3 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – Savage Worlds, Ghosts of Castle Nevermore (5e/PF), and the Tome of Many Things (5e)

Looking for an immersive 5e or Pathfinder adventure appropriate to the Halloween season? Want to check out the newest edition of Savage Worlds? Need additional D&D 5e rules? On Kickstarter, there are three RPGs that fit the bill and we’re reviewing them right here thanks to the Open Gaming Store:  



GHOSTS OF CASTLE NEVERMORE – D&D 5e & Pathfinder Compatible! by Dark by Dezign 
Ends on Fri, November 16 2018 7:23 PM EST. 

“D&D 5e and Pathfinder Compatible Fantasy RPG Adventure. 14-DAY Campaign Based on The Short Stories of EDGAR ALLEN POE. For Levels 1-20. 


You may indeed find me mad, but I assure you that this unique project has been planned carefully. Years in the planning stages and putting it together slowly, piece by bloody piece since June of this year, In short, what I have planned for you is a fantasy, swords and sorcery adventure campaign with underlying tones based on the macabre writings of Edgar Allan Poe… But make no mistake, this 2-week adventure campaign is not based in the 1880’s but will fit right in as a horror-filled and deeply haunted fantasy roleplaying game adventure suitable for D&D 5e and Pathfinder.

The adventure starts off with the party receiving a mysterious and unsolicited package containing a book, a letter (not shown here) and… an INVITATION. This invitation is written by the Lord of Ravenscroft Manor himself, LORD RODERICK RAVENSCROFT. This invitation is for the adventurers to attend his masked ball at his castle, and requests that the party attend this gathering as an opportune time to meet all 13 members of The Ravenscroft Family. The party’s quest is in two parts. One is to act as fantasy ghost hunters to rid the castle and family members of the numerous ghosts, ghouls, ghasts, wraiths and spectres that have been plaguing them. The second part of the adventurer’s quest will be for them to act as investigators regarding a heavily contested LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT. Penned by the now deceased Robaire Ravenscroft, nearly the entire family has vehemently contested this will and testament with the culprit being the twin brother of Robaire, and the new lord of the castle, Roderick Ravenscroft.

The Player’s Investigator Guidebook Cover
The Player’s Investigator Guidebook Cover
Mrs. Butterburr’s Famous Cookbook and Illegal Nightly “Castle Nevermore” Itinerary
Mrs. Butterburr’s Famous Cookbook and Illegal Nightly “Castle Nevermore” Itinerary
The Last Will and Testament of Robaire Ravenscroft
The Last Will and Testament of Robaire Ravenscroft
13 (lightly) Illustrated Ghost Stories
13 (lightly) Illustrated Ghost Stories


Disclaimer: I’m a freelancer on Dark by Dezign’s upcoming project, HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN FANTASY RPG ADVENTURES AND SELL THEM.  


Egg’s Thoughts:  

What does Matthew A. Bogdan have cooked up for you in this project? A Halloween-appropriate series of books that present a 14-night campaign where, each evening/adventure/session, the PCs must survive a castle full of the undead or die trying. This project goes for immersion with a variety of books, some specific to the PCs and others for the setting. This campaign will fund five books:  

  • Ghosts of Castle Nevermore is the main adventure designed for the D&D 5e and Pathfinder 1e systems. It covers 14 nights of ghost stories that lead to encounters in Castle Nevermore.  
  • The player’s Investigator Guidebook gives the PCs a resource to keep this detailed storyline/NPCs/events organized without losing precious details.  
  • Aroghast’s Spirit Summoning Grimoire offers players an additional resource to combat the undead featuring details about how to deal with specific ghosts and encounters and more.   
  • Mrs. Butterburr’s Famous Cookbook and Illegal Nightly “Castle Nevermore” Itinerary is a different type of immersion as it encourages the GM and players to cook meals to match those eaten in the course of the story as an opportunity to really taste this world.  
  • The Last Will and Testament of Robaire Ravenscroft is yet another player resource that helps build the storyline by going into depth about what the family of ghosts are fighting over.  
  • *If* the campaign reaches $20,000 in funding, there will be a 6th book added: “Lightly-illustrated prose 13 SHORT STORY PDF GHOST STORIES book added for your reading pleasure. GHOST STORIES OF CASTLE NEVERMORE will take the audio readings and add to that in the form of 13 short stories.” 
  • Which brings up the series of 13 audio files that tell these ghost stories. The sample is over 9 minutes. Assuming each story is a similar length, that’s nearly 2 hours of atmosphere and setup.  

This game will combine elements of sword and sorcery, Edgar Allen Poe, and a haunted castle with a highly immersive selection of books, keepsakes, and meals. Ghosts of Castle Nevermore embraces the open elements of, not only, the D&D 5e and Pathfinder 1e OGLs, but also the public domain, specifically the works of Edgar Allen Poe. By combining these open sources, Dark by Dezign is creating a unique experience in gaming. Check out the campaign for many more details and a variety of samples. 

You can find examples of their work on the Open Gaming Store

This crowdfunding campaign ends on Friday, November 16 2018 7:23 PM EST. You can support this Kickstarter campaign here



Tome of Many Things (5e) by Terran Empire Publishing 
Ends on Thu, November 15 2018 7:05 PM EST. 

“An all-in-one book of 5e compatible material! 

She reached for the tome, not knowing what to expect, but anticipating the power that would soon be at her fingertips…

Players and DMs alike, rejoice! The Tome of Many Things is here to elevate your D&D 5th Edition games with a metric ton of new content! Compiled within the ancient pages you will find:

  • 7 New Classes & 35 New Archetypes
  • 100 New Feats
  • 15 New Weapons & 25 New Alchemical Items
  • 40 New Magical Items
  • 20 New Spells
  • 20 New Monsters (Including Kaiju!) & 40 Mundane NPCs (Like the Dwarven Mushroom Farmer & the Surly Waitress!)
  • Optional Rules! (Addiction, Allergies, Assets & Liabilities, and Alignment Score!) 

The Tome of Many Things will be offered as a full-color, bookmarked PDF or as a high-quality softcover collector’s edition (with a variant cover art)! 

New Classes & Archetypes

Blood Mage

The new classes and archetypes introduced in the Tome of Many Things bring a plethora of choice to your games. Here are a few samples:

  • Blood Mage (New Class) – Deviant and daring, a Blood Mage rules others through the power of Blood, and cares only to release it from its fleshy prison in the most violent of ways. 
  • Path of the Battlerager (New Barbarian Archetype) – Village conscripts and veteran soldiers alike panic at the sight of heavy armored berserker warriors! 
  • Way of the Weightless Foot (New Monk Archetype) – Gravity defying martial arts!
  • Trap Smith (New Rogue Archetype) – A master of creating and disarming complex traps, a Trap Smith always has the right tool for the right job, especially if that job is maiming or killing unwanted intruders. 
  • Vanguard (New Class) – A front-line warrior who excels in both taking and dealing out damage with explosive attacks and adrenaline-fueled abilities. 

New Feats

Included in the Tome of Many Things are 100 new Feats to round out your character or NPC. Optional Rules for Teamwork Feats and new Starting Racial Feats are also included! Here are some examples:

  • Back to Back (Teamwork): You gain +3 to your AC when you find yourself flanked by an opponent and if you are adjacent to a friendly creature who also has this feat. If you are adjacent to a friendly creature who does not have this feat, the bonus is reduced to +1. 
  • Deadly on the Ground (Prerequisite – Proficiency +4 or higher): You no longer suffer disadvantage to attack rolls while you are prone. 
  • Overflowing Font (Prerequisite – Sorcerer level 4 or higher): You add your proficiency bonus to your total amount of Sorcery Points.

New Equipment

The Tome of Many Things will introduce a number of unique weapons and alchemical items to your adventures. Here are some examples:

  • Sick Stick -Rare (300 gp) This “stick” is actually a carefully compressed length of wood pulp and dried botanicals that are burned similarly to a stick of incense. Once lit, the smell takes approximately 1 round to fill a 30-foot area. The smell given off by a sick stick is extremely foul, and any living creature who comes within 30 feet of a burning stick is subject to a Constitution saving throw against a DC 15. On a failed save, the creature gains disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks as long as they stay within 30 feet of a burning stick but no closer than 15 feet. If they move closer to the stick and come within 15 feet, they are subject to another Constitution saving throw against a DC 18. A failed save here gains the creature -2 Strength and Dexterity due to muscle spasms and dry heaving, as long as they stay within 15 feet of the burning stick. If any of the saving throws are successful, the creature is immune to that sick stick’s smell only, as each stick is composed of slightly different concentrations of ingredients. 
  •  Dueling Scabbard -Cost 20gp, Dmg 1d6 B, Wt. 5lb, Light, Finesse, Special – These scabbards are reinforced with steel making them extremely inflexible, but also able to be used in combat as a weapon or to assist in deflecting blows.  (Dueling Scabbard – You gain a +1 to your AC against melee weapon attacks when you wield this weapon in your off-hand.)

New Magical Items

40 new Magical Items are introduced in the Tome of Many Things to populate your dragon’s hoard or trapped treasure chest. Here are a few examples:

  • Gurb’s Choppa – Weapon (Handaxe), rare (requires attunement): You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magical weapon. Twice per day, you can cause the weapon to deliver a more powerful slice, dealing an additional 1d6 slashing damage after a successful strike which also dislodges a piece of the weapon into the targeted creature. The piece of shrapnel deals an additional 1d6 slashing damage on the next turn. Pieces dislodged this way reform after 24 hours, often in the form of jury-rigged scraps of metal attached to the blade. 
  • Boots of Deception – Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement): These boots always look distressed from a lifetime of use but never seem to rip or otherwise fall apart. While wearing these boots, you are able to magically silence or amplify your footsteps on any terrain. You are also able to choose to leave tracks, or not, on any terrain. This does not prevent you from being tracked by other means. 
  • Armor of Daylight’s Embrace – Armor (leather), rare: While wearing this armor, you gain resistance to necrotic damage. Additionally, you are immune to the charm ability of vampires. If you successfully grapple a vampire, you can activate the armor’s special ability. While a vampire is grappled by you, the armor deals 20 radiant damage every round, no save is granted. The vampire receives a -2 to their ability check to escape the grapple while you are wearing this armor. 

New Spells

You can’t add new spellcasting classes and archetypes without adding new spells! Here are a few examples:

  • Suffocate (Necromancy 2nd level; Components – V, S; Casting – 1 action; Range – 25 feet, line of sight; Target – One creature; Duration – 1 round + 1 round per Spellcasting Ability modifier; Saving Throw – Constitution) By means of this spell, the caster can attempt to pull the oxygen from the target’s blood, essentially slowing suffocating them in the process. The target takes 2d4 necrotic damage per round on a failed Constitution saving throw. Creatures have disadvantage on all rolls while under the effects of this spell. Cast at a higher level – When this spell is cast using a 5th level spell slot, or above, the damage increases to 2d8 per round and you can increase the number of creatures affected by 1 for every spell slot used above 5th. 
  • Bloom (1st level transmutation; Casting Time: 1 action; Range: 30 ft; Components: V, S; Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour) You can cause any flora that is capable of blooming to come into full bloom within 30 feet of your position. Any tree, bush, or flower that is capable of bearing edible food (fruit, nuts, etc.), does so. Dead plants are not affected by this spell. 

New Monsters


  • Ingeareanea – From the deep jungle comes the Ingeareanea! This 125-foot tall spider was worshiped by Goblins who made their home deep in the jungle’s interior. For eons, it has lived and dined on sacrifices made by the Goblins, and in lean times, the Goblins themselves! 
  • Tonitrus Testudo – Often mistaken for a large island, the Tonitrus Testudo has been known to sleep for thousands of years. In those times, whole civilizations have lived and died on its enormous shell. When Tonitrus Testudo wakes, its hunger knows no bounds! 
  • Draconis Rex – Slumbering beneath an ancient volcano, Draconis Rex is whispered about in hushed tones by the primitive villagers who live on the volcano’s slopes, as if hearing its name would wake the terrible monster. Placated in ancient times with blood sacrifices, it is said Draconis Rex is pleased with offerings of man-flesh, as well as bejeweled valuables and powerful magical items. 

Optional Rules

The Tome of Many Things will explore new character options, including Addiction, that will help DMs and Players alike flesh out their characters and NPCs like never before. Additionally, the Tome will explore Alignment in a new way by offering an optional rule of an Alignment Score, which can help alleviate the confusion of “would my character do that?” 


Egg’s Thoughts: 

It’s not a Deck of Many Things. It’s not Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, but it is for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition and its closest in description to AD&D: Unearthed Arcana (or any D&D’s UA): Welcome to Terran Empire Publishing’s Tome of Many Things for 5e. This book features a variety of new material, optional rules, and more to add to your game. Some of these additions offer novel ideas that will be fun to play such as “Way of the Weightless Foot (New Monk Archetype) – Gravity defying martial arts!” All of the ideas utilize the 5e Open Gaming License to build on the source material from Wizards of the Coast and create fun, original content. Should you look at this Kickstarter? Their list of options will help you decide:  

  • 7 New Classes & 35 New Archetypes 
  • 100 New Feats 
  • 15 New Weapons & 25 New Alchemical Items 
  • 40 New Magical Items 
  • 20 New Spells 
  • 20 New Monsters (Including Kaiju!) & 40 Mundane NPCs (Like the Dwarven Mushroom Farmer & the Surly Waitress!) 
  • Optional Rules! (Addiction, Allergies, Assets & Liabilities, and Alignment Score!)  

Let’s highlight a backer pledge level for this Kickstarter:  

“Pledge $12 or more 

Apprentice (Returning Backer) 

**Important, Please Read** 

This pledge level is for returning backers. If you backed Manastorm: World of Shin’ar, and you are interested in this project, please choose this level. You will also receive a mention in the book’s acknowledgements section.  

**Only Backers of Manastorm are entitled to this reward level** 


  • Tome of Many Things (PDF)” 

To build customer loyalty, Terran Empire Publishing is offering a 25% discount to returning customers. If you backed their prior Kickstarter for Manastorm: World of Shin’ar, you are eligible for this discounted backer tier. This is a nice thank you, one that I like better than the early bird specials so common with Kickstarters because this one rewards patronage. Terran Empire Publishing is building an empire the right way and you should consider joining it.  

On a side note, two weeks ago I did an interview with Richard A. Knaak, Phil Beckwith, and Micah Watts about Knaak’s new series and RPG, Rex Draconis. In an amazing stroke of coincidence, the example monsters from the Tome of Many Things includes a Draconis Rex. Richard A. Knaak’s Rex Draconis as opposed to Terran Empire Publishing Draconis Rex. There’s no copyright abuse that I can see, just two creators using a Latin description effectively. From Terran Empire Publishing’s Tome of Many Things for 5e

“Draconis Rex – Slumbering beneath an ancient volcano, Draconis Rex is whispered about in hushed tones by the primitive villagers who live on the volcano’s slopes, as if hearing its name would wake the terrible monster. Placated in ancient times with blood sacrifices, it is said Draconis Rex is pleased with offerings of man-flesh, as well as bejeweled valuables and powerful magical items.”   

You can find examples of their work on the Open Gaming Store

This crowdfunding campaign ends on Thursday, November 15 2018 7:05 PM EST. You can support this Kickstarter campaign here



Savage Worlds Adventure Edition by Pinnacle Entertainment Group (3PP Savage Worlds products available at the Open Gaming Store
Ends on Wed, November 14 2018 10:00 PM EST. 

“The Savage Worlds game system from Pinnacle in an all-new Adventure Edition, ready to power any game of your design! 

The new Adventure Edition of the best-selling, multiple-award winning "Fast! Furious! Fun!" Savage Worlds Roleplaying Game!
The new Adventure Edition of the best-selling, multiple-award-winning “Fast! Furious! Fun!” Savage Worlds Roleplaying Game!

We’ve taken everything we’ve learned over the last 15 years...all the feedback you’ve given us via our forums, social media, store, convention, and personal play…to make it faster, more furious, and more fun!

We’re especially proud that this version combines the tactical nature of the original system with the best elements of narrative play.

Every aspect of the game has been reviewed and playtested, from all new Chase rules to Setting Rules, Edges & Hindrances, character creation, powers, creatures, and more.

This is also the most beautiful version of the game we’ve ever done, with full-color chapter headers and interior pages by incredibly talented artists from all over the world.

For the first time ever we’ve also got a deluxe box of all the essential accessories players and Game Masters ask for…a brand new Oversize Action Deck, official Savage Worlds Bennies, dice, GM screen, Power and Status Cards, and more!

Since first publication in 2003—with the tagline Fast! Furious! Fun!—Savage Worlds spread across the globe to become one of the most loved tabletop roleplaying game systems. Savage Worlds today:

  • Eight official translation partners (French, German, Korean, Italian, Polish,  Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish) producing the core rules and Pinnacle’s Savage Settings in their native languages.
  • More than a hundred officially licensed companies creating everything from adventures to settings to monsters and villains!
  • Thousands of fan-licensed products available on the Internet for free!
  • Official Pinnacle licensed settings include Flash Gordon™, The Sixth Gun™, Lankhmar, The Goon™, and Palladium’s Rifts®!
  • Original settings include the award-winning Deadlands, Weird Wars, Rippers, East Texas University, The Last Parsec, 50 Fathoms, Necessary Evil and MANY MORE!
Licensed settings for Savage Worlds!
Licensed settings for Savage Worlds!
Just a few of our many original settings!
Just a few of our many original settings!

From the high seas to the farthest reaches of space. From undead cowboys of the Weird West to the harried soldiers of Vietnam. From the forests of Weird Wars: Rome to the post-apocalyptic wastelands of Deadlands: Hell on Earth.

Savage Worlds handles pulp action, gritty noir, supers, hard sci-fi, space opera, horror, and anything you can imagine!

Savage Worlds hasn’t changed much since it was first released in 2003, but there have been a few significant changes.

It was also time to update our graphic design, art, and size to match our current graphic novel format and showcase the incredible artists who have come on board since we began.

With any new printing we try to make things better, and the Adventure Edition received the same treatment. We’ve been listening—literally—to tens of thousands of players and Game Masters from all over the world for more than a decade. Shane Hensley, Clint Black, and the rest of the Pinnacle team have gathered and discussed the points they’ve raised for years and slowly but surely gathered them into this new Adventure Edition… faster, more furious, and more fun… thanks to YOU!

Previously released products are 100% playable with the Savage Worlds Deluxe core rules you may already own. For backwards compatibility, a simple conversion guide will be made available to download for free to update from Savage Worlds Deluxe to Savage Worlds Adventure Edition. 

Here’s a brief look at what to expect in the Adventure Edition!

  • Tricks and Tests of Will are now combined into the much simpler Tests. Wanna throw sand in your foe’s eyes or baffle him with scientific mumbo-jumbo? YOU choose the skill, the foe tries to resist, and if successful, he’s Distracted or Vulnerable until the end of his next action (and Shaken with a raise!). Work with your companions to set up the most powerful foes and see just how effective your teamwork can be!
  • Wanna help your friends? The new Support rule replaces Cooperative Rolls, letting players easily and creatively use any skill that makes sense to increase your allies’ totals!
  • So long to…Charisma! All of Charisma’s effects are now rolled into their specific Edges or Hindrances, creating more diverse and interesting effects and making their use far more clear.
  • Repeat actions! Previous versions of the game didn’t allow you to take the same action twice. Now you can take up to three actions in a round at a standard “Multi-Action” penalty. Want to cast two or even three spells on your turn? Go for it! Want to fire your blaster at three different zombie aliens? It’s in there too!
  • New Suppressive Fire rules make it much simpler, faster, and effective to keep your enemies’ heads down.
  • Completely new Chase rules built to handle everything from battles between fleets of massive starships to foot chases through crowded city streets!

And a host of small but important tweaks to everything from Edges & Hindrances to Encumbrance, gear, powers, Setting Rules, and more!


The game is highly compatible with previous editions. If a character has an Edge or Hindrance, for example, just look it up in the new edition and use that. Some rules are just more clear, like what constitutes an action, the difference between a round or a turn, or what a bonus applies to. Other rules are just new and won’t affect anything that’s come before, like being able to draw a new Action Card by spending a Benny!

We’ll also be issuing a free conversion guide for those who want to be a bit more exact, so all your previous settings and adventures should be easy to run and play with only an occasional change.

If something needs a little more work, we’ll take a look and post an update on the setting’s webpage at www.peginc.com. It might take us a while, we have a lot of settings! But we’ll get to those that really need it as we can.” 


Egg’s Thoughts: 

Have you tried Pinnacle Entertainment Group’s Savage Worlds? If so, you know it’s one of the most versatile RPG systems available (and cheap, too). Their engine works well with licensed settings like Flash Gordon™, The Sixth Gun™, Lankhmar, The Goon™, and Palladium’s Rifts® as well as a variety of third-party settings that touch on every genre. This Kickstarter offers the latest edition of the game adding some of the concepts demoed in their Flash Gordon RPG, which I was able to play at Gen Con 2018. Flash Gordon RPG for Savage Worlds moves faster than the current version of Savage Worlds and fits the setting perfectly. Based on my experiences plus Pinnacles’ track record, the new Savage Worlds Adventure Edition is going to amplify an already excellent system.  

As an added bonus, backing this Kickstarter will net you a ton of jumpstarts (quickstarts) for Savage Worlds from a variety of companies including (but not limited to):  

Every day of the campaign they’re adding more freebies. This is an excellent system with a variety of free extras included, check out this Kickstarter.   

You can find examples of the Savage Worlds system on the Open Gaming Store

This crowdfunding campaign ends on Wednesday, November 14 2018 10:00 PM EST. You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.

About Egg Embry

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™, wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. With the advent of Kickstarter, and the resurgence in his love of role-playing, he bought a series of writing opportunities in tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. Now he freelances for EN World, Open Gaming Network, and Tessera Guild, and writes for a variety of game publishers.

View all posts by Egg Embry →

Submit a Comment