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Imagine a gritty harsh fantasy RPG world where magic is based in reality, politics are complicated, and nothing is as it seems.
Imagine a gritty harsh fantasy RPG world where magic is based in reality, politics are complicated, and nothing is as it seems.
120 backers pledged $11,772 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$11,772

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We DID it! We're successfully backed!  There's still time, so...

If we can raise more money in the time left, here is what we promise:

  • at $11,000 - we'll give you another map of the city, broken up into regions, showing the control of the mafia families and who's who!
  • at $12,000 - we'll give all backers at all levels a MINI-ADVENTURE, a side-story with several encounters we've been working on which will whet your appetite's for more of Tarina's seedy side!
  • at $13,000 - we'll give everyone at all levels a unique new monster, native to the ancient steamy jungles of Tar Sequinus!
  • at $15,000 - we'll significantly expand the size of the Tarina Cityguide for all backers at the $25 and above, 15 extra pages of NPCs, locations, Traits, Equipment, and Feats. 

Imagine a fantasy gaming world as rigorously realistic as ours, replete with dark, gritty, manipulative personalities and cultures. Now add to that an enormous ancient world and "magic" that is more based on a hard sci-fi mashup than fantasy hand-waving. 

Players interface with ancient technologies, navigate byzantine layers of intrigue and may just survive long enough to achieve the power of the Old Gods themselves.

It all starts with TWO books, a map folio, a world map and with as little as $10 you will be:

Welcome to the

What if magic were real? What would it look like?

What would it take to believe that gods could walk the earth? What sort of beings could they be?

What if a fantasy world were created to fit within the bounds set by physics and the social sciences? A fantasy world made to be believed?

Welcome to the Shadowlandsa new Campaign Setting for the Pathfinder roleplaying game and compatible with the d20 game system! Over 15 years in the making by some of the hottest talent, both new and veteran, in the RPG industry.

Ben Wootten's "Brotherhood Chapterhouse"

The Products

Our initial launch includes 2 product releases:

The Gates of Tarina – An introductory module designed for a party of 1st level adventurers. It’s an urban mystery that will run your group of greenhorns through a gauntlet of Tarina’s vying powers, each at odds and each hoping to get their hands on some missing items….

Tarina Guidebook – A Player’s Guide to the Region surrounding Tarina. This book has everything a player needs to create a character from scratch to go adventuring in the area around Tarina! Also in this book:

·         More than 5 new races and sub-races
·         A new base class (the Brotherhood Adept
·         Three new Prestige Classes
·         A new monster - a vicious "elven" zombie, the Automachinoi (as shown in the video)!

·         Unique rules for Magic and Arcane spellcasters, including rules for magical surges, new spell lists, and more. 

·         Rules for psionics (called mentalism) & playing psionic characters.

·         A rich history, filled with politics, culture & intrigue - a Roman style civilization against the backdrop of a dangerous dinosaur filled jungle!

·         A rich city of a 150,000, beautifully mapped out, with 4 pages of history & culture, 4 pages of powerful NPCs, 4 pages of new options for Divine spellcasters, & much more. 

But don't think we can list everything the world offers right here and right now: that depends on what YOU help to create! This launch is your chance to be a part of the building of a world!

Michael Arrington's satellite map of Tarina

Future plans for the development of the website and the Shadowlands Setting  include:

  • Game adventure modules
  • Sourcebooks
  • Online store
  • Serialized fiction
  • Wikipedia style encyclopedia of all things Shadowlands (the Sæmyyr Incunabulum)
  • Bonus materials, both for Gamemasters and for Players
  • Online space for game hosting & organization
  • Ability for preferred members to contribute to world-building!
  • Much more!

Ben Wootten's cover "Approach to Tarina" & the gorgeous layout of John Cason.

The world is vast and there are many future stories to be told and games to be played! 

Join us and donate today!

Jon Roberts' incredible map of Sæmyyr (final version has cities & names).

For more on the creation of the Shadowlands and the building of the world Sæmyyr, you can start here: Metagame Theory Podcast #207.

To read a little about the complexity of realistically mapping a world as large as Neptune, read more here from Fantastic Maps.

Finally, for an example of actual play in the Shadowlands Campaign Setting, listen here at Troll in the Corner!

Twitter: @BlackStarGames

Facebook: BlackStarGames

Dedicated to the Memory of my father, Clarence E. Merwin.

VIDEO CREDITS:

Film: Ryan Lauderdale

Editing: Jules Beasley

Voice-over: Chris Merwin

Acting: Chris Merwin, Skid Maher, Jarl Thunberg

Graphic Design & Layout: John Cason

Artwork: Ben Wootten, Jon Roberts, Michael Arrington, Ambrose H. Hoilman

Script: Ben Cacchione & Chris Merwin (& Thomas Hobbes)

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Shadowlands Explorer: Patrons at this level will receive a high-resolution copy of the Sæmyyr World Map, designed by acclaimed RPG cartographer Jonathan Roberts of Fantastic Maps.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Shadowlands Adventurer: Receive the Sæmyyr World Map, as above, PLUS a PDF copy of the adventure "The Gates of Tarina".

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Tarina Adventurer: Receive all of the above PLUS a separate map pack of 5 high-resolution maps designed for use in the adventure and for the city of Tarina.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Shadowlands Gamer: Print editions of BOTH books: "The Gates of Tarina" adventure module AND the "Tarina Guidebook", everything you need to get introduced to the Shadowlands Campaign Setting!

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Tarina Explorer: Receive all of the above PLUS a PDF copy of the "Tarina Guidebook", the source book for the upcoming "Curse of the Raiton King" campaign saga and regional guide to the area surrounding the city of Tarina.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Tarina Patrona/Patronus: Receive all of the above PLUS acknowledgement in the 'Special Thanks' section of BOTH books with either your real name or chosen character name!

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    BlackStar Donor: Receive all of the above PLUS a limited edition BlackStar Studios T-shirt (still in design) marking you as a DONOR! Please provide size, etc. when donating.

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    Tarina Retailer: 5 copies of EACH book (10 books total) at a special rate for small retailers. Must share EIN or equivalent Tax ID when making a donation.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Sæmyyr Cartographer: Receive all of the above PLUS a full-color, poster-size printed Sæmyyr world map digitally SIGNED by cartographer Jonathan Roberts of Fantastic Maps.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Tar Sequin Rare Book Collector: Receive all of the above PLUS full-color print editions of both books ("The Gates of Tarina" adventure module and the "Tarina Guidebook"), SIGNED & NUMBERED by the two lead game designers - Chris Merwin & Ben Cacchione.

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    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    Shadowlands Shop: Our special rate for larger gaming stores who want a great special! TEN (10) copies of EACH book (20 books total) PLUS 3 copies of the Tarina Map Folio PLUS 1 World Map poster. Must share EIN or equivalent Tax ID when making a donation.

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    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    Shadowlands Super-Store: 15 copies of EACH book (30 copies total), 5 copies of the Tarina Map Folio, and 1 World Map poster for the largest gaming stores! Must share EIN or equivalent Tax ID when making a donation at this level.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Tarina Art Collector: Receive all of the above PLUS a full color print poster SIGNED & PERSONALIZED by Ambrose H. Hoilman of the “Gates of Tarina” cover art!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Black Jewel of Raetia Art Aficionado: Receive all of the above PLUS a limited edition digitally SIGNED and NUMBERED digital print on real canvas of artist Ben Wootten’s painting “Approach to Tarina”.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Paragon of Tarina: Receive all of the above PLUS you will be able to name and help develop one major NPC in the “Tarina Guidebook” and the forthcoming “Curse of the Raiton King” Campaign Saga.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Shadowlands Playtester: Receive all of the above PLUS one of the game designers will travel to your city (within the continental United States or Canada) and run a specially designed single session adventure for you and your group. You will also be listed separately as a "Very Special Thanks".

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Local AI: Receive all of the above PLUS you will be allowed to name and give input on a local god/artificial intelligence which will feature in the will be featured in all future listings of Tar Sequin deities (including the forthcoming player's primer) along with an entry in the Sæmyyr Incunabulum -the online encyclopedia of all things Shadowlands.

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Funding period

- (48 days)