Campaign Updates since Launch
- 12th of February: Stretch Goal 5 (adventure supplement) unlocked!
- 31st of January: Stretch Goal 4 (a unique Game Master's screen) unlocked!
- 27th of January: Stretch Goal 3 (16 extra pages of random tables for the GMG) unlocked!
- 25th of January: We're introducing some guest authors!
- 20th of January: Stretch Goal 2 (more art for the GMG) unlocked!
- 15th of January: Stretch Goal 1 (more art for the PHB) unlocked!
- 15th of January: Funded!
- 15th of January: Added hi-res sample pages to download (around 230 MB of data!)
This crowdfunding campaign strives to release the ADOM pen & paper roleplaying game in two manuals (Player's Handbook and Gamemaster's Guide), as digital and/or print-at-cost rewards (the latter is important - read the definition below in the section labeled "Reward Format"). Extra content and rewards are available on the highest pledge levels and as the result of stretch goals we reach (explained further down below).
Our Test Prints are here!
Have a look at the amazing artwork and some details about the mechanics of the game!
Turns out we are not the only fans of ADOM. Through dark rituals, we have managed to attract some guest authors like the legendary Ed Greenwood, the sage Skip Williams, the wonderful James M. Ward and many more. Please see our recent Update for more details. All short stories will be delivered as PDF for Digital Adventurers and above.
About the ADOM Roleplaying Game
Ancardia was a peaceful world. Of course, there were stories of horrors lurking in the deepest caves and forgotten ruins of ages past. Also, kobold and goblin raiding parties were known to terrorize the wilderness, a danger only for the most careless of wanderers. But now a Gate has opened in the deepest of caves, and the corrupting powers of Chaos seep into the world to twist and conquer everything. The very nature of the world is in danger, and the forces of Order are preparing for war.
Welcome to the wondrous Ancient Domains Of Mystery. The ADOM RPG is based on the computer game ADOM, one of the biggest five ancient rogue-likes and the only one still in active development by the original creator. ADOM caused hundreds of thousands of players over the course of over 25 years to lose countless heroes to the many dangers in the dark, cavernous dungeons littering Ancardia. A few brave and lucky souls managed to secure a victory either by defeating the Lord of Chaos and bringing peace and prosperity back to the world, or even usurping his position and declaring themselves a God. Its sequel Ultimate ADOM is currently being developed and part of another soon coming Kickstarter.
Now is your chance to adventure together in the Ancient Domains Of Mystery in a pen & paper roleplaying game, heavily inspired by and fully compatible with the Old School Renaissance (OSR) while still providing a modern touch by streamlining complex rules to allow for simple and quick gameplay without studying tomes. Unless you are a magic-user, of course. Those do tend to like tomes.
In 2012, we launched a resurrection campaign on Indiegogo to allow us to develop ADOM again. As an exclusive-to-backers reward, we created the ADOM Lite RPG. This was a one-time only event, never to be printed again, and have we ever regretted that decision - especially since fans keep asking us for it.
While the ADOM Roleplaying Game takes many ideas from the ADOM Lite RPG, it is a complete redesign from ground up with a fresh new rules system based on the best OSR games out in the field, extended by what makes ADOM unique:
A tantalizing Corruption mechanic representing the powerful lure of Chaos. How far will you go down the road of damnation for the powers to help you defeat the very thing you are fighting?
- A non-Vancian spell system based on power points providing many tactical options to caster classes. Will you draw on your very own life force to power the vital spells needed to survive an encounter? Will you give in to the whispering madness of Chaos to provide your spells with that special extra kick?
- A morality system where Law and Chaos should never be confused with Good and Evil.
Barring any stretch goals (see below), ADOM the Roleplaying Game will consist of two books: The Player's Handbook features all the rules required to create, play and grow your characters, and the Gamemaster's Guide includes everything you need to create countless adventures allowing the player characters to evolve from simple villagers to immortality - if they survive the mounting challenges ahead of them. After all, ADOM the roguelike videogame is characterized among other things by permadeath, something we seek to emulate in the pen&paper variant. Death is quick and brutal and all the wits of the players will be needed to overcome the forces of Chaos arranged against them... or perhaps join them to take their rightful place as rulers of the world.
Old School Soul in a Modern Dress
Our goal is to recapture the feeling when we played our first roleplaying game. Remember that feeling when you saw the swinging blade in your mind's eye and not the die on the table? When playing a thief was a very different game than playing a warrior? When picking a race was more than just a few boni to a stat? This is our core vision.
At the same time, we value the fast and furious gameplay approach of modern roleplaying without having to go through hundreds of tables to calculate damage modifiers depending on the direction of the wind and the nearest city. We aim to provide the best combination of both worlds - a modern roleplaying game with an old school soul.
Player's Handbook (PHB) in Detail
The player's handbook will feature all 12 races (dark elves, drakelings, dwarves, gnomes, gray elves, high elves, humans, hurthlings, mist elves, orcs, ratlings, trolls) and the 22 classes (among them chaos knights, mindcrafters, duelists, wizards, elementalists, necromancers, assassins, priests and many more) available, as well as how to play and progress them as their characters grow in power and unlock more abilities unique to their class and race.
Here, you will also find detailed descriptions of the over 350 spells, and how to employ power points to cast them, as well as sections on the skill system and mindcrafting (which is, as all mindcrafters will tell you, something very different from spellcasting).
The Player's Handbook will also describe the Danger System - an elegant take on the advantage/disadvantage mechanics to simulate and resolve complex situations without complex rules.
The book will have over 300 beautifully colored pages filled with amazing artwork.
Gamemaster's Guide (GMG) in Detail
The Gamemaster's Guide contains extensive background information on the world of Ancardia, its monsters and minions of both Chaos and Order. Here you will find everything you need to run your adventures - no matter if your party is delving a dungeon in search for treasure, traversing the wilderness or even the high seas.
There is a very special and lengthy section on the corrupting effects of Chaos and how corruption grants powers and risk to the affected players. There are many reasons to give in to the temptation, and they are all listed in here.
Additionally you can find information about several mysterious factions taking active interest in the war between Order and Chaos, tying into the mythology of the upcoming Ultimate ADOM computer game.
The Lord of Order and Lord of Chaos reward levels will allow you to define a new faction each - and these factions not only will show up in the roleplaying game but also appear in the Ultimate ADOM computer game.
The book will also have over 300 pages featuring gorgeous artwork.
All backers of the Adventurers tier and above will receive both the Player's Handbook and the Gamemaster's Guide in PDF format. Higher tiers will also get these in PDF, but will also receive a unique link to a print-at-cost service. All tiers starting at Adventurer will always get both books, there is no need to pledge for them individually.
The different tiers will allow for various print-at-cost links, ranging from softcover black and white prints to full color versions as hardcovers.
All tiers have the option of pledging 10€ extra to join in the beta-testing, receiving unfinished PDFs to play and help us test and refine the rules, identify passages requiring clarification and provide general feedback on the playability and feel of ADOM the Roleplaying Game.
All rewards are digital - you will handle shipping and printing costs on your own. The only exception to this is the extra high end stuff (see pledge levels Demiurge and above) where we handle the printing and shipping for you.
We expect to provide the finished product to you in August 2020. The Player's Handbook will ship sooner than that in PDF (probably late 2019), though we recommend waiting with printing until everything has been finalized with the Gamemaster's Guide, too (otherwise there might be last minute changes).
So what does Print-at-cost mean? When the product is ready, you will receive a link that allows you to purchase the print copies at an extra cost. You will be charged the raw cost of printing the books and shipping - there are no hidden extra charges. This allows us to offer the print copies at the best price we could find without exploding our budget to pay for things like stocking, shipping and warehousing. Our partner for this is Lulu. You can check them out at lulu.com. They're great people, and not just because they're handling printing and shipping for us.
The additional costs for you if you select a print-at-cost option depend on your location (for shipping). All prices listed below are for one book, so to print both the Player's Handbook and the Gamemaster's Guide, you will need to double the price and add the shipping costs. One benefit here is that you can order as many books as you wish for that price! (Note: The copies printed via these print-at-cost links are for private use only. If you are a merchant or store owner, please contact us directly!)
The black and white softcover will cost around 12€ ($14) per book, so 24€ ($28) for printing both the Gamemaster's Guide and the Player's Handbook. Additional shipping charges apply. Please note that you can print as many books as you wish in the allotted timeframe!
- Printing the black and white hardcover version will cost around 15€ (17.20$) per book.
- The full color hardcover version will cost around 50€ ($56) per book. This is the glorious deluxe edition and will be the envy of many!
Note that prices might increase slightly for print if we happen to add more content during the campaign.
All links will be available for six months after issuing the finalized version. If you manage to miss your printing window (because life happens), just reach out to us and we'll figure something out together.
Reward Levels in Detail
Apprentice (1 EUR)
Thank you for your support! You will receive all updates and have the option of upgrading your reward level after the end of the campaign in case you aren't quite certain yet.
Torchbearer (5 EUR)
Be the light in the darkness! Your name will show up in the credits of both rulebooks, you will receive all updates during the campaign and of course you will be able to upgrade your pledge after the Kickstarter has ended.
Digital Adventurer (EUR 20)
Your name will appear in the credits of both books, and you will receive the PDF version of the Player's Handbook and the Gamemaster's Guide. We expect a final PDF retail price ranged between $14.99 and $19.99 for each PDF, so you can save big here!
If you like digital stuff, this is the right level for you. Or the next one, if you also want to get early access to the PDFs.
Digital Adventurer + Beta Access (EUR 30)
Your name will appear in the credits of both books, and you will not only receive the final PDF version of the Player's Handbook and the Gamemaster's Guide, you will also receive early versions of them and get to help shaping the final version of the game with your input.
Budget Adventurer (EUR 30)
You'll get credited in both books, get a PDF version of the rules and receive exclusive links to the black-and-white softcover versions of both books at a print-at-cost service where you can print as many copies as you desire. Shipping is extra, sadly.
This level (or the next, if you want early access) is the cheapest print level. For slightly over 60 EUR (plus shipping) you get access to 600+ pages (black & white only, but stil) containing all rules required to play the ADOM RPG. Very competitive compared to many other games of this size and scope.
Budget Adventurer + Beta Access (EUR 40)
As the Budget Adventurer, but you'll also get early access to the unfinished PDF versions and get to influence their final design and wording!
Adventurer (EUR 40)
Softcover not enough? As a full Adventurer, you get the full package - the credits, the pdfs, the print-at-cost link to the black-and-white softcover version, and a link to the black-and-white hardcover for both the Player's Handbook and the Gamemaster's Guide.
This level (or the next one if you like beta access) is a pretty sweet spot if you believe we'll manage to unlock many stretch goals. Adventurers get all unlocked stretch goals as PDFs.
Adventurer + Beta Access (EUR 50)
Everything on the Adventurer tier, plus early access to the early versions of the PDF. Leave your feedback and influence the way the game is being developed!
Expert Adventurer (EUR 50)
You are an adventurer of style and taste, so this tier is just for you. Credits, PDFs and print-at-cost links to the full color hardcover versions of both the Player's Handbook and the Gamemaster's Guide. Lose yourself in the handpicked artwork and be the envy of your fellow adventurers. It's what Gary Gygax would have wanted you to do.
If you enjoy deluxe versions of games, this is your level (or the next if you want early access). You get everything in full color.
Expert Adventurer + Beta Access (EUR 60)
Not only do you have the style and taste of the Expert Adventurer tier and will of course receive all those rewards, but you will also get access to the early versions of the PDF, including a chance to leave your feedback. Amazing!
Dungeon Overlord (EUR 100)
Did you wonder where ADOM's Andor Drakon, Brannalbin and Torgall came from? Wonder no more, for they came from Thomas Biskup's original AD&D campaigns. Dungeon Overlords will receive everything the Expert Adventurer got, plus a special 32 page PDF containing scans of the original character sheets and a history folio explaining their origin. Of course you will also get access to the early versions of the Player's Handbook and Gamemaster's Guide PDFs.
Starting here you will receive print-at-cost links for all unlocked stretch goals, too (except for the GM screen).
Infamous Dungeon Overlord (EUR 150)
Want a print-on-demand link for the softcover version of the history folio? Then this is the tier to back for you. You get everything the normal Dungeon Overlord gets, plus the aforementioned link. The perfect gift for any ADOM-lover!
Demiurge (EUR 250)
You'll get everything from the above tiers, but you won't have to print on demand yourself (although you still can). Instead, we'll send you a special limited edition of the Gamemaster's Guide in faux leather with gold embossed lettering, signed and numbered by Thomas Biskup. Limited to 20.
Ascendant (EUR 500)
We will not only ship the (faux) leather-bound Gamemaster's Guide, but also the faux leather-bound Player's Handbook. This will be also signed and numbered by Thomas Biskup. This is limited to 20 pledges.
Immortal (EUR 750)
Not only will you get the faux leather bound copies of the Player's Handbook and the Gamemaster's Guide (and everything else from the other tiers), you will also get signed and numbered high quality printouts of all unlocked faction leaders. Unlike Highlander, there will only be 10 Immortals at most.
Elder Immortal (EUR 1.000)
You will get everything the mundane Immortal gets, but you also get to design an artifact (subject to approval) that will be included in the Gamemaster's Guide, fully illustrated by our artist. This tier is limited to 5.
Lord of Order (EUR 2.000)
Everything the Elder Immortal gets is yours as well, including designing an artifact. You will also get to design a new political faction for the game, which will be illustrated by our artist and included in the Gamemaster's Guide (all subject to our approval). We will also include one signed printout of your faction. Limited to 1.
Lord of Chaos (EUR 8.500)
The ultimate tier, limited to one person only. You will get everything mentioned before, but instead of shipping the game to you, Thomas Biskup will fly over and deliver it in person. He will also stay with you for a whole week and be the game master for up to five 8-hour ADOM RPG sessions in that week. You will receive his Gamemaster's Guide afterwards and he will bring a Player's Handbook each for up to six players. Subject to refusal and refunds if your are living in an area deemed to be too dangerous. Please note that Thomas can speak German and English, but is not a native English speaker, so any English gamemastering may end up being slightly peculiar ;-)
How This Will Work
While not on Kickstarter, we have already completed a successful campaign on Indiegogo some years before, and learned all the right (and sometimes very painful) lessons from it. So we come prepared:
- 70% of the Player's Handbook texts are done. The structure for the Gamemaster's Guide has been planned and writing is in progress.
- All artists have been contracted, many art pieces are already delivered and we're receiving new artwork on a weekly basis, including some contingencies in case some art is not turning out to the high quality standard we are looking for.
- We're not doing the shipping ourselves ever again. Not ever. No, sir, just no. Unless you back at a really high level and we need Thomas to sign the copy anyway. That much shipping we can handle.
EUR 5.000 (funded): This is the base level. If we reach this, the project is funded and everyone will get their books!
EUR 7.500 (unlocked): The Player's Handbook will receive 10 additional pieces of beautiful, hand-crafted art.
EUR 10.000 (unlocked): The Gamemaster's Guide will receive 10 additional pieces of beautiful, hand-crafted art.
EUR 12.500 (unlocked): More random tables! The Gamemaster's Guide will contain an extra 16 pages of tables featuring special monsters and items in Ancardia.
EUR 15.000 (unlocked): A unique gamemaster screen! This will be made available to download as PDF for all Digital Adventurer backers and above.
EUR 20.000 (unlocked): Relive the beginning steps of ADOM the roguelike game with a special 16 page adventure supplement containing three quests ("Save the Puppy!", "The missing Carpenter" and "The Black Druid"). The PDF will be made available to all Digital Adventurers and above. A print-at-cost link will be provided to Dungeon Overlords and above.
EUR 30.000 (locked): The peaceful village Terinyo and the bandit-run Lawenilothehl are the first villages players of the ADOM roguelike game encounter. If we reach this goal, we will add a 32 page supplement called "A Tale of Two Hamlets", centered on these two iconic locations. Again, the PDF will be made available for download to all Digital Adventurers and above, while the print-at-cost link will be available to Dungeon Overlords and above.
EUR 40.000 (locked): Explore the Drakalor Chain in the new 32 page "Heights and Depths of Drakalor" campaign supplement, featuring iconic locations like the Tower of Eternal Flame, the Palace of the Ice Queen, the mysterious small cave and other locations. The PDF will be made available for download to all Digital Adventurers and above, while the print-at-cost link will be available to Dungeon Overlords and above.
EUR 50.000 (locked): Though the Gamemaster's Guide features a lot of information on Ancardia, if this goal is unlocked, we will create a 32 page PDF supplement "Ancardian Arcana", with more background information on the world of Ancardia, its races and cultures. The PDF will be made available for download to all Digital Adventurers and above, while the print-at-cost link will be available to Dungeon Overlords and above.
EUR 60.000 (locked): The "Ancardian Arcana" supplement generated by achieving the 50.000 EUR stretch goal will be expanded to 64 pages, providing even more details on the world, its religions, major new figures and political powerhouses. Download and print-at-cost links as above.
EUR 75.000 (locked): The "Ancardian Arcana" supplement will be expanded with another 32 pages with rules for prestige classes (like the Champion of Order, Raider Lord or Chaos Wizard), bringing it up to 96 pages!
EUR 90.000 (locked): Another supplement for all backers Adventurer and above! "The Caverns of Chaos I (Upper Levels)" features the legendary dungeon and its history in 32 pages of horror and wonder. Fight in the arena and trade with the merchants of Dwarftown.
EUR 110.000 (locked): A follow up to the above adventure, "The Caverns of Chaos II (Mid Levels)" continues the crawl into doom and damnation and its history. Visit the elemental temples and find the legendary orbs of Chaos in another 32-page supplement!
EUR 130.000 (locked): In "The Caverns of Chaos III (Lower Levels)" you will follow the steps of the mighty hero standing before the Gate of Chaos itself. Will you and your party try to vanquish Chaos, or ascend to godhood? The final 32-page supplement also provides never before released background information on the Gate itself, and its current master.
And then... we will see if we ever get there ;-) We have tons of ideas ready but let's see if you can unearth these treasures!
Risks and challenges
Deadlines slip all the time, but we have set ourselves a tight but flexible time plan allowing for several revisions, so we feel pretty good about the August 2020 date, despite the huge size of this project (600+ pages in full-color!). If many stretch goals are met, things might get delayed a bit for all the extra content we have to produce though.
Serious illness and accidents are something we cannot plan for, but again, we allow ourselves a sensible buffer to react to unforseen events. Much of the writing is already done if not yet revised, so whatever happens, the game will eventually ship with all features we want it to have.
- (30 days)