Sundered Ages (Canceled)
A class free, d20, tabletop, fantasy adventure game where player creativity can flourish.
Sundered Ages (Canceled)
A class free, d20, tabletop, fantasy adventure game where player creativity can flourish.
Do you want to play D20 tabletop but have no time for complex character creation and obtuse rules? This game is for you! Sundered Ages is easy, fun and done, so that you can get down to what you want to do: GET TO PLAY ANYTHING! It has all of the best features you remember from other D20 games, but better.
What you get with Sundered Ages is more than the best D20 system to date, you get access to a fantastical world and adventure modules that will entertain and amaze.
WHAT IS SUNDERED AGES?
Sundered Ages is a tabletop role-playing game that reexamines the class structure of many traditional tabletop staples. It seeks to be simple enough for anyone to understand the basics but with enough layers of customization that experienced players can flex their creative muscles and build something not possible in other games.
The core innovation of Sundered Ages is that classes have been completely torn out and replaced with a pick-and-play system of character skills. In most tabletop games you would select a class for your character and be stuck with the package deal, desired or not. Your pacifist thief would be on equal footing for their thieving skills with the ruthless assassin character, because they, by default, have the same skill points and class based combat abilities. With Sundered Ages, the character is wholly yours and two otherwise similar rogue archetypes could have skill sets varied enough to feel unique. On top of this have been layered a myriad of other changes, like the introduction of mana and stamina stats to manage your character's casting and physical actions.
Our spell system has proven to be one of the more popular aspects from player feedback. Gone is the mechanic of spells-per-day and a complicated system of feats and class abilities to swap out lower or higher level spell slots for weakening, empowering or replacing what spells you can cast that day. Instead, your character has spells known, mana costs based on the tier of spell and a rate of mana regeneration. Do you want to unload your strongest spells one after another until your character faints from exhaustion or pepper in a string of less expensive spells to conserve your resources?
Our combat system has also been significantly retooled, to reduce the amount of time it takes to proceed through combat encounters. This is done by having a majority of the number crunching done before you ever roll a d20. Your skill investment, weapon, armor, stats, feats and even racial bonuses are handled on the front end creating static values for things like dodge, armor rating, attack bonus and damage. When your player rolls their d20 for an attack or spell, they will add their relevant modifier but the damage of their attack and the armor rating of their target are already set. With more than four years of testing and 150+ gaming sessions to pull data from, this has proven to be a real time saver. Additionally, for those that do want a little bit more randomness and variability in their combat, variant rules exist in the game book to re-introduce additional dice rolling.
While some players already familiar with tabletop will want to create their own characters wholesale, I understand that the system and tabletop altogether may be new territory for many. For this reason, the system comes with a character creator using class-similar archetypes. Maybe your friend has never sat down to a tabletop game before but wants to give it a try and only knows that they want to play an Elven archer. They select Wood Elf as race, Ranger as the archetype and in less time than it took to type up this sentence, they have a complete level 1 character sheet with starting equipment, remaining gold, an archetype-specific feat and all of the math done for them. When they sit down at the table all they need is a d20 and to be reminded when to roll it.
The last important thing to mention about the system, is its presentation. The PDFs are releasing with a level of interactivity not generally seen for tabletop games. They have an ease of use and that has astonished the play testers who have seen the books in their near final state. Whether you have it pulled up on a monitor, tablet or smartphone, we believe you will be impressed with the ease of use.
WHY HAVE A KICKSTARTER?
The majority of the ground work has already been completed for Sundered Ages. The rules are written, the launch PDFs are being polished for their debut and I am already writing out the skeleton notes for the upcoming adventure modules. The primary reason for the Kickstarter is to raise funding for artist costs and to gauge the community reaction to the system itself. Our initial launch has little in the way of the system specific and commissioned art we would like to eventually have and a big part of this comes down to cost. We are a team of two doing the actual writing and production for the game, and while we have commissioned artists able to do the work, it will take time and funding. If the initial launch of Sundered Ages reaches its goals, we will be re-releasing the bestiary and base book at a later date with the kind of commissioned art we would like to see in it.
Anyone who pledges for the Kickstarter tiers where a PDF book is given as a reward, will get a free copy of the updated PDF once the art is available for the re-release. This is our way of saying thank you and showing your support for this project in its launch state.
WHERE IS SUNDERED AGES?
Sundered Ages is more than just a fantastic system for slinging spells and battling monstrous creatures. It is a rich world setting with a grand narrative, within which all of the modular adventures are set.
Four centuries ago, the continent of Salvassia endured under the stability of the Pax Selessia. From the Northern reaches of the Icewater Coast to the expanse of the Herd Cutter Plains, the Empire of Selessia held sway. Legions of scaled warriors and academies of learned magi enforced the will of their divine emperors, from their seat of power in the capital of Runestone. Once tribal barbarians themselves, the Selessians had united under one banner and laid low their larger draconic cousins. Fueled by the power drawn from the ageless souls of enslaved dragons, Selessian sorcerers wove great works of magic and forged weapons mightier than any had seen. For hundreds of years the empire held its armies in defense, seeking to improve the land it had already won as well as the lives of its increasingly cosmopolitan citizens. The civilizations of Man, Gnome, Dwarf and Orc living within its shadow, acculturating to its ways, until the Dragon Revolt and the arrival of the Elfen folk. Under the stress of draconic revolt from within and Elfen invasion from without, the empire that had stood for near on 800 years collapsed into itself in less than a decade.
The Elfen peoples set up an empire of kingdoms within the old imperial borders and reduced the Selessians to slaves, used largely for the manual labor of tearing down old monuments and erecting new pointy eared replacements. At first the Elfs were ruthless, which gave way to callousness, apathy and greed. When the Wood Elf and the Dark Elf leaders could no longer stand the live under the yoke of their High and mighty cousins, they began a civil war that tore the empire apart. With a punitive view towards their cousins and an uncomfortably weary view of the Selessians, the enslaved people were set free once more to aid in the war effort. When the city of Runestone was, for only the second time in its existence, taken by siege, it may have been under Elfen banners but it was bought with Selessian blood. Now, twelve years on from the end of the war, the Free City States of Selessia sit precariously in the lands between three foreign peoples, prior slavers all. While these prior masters are glad to see the Selessians a splintered people, competing as much with them as with each other, there are already some that seek to unite Selessian once more. Under the banners of the Black Scale Legionaries, a self proclaimed Duke rises to prominence and fame, on the one day promise of a single Selessia.
The adventure modules for Sundered Ages pick up here, twelve years after the Elfen civil war, in a land still healing from centuries of slavery blood shed. The Selessian people, lizard folk from some forgotten Eastern land, have little in the way of knowledge about their past greatness, save for the structures still standing from before the invasion. The setting is ripe with intrigue and a plethora of adventuring opportunities and interesting locales. From the human kingdoms and republics of the Western Reaches, to the Dwarfen holds deep within the Shield Wall mountains or the Grand Union, a society of Gnomes and Orcs forced to band together to stand against their powerful neighbors. And though it is beyond the scope of most continental peoples, the magi of the City of Glass gaze unending towards the North and the great barrier of ice. They remember still that there are other worlds than these, that from whence they came and others too.
WHERE DID SUNDERED AGES COME FROM? WHO ARE WE?
Now that I've told you about the system, let me tell you about myself. My name is Derrick and I've been playing RPGs and Tabletop games for more than twenty years. I started my tabletop experience with sessions of 2E AD&D run by friends and by 2004 was running my own games of 3E, 3.5 and later Pathfinder. I think the creative teams responsible for these existing games have done fantastic work over the years and when I stopped house-ruling their systems and built my own. From the very beginning, I have wanted Sundered Ages to be its own system and not just a series of home-brew patches slapped onto another game.
I have been working on Sundered Ages for more than five years now and have had the assistance of dozens of players to help me play test every aspect of it. Above and beyond these play testers, I have to give special thanks and recognition to my best friend Stefan and my wife, Jen.
Stefan has been with me since the beginning. Spending multiple evening rolling d20s and running numbers tests to make sure the basic math for weapon types, armor and dodge were balanced against each other. There were a lot of encounters where the two handed combatant just slaughtered everyone else, before we were able to strike a better balance. He has stuck with me and supported this project the entire way through, as a play-tester and a friend.
Jen is the reason that I was ever able to get this project off of a series of spreadsheets and 350 page mess of a pdf word wall and into the sleek and sexy presentation that it currently has. She is a top notch graphics designer and an amazingly supportive partner. If you enjoy the look and ease of use of any of our current or future PDFs, you and I both have Jen to thank for it.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?
This kickstarter goes live on May 21st and will run through June 21st. When the timer closes down, assuming that we have reached or exceeded our goal, we will get the lists together for the various tiers and have all of the game PDFs sent out to the supporters. This is our first time with a kickstarter and we are allotting ourselves roughly one week to get this in order, so everyone that pledged for a PDF tier should have those documents to them by June 28th.
Along with the end of the kickstarter, we will be have our website launch and the product will go live for purchase, along with the our module subscriptions. The website will have our launch PDFs for sale and over the coming months additional adventure modules and eventually additional setting PDFs will be available. There will be a new module every month that is part of the grand campaign for the Realm 13 setting, along with additional modules releasing to flesh out the other locations and factions within the game world.
Years worth of material already exists for these modules from play-testing the mechanics and setting and we cannot wait to bring these adventures to the public.
WHY SUPPORT SUNDERED AGES?
I have been running tabletop games for many years now and writing my own stories to thrill groups of 3-5 people at a time, but I always wanted to do more. My dream is to do this tabletop thing for a living and I believe Sundered Ages is the best avenue to accomplish that dream. I have personally seen so many otherwise interested people turn away from tabletop games because they were to complicated or daunting for newcomers and I wanted to make a game that those newcomers could sink their teeth into. Likewise, if you've played enough tabletop you have probably reached the point where half the party is made up of homebrewed classes because experienced players wanted a character that didn't fit neatly into an existing class structure. For these experienced players, I offer the opportunity to make your character exactly how you want. You can play Sundered Ages my way or you and your DM can decide that everyone should get twice the number of skill points and make gestalt super heroes, and the system allows for it.
Below I have included a smattering of pages from our base PDF to show the quality of the work being done and the presentation style.
While I expect that a lot of the people who will be drawn to Sundered Ages are familiar with D20 tabletop already, in one form another, this won't be true for everyone. We have done our best to lay out straight forward definitions or descriptions for any terms you see in the books that make up the game, be it the base game book or the bestiary.
Our game PDF is an interactive as it gets. From the front page of the section here, you can navigate by menus buttons to exactly the sub-section you are looking for. If you ever want to pop back to the front page of a section, like the above, there is a button that takes you back to the front of whatever section you are currently viewing.
Charisma linked skills are some of my favorite and above is an example of the bonus and malus table for checks related to these skills. The book breaks down what each skill can be used for by sub-section for easy navigation and presentation.
Posted is a good example of one of our more densely linked sections. Clicking anywhere on the table above would move you to the page for that condition description and rule set. When these conditions are referenced anywhere else in the PDF, they are linked back to this section so that there is no fumbling through pages or bookmarks to double check what such a condition might mean for your character.
The updated spell system is an important part of Sundered Ages. There is a full list of spells, with more than 40 related to each casting skill. Additionally, the spell section where you would find this page describes how long and costly it is for you or your players to create new spells of their own, which is highly encouraged. With the freer form of casting in Sundered Ages, it is easier to adjust custom spells with whatever costs or even drawbacks you feel best balance them for your tabletop group.
I will be adding update comments on the end here for questions that I believe need addressing in a more general sense. Sundered Ages is a D20 game and it is licensed under the OGL.
Risks and challenges
The risks for supporting Sundered Ages are admittedly quite small. The launch product is being polished for release right now and will be available when the Kickstarter ends. Everything comes in the form of Digital PDFs so we have no fear of shipping or printing issues.
The website and subscription model for future modules will come after the Kickstarter and while we hope that everyone that gets involved through the Kickstarter will enjoy it and want to continue on this journey with us, there is no requirement on their part to do so.
- (30 days)