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Unrelated to the ongoing Kickstarter (though if you're interested it's going on right here), I've put up a new blog post hidden deep on the FGG page that explores and explains the way time is tracked in the Lost Lands (from years all the way down to reading a clock) and gives the whys, hows, and whatfors. It's pretty niche minutiae, but for those who have expressed interest in all things Lost Lands, you can read it here. It will be included in the campaign setting in a much simplified form, but this post gives a peak behind the curtains.
Unfortunately had to drop out. If things look up by the weekend, I may jump back in.
S'okay, MichaelSandar. Hope things look more up for you by the weekend!
Agena Fernnoggin wrote:
For what it's worth, my only regret with FGG products is only purchasing the "Quests of Doom" and "Lost Book of Spells" as PDFs from that KS as opposed to their hardcover versions. The quality of the other FGG hardcovers that I have purchased (Slumbering Tsar, Stoneheart Vally, and Lost City of Barakus") have been outstanding. I cannot say enough good about them.
Thanks, DSXM! Every pledge helps!
We're down to 5 days in our Lost Lan: Cults of the Sundered Kingdoms Kickstarter. We've unlocked the first of the short fiction packs, and I'm excited about the Sundered Kingdoms stories you're going to get just for the fun of reading and for the depth that they will add to your Lost Lands campaign.
Now we're less than $4,000 away from unlocking the Player's Guide written by industry veteran Anthony Pryor. Anthony is a great writer and really cool guy (I had the privilege of enjoying his presence at a PFS table I was running at Gen Con a few years back). He has written for Wizards, Necromancer Games, and was one of the creators behind Scarred Lands, so his work speaks for itself.
I've posted sneak preview of part of the book in the latest update on the Kickstarter page here. Come on over and check it out. Tell all your gamer friends about the KS and help us get over these last few humps here at the end of the campaign.
The book (and all FGG books in general) default to the middle track. However, with any adventure book of this size (like Rappan Athuk as well, for example), you really have the option of using whichever XP track you want depending on how quickly you want it to go. There are so many options for random encounters along with the fact that not every single numbered location must be encountered (and in fact is really unlikely to happen without A LOT of GM nudging) means that there is a high variation in XP dispersal that can occur. So no single track is required. It can be tailored to suit whatever pace of game you'd like to have. In fact, it could change in mid-course if you wanted (say your group doesn't like wilderness so you fast track them through the Desolation to Tsar, but they LOVE ruins exploration so you slow it way down, and then they're okay with dungeon crawls but don't have quite the same affection for them so you switch it to the medium track in the Citadel, for example). Because Tsar is both extremely sandboxy and pretty much encompasses a whole campaign, it is necessarily mutable to whatever the individual GM/campaign needs in that regard.
As Tom said, we've hit the 35k stretch goal. The first free Lost Lands Tales pack has been unlocked. And quoting a different song (also by Barry Manilow...probably), "We did it, we did it! Lo hicimos, we did it!"
You can read our update on it here.
Don't feel like reading all that? That's fine, but there was a very good question that one of our backers asked and the answer goes a long way towards explaining the importance of the Tales stories to the Lost Lands campaign setting. I thought it was a useful read for anyone interested in running or playing in FGG games, so I'm including that part of the update below.
Thanks for all your support! Less than 5k away from the Sundered Kingdoms Player's Guide!!
The backer's question was something to the effect of: Are the short stories canon for the campaign setting and how spoilery are they going to be, because I'd like to be able to let my players read them to gain insight and understanding of the campaign setting in a relaxed way rather than me having to feed them tons of details? (As is the traditional way with a new campaign, I think--my words, not his.)
My response was:
The short stories are absolutely canon.
At the beginning of each one will be a sidebox with a GM Note that gives a spoiler warning. It will rate the spoilers in the story as usually either low, medium, or high and then explain how they might or might not affect a GM's campaign if he or she allows the players to read the story. You are exactly right about the stories being an excellent option for introduce players to the setting without giving them a homework assignment or reading 12 pages of exposition in a game session.
Some of the stories will be fine for the players to read ahead of time, some the GM will probably want to wait until after an adventure has been completed where the story spoils something about it (which should make the story even cooler for the players since they'll see that it is connected to their very own adventures), and some of the stories will be readable at the GM's discretion, for instance if they spoil campaign details that the GM has no plans for involving in his own campaign and doesn't care if the players learn about them.
Our goal with the stories is to make them both as usable for a GM and players alike as a game reference, source of additional original campaign info above and beyond what is in the game books, and a campaign-building tool (for introducing background, atmosphere, tone, important characters and concepts, etc.) in addition to just being an entertaining read. I'd like them to actually function as game products to some extent even while being something that's a fun read for 15 minutes or whatever.
Thanks Silverhair and Laric!
Laric, I posted a response to your question on the KS comments. Thanks for spreading the word!
I just sent the final sample story to Chris to get posted to the KS page today, so with that you will have seen a previously written sample from each of the 5 writers that we selected to create our first round of Lost Lands fiction.
Nearly to the 35k stretch goal with the player's guide just around the corner after that!
New art preview of just a regular weekend getaway in the Sundered Kingdoms over on the Kickstarter page.
Tomorrow I start posting some more samples from Anthony Pryor's Player's Guide to the Sundered Kingdoms. It's a great book. You guys are definitely going to want it, so let's push this thing up to the 40k stretch goal in the next 9 days.
Thanks, Readerbreeder! We appreciate your pledge. It's not the amount that's the most important but rather your support. We love our fans regardless of how much they spend. That's why I've been saying here and elsewhere that we don't want our backers to spend more money, our goal is to get more backers. We really do appreciate you joining us in the project, and I hope you enjoy the book!
Hi guys, crazy end of the week and weekend for me, so I'm slacking in getting the latest sample story posted to the updates.
That said, we're so very, very, very close to the first Tales goal!
I have begun to get the turnovers for the Tales in from the authors, and they are looking really good. I'm excited to get them published.
Tom is right, you guys have been more than generous in your support and it is amazingly appreciated. But rather than try to squeeze more $$ out of our customers we just need to get more customers. I just did an interview for Pathways #49 by Rite Publishing (available for free on DriveThru here) that discusses the book and the Kickstarter in some detail, so hopefully some more folks will see it and we can get the word out more. It also has Endzeitgeist's Top 10 list for 2014 in it and FGG appears on it both as an Honorable Mention (for Tom's amazing Dunes of Desolation) and the #5 ranking for Matt Finch's incomparable Cyclopean Deeps, Vol 1 (I say incomparable, but wait until you see Vol. 2!). Both of those books are available through our Kickstarter (and CD2, as well), so if you haven't picked them up yet give them a look. But hopefully that will get some more eyes turned towards Cults of the Sundered Kingdoms.
That's about all there is to it at this point, I think. Spread the word as much as you can and help us get folks pumped up about it. We're down below 2 weeks left so it's coming up on crunch time. Thanks again for all that you've done to get the word out already and for all your support!
To anyone who hasn't read the thread above and seen it already, Silverhair2008 (er, 2009 now) is one of our super supporters and backed the KS with the Temple Dallas pledge level. So he's coming to North Texas RPG Con with us in June.
The reason I bring it up is because he's going to be doing something really cool there. It's not officially a part of the pledge but it just so happened that it worked out that we could do this with the schedules and everything. One of the games I'm running in Dallas is the Twisted Tower from Slumbering Tsar. We'll have a normal group of players basically playing to see how far they can get into the tower and try to kill the Master of the Tower, Belishan the Bloodmage. For this game, silverhair is actually going to be playing the part of the Bloodmage. He'll be behind the screen with me running Belishan as an PC/NPC as he coordinates the tower defenses against the PCs' incursion. It's kind of a unique thing that we've never done before, and I think it's going to turn out pretty cool especially considering that Slumbering Tsar has been out for about 5 years now so there's a good chance some of the players will be familiar with it. This is kind of a neat way to mix it up a little bit and keep it fresh, I think.
Anyway, we'll see how it goes and how well it works. If it does work well, this may be the kind of thing that we can do more of in the future for a gauntlet style adventure like Slumbering Tsar or Rappan Athuk (no promises yet, as it all depends on schedules, availability, game slots, game space, etc.). Just a thought for now, but I wanted to share for anyone who was interested.
Silverhair, you're the best. I'm officially promoting you to silverhair2009. No, no, don't thank me; you're continued support is thanks enough. :-)
Davrion and Dark Sasha are correct, Duiker. $90 would be your pledge for the Fighter level plus Fields of Blood (plus the shipping it will add on automatically when you make the pledge if your order is overseas). Then you would add on the other books on the BackerKit at the end of the campaign.
Thanks for the assist, davrion and DS!
Here's a quick update from the KS:
We are fast approaching the 2-week countdown and are still so tantalizingly close to that first Lost Lands Tales stretch goal. I'm confident that we'll make it, but we're going to have to pick up some momentum if we're going to be able to do the other set of Tales and the Sundered Kingdoms Player's Guide. You guys have been/continue to be awesome, but we can't make these other stretch goals without your help. If you know anyone who's a fan of the Frogs or you think might consider the Frogs a worthy purveyor of third-party products, please spread the word. There's also another 600 or so folks who jumped on board with The Lost City of Barakus and got the Sinnar Coast map who are missing out on this expansion of that very product, so if you know any of those guys help us get the word out. The Lost Lands is very much a setting-in-progress, and each of these books builds from and expands upon those that have come before. So, if folks are fans of the emerging campaign setting, then they will definitely want to get in on these books so as to not miss out.
Tomorrow is Friday so we'll release another of the sample stories from our Tales writers. We really need to hear from you guys about those and let us know what you think. As I've said, since these are free with the stretch goals that are unlocked we really don't have a metric with this Kickstarter to measure how well they are received. So if you've got an opinion--any opinion, good or bad--please let us know what you think in the comments. We're listening to your voices to give us guidance on this new line.
And because you guys are awesome, here's some more new art from the book! I think this one is so cool that I didn't even come up with a snarky title for it. :-)
Brandon Hodge wrote:
Don't make me use my special guest powers against you, Gregg Vaghn. It could be most...unpleasant.
If they involve dipping more pork products in chocolate, I'll pass. ;-)
Jessica Price wrote:
It's a long story, and I don't want to derail the thread by going into it here. :-)
Oh no, we're derailing it Jennifer Prince "of Darkness" (see what I did there?), we're definitely derailing it in order to hear of your Inquisition woes (that's how I picture it anyway...because I *always* expect the Spanish Inquisition).
Nicolas Logue wrote:
I do remember it. The second favorite game I've ever played in...and I still have no idea how to play Shadowrun. So, yeah, I guess I'll give it to you on that one.
You're still a diabolical fiend though.
Okay guys, slow weekend. We're still right at $2700 away from launching our first ever Lost Lands fiction line at the $35,000 stretch goal. I updated the third preview story Coowahchobee that you can check out. I'm dying to hit this stretch goal so we can launch the Lost Lands stories these guys have written. They're good stuff and will give you info and additional detail about the Sundered Kingdoms not available in the adventure book and gazetteer alone.
Also, I have received the completed turnover for Anthony Pryor's player's guide for the Sundered Kingdoms and posted the intro to it here for you to see. It's a really neat book written as the memoir of the infamous rogue Titus the Grey, but we don't get to unlock it unless we reach the $40,000 stretch goal.
We're down under 20 days now and really need your help to spread the word and get us there. Thanks!
I don't think there will be an official Frog presence at Origins, though I believe that Kenneth Spencer (author of the magnificent Northlands Saga books) will be there.
Ernest Mueller wrote:
That's awesome, Ernest. :-)
Yes, please do DSXM. And I know what you mean about the shipping charges. They are awful for overseas. :-( Thanks for the endorsement, though!
That said, hey everyone, we're just over 3k away from the first of the Tales of Lost Lands free pdf stretch goal. You can see two of the sample stories by the authors we've hired under the updates for "A Snare for Mephistopheles" and "The Chase", and I'll be posting a third sample story for you in an update tomorrow. Please help us get past these stretch goals and launch this new fiction line! You guys are the best!
That's a great point, Tom. :-) And let's not forget that your newest book Fields of Blood was recently unlocked as a stretch goal and is now available as an add-on to the Kickstarter too. It's a great follow-up to Dunes of Desolation and prequel to the forthcoming Mountains of Madness (D'oh! Did I spill the beans on anything?) ;-)
And just for everyone's viewing pleasure, here is a cute picture of a puppy that will appear in the Cults of the Sundered Kingdoms book.
"Here, boy! Come get the ball! Good boy."
Silverhair2008 has descended to a new level of insanity. Not only is he pledged for the leather copies of all versions, the awesome vellum poster map, and various and sundry other things, he has taken his life into his own hands and decided he wants to hang out with the Frogs at North Texas RPG Con. Truly a sign of a disturbed mind. I wouldn't want to hang out with us, and I have to! :-)
Seriously though, Silverhair. Thanks a ton! YOU pushed us over the 30k stretch goal for Fields of Blood and have taken your life into your own...oh, right, already said that. Anyway, it'll be cool to have you joining us down in Dallas. Look forward to seeing you there!
Bill is contacting the hotel today to try and get a room for you. He'll get in contact with you about details.
Thanks again, Silverhair!!!
Tom Knauss wrote:
In addition to being an environment book, Fields of Blood has some strong Native American influences.
What Tom, said. The book is influenced by and builds off of themes from the plains peoples of North America, Africa, and Asia.
Is there a S&W version of Fields of Blood? Or is that PF only?
Yeah, it doesn't make much sense as a S&W book. Most of the rules in it our built off of existing PF mechanics that don't exist in S&W and aren't needed because of the nature of the game. The parts that could be useful would probably fit in a decent-sized pamphlet, so there's not much point in it.
The adventures, however, will be converted and put into a S&W compilation as a future product, so you'll be able to get a S&W version of those.
Okay, you guys are officially killing me, dancing so tantalizingly close to unlocking Fields of Blood yet staying just out of reach like a horrible tease. Let's get this thing over the line. Tom has written a pretty freakin' cool book, and you are going to want us to print it. So let's take a look at some of the stuff in it.
For starters, here is your Table of Contents:
Introduction............................................................... .............. 3
Here's a new monster out of Chapter 6 that I think is kind of cool and different:
Jagged barbs protrude from the elbows of a leprous humanoid with two faces on its head. A kind, human face looks forward, while a sinister, demonic face looks backward.
HESTOVATO CR 8 XP 4,800
The tribal peoples of the plains generally refer to the malevolent hestovato by a more colloquial name — two-face. The wicked creature’s first appearance in folklore practically dates back to the dawn of man, yet despite its lengthy history, its origins remain shrouded in uncertainty. The most plausible myth claims that an angry god transformed a traitorous mortal into this wretched creature as punishment for his betrayal. Other legends relay a similar tale with subtle nuances. Whatever their history, there is no doubt that the grasslands’ nomads greatly fear the hestovato and always keep a wary lookout for this hideous monster in the glow of their evening campfires.
Hestovatos roam the open plains under the cover of darkness. They avoid large humanoid communities, preferring to stalk small parties of men and women from afar as they travel across the vast prairies. Like predatory animals, hestovatos target the group’s weakest members, particularly children, pregnant women and the injured. The creature moves through the grasses with great stealth as it approaches its prey. In the warm light of the dying flames, the hestovato turns its back to its victim and gazes at the terrified creature with its demonic face. The ghastly sight is enough to paralyze the bravest of men, let alone a frightened child or expectant mother. The hestovato then uses its barbed elbows to finish the deed, tearing its target into pieces. Though carnivorous, these monstrous humanoids kill other sentient beings for the sheer thrill of doing so. They take greater delight mutilating the corpse than consuming the raw flesh.
From the front, hestovatos look no different than the average man. During the day, the creatures keep their distance from other humanoids and often wear loose fitting clothing to conceal their blotchy skin and elbow barbs, as well as a headdress to cover their demonic face. Hestovatos caught spying on their future victims quickly concoct a bogus explanation for their odd behavior. They typically claim they are lost merchants, hunters and even holy men en route to a sacred site. Hestovatos are usually encountered alone, but small groups of these asexual monsters occasionally band together to pursue a large, humanoid party. These alliances never last long. The greedy creatures soon squabble over their choice of victims and the allotment of spoils.
And here's an interesting new druid archetype (one of many new archetypes in the book):
When the moon is full and a bloodcurdling cry rings out in the distance, the moon stalker springs into action. He is all too familiar with the sound of a tortured creature undergoing an involuntary and accursed transformation into something no longer human. Whereas other druids defend the wilderness, the moon stalker spends his nights hunting his unnatural quarry — lycanthropes. In his mind, the very existence of these monstrous men and women blasphemes nature itself. Though druids can and do transform into animals, the moon stalker believes that nature granted this gift to her willing servants. Lycanthropes, on the other hand, are cursed beings that nature condemned. As members of a damned race, he sees them as scourges that he must rid from the world. In this pursuit, the moon stalker makes no distinctions between good and evil or law and chaos. There is only one absolute in his mind — that all lycanthropes are a blight to nature that he must destroy. None may be better suited to eradicate these monsters than the moon stalker.
Nature Bond (Ex) A moon stalker may not select an animal companion. Instead, he must choose from the Darkness, Madness or Trickery domains in addition to those normally available.
Detect True Form (Sp) At 1st level, a moon stalker can detect the presence of creatures with the shapechanger subtype, including lycanthropes. This ability functions like detect undead. This ability replaces wild empathy.
Track Prey (Ex) Starting at 2nd level, a druid gains a bonus on Perception and Survival checks equal to his druid level on skill checks made to locate and follow tracks made by creatures with the shapechanger subtype, including lycanthropes. He also gains the same bonus on any Knowledge check made to identify a creature with the shapechanger subtype and their special powers or vulnerabilities. This ability replaces woodland stride.
Resist Shapechangers (Ex) Starting at 3rd level, a druid gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against the exceptional, spell-like and supernatural abilities of creatures with the shapechanger subtype, including lycanthropes. He also gains a +2 dodge bonus to AC against creatures with the shapechanger subtype and a +2 morale bonus on attack rolls and weapon damage rolls against such creatures. These bonuses increase by +2 at 9th level and every six levels thereafter. This ability replaces resist trackless step and nature’s lure.
Natural Purity (Ex): At 9th level, a moon stalker gains immunity to all curses, including lycanthropy. This ability replaces venom immunity.
Enemy Tactics (Ex): At 13th level, a druid gains DR/silver equal to 1/2 his druid level. This ability replaces a thousand faces.
So hop on board and get this book to print. If you play Pathfinder, you're going to want to see it. If you don't want to buy the full hardcover on top of the existing pledge, you can just get the pdf. I'm trying to get that updated on the KS page (this has now been done).
Let's get Fields of Blood out of the dugout and onto the field!
Richard Pett wrote:
Yep, what Rich said. I am in fact looking at it enviously right now. The part I'm most envious of is the intro theme that Richard put together for when we launch the KS this fall. Between the music, camerawork, and period props, I think Richard really captured the "Frankenstein meets Alice" aspect perfectly.
Watch this glimpse into the vault of disturbia that is Richard Pett's brain here.
All it took was Alistair Rigg swimming all the way here from Australia with his game books and playtest materials in a waterproof knapsack! I hadn't known he was going to when I answered you before KarlBob, but we're excited he is. Now I'll just have to find an excuse to sneak out of the banquet and watch the mayhem. :-)
Just a note, you can't find the KS byt typing Pathfinder in the KS search engine. This may hinder some
We have rectified this. Thank you for the heads up.
My players never did kill The Usurer. They hated him and talked about it from the beginning, but by the end they allied with him to battle some heavy-duty threats from Tsar that had turned their attention towards the Camp after the PCs started mucking about inside its walls. It actually like it made it even funner that they never went toe to toe with him.
And, yes, the adventure was written with more-or-less only the Core rules, so it's difficulty level has been reduced with the introduction of a lot of the stuff since then. I'd be much more likely to enforce a 4-person party limit with the option s out now. Alternately, feel free to beef it up. At one point in my playtest/campaign I had 14 players at the table for a span of a couple years. I can guarantee that everything they fought mysteriously had an inordinate number of hp to its name. And I did manage to kill a dozen or so PCs when all was said and done. As the skill and/or power levels of the players/PCs goes up so generally does my nastiness in playing the bad guys. I'd recommend play it to the level/skill of your party rather than feel constrained as written if it's making it less fun.
simon hacker wrote:
I'm not sure how that got there. We are kickstarting Northlands in July, so it actually ought to be out by then but not until after the KS and not unless it funds. Maybe they're just getting a jump on it? I don't have a big problem with a preorder I guess (maybe it's something Bill and Lisa worked out?), but if everyone preorders instead of backing the kickstarting, then we can't print it...and preorders don't get filled and then no one gets it. Admittedly that is a worst-case scenario. Still it seems a little irregular. I'm not sure that it's not actually a mistake.
I sent a message to Bill to try and get some clarification. I'll let you guys know what I find out.
Alas, there are no theatre productions in Shades of Yellow, unless perhaps you consider the danse macabre as a form of theatre. I personally think of it as more of a flash mob with more spilled blood. ;-)
Question, FGG people - Are the stretch goals that are not add-ons available to all pledge levels?
The unlocked stretch goals will be available to all backers, though if a backer is a pdf-only backer, then the shipping charges not covered under a print copy pledge would still have to get added to ship the print copy add-on book. If that is the case, let us know and we can figure out what that would be for you. Adding on print copies of the player's guide is unlikely to add to the book shipping charge unless somebody decided to but a whole bunch of them.
Matrix Sorcica wrote:
We totally understand, Matrix. I wouldn't want to pay that either. That said, I don't know the specifics on who all carries our products in Europe, though I believe there are several who do. Bill would have to answer that question. You can ping him at bill_at_talesofthefroggod_dot_com.
Just saw the Complete Northlands S&W for pre-order on the Paizo site. I thought there was going to be a kickstarter on this...
There is. We'll be kickstarting Northlands in July. I don't know what that's about.
El Ronza wrote:
Bill would have to tell you the exact numbers (I don't know them), but the Dunes pdf is normally 16.99 on our website, so I'd guess it'd be in the $10 range, probably a couple bucks less. The pdfs usually run about half of what the print edition costs. The Fields of Blood would then probably be $16.99 since it's not at a discounted price like Dunes is for this KS.
So I'd think if you budgeted about $25 for the two pdfs, you'd be pretty close to spot on. In the meantime, I'll see if I can get Bill to post something about the prices on the KS page. He's out of town on business for much of this week, so he's a little tough to catch right now.
Sorry, Silverhair. I answered Auxmaulos before I saw your post. Yeah, the same answer for you. Whichever you prefer. One gives us slightly more of the money, the other boosts the KS and potentially contributes to giving us more money. It's really a win-win for us with you guys backing at all. So you'll get no complaints from us. Many thanks to you too!
Thank you for your question, Auxmaulos. That level of thoughtfulness means a lot to us. This community is great in that there are so many people who aren't just fans of the products but are fans of the company itself and its personnel. That's what makes this game great. Plus then we can go to cons and get to meet and hang out and simulate killing each other with dice rolls and sheets of paper. :-)
Financially FGG pays fewer fees for Backerkit add-ons than for KS pledges. I think the difference is something like 5% of what one pays versus the other (I haven't seen the actual numbers but I think it's something along those lines). Ideally, we'd make plenty of money through the pledges and easily hit all the stretch goals, and then at the end everyone would add an equal amount in Backerkit. :-) However, the reality is that we're grateful for pledges and purchases regardless of how they come. So if you'd like your higher pledge to go towards bumping towards stretch goals, we're cool with that. If you'd like to hold out the Backerkit amounts until the end to maximize what we make, we're cool with that too. Like you said, it's a catch-22. One pays us a little more, but one gives us a little more exposure and momentum which potentially pays us a little more if it ramps up the excitement just that much. So really just do whichever you feel most comfortable with. We wholly appreciate your support either way. Thanks!