This week’s “RPG Kickstarters You Should Back,” sponsored by the Open Gaming Store, looks at three of the best OGL RPG crowdfunding campaigns running on Kickstarter. Two of these games exist because of the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Open Gaming License, while the third utilizes the concept that prompted the Open Gaming License, system neutral content. These games offer spins on character types, encounters, and settings that are worth backing.
- Dragonflight – An Essential Guide to 5th Edition Dragons by 2CGaming
- Limitless Encounters vol. 1 Revision (173 5E encounters) by Limitless Adventures
- Ruin & Conquest: Adventures on the Isle of Ealand by Ten of Swords Games
Dragonflight – An Essential Guide to 5th Edition Dragons by 2CGaming
Ends on Mon, November 12 2018 12:00 AM EST.
“Want to play as a party of dragon characters? Need a customized dragon NPC to chew on unruly players? Dragonflight delivers.
Do you want to be a dragon? Of course you do. Dragonflight brings everything you need to make powerful dragon characters and NPCs that do justice to their legendary status. Get the tools to run a fantastic campaign for dragon characters or craft specialized draconic foes to put your players to the test, all using the 5th Edition rules you know and love. Welcome to Dragonflight. Get ready to soar.
Dragonflight is a complete rulebook, divided into two sections: one for players and one for DMs. The player section includes the Dragon Builder – all the rules for creating a dragon character with full progression from level 1 to 20 for three dragon classes and enough variety that no two dragons will be alike. This includes new tools for roleplaying as a dragon, adventuring, downtime, and customization options (such as draconic feats). What kind of dragon will you play? A mighty warrior, with talons that cleave through steel? One that overflows with arcane power, casting spells beyond the imagining of mortals? An inspiring leader (or brutal tyrant) who marshals lesser beings into an army while staying two steps ahead of every rival? All this and more is possible with Dragonflight.
Dragons are much stronger than puny humanoids, and the DM section provides what you need to forge dragons like never before. You’ll get guidance on everything from encounter building, adventure planning, and handling hoards to treasure, NPCs, and villains. The book also discusses world-building in the section Building a Draconian World, chock-full of advice and inspiration for creating a setting where dragons are the stars of the show. Finally, the DM section closes with a portfolio of Dragon NPCs, ready to drop into a game. Both these NPCs and any dragons you build using the dragon builder can also serve as powerful creatures in a standard 5th Edition game, far surpassing the traditional dragons found in most books.
In short, if you’ve ever asked or been asked, “Can I play as a dragon?” the answer is now yes.
Curious to see how Dragonflight is played? We got you covered. We partnered with Encounter Roleplay to bring you livestreamed Dragonflight events, whose schedule can be found below. If you are curious or skeptical about the playability of this project, we cannot recommend these streams enough.
Encounter Roleplay Event Schedule
1st Session (October 15th): A dragon adventure, DM’d by streaming DM guru Grant Ellis.
2nd Session (October 19th): The dragon adventure continues! As DM’d by streaming DM guru, Grant Ellis.
You can find these streams over at Encounter Roleplay’s Twitch Channel, along with a ton of other awesome content they get up to every week. Check them out!
Additionally, 2CGamign will be sharing Dragonflight Alpha and Beta designs we have in development over the course of the project. If you are curious about what exciting features will be in the final book that aren’t shown here, you should check these out!
Beta Build Character Builder (Stream Date will be announced via KS Update). Ready to see what a 20th level dragon looks like? Ryan Servis will be putting together dragons of incredible power from all three subclasses: Arcanist, Destroyer, and Imperator! Ask your questions and give feedback via Kickstarter Live.
DM Design Stream (Stream Date will be announced via KS Update). Are you in a DM wondering how to run a game with dragon characters? Our head writer Steven Gordon will be going over the awesome DM features that will help you run unique dragon themed games for your players and create awesome dragon NPCs. You can find these streams here on Kickstarter Live!
At the core of the Dragonflight experience is the Dragon Builder. This progression system allows you to create dragons of all shapes, sizes, skills, and species. From a newly hatched wyrmling to an ancient wyrm, your dreams of creating the perfect dragon can be brought to life. Compatible with most species found in 5th Edition, and many found from 3rd party publishers, the Dragon Builder is an essential and flexible tool for creating a high-quality creature/character that does justice to what a dragon should be. The builder is currently available here as a proof of concept and will be further expanded and refined over the course of the project’s development. We are excited to see the dragon your dream up, so show us what you got!
Additionally, this system will be publicly tested and refined for a finely tuned and balanced result. 2CGaming has long relied on its community as an essential part of its design process, and Dragonflight is no different. Give us your feedback directly or share your thoughts with the ever expanding 2CGaming Discord community. They don’t bite (much). You can always find the 2CGaming team there happy to answer your questions and talk shop!
A small portion of the 2CGaming team will be producing this project, with Ryan Servis (Epic Legacy Core Rulebook, and the Total Party Kill Bestiary) the majority of the writing. We will also be using members of 2CGaming’s core team of artists (including Ambrose Hoilman, and Matteo Marjoram) to make the most badass dragon art found anywhere. Our editor in chief is the esteemed Misty Bourne, who brings unparalleled polish and quality to our books.”
As the campaign asks, do you want to play a dragon? As a DM, are you looking for more powerful, and memorable, dragons to use as NPCs and villains? Using the 5e OGL, this campaign offers a rare book, one that has uses for players looking to be the bosses of the realm as well as for DMs looking to challenge them. The concept is solid, their pitch lays out the details, and the art is powerful. The dragons pictured in their samples are bright yet deadly wyrms so powerful that hiding is not a necessity. Instead, they leap off the pages in bold colors and sharp angles, ready to lay waste to kingdoms and adventuring parties alike.
Beyond the book’s core concepts, Dragonflight – An Essential Guide to 5th Edition Dragons by 2CGaming offers unique campaign options for GMs looking to extend a high-level campaign. Once the players have leveled their humanoid PCs to retirement, they can switch to play dragons that have to face the former PCs as NPC “villains.” Imagine getting to fight your favorite character with your shiny, new dragon? Who would win? Options like that make this project worth backing.
You can find examples of their work on the Open Gaming Store.
This crowdfunding campaign ends on Monday, November 12 2018 12:00 AM EST. You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.
Limitless Encounters vol. 1 Revision (173 5E encounters) by Limitless Adventures
Ends on Sat, November 3 2018 12:59 AM EDT.
“173 5E encounters in 17 environments, pre-rolled treasure, stats, and over 500 adventure writing prompts
Revised Limitless Encounters vol. 1, a collection of 19 Limitless Encounters products.
The 200-page soft cover book will contain:
- 173 fully detailed encounters set in 17 different environments
- OGL stat blocks for all monsters
- Creative, CR appropriate treasure
- 500+ Further Adventure™ writing prompts
Limitless Encounters vol. 1 is available in a softcover format as well as a PDF. All printing will be handled by Ka-Blam, a digital printing house with over a decade of experience and multiple Kickstarter campaigns. Shipping is available to any country in the world (reduced international shipping).
Revised Limitless Encounters vol. 1 Includes:
- 10 Arctic Encounters
- 10 Desert Encounters
- 10 Dungeon Encounters
- 10 Forest Encounters
- 10 Grasslands Encounters
- 10 Haunted Locales
- 3 Heroic Battles
- 10 Highway Encounters
- 10 Hill Encounters
- 10 Mountain Encounters
- 10 Orc Hordes
- 10 Planar Encounters
- 10 Sea Encounters
- 10 Sewers Encounters
- 10 Subterranean Encounters
- 10 Swamp Encounters
- 10 Urban Encounters
- 10 Urban 2 Encounters
What’s been revised? – The book has a new custom cover, new interior artwork and expanded content of existing encounters.
Already own Encounters vol. 1? – If you already own either a PDF or print copy of Limitless Encounters vol. 1 you will receive a free PDF version of the revised book.
Hard Cover Books – If we reach $20,000 we will offer Hardcover books.
Virtual Tabletops – At this time there are no plans to include a VTT option with this Kickstarter.
Pathfinder – There are currently no plans for a Pathfinder version of this book, though you could easily convert the ideas and encounters in this book to the D20 system.
Never seen our work? Curious what the revision will look like? Here’s a sample encounter from Sewer Encounters:
The Limitless Design Team
Each member of our design team has been gaming for over twenty years and played through every edition of the world’s first fantasy roleplaying game (seriously, we can’t even use the abbreviation? no? OK), and despite hectic lives, manages to game together every week.”
Some nights, life, or player decisions, result in an encounter that the GM has not prepped for. While Limitless Encounters vol. 1 Revision (173 5E encounters) by Limitless Adventures can be used to drag-and-drop preplanned encounters into your story, its best use is when time runs out and you still need to game. 200 pages, 17 environments, 173 encounters, this book insures that a GM does not have to fall back on a kobold dogpile encounter, or cancel or cut short game night because they did not have enough prep time. While Limitless Adventures notes this is not currently available for Pathfinder 1e, the beauty of the OGL and it’s common roots means that, for a single encounter, transposing D&D 5e stats into a Pathfinder campaign is doable (as well as rolling it back to AD&D or many OSRs).
Over and above its utility, this book has another advantage, it’s a revised edition. For fans looking for a good product, revised editions top the list because they’ve been playtested by the company, by the original edition buyers, and this new edition offers an improvements based on those experiences. This should be an excellent addition to any GM’s table.
This crowdfunding campaign ends on Saturday, November 3 2018 12:59 AM EDT. You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.
Ruin & Conquest: Adventures on the Isle of Ealand by Ten of Swords Games
Ends on Fri, October 26 2018 2:59 AM EDT.
“A system-neutral campaign setting for tabletop fantasy role-playing games.
Small patches of light in a dark age.
Ruin & Conquest is a unique and evocative campaign setting that can be played with any fantasy role-playing game
This book aims first and foremost to be a toolbox for players and game masters (by whatever name they call themselves) to expand and enrich their tabletop role-playing. It introduces you to the world of Ealand, an island ablaze with conflict, tearing itself apart in the decaying shadow of its once great cultures. Foes set foot upon its shores almost daily, while the land, its people and its gods lash out with the fury of a cornered animal. Within this cauldron of strife, Ealand is a fertile soil for adventure. Where there is death, there is opportunity. Where there is pain, there is profit. Where the fathers cower and the mothers wail, there is room for legends to be born.
What it contains
- All you need to set adventures, campaigns and encounters on the war torn isle of Ealand
- History, customs and cultures for 6 distinct humanoid races living on the isle
- 5 unique ‘Other Folk’ races including the beautiful shapeshifting Vugael and the trickster Dwellers
- A thorough guide to the major peoples and places of Ealand, leaving just enough room for creativity and exploration
- Maps showing the islands varied landscapes and main conflicts
- 15+ tables to randomly generate everything from petty tyrants to grave curses
- 20+ original creatures for adventurers to encounter,
- Detailed story seeds and plot points to inspire great and harrowing adventures
- A comprehensive primer on warfare of all types in this dark and terrible age allowing intricate and nuanced adventures in the thick of armed conflict
- Sample encounter locations
- Information on the technology, weapons, architecture and even the burial rights of the people of Ealand
- 35+ Original drawings immersing readers in this isle of strife
The island of Ealand is a shadow of what it was. The builders once raised colossal structures to the skies and created homes of luxury and order. Now all that they erected lays crumbling and broken. Hollowed out and used by brutish men to dominate each other in conflicts over Ealand’s corpse. This is a world already used to bloodshed that has been set ablaze in a war for its very identity. The Saevolk stream in from the sea, extending Volkland deeper and deeper into the island in the slow inexorable march of invasion. With steel and fire, sword and shield, they kill all who stand in their path. The Huus, who should unite to protect their own way of life, squabble and scheme taking every opportunity to settle old scores. The land itself writhes in anger, with all the beasts and spirits of the wild in open hostility with the world of man.
To adventure in Ealand is to traffic in conflict. To forge your legend in the fires of strife. With war comes opportunity for the brave, the clever, the remorseless and the perceptive. Whichever side of the great conflicts you choose. Battles big and small. Clashes of armies on the field and the tangling of desperate bodies brawling in the smoky mead halls. Whether you’re a Saevolk raider, a brave Huus warrior or even a greedy Guldyn mercenary loyal only to gold, your story can unfold in a myriad of directions. Healers or scholars. Warrior poets or treasure hunters. It matters crucially who you count as friend and foe, and who stands beside you when cold steel is drawn. This island contains all that is needed to gather the fame and honor that will echo through the ages.
For the players and game masters who choose to set their stories in Ealand, you must understand this is a harsh world, a dark world, but one that can contain beauty and triumph as well. The major themes are conflict between the human races and conflict with nature. The goal was to create a world that supported complex motivations, difficult situations and enormous fields of moral grey area for players to navigate. I wanted a world that was different. That embraced tales centered on violence between humans but also allowed for plenty of stories about the party against the land itself. A group of adventures can immerse themselves in very real anger between men, or ignore that entirely and adventure against the great beasts and monsters of the wild.
This setting is system-neutral, which means it can be used with your favorite fantasy roleplaying ruleset, whatever that happens to be. Simply put, I wanted this world to be accessible to anyone who wants to explore it, regardless of their preferred game. Works with everything from 5e to Lamentations and DCCRPG.
How do I use it?
Using this book is easy. You can set an adventure or campaign on the Isle of Ealand taking the setting, characters, and monsters utilizing them to tell engaging tales of danger and menace. Characters would be insiders to this world. Well steeped in the islands history, traditions and people. Ealand is their home either by birth or adoption, and it encompasses much of their world, as islands often do to their people. Another option is to take Ealand and place it in an existing game world. This can be a published setting or an original creation, Ealand can slot into either quite easily. As an island, with its own unique beliefs, geography and cultures, it can just exist in a larger world, somewhere Northwest from a continent, in a cold and unforgiving sea. Adventurers can happen upon its mist-covered shores by accident or assignment. Many great stories can be spun with a foreign party coming to grips with what they don’t understand trapped in an ancient land perpetually in turmoil. Finally, and probably most simply, you can just read the book and pluck whatever ideas you want from it to sprinkle into your own game. There is no law saying the bog-dwelling FennHulm or the Storm Dancers of Ealand cannot live somewhere else. The mysterious and cursed magical artifacts of the Saevolk don’t need to be found only in the geographical confines of the isle. Imagine the book as a thickly wooded path to be wandered down, stopping and admiring what you find interesting.
However you intend to use the book, I welcome you to this world and its people. May you participate in epic tales with great friends wherever you gather.
Ruin & Conquest is written, the art is being finalized and it is just about ready for final editing and layout. All of this has been done out of pocket on the side of my actual day job. And guess what, the book is looking awesome! But it is important to remember, it could be even better. Kickstarter allows Ruin & Conquest to be expanded if the demand is there for it. It lets me add additional art for the book and commission more maps/locations to be illustrated (things I can’t do myself). I’m not looking to get rich off this niche release or become a full-time game developer. This is a passion project, and anything it makes goes back into increasing the value in the book (or funding the next one). Ruin & Conquest is great in its current planned form, really something I’m proud to release and put my name on, but if enough people back it, I can make it even better.
This book was inspired by a number of sources…
- Classic RPG’s of the 80’s and early 90’s and their focus on creativity, storytelling and incredible art
- Mythology and folklore always hinting at a mysterious world just out of sight
- Punk and it’s DIY attitude about just making the things you want to see in the world
- History and its limitless inspiration
- Rich Nerdgore – artofnerdgore
- Jamie Jordan – noirfade
- Adam Chandler – hollowxsky
- Reza Afshar – rezaa_afsharr
- Andrea Piparo – andreapiparoart
- Dale Sarok – dsarok
- Brian Profilio – b.profilio.art
- Lucas Ruggiero – lr_illustration
- Masruron Nihayanto – moronfathers
- Ahot – ahot.74
- Andrew k Mar – andrewkmar
- Matt Stikker – bargainbinblasphemy
- Sean O’Neill – babyfaceoneill
- Ryan Breceda – ryanbreceda
- Theoretical Part – theoreticalpart
- Joe Wildling – oldwoden
- Daniel Shaw – shaw.illustrations”
Before the Open Gaming License, material meant to be used with a particular system often jettisoned the system altogether, opting instead for a safe, legal approach to third-party books, a system neutral product. Using descriptive prose as opposed to numbers, these products built their settings, adventures, monsters, NPCs, and more, leaving the stats to be worked out by the GM. Ruin & Conquest: Adventures on the Isle of Ealand by Ten of Swords Games embraces that concept when they state the book “[w]orks with everything from 5e to Lamentations and DCCRPG.” The value of system neutral products turns on their ideas, writing, art, and their ability to evoke a world. By comparison, a standard book with 5e stats has a built-in utility that system neutral products lack. On the other hand, the lack of a base system allows these books greater room to create ideas beyond numbers, system, and setting restrictions.
While each of the above books has beautiful artwork, Ten of Swords Games’ decision to use black and white, pen and ink illustrations produce a striking series of images. The era, the armor, the weapons, the monsters, they have a feel like earlier RPGs that adds to the beauty of this work. If you are looking for concepts to add your own stats to, this book is for you.
This crowdfunding campaign ends on Friday, October 26 2018 2:59 AM EDT. You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.