D&D 5E Less than 48 hours left! A huge sword & sorcery adventure for 5E is live on Kickstarter!

Accaris

Explorer
Publisher
The Kickstarter for our next book has launched! The Doom that Came to Astreas, a huge new sword & sorcery adventure and setting guide! The Chronicles of Aeres: The Doom that Came to Astreas

Technically an expansion for our setting, the Chronicles of Aeres, the Doom that Came to Astreas is going to be a nearly 200-page end-to-end campaign for players starting at level 6-7. Half of the book will be devoted to the setting, a cursed wasteland of an island called Astreas, inhabited by strange beast-like races who were once human, and lorded over by the dominion of an indomitable Sorceress Queen. The other half is an adventure ready to run. Astreas will combine open-world exploration with clear objectives; as a mutant army sweeps across the land, players will need to be strategic about which destinations they explore (and for how long!)

Sword & sorcery roots are fully bared here, and we're including and encouraging many rules to help make the adventure a more old-school experience, like permanent death, strict timekeeping, and the use of henchmen. We're also including pre-generated heroes who are crucial to the saga, kings and queens of Astreas whom you can play as, or insert into the campaign as powerful NPCs!

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overgeeked

B/X Known World
The art does look fantastic. Definitely Sword & Sorcery.

I’m not sure 5E can do Sword & Sorcery justice without a lot of changes.

Any elevator pitch on the changes you’ve made to the core 5E mechanics to more closely emulate the Sword & Sorcery genre?
 

Accaris

Explorer
Publisher
The art does look fantastic. Definitely Sword & Sorcery.

I’m not sure 5E can do Sword & Sorcery justice without a lot of changes.

Any elevator pitch on the changes you’ve made to the core 5E mechanics to more closely emulate the Sword & Sorcery genre?

Well, pulp fantasy (at least of the Conan and Elric variety) has always included larger-than-life, legendary heroes wading into battle against insurmountable odds, and winning with life and limb intact. So in this case, 5E is probably a suitable ruleset for it in many ways. ;P

However, we dedicate a segment of the book on emphasizing a variety of rules for making the campaign a deadlier experience a bit closer to the old school. It's no "5E Hardcode Mode," but we suggest:

  • Strict timekeeping: The players don't have unlimited time, since a perilous horde of bloodthirsty monsters is rampaging across the continent. Eventually, every free space will be overwhelmed and the campaign will be lost. So, the DM will need to keep track of how long the players are taking to do things. Loiter too long wasting time in one area, and it could have dangerous consequences. The DM can also freely move and expand the horde during downtime if they wish (an optional rule.) This helps add urgency. It also leads to:
  • Enforced travel rules: Although the PCs have a "home base" that they can return to, and an expedient way to do so, Astreas is mostly a deadly wasteland, so wilderness travel rules (including rations and rest) should be encouraged. The adventure is broken up by regions overlaid with hexgrids.
  • No Resurrection: Astreas is a cursed land and if you die, your spirit is corrupted. You cannot be resurrected. Even if one of the legendary heroes of the story dies, so be it.
  • Aether: Our original setting guide includes a rule for how "aether," an invisible miasma whose presence empowers magic, can be used to severely limit the capabilities of magic-users in the game. We reiterate those rules here.
  • Henchmen: The PCs will be immediately presented with a (seemingly loyal) minion whom they can use to perform tasks for them, even during downtime. In fact, his presence might help streamline downtime for the players and reduce the bloat of doing things like shopping for rations, munitions, etc. We have charts to help randomize what your henchman does (he might betray you), or you can treat him as an NPC fully at your command.
  • Alignment: The races of Astreas represent aspects of the alignment wheel explicitly and we encourage roleplaying to this effect. The barbarians, concerned with both glory and vengeance, are driven to conquering the evil that threatens Astreas, but only for their own freedom, and not necessarily out of the goodness of their hearts. The raptor-like Sliskvir, on the other hand, are burdened with instinctual bloodlust and act impulsively, often with cruelty and a disdain for weakness.
 
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overgeeked

B/X Known World
Well, pulp fantasy (at least of the Conan and Elric variety) has always included larger-than-life, legendary heroes wading into battle against insurmountable odds, and winning with life and limb intact. So in this case, 5E is probably a suitable ruleset for it in many ways. ;P

However, we dedicate a segment of the book on emphasizing a variety of rules for making the campaign a deadlier experience a bit closer to the old school. It's no "5E Hardcode Mode," but we suggest:

  • Strict timekeeping: The players don't have unlimited time, since a perilous horde of bloodthirsty monsters is rampaging across the continent. Eventually, every free space will be overwhelmed and the campaign will be lost. So, the DM will need to keep track of how long the players are taking to do things. Loiter too long wasting time in one area, and it could have dangerous consequences. The DM can also freely move and expand the horde during downtime if they wish (an optional rule.) This helps add urgency. It also leads to:
  • Enforced travel rules: Although the PCs have a "home base" that they can return to, and an expedient way to do so, Astreas is mostly a deadly wasteland, so wilderness travel rules (including rations and rest) should be encouraged. The adventure is broken up by regions overlaid with hexgrids.
  • No Resurrection: Astreas is a cursed land and if you die, your spirit is corrupted. You cannot be resurrected. Even if one of the legendary heroes of the story dies, so be it.
  • Aether: Our original setting guide includes a rule for how "aether," an invisible miasma whose presence empowers magic, can be used to severely limit the capabilities of magic-users in the game. We reiterate those rules here.
  • Henchmen: The PCs will be immediately presented with a (seemingly loyal) minion whom they can use to perform tasks for them, even during downtime. In fact, his presence might help streamline downtime for the players and reduce the bloat of doing things like shopping for rations, munitions, etc. We have charts to help randomize what your henchman does (he might betray you), or you can treat him as an NPC fully at your command.
  • Alignment: The races of Astreas represent aspects of the alignment wheel explicitly and we encourage roleplaying to this effect. The barbarians, concerned with both glory and vengeance, are driven to conquering the evil that threatens Astreas, but only for their own freedom, and not necessarily out of the goodness of their hearts. The raptor-like Sliskvir, on the other hand, are burdened with instinctual bloodlust and act impulsively, often with cruelty and a disdain for weakness.
Thanks for the summary.
 







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