Investigations enamel pin, a set of Clue Cards, an invitation to the adventure prep seminar, and a seat at one of the online game sessions.

    Includes:
    • Empyrean Investigations Softcover Book
    • Empyrean Investigations PDF
    • Deck of Clue Cards PDF
    • Empyrean Investigations Enamel Pin
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    • Adventure Prep Seminar Access
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