Back Beyond Dread Portals, WIN PRIZES!

The Beyond Dread Portals Kickstarter opens tomorrow. If you back in the first two days, not only do you get an Early Bird Backer gift of the League of Explorers Character Roster, but you also get entered into a Prize Draw.

Go to the Kickstarter page, which is in prelaunch mode now, and sign up to be notified when we launch.

The Early Bird Gift is a pdf of the League of Explorers Character Roster. This supplement will have 20 characters at least that you can use as premade characters and non-player characters for your games.

Art by Dan Barker

Introducing Portal D20

I’ve named the system that powers Beyond Dread Portals, Portal D20. This is a graceful, striped-down D20 system that brings fast-flowing yet descriptive action to the gaming table.

The following two page pdf, gives the nuts and bolts of the system, and an example player character.

Sign up for notification when the Kickstarter opens next week. Back within the first two days and you’ll receive an early Backer’s Gift (The League of Explorers Character Roster, 20+ premade characters for your games) and be entered into a prize draw.

Behold the Empire of Ys

The Empire of Ys is a baroque Renaissance setting that is at the heart of Beyond Dread Portals, which is coming to Kickstarter next week. This page-long summary briefly explains the worlds and guilds that make up the Empire.

Sign up for notification when the Kickstarter opens next week. Back within the first two days and you’ll receive and early Backer’s Gift (The League of Explorers Character Roster, 20+ premade characters for your games) and be entered into a prize draw.

The Dread Portals are Opening Soon

I’m putting the finishing touch on the campaign page for Beyond Dread Portals, which is coming back to Kickstarter soon, and one of the things that I had the great pleasure of slotting in was this promo video made by Jon Hodgson of Handiwork Games.

Sign up now for notification of when the Kickstarter opens, with Early Bird gifts for those people that back in the first two days.

Fun Facts about Beyond Dread Portals

Beyond Dread Portals is coming to Kickstarter next week.

If someone puts you on the spot and asks about the game, Roll D20 and consult this table!

Roll 1D20 Fun Fact!
1 Fun Fact about Dandies in Beyond Dread Portals. Not only do they fight threats to civilisation from beyond the magic portals, but they look wonderfully stylish and flashing while they do it.
2 Did you know the ancient decedent and ever-shifting architectural wonder that is the infinite ring-city of Ys is now ruled by an undead Autarch?
3 Ys has many Guilds which regulate and coordinate the professional people of the Empire. They struggle to expand their influence across the Five Worlds. Sometimes, that influence is used for nefarious reasons.
4 They say the League of Explorers cannot call itself a guild because of its sloppy attitude and wanton behaviour. Serious academics say that pedants shouldn’t be allowed to smear an organisation essential to the safe exploration and defence of the realm.
5 Wizards in Beyond Dread Portals can be many things. House Wizards of the Five Families, Academic researchers who provide extra magical support for expeditions, glowing Priests of Dawn, not to mention cheeky fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants chancers from the League of Adventurers. They may share a class, but each character is an individual.
6 Beyond Dread Portals uses a rule system that should be familiar if you’ve played the World’s Favourite Fantasy system at any point. It just doesn’t require much pulling out of hair and focuses on having a good time.
7 The setting is a weird fantasy Renaissance City, with all the intrigue that entails, which has a tenuous grip in the worlds beyond the magical portals that it’s magicians’ control. Is this the basis of a viable Empire?
8 Goblins, in Beyond Dread Portals, are a fungal species from the world of Samara. They were added to the League of Explorer’s Bestiary after award-winning work by Associate Sage Sugunus de Arcani, which unfortunately spread them to the rest of the Empire. Classification Vermin.
9 Despite having an inbuilt setting, you can easily use the system for other worlds. For example, I’ve used it effortlessly for adventures set in King James I’s early years with Tudor adventurers working for Dr John Dee, dealing with supernatural threats from beyond.
10 Warriors trade in force of arms. They may have many class specialisms, such as Berserkers, Champion of Dawn, Heavy Infantry, Heavy Weapons Fighters, Sharpshooters, Swashbucklers and Swordmasters. Despite sharing a class, all Warriors are different.
11 There is an illegal trade in souls between the Hag Queens of Erebus and members of one of the Five Noble Houses of Ys. They regularly frame the Guard Dogs who guard the sealed Dread Portal to Erebus to cover up their crimes.
12 I’ve decided to reimagine an adventure, gamers of a certain age would have all played in the 80s, through the lens of Beyond Dread Portals and make it 100% more fun.  See this post for more info.

13 Beyond Dread Portals is nicely contained in a single 6 x 9 book, about 280 pages. The book includes enough character options, spells, setting details and creatures for years of play without overloading the GM or players. Why take three books into the gaming session when you can take one?
14 Erebus is an endless living cave system. The Empire of Ys attempted to set up a colony there, but its environment proved so alien that they barely got a foothold. Due to certain hostile native species, the colony failed and was abandoned. While officially still part of the Empire, apart from the Keep on the Edgelands, the Imperial presence on Erebus retreated behind a closed portal.
15 Nespo is often confused with Erebus because both worlds are officially off-limits. The League of Explorers had high hopes when they discovered the vast ruined civilisation that the harsh desert had eaten up. They, and their powerful patrons, thought it would be never never-ending treasure trove of wonderous magic items and easy gold and jewels. They were wrong. Erebus is where the Autarch originates.
16 Of the Five Worlds in Beyond Dread Portals, Tethys is a water world of many islands. But beware, its seas are infested with pirates, and creatures that love not the land dwellers live under the waves. Here, the adventurous spirit of the League of Explorers finds one of its purest expressions yet one of its highest rates of loss.
17 The Guild of the Black Rose is a rather sinister Merchant’s Guild since it has the firm backing of the Autarch and its Agents. Since the takeover, it has swallowed up all competitors and now spreads its influence through establishing new trade routes throughout the Five Worlds.
18 Gods? Yes, there are Gods in Beyond Dread Portals, including the nameless Dead God who gave up his name to become lord of Everything. With the Empire of Ys under the Autarch’s control, he and his worshipers might achieve that goal.
19 So, do you want to crawl on your knees through the Dungeon or run free exploring the infinite number of worlds Beyond Dread Portals?
20 In the original draft, Dr. Mitch left out the stats for dragons and had to be politely reminded to include them. Don’t be as forgetful as the good Dr. Sign up to be notified when his Beyond Dread Portals launches on Kickstarter next week.

Sign up to the pre-launch page to be notified when the campaign launches and be eligible for an Early Backer gift and entry into a prize draw.

Keep on the Edgelands

This is a game of Beyond Dread Portals I’m bringing as a convention game to Grogmeet in November, and possibly as a short series of online games.  Its also highly likely to be offered as a stretch goal for the upcoming Kickstarter.

Here’s the pitch…

Come, oh Adventurer, to the Edge of the Empire of Ys!

The Lion Keep is a magnificent border fortress made of yellow brick. It was transported through a giant magic portal from the world of Samara. It now stands in the never-ending cave system that is the world of Erebus. It has some of the staff and traders from its days sitting in the sunlit grasslands of the Lion Empire. The Ysian Guilds also have representatives with offices within the walls.

Officially, the Imperial occupation of Erebus has ended. The colonists are either dead or gone home, and the Keep is the last Imperial outpost on Erebus. But there are regular expeditions into the nearby Caves of Mayhem, sponsored by patrons from the Guilds or the Five Noble Houses.

Good job you are all seasoned members of the League of Explorers. Treasure and glory will be yours. Perhaps you’ll even track down and kill the fabled giant three-headed monster known as the Grognard!

Revisit an old-school classic reimagined through the baroque fantasy lens of Beyond Dread Portals. Take part in the intrigue and power plays of the factions of the fort stuck between unimaginable riches and horrible damnation contained in the nearby Caves of Mayhem. Adventure as third-level characters, using the streamlined and sensible D20 fantasy system created by Paul Mitchener (Liminal, Out of Ashes, Age of Arthur).

New upcoming Kickstarters from the Brit-Pack

It looks like September is a hot month* for Kickstarters from a bunch of creative friends of mine.

Opening later today is Paul Baldowski’s Sanction RPG. Taking the system from his wonderfully concise and focused Elizabethan game The Dee Sanction, Paul opens it up to any setting where a quick, no-nonsense challenge-based system is needed. It also has a sequel to the Dee Sanction, set in the reign of Henry VIII, where the characters explore the ruins of the Abbeys after the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Next up is the next supplement for the mighty Beowulf RPG by Haniwork Games. This supplement brings a kingship phase to the game with all that entails.

Also, they’ve put together a four-page preview available now.

If you like a bit of Duck in your game, Gloranthan or otherwise, fellow Duck Fanatic Ian of Fenris Games is bringing a small, perfectly formed range of minis to the gaming table, and I believe some adventures for Dragonbane.

Finally I’d be remiss not to mention Beyond Dread Portals, which although its being published by myself, is by my good friend and colloaborator Paul Mitchener (Liminal, Age of Arthur). Opens in a couple weeks.

Notes * September at the moment is the hottest on record, as we swelter through a heatwave. Due to end next week, when normal rainy service resumes!

I Love My Brick!

“I love my brick” – which is my copy of DCC and its pile of adventurers.

I have plans to run it at some point, a short adventure and a mini-campaign setting

One of those games that whenever I’m a bit down, I get it out and it cheers me up 🙂

Reassuringly and Robustly Old School for the Win 😀