Magonomia: the RPG of Renaissance wizardry

by Andrew Gronosky: Shewstone Publishing

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      Kenton Oatley on

      Looks good. Personally, I like the simplicity of the 3 tiers of pledges.

    2. Michela Graziani on

      This project looks very promising, I can't wait to play with it!
      Good luck!

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About

Magonomia is an original fantasy roleplaying game with magic based on authentic sixteenth century folklore. 

Your character is a wizard: one of the rare few who can cast truly wondrous spells such as turning invisible or walking on water. Together, the wizards explore mysteries in a world of faeries and ghosts, curses, prophecies, and ancient mystical secrets.

What destiny do your stars foretell?

 What's new about Magonomia?

  • Everyone plays a wizard! There are five different, distinctive styles of magic to choose from.
  • Its unique magic system is based on authentic European folklore.
  • The world of Enchanted England is a blend of history and myth: richer, grander, and more surprising than any purely fictional game setting.
  • Innovative divination rules mean magic can always help advance the plot, but never spoils the mystery.
Cover artwork for Magonomia by Claudio Pozas. A sorcerer and an alchemist follow a ghostly apparition into a crypt.
Cover artwork for Magonomia by Claudio Pozas. A sorcerer and an alchemist follow a ghostly apparition into a crypt.

Your wizard will wield one of the noble Sciences of magic: 

  •  Alchemy, the magic of physical and spiritual transformation
  •  Astrology, harnessing the power of the stars to create physical change on earth, as well as forecasting (not foretelling) the destiny of people and nations
  •  Sorcery, binding spirits into unwilling service
  •  Theurgy, invoking spirits through holy names
  •  Witchcraft, the magic of the common folk, with roots in ancient practice

The Enchanted England setting combines the adventure and intrigue of Renaissance England with fantastic elements from the legends, folk tales, and literature of the period: the witches of MacBeth; the faeries of A Midsummer Night's Dream; curses, prophecies, and invisible spirits. Enchanted England is a world of wonders and perils, ripe for adventure!

Magonomia is a complete RPG based on the Fate Core System. It will be published as one book that contains everything players and GMs need to create their own adventures in the world of Enchanted England:

  • 8.5" x 11" trim size, hardcover, 250+ pages (stretch goals add additional content)
  • Printed on-demand in full Standard Color
  • A complete, original magic system including over 100 detailed spells
  • Sourcebook, creatures, and story ideas for the Enchanted England setting

All the Fate rules you need are included. 

Backers receiving print copies will be charged actual shipping costs plus applicable taxes and duties when the book is ready to ship.

You can download the Starter Rules to play Magonomia for free and try out the magic system!

On one level, we need to raise money to pay for original artwork, layout, and to compensate the authors.

Equally important, we want to get backers involved in this project. We've already completed four rounds of playtesting so we know the game is ready to play. 

If we have learned anything in writing this game, it's that listening to feedback always makes the game better. Crowdfunding gives us an opportunity to go the extra mile and give backers at the $25 level and above an "early access" draft of the manuscript they can read and play. Tell us what are your favorite parts! Tell us about possibilities we may have overlooked, or anything that is unclear or can be improved. We'll use that feedback when we complete final revisions and editing. Roleplaying is a creative hobby: we want your ideas and feedback!

To defend Kingdoms, to discover the secret counsels of men, to overcome enemies, to redeem captives, to increase riches, to procure the favor of men, to expell diseases, to preserve health, to prolong life, to renew youth, to foretell future events, to see and know things done many miles off, and such like as these, by vertue of superior influences, may seem things incredible; Yet read but the ensuing Treatise, and thou shalt see the possibility thereof confirmed both by reason, and example.

J.F., introduction to Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa

Prospero, Miranda and Ariel, from "The Tempest" Unknown artist, c. 1780
Prospero, Miranda and Ariel, from "The Tempest" Unknown artist, c. 1780

Magic is knowledge of the secret laws of the universe. Before the benefits of modern science, nearly everything in nature seemed mysterious. The clouds can nourish farmland with rain or unleash a hailstorm. The tides rise and fall in harmony with the phases of the moon. An apple growing on the tree will stay fresh, but once it falls to the ground, it will soon decay. The forces behind everything inexplicable, from the weather to human health, were called "occult," from the Latin word occulta, meaning hidden.

Understanding occult forces brings great power. It enables the philosopher to focus and direct them, putting them to work like a ship's sail catches the wind or a brick oven concentrates heat. This is what sixteenth-century scholars called "natural magic." The tools of natural magic are talismans, sigils, musical harmonies, herbs, and minerals, which amplify and redirect occult forces. 

According to Renaissance belief, the world is full of invisible spirits. Each spirit is an occult force in itself. Some people call them angels and demons, but whether they are truly good or evil, no one knows for sure. The ancients thought of them as gods. Those who know their secret names can command them, making them use their occult powers as the wizard directs.

Historically themed magic doesn't mean low magic. While the spells in Magonomia are often more subtle than in other games, they can be quite powerful and sometimes dramatic: scrying on distant places, turning invisible, sending a spirit to carry a message to distant lands, or making a person impervious to weapons. 

Fate™ is a trademark of Evil Hat Productions, LLC. The Powered by Fate logo is © Evil Hat Productions, LLC and is used with permission.
Fate™ is a trademark of Evil Hat Productions, LLC. The Powered by Fate logo is © Evil Hat Productions, LLC and is used with permission.

Magonomia is built on the award-winning Fate Core System mechanics. Fate is a lightweight but very flexible rules system that encourages "story first" gameplay, collaboration, and creativity. We've developed a detailed magic system for Magonomia unlike anything we've seen in other Fate-based games. Check out the Starter Rules to see for yourself!

You do not need a copy of Fate Core System to play: everything you need is included in the Magonomia rule book, presented in a user-friendly way for newcomers.

 To give you a feel for the game and the quality of our work, we've uploaded a playable Starter Rules PDF and intro adventure to DriveThruRPG.com. Try it out! You can play Magonomia today.

The Starter Rules were produced using public domain art and stock art. The full Magonomia rule book will add original, full-color artwork!

You can download the playable Starter Rules and intro adventure from DriveThruRPG.com!
You can download the playable Starter Rules and intro adventure from DriveThruRPG.com!

Here's a 30-minute video of developers Andrew Gronosky (GM) and Vesna Gronosky playing the Magonomia Starter Rules with our regular gaming group.

We have more material written than will fit in the 250-page base product. Once we know how many pages we can afford to print, we'll size the manuscript to that and share the draft with backers for feedback while other parts of the work are ramping up.

  • September 12, 2019: "Early access" PDF draft of the game text (no illustrations) sent to backers $25 and up. This gives backers a chance to provide feedback and help make the product awesome! It also gives you something to play while the game works through the rather long production pipeline of an RPG.
  • September 2019-December 2019: Feedback period on "Early access" PDF while we finish writing stretch goals and get started on the artwork.
  • March 1, 2020: Revised "Early access" PDF incorporating feedback and stretch goals. Final editing and layout begin!
  • September 12, 2020: Expected delivery of PDF rewards
  •  November 30, 2020: Expected shipping of print rewards 
PDF rewards fulfilled by DriveThruRPG
PDF rewards fulfilled by DriveThruRPG

Shipping costs are NOT included in your pledge level. Backers will be charged actual shipping costs, plus applicable taxes and duties, when the project is ready to ship. These numbers are estimates only and could increase. (Estimates are based on a hefty 480 page book to account for all possible stretch goals.)

  • United States: $6
  • Canada: $17
  • Mexico: $7
  • United Kingdom: $7
  • France or Germany: $10
  • Rest of the World (except Brazil): $20

Unfortunately, due to excessive import duties, we are not able to ship to Brazil. Brazilian gamers, please consider backing at the PDF level!

We have more material written than will fit in the book. Of course, we can save the excess for future supplements, but the more stretch goals we unlock, the more spells and arcane lore and original artwork we can fit into the core book! 

Please note, some but not all of the stretch goals are already written.

Tell your friends about this project to help us reach stretch goals!
Tell your friends about this project to help us reach stretch goals!

$13,000 - Aries. Map of London: A full-page, color map of London, with notable locations marked and color-coded by decade.

$14,000 - Taurus. Wizards' Laboratory: Background on what equipment and arcane ingredients are found in a typical laboratory for each magical Science, with illustrations.  Includes plot hooks for stories that start in a wizard's laboratory.

$15,000 - Gemini. Additional wizard archetypes. An archetype is a template for a character concept that you can customize by choosing spells, Skills, and Stunts from a menu of suggestions. Archetypes are optional; they're a quick and easy way to build a thematically strong wizard character. The base product includes three archetypes for each magical Science. If we reach $15,000, we'll add five additional archetypes along with their signature spells: 20 pages of new content!

  • Mystic (Alchemy)
  • Navigator (Astrology)
  • Necromancer (Sorcery)
  • Miracle Worker (Theurgy)
  • Weather Witch (Witchcraft)

$16,000 - Cancer.  Enchanted Locations: 5 pages on enchanted locations in England and Wales, written by guest author Timothy Ferguson of the Games From Folktales blog.

Further stretch goals to be unlocked!

Andrew Gronosky has been playing and GMing since the 1980s. He began his RPG design career as a freelancer for Ars Magica in 2005. His credits include the bestiary chapter of Realms of Power: Magic and the advanced combat rules for Lords of Men. Andrew is a cybersecurity expert in his day job and has applied the software industry's Agile process of continuous feedback and evolution to the development of Magonomia.

Christian Jensen Romer 

Tom Nowell has been roleplaying a long time, and some of his favorite games have been historically inspired ones like Ars Magica and 7th Sea. The opportunity to work on a game set in Elizabethan times was too good to pass up, and he's tried to bring in all the things he loves about a good game: a strong setting, a sense of the variety of characters you can play, and solid material to make life easier for players and game-runners alike. Tom lives in the UK and works in insurance. This is his debut as an RPG author. 

Vesna Gronosky 

Timothy Ferguson will be writing some of the stretch goals, if we reach them. He is a roleplaying games author from the Gold Coast, Australia. Timothy specializes in RPG books based on real-world folklore. He has written or co-written over 25 game supplements for historical fantasy RPGs. His blog, Games from Folktales, is at http://timothyferguson.wordpress.com/

Rick Hershey, owner of Fat Goblin Games, is a full-time RPG illustrator, author, and art director. He guided the design of the cover art for Magonomia and will direct the interior art as well.

F.A.Q.

Q: Why are there only 4 backer levels and 2 choices of rewards?

A: This is our first Kickstater. We are keeping it as simple as possible so we can concentrate on making a great product and delivering it smoothly. Sorry, that means no T-shirts!


Q: Will the print book be print-on-demand or offset printed?

A: It will be printed on-demand (standard color) with a hard cover. Offset printing is better quality but it's only cost effective at high volume. We will add a stretch goal to switch to offset printing if it comes within reach. Shipping costs will not be affected by that change.


Q: Will the finished book look like the Starter Rules?

A: Not exactly. The Starter Rules are illustrated using stock art. This Kickstarter will fund original, full-color artwork like what we see in leading RPGs. The finished product will still include some Renaissance era woodcuts and etchings, but we're illustrating a game, not a history book, and we want plenty of original artwork that says adventure.


Q: What is the Retailer Inquiry backer level?

A: It's only for retail stores. If you back at this level, we'll contact you to discuss your individual needs. We are a brand new publisher so some communication will be required. We're taking this approach instead of a one-size-fits-all bundle because we think it will be better for both us and the retailers. The limit of 50 is a practical limit of how many retailers we think we can keep track of!

Risks and challenges

This is Shewstone Publishing's first Kickstarter, so we have more to say about risks and challenges than most other projects do. Please read this section before pledging.

Backers who receive the hardcover reward will be charged actual shipping costs plus applicable taxes and duties. Those costs could increase between now and the time the project is completed. Costs listed on this Kickstarter page are preliminary estimates only.

The main risk of RPG Kickstarters is delays. I have done my best to make a realistic schedule, but there may be unforeseen events that cause a schedule slip. That said, here is what I've done to minimize that risk.

The mechanics and spells are done and have been through four rounds of playtesting. Backers $25 and above will receive an "early access" draft of the manuscript so they have something to play while this product is in production, and a chance to provide feedback on the content and clarity of the writing.

We have a veteran art director, Rick Hershey, who has completed several RPG Kickstarters. We've chosen other business partners based on past success fulfilling similar tabletop RPG Kickstarters.

I will post project updates monthly when we are on schedule and weekly if ever we're behind schedule. Each update will start with a one-line summary of project status.

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    Magician (PDF Edition)

    A full-color PDF edition of the Magonomia rule book.

    Includes:
    • PDF edition of Magonomia rule book
    • "Early access" preview of game text (without illustrations)
    • All stretch goals
    • Your name in the backers' credits
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    Philosopher (Hardcover + PDF)

    A full-color hardcover edition of the 250+ page Magonomia rule book, plus a PDF. Actual shipping costs, taxes, and duties will be added at fulfillment time.

    Includes:
    • Hardcover edition of Magonomia rule book
    • PDF edition of Magonomia rule book
    • "Early access" preview of game text (without illustrations)
    • All stretch goals
    • Your name in the backers' credits
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