Thursday, March 13, 2014

I Have Some Minor Involvement in This Kickstarter - Saga of the Splintered Realms

If you follow this blog, you know the relationship I have with Kickstarters - it's a real love / hate type of relationship. So, for me to actually allow myself to get involved with one (Saga of the Splintered Realms) on the creative side, you know I've either just gone crazy or truly believe in the creator. 

Shit, it's probably a lot of both.

Seriously, for me to associate my name with a Kickstarter of any type has only potential downside for me. If it winds up being awesome and on time (as I expect it will) no one is going to be saying "Erik Tenkar did some amazing work!". If it goes to shit, I'm sure all folks will remember is "isn't that the Kickstarter Erik Tenkar worked on?"

That all being said, I believe in +Michael Desing . Enough to add my name to the project and carve out a small piece for myself. There are a handful of folks in our community that I would gladly help under similar circumstances. They probably know who they are, or should ;)

In any case, my piece of the puzzle is a small level of the megadungeon part of this project. If I fuck that up, it's mine and mine alone. If it comes out great, I'll owe it to +Michael Desing ;)

In any case, this isn't about me. It's about The Saga of the Splintered Realms:
It started with a simple enough proposition. Imagine for a moment that you were tasked with acting as lead designer for the NEXT edition of the world’s greatest RPG system. What would you do? Where would you start? 
For me ( +Michael Desing ) it’s the 1981 BX rules. For me, it’s by beginning with what the game’s grandfathers started with – a simple set of rules, a world to explore, and a mighty dungeon to delve. The game grew out of those three things, and if I was to develop the next edition, that’s where we’d have to go back to.  
However, this game would also need stellar art – not only on the cover, but throughout the book – by some fantastic artists. It would need to be carefully tested and edited. It would need to be clear, easy to learn, and intuitive. It would need to be polished. And, finally, it would need to belong to the community from which it came.  
The result of that is the project I present to you: Saga of the Splintered Realm. This funded project would create three books:  
Book 1: Core Rules. All of the fundamental rules needed to play the game. This is not a retro-clone. It is a modern re-imagining of classic rules. The goal is to retain the spirit of the original rules and key ‘classic’ game concepts, simplifying and re-organizing these for quicker play and unified mechanics.  
 Book 2: Campaign Setting. An overview of the Splintered Realm, the default game setting. This includes the campaign world, its major locales, unique creatures and spells, and unique game rules, including a fate game mechanic, and subclass options for each class.  
Book 3: Vault of the Goblin. The megadungeon that acts as the hub of much activity in the Splintered Realm. This is composed of three primary levels with dozens of sub-levels that interconnect. This book would also include an overview of the keep and surrounding countryside near the Vault. 


  1. Thanks, Erik. I'm very excited about this project. I feel like the two Kickstarters that I've done have been to prepare me for the work on this project. I truly want to make this something special, and I truly want it to belong to the community.

  2. I'm on full bore on this one! ...you had me at B/X. And the maps are pretty darn snazzy to boot.

  3. I'm curious as to what will make it different from all the other "modern re-imaginings of classic rules".

    The more the merrier, as far as I am concerned, but what is it's selling point, as opposed to say, ACKS? Or that Adventures in the West Mark? (both modern re-imaginings of B/X as opposed to a retroclone like LL)

    1. I have to be honest, I asked the same question when I saw this. Why reinvent the wheel for 300th time when there are already so many good rules out there? LL, OSRIC, S&W(My personal fave BFRPG). Why not just work more on the campaign and make it rules agnostic?

  4. I'd also like to know what makes this ruleset different. The description provided is rather vague. Also, it seems that whenever boxed sets are involved in a kickstarter the release date is pushed way back. I love boxed sets but they always seem to arrive way too late (Cataclysm At The Acaeum hasn"t shipped yet and Delving Deeper,well,we all know how late that was...)
    Are you sure you can deliver in Jan 2015?

  5. I agree; there are many excellent adaptations of the original B/X rules. My original plan was to publish a campaign setting and megadungeon for a B/X ruleset that aligned with my overall aesthetic. The problem was that I couldn’t find one that did exactly what I wanted it to do, or would do what I wanted it to do with minimal house ruling. The more I thought about it – and the more I considered the scope of what I hoped to accomplish – the more I realized that I should include the core rules with the main package. I see the rulebook itself as quite literally 1/3 of the project. It was important to me that the project included the rules so that it was complete. The rulebook itself is only one piece of the larger project, but an important one in terms of my vision for it. My hope is that, even if you have a ruleset you like using, the rest of the package is worth the investment to you.

    I'm discussing the rule changes on my blog. Some of the changes are going to be cobbled from other systems, some are of my own design, and some are just clarification and simplification of what was published in 1981.

    Thanks for the questions, and I hope that I've at least answered some of them!

    1. For those who might not know where the aforementioned blog is:


  6. Oh, and the delivery by very early 2015 is something I feel pretty comfortable with. I am working simultaneously on all parts of this project, and I have a good sense of my pace and what I can get done. I know that I'm not a big name in this community, but I've been publishing RPGs and comics for 20+ years. I've taken many, many projects through the pipeline - although I'll admit that this ranks as the biggest.

  7. Three main levels in the megadungeon? How adorable. ;-)

  8. It was built by goblins. They are kind of cute little scamps at heart when they aren't trying to run you through and eat your intestines.


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