The Dreams of Ruin is a 224+ page roleplaying game sourcebook, initially published in pdf format. Its author is Geoffrey C. Grabowski, developer of the first two editions of Exalted, as well as a writer for dozens of RPG sourcebooks.
The topic is a dark, haunted magical forest, the Forest of Woe. In addition to being a location of adventure, it is also a world-threatening infestation whose growth threatens the very heart of reality. The Dreams are both a source of quests and danger, and a campaign-spanning enemy suitable for challenging parties of even the highest level, including even young demigods, heroes and other lesser immortals.
THE BOOK ITSELF
The Dreams of Ruin is an “event book” compatible with Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future and usable with almost any old-school gaming system. It details a threat multiple worlds in scope, that can easily destroy nations and destroy even the most powerful party of adventurers.
The Dreams of Ruin is the result of mixing Geoffrey’s interests in gardening, accounting and his love for Moldvay’s version of the rules for classic fantasy gaming. It’s a gaiden of a larger project, Eumenides, that Geoffrey has been working on off-and-on for about a decade. However, Mr. Grabowski felt that The Dreams of Ruin had enough substance to merit a treatment of its own, and offers it here for the discerning gamer.
This is art done for its own sake, whose purpose arrived from the heart. An expertly crafted and uniquely personal effort, drawing inspiration from the ruined heart of America’s industrial northeast.
The book is written using the Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future open gaming license product. These products are Old School Revival (OSR) systems from Goblinoid Games. Goblinoid Games presents these retrogaming systems under an extraordinary open development license that lets independent creators harness OSR rules for their own creative projects, free of charge. In the opinion of the TG Ventures team, Goblinoid Games’ systems are the pre-eminent choice for independent OSR development projects.
Author Geoffrey C. Grabowski says, “I’m proud to be a Goblinoid Games licensee! It’s an excellent choice of fundamental mechanics for a remix of classic gaming principles, and its accessible license terms support really creative projects like this book.”
“We feel Labyrinth Lord and the Advanced Edition Companion incorporate the sensible combat timing system of Moldvay’s rules, while extending that framework with additional spells and magic items found in the Gygax variants of the rules. The Mutant Future rules system also includes material on high-tech weapons, mutations and outlandish creatures reminiscent of early post-apocalyptic gaming that make it a perfect choice to extend the Labyrinth Lord rules into higher-power contexts.”
“We feel this offers a really fun rules set for old-school gaming, as well as the best compatibility profile with various old-school expressions. As an independent author creating OSR material, I’m proud to choose Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future as my development platforms and Goblinoid Games as my development platform partner.”
THE ARCHIVE (THIS IS THE STUFF YOU GET)
We offer quite an archive to backers!
The Dreams of Ruin, a 224+ page supplement
9 Tech Trees, Handouts and Reference Guides!
Arcane Tech Tree Guide, Labyrinth Lord’s Version
Arcane Tech Tree Guide, Player’s Version
Druid Tech Tree Guide, Labyrinth Lord’s Version
Druid Tech Tree Guide, Player’s Version
Clerical Tech Tree Guide, Labyrinth Lord’s Version
Clerical Tech Tree Guide, Player’s Version
Dark Illusionist’s Grimiore, Labyrinth Lord’s Version
Dark Illusionist’s Grimiore, Player’s Version
The Social Strategies Guide
The Rules to Two Complete Games!
All the rules needed to play are included in the archive! Complimentary no-art editions of all three books used by the Dreams of Ruin are provided courtesy of Goblinoid Games!
Advanced Edition Companion
BUT WAIT YOU COULD MAKE THERE BE MORE!
Putting the original edited manuscript and full resolution copies of the art in the package are goals between our initial Kickstarter goal and $109k, as is adding some additional material.
THE FUNDING MODEL
We’re going to release the book into free circulation under a CC-NC-ND-BY license on May 15th. That means, you are free to circulate it, but you can't use it for commercial purposes, you can't create derivative works, and you have to attribute it.
We are then going to sell copies of the archive for $22 ($20 + KS fees). When I have sold the equivalent of 5,000 of them — a total of $100,000 net of direct selling expenses like venue fees — the license on the product will convert to CC-BY. You will be free to create derivative works, and even reproduce the material commercially, so long as you attribute the work.
Also, in 14 years, the material will also convert to CC-BY. If we can't sell $100,000 worth of books in 14 years, we don't need to keep trying, and everyone should get to play with the material regardless of our weak mercantile skills.
We're also going to Kickstart to bring the time down as the money raised goes up. Some of our various stretch goals between our initial goal and the $100k point where the product goes CC-BY will be reductions in time terms.
Each unit has a retail price of $20. Kickstarter’s cut works out to a 9% charge above and beyond that.
The Kickstarter will succeed at one unit sold - $22 (Kickstarter requires whole dollar amounts). The stretch goals unfold from there.
$1,090 - 50 units sold
At fifty units sold, we will release the plaintext manuscript for the book, so that you can lay it out in any format you choose. The manuscript will be released under the same relaxing license as the book, and relax as the book relaxes.
$2,180 - 100 units sold
At one hundred units sold, we’ll release the full renders of the art for the book. The art will be released under the same relaxing license as the book and relax as the book relaxes.
$6,540 - 300 units sold
At three hundred units sold, we’ll release the business documents related to the sale of the book, so that you can replicated the funding model yourself. This includes the corporate charter for the LLC, the modified licenses, the contracts with the artists and the Assistant to the Production, our back-end financials, and other material which might aid you in cloning this process for your own project.
$10,900 - 500 units sold
At five hundred units, we’ll lay out the book for publication as a bound physical book, and release that version under the same relaxing license as the original.
$16,350 - 750 units sold
At seven hundred and fifty units sold, the license will relax to allow derivative works to be made. This means that fan-edits, clipped sections of the pdf, and other derivative works can be circulated freely (as in beer) under the same strictures as the original product. Commercial re-use will not be relaxed at this level.
$21,800 - 1000 units sold
At one thousand units sold, the term of copyright will drop from 14 years (as originally described) to five, meaning that book (and related package) will enter the commons (CC-BY) on May 15, 2020, just five short years away.
$32,700 - 1500 units sold
At fifteen-hundred units sold, the copyright term will drop again, from five years down to three. The book (and related package) will enter the commons on May 15, 2018.
Additionally, we will release two additional Special Encounters - creatures or groups of creatures which the forest has attracted from across dimensions - to round out the seven Special Encounters already in the book. These encounters are the Astral Griefers and the Ghoul Pack. These encounters will be released by October 2015.
$43,600 - 2000 units sold
At two thousand units sold, Connor Sites-Bowen will write and release The Northern Tier, a supplemental package which describes a shadowy modern organization which may be suited to combat (or perhaps study and observe) the Dreams of Ruin.
This package will consist of a 20,000+ word sourcebook, handout templates (research documents, reports, memos and the like), a papercraft shipping container suitable for 1’ grid combat, and other documents.
Regardless of the final disposition of the Dreams of Ruin’s relaxing license, the Northern Tier material will be released immediately as CC-BY or OGL material (as appropriate). This material will be completed and released by October 2015.
$54,500 - 2500 units sold
At twenty-five hundred units sold, we will release the secondary and tertiary art related to the promotion of the book. This includes the Winter in America series, a photo-documentation of urban decay, as well as Winter on the Mon, a series documenting the ruined landscapes of the Monongahela valley, just outside Pittsburgh. This material will be released immediately, and be licensed CC-BY immediately.
$65,400 - 3000 units sold
At three thousand units sold, the copyright term will shorten to one year. The Dreams of Ruin and all above-mentioned works will become CC-BY on May 15, 2016.
$76,300 - 3500 units sold
At thirty-five hundred units sold, the copyright term will shorten to six months. The Dreams of Ruin and all above-mentioned works will become CC-BY on November 15, 2015, just in time for the holidays.
Additionally, we will release thirty print-and-play pawns of the various monsters and hazards within the dreams, as well as ten geomorphic (able to be tiled in combination) 10x7 map tiles of generic areas within the dreams, suitable for 1’ grid combat. These will be released as CC-BY, and completed no later than October 2015.
$87,200 - 4000 units sold
At four thousand units sold, we will release a series of short stories set within the Dreams of Ruin. These will be by Geoffrey C Grabowski and others, and will total at least 20,000 words. These will be released under the same licensing terms as the book, and per the 3500-unit stretch goal, become CC-BY on November 15, 2015 at the latest. They will be completed and released by October 2015 in any case.
$98,100 - 4500 units sold
At forty-five hundred units, we will commission six more full-page artworks and add them to the book. These will be completed and released by October 2015, and like the other work listed above, become CC-BY on November 15, 2015, or earlier, per the 3500-unit stretch goal.
$109,000 - 5000 units sold
At five thousand units sold, the book, the art, the stretch goal material listed above, and all other documents and works related to The Dreams of Ruin will become CC-BY - attribution only.
At this point, the material will be as close to The Commons as the OGL and Creative Commons licensing structures allow. Not only will you be free to use them in your game, you will be free to compose commercial work based on them, sell copies of the printed book, use the art in your own work, or do any other creative endeavor using the material, as long as the works are attributed appropriately.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE RAISE MORE THAN 109K?
All the excess will spill through directly to the professional staff and to charity. My upside is limited to $100k ($100K - $9K in kickstarter fees).
Every dollar above that I pull during crowdfunding will go to the artists, editor, promo tech, or a local charity (probably Love Front Porch, which is a local art and literacy charity in a troubled neighborhood near where I live).
Geoffrey C. Grabowski
Author and Project Lead
Geoffrey is a writer and sculptor from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has interests in managerial accounting, permaculture, structured finance and the construction of legitimacy. He is currently preparing to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. He was the developer of Exalted from 2000 to 2005, and is a huge OSR nerd.
Assistant to the Production
Connor is a CMU graduate who lives, loves, and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is employed in logistics and project management at a regional nonprofit. He is an enthusiastic gamer and student of media culture.
Ziggy Edwards is the proud owner of a loft bed. Away from her day job as an editor, she edits. Her poems and short stories have appeared in publications including 5 AM, Confluence, Main Street Rag, Illumen, and Dreams and Nightmares.
Mel Uran's been a dedicated scribble wrangler since the 90's. Amongst her notable works are a number of White Wolf titles, such as Exalted and Kindred of the East, and work for Exhibit A Press, Upper Deck, and Perna Studios.
Ted Pertzborn is a long haired, tattooed, metal head of Irish-German descent with an exceptional grasp of colorful vulgarity. He also happens to be a lifelong artist in numerous media, including comic books, graphic design, illustration, painting in oils, acrylics and digitally, and playing bass guitar.
Heidi Richardson-Evans is a rogue elf, foul-mouthed mom, and artist. She blogs about creativity, parenthood, and her experiences as an 'anatomical non-comformist' at daisybones.com.
A. Bleys Ingram is an illustrator, sculptor and maker from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has two wonderful sons and no time.
Risks and challenges
The Kickstarter has thankfully few risks or challenges. We did not want to damage our reputation by leaving our funders waiting for a prolonged period without a product. Accordingly, we waited until the book was completed before we moved to Kickstart the project.
All text is finished and edited, all art is received and paid for in full, all layout is already completed. All the graphic aids are finished. The only work remaining is resolving the page XXs and composing the index.
The book is live as of May 11, see the link above.
Short of the project team dying in a mass casualty event, the book will be released on May 15th.
The supplemental materials (if any) will be done and released by October 2015.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)