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An Old School Gaming Sourcebook. Free (as in beer) release May 11. Kickstart-to-the-Commons May 1-May 30.
An Old-School Gaming Sourcebook for High-Level OSR Play. Free-to-use! Destined for CC-BY! Out Now!
An Old-School Gaming Sourcebook for High-Level OSR Play. Free-to-use! Destined for CC-BY! Out Now!
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The Dreams of Ruin - An Old School Revival Sourcebook

$1,951

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GET THE BOOK NOW!

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. 

REVIEWS

"It's got endings. Real, genuine endings: ways various kinds of effort to respond to the threat can succeed, and interesting consequences if they fail. If you're like me, and I know I am, it's pretty easy to take a promising seed, build on it, get a fine and satisfying run of play, and then find yourself really not sure how to tie it all up well. Dreams of Ruin is there for me, and therefore also for you. Things are probably not going to go well for a world that the stuff in Dreams of Ruin starts infesting, but they can go badly in a bunch of distinct, interesting ways, and the range of responses covered is pretty breathtaking. I found myself reading and thinking that for once I had a choice of real climaxes, as opposed to a variety of leads I'd end up having to resolve all on my own." - Bruce Baugh  

"At the end of the day, Dreams of Ruin is the rare kind of game book that is actually useful as inspiration." - Gloomtrain  

"Like Ice-T releasing a country music album." - JeremyR

"The ideas are well-done, interesting, coherent and nearly exhaustive. Even if you didn't want to use the Forest of Woe exactly, you could adapt a lot of this material to any sort of depersonalised creeping interplanar threat." - John Bell of Retired Adventurer  

"I can't really say I've ever seen anything quite like this for the OSR, especially nothing that so thoroughly supports extremely high-level PC play." - Kevin Crawford, author of Stars Without Number, Other Dust, Red Tide, and other games at Sine Nomine Publishing.


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 Book! 

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! 

Labyrinth Lord

Advanced Edition Companion

Mutant Future

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.

STRETCH GOALS

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).

THE TEAM

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.

Connor Sites-Bowen

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

Editor

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.

Artists

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.

More Information

You can find more information at our website, or follow us on twitter.

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.

<STRIKETHROUGH>
Short of the project team dying in a mass casualty event, the book will be released on May 15th.
</STRIKETHROUGH>

The supplemental materials (if any) will be done and released by October 2015.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $22 or more About $22

    PUPPET OF RUIN

    One step on the road to open licencing.

    You love the Dreams of Ruin, and want to back at the "retail price".

    The book will be released free (as in beer) May 15th. Any new material (see Stretch Goals) will be released before October 2015.

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    ELITE PUPPET OF RUIN

    Two steps on the road to open licencing.

    You love the Dreams of Ruin, and want to back at TWICE the "retail price".

    The book will be released free (as in beer) May 15th. Any new material (see Stretch Goals) will be released before October 2015.

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    Five steps on the road to open licencing.

    You love the Dreams of Ruin, and want to back at FIVE TIMES the "retail price".

    The book will be released free (as in beer) May 15th. Any new material (see Stretch Goals) will be released before October 2015.

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    BAKEGUMO - GOBLIN SPIDER

    Ten steps on the road to open licencing.

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    The book will be released free (as in beer) May 15th. Any new material (see Stretch Goals) will be released before October 2015.

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    BLOSSOMING FOREST

    Fifty steps on the road to open licencing.

    You love the Dreams of Ruin, and want to make a big dent in that licencing. This is fifty times "retail price", and 1% towards the final goal.

    The book will be released free (as in beer) May 15th. Any new material (see Stretch Goals) will be released before October 2015.

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    EXTRA-DIMENSIONAL ENCOUNTER

    ONE HUNDRED steps on the road to open licencing.

    You love the Dreams of Ruin, and want to make a big dent in that licencing. This is ONE HUNDRED times "retail price", and 2% towards the final goal.

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    PAPER WORLDS WILL BURN

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    AWESOME LIKE CLAWSOME

    FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY EIGHT steps on the road to open licencing.

    You love the Dreams of Ruin more than anyone else, and want to make a huge dent in that licencing. This is NEARLY FIVE HUNDRED times "retail price", and almost 10% towards the final goal. You've guaranteed some awesome stretch goals for everyone, including your bad self.

    The book will be released free (as in beer) May 15th. Any new material (see Stretch Goals) will be released before October 2015.

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Funding period

- (32 days)