Four Perilous Journeys: New Adventures for The Fantasy Trip LIVE on Kickstarter

Thanks to their patience, persistence, and an amazingly successful Kickstarter, Steve Jackson Games re-acquired the rights to The Fantasy Trip . . . and produced The Fantasy Trip: Legacy Edition. It arrived with a resounding thunk in a Cidri-scale box. Then came the TFT Adventures. Ready-to-play support for The Fantasy Trip with maps, counters, and megahexes. Now, in partnership with Steve Jackson GamesGaming Ballistic launched on Kickstarter Four Perilous Journeys: New Adventures for The Fantasy Trip.

What’s Being Created

The campaign will fund publication of four new 16-page adventures, each of which is already written. The funds pay for editing, layout, art, maps, and a high-quality print run if that stretch goal is unlocked.

Each softcover adventure will sport a unique color cover, and contain black and white interiors on high-quality paper. Sixteen pages means the binding will be saddle-stitched (stapled).

The campaign is off to a fantastic start: nearly 50% funding on the first day. If you want to know more . . . read on. If you have heard enough and just want to get to the campaign page already:

Four Perilous Journeys: New Adventures for The Fantasy Trip

The Team

The writing team have all written for The Fantasy Trip before . . . among a great number of other projects.

David Pulver is the author of the TFT adventure Fire in the Temple, the “Ships and Boats” article for Hexagram, as well as such varied works as Transhuman SpaceGURPS 4th edition, and Big Eyes, Small Mouth. He has written over 100 articles for Pyramid Magazineincluding adventures for GURPS Dungeon Fantasy and The Fantasy Trip. David is a veteran TFT player and GM dating back to 1978 when he first played Melee.

The writing team of Christopher R. Rice and J. Edward Tremlett co-wrote The Crown of Eternity and the Cursed Pirate Isle. Christopher has the distinction of being the most-frequently published freelancer in Pyramid Vol 3, as well as being the author of GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 19: Incantation Magic and Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game: TrapsJ. Edward Tremlett wrote The Groom of the Spider PrincessThe Tome of the Black Island, and Where the Snow Bleeds, and co-wrote Al-Phasmaq: The City of Ships with Christopher R. Rice.

Gaming Ballistic, LLC is publishing these four TFT adventures, with six more left to go already under contract. Gaming Ballistic is proud to be a license holder for both The Fantasy Trip and The Dungeon Fantasy RPG, and seeks to provide a steady stream of high-quality material to the fans of both games. GB has also published for That Other Game, and you can find those products under add-ons.

Cidri is a big world, with room for all sorts of different things. Even so, these new adventures all have something in common: You first have to survive the trip.

Ironskull Castle (Pulver). Visit Ironskull Castle, the headquarters of Lady Raelle Ironskull, mercenary warlord turned magical arms dealer, mistress of Eldritch Arms. Potential adventure seeds:

  • Intervene in factional negotiations for weapons and magical devices
  • Mission-Impossible-style invasion and theft of exotic magic items
  • Is Lady Ironskull really planning to march forth with an undead army at her back? Stop her (or join her!)

An entire castle filled with nasty surprises, strange magic items, and detailed NPCs. Trouble never stops coming out of Ironskull Castle, and Lady Raelle can also be used as a long-term “Evil Overlord” that can spawn multiple follow-ups. By the way: She’s read the Evil Overlord manual.

Crown of Eternity (Rice/Tremlett). The party is tasked with finding a lost researcher for an exclusive league of magical explorers. The lost eldritch archaeologist was in search of the fabled Crown of Eternity. This is a quest adventure, with the following goals:

  • Bring back the explorer . . . dead, alive, maybe a bit of both
  • Cross a vast ocean, a treacherous desert, and a poisoned sea, beset from ahead and behind by competing factions and dire threats
  • The party must succeed where a rival daredevil failed: find the Crown of Eternity, snatching it from his grasp if necessary

This is a patronage quest, and introduces the Indhyna League, a mysterious and well-funded group of treasure-seeking mages and scholars. They very much have their own agenda.

Citadel of Ice (Pulver). The dungeon is a frozen labyrinth inside an iceberg that broke loose from the coast and is drifting in the ocean. The adventure features:

  • A collection of ice-themed monsters
  • A secret power lying hidden beneath the ice
  • Competing factions striving for control of the iceberg

The team of adventurers must journey to the floating tomb before it melts, taking the treasure with it . . .

The Cursed Isle of the Pirate King (Rice/Tremlett). The expedition seems simple: travel to the former capitol of a vast pirate nation, and find the fabled Blade of Dawn. This “straight-forward” mission is complicated by several factors:

  • A long-ago betrayal brought a centuries-long curse upon the realm of the Pirate King and his island fortress.
  • The island is far from uninhabited . . . though few walking its lands are properly described as living
  • The players must discover how death has found a way to bring strange “life” to the Cursed Isle of the Pirate King

All the party has to do is go to the lifeless rock, and loot the treasure of a thousand dead buccaneers. What could go wrong? This quest follows the events of Crown of Eternity . . . with that powerful organization now working against the players.

Four Perilous Journeys: An amazing first day!

We are off to a fantastic start. We’re about 45% to basic funding and it’s only eight hours in! We eclipsed my last – and best to date – Kickstarter’s full 1-day funding total already. Crushed it, really. Citadel at Norðvorn did about $4,950 in the first day, and we just passed $7,300.

As they said in 300: A good start.

So far, there have been several threads in the comments that deserve an immediate response. So, here we go:

Layout Example

The first is the easiest. While I’ve not settled on the layout for all four scenarios – each will be customized a bit to its own theme – I can give you an example of where I’m going with it.

Here’s a sample from Ironskull Castle:

The bullet points are hard to read in the screen cap, but naturally, they’re skulls. Obviously this hasn’t been edited or laid out properly, or else the third bullet-point would not be orphaned. And I haven’t gone “Good Will Hunting,” as Ken Hite taught me, to slay unnecessary passive voice and using “will X” instead of “X.” (If the adventurers wake him, the dragon will attack. –> If the dragon wakes, it attacks.)

Another example. In Crown of Eternity, there are segments of readable text. These are of course only there to guide the GM if they wish to use them, but where such text is present, it’s set off with an indicator marker.

I’m still figuring out the ins and outs of spacing and how the program interprets formatting and commands, but you can see here that

  • The section header is present, but missing a graphic. Since this is “Crown of Eternity,” you can bet that it will involve a crown.
  • The readable text has a (currently) black vertical bar that spans it, setting it off for easy reading
  • The room/map key (1A) is set out as drop-caps for easy visibility
  • I’m not thrilled with the placement of “Undercity Entrance.” I’d like the top of it to be level with the top of “1A,” and there to be a space between the end of “A” in 1A and the “U” in Undercity so it’s less crowded.

But you can see that I hope to make the books have a theme that echoes the adventure, and the layout elements will be functional as well as aesthetic.

Kickstarter Timing

I know – I’m running Four Perilous Journeys at the same time as Decks of Destiny. It can be hard on the wallet. SJG and Gaming Ballistic ran the DFM2 and Citadel at Norðvorn Kickstarters in parallel as well, and thanks to that collaboration, I can estimated that Norðorn roughly doubled it’s trajectory for funding.

It also allowed SJG to pack a copy of Gaming Ballistic’s Fantastic Dungeon Grappling in every box of the new reprint . . . something that would not have been possible, or even conceivable, were the projects not being run together . . . and coordinated in a most amicable fashion.

I’m definitely sensitive to Kickstarter fatigue – I back projects too! – but I think in the end doing them in parallel will provide opportunities that would not otherwise be available.

That leads us to the most-frequently asked question of them all.

Die-cut Megahex and Creature Counters

The #1 request has been for die-cut counters and megahex tiles: I hear you.

On my end, it’s somewhat complicated. For international orders, putting physical goods like that in packages changes the customs class from “books” to “games,” and inserts costs where before none existed. It’s also a logistical/supply chain challenge for me: I don’t currently have a supplier of such pieces.

However, I’m not alone in this, am I? Is there someone, perhaps with a long history of providing such things, doing them professionally, well, and with an established business practice for doing so?

Hmmm. I believe there is.

We’re being deliberately cryptic about it for now, but as Phil said when the question was put to him directly in the Comments section of Decks of Destiny: “We have things in the works and ideas. Too soon for details. :).” He went on to elaborate ” That said, I am fairly confident that what we are thinking about, if the thought is every fully formed, will be exactly what someone out there is hoping for.”

Hows that for clarity? I too, can confirm that there are things, ideas, and work. These things and ideas might even take advantage of “Kickstarter Timing,” above.

But both Gaming Ballistic and SJG understand what you guys are asking for, and if and when we can extract something awesome from the draft maps, locations, and critters . . . those ideas will turn from ponderings to committments. But neither company gets any mileage from promising something and then saying “psych!”

Onward!

Whew! So, to bring the end back to the beginning . . . welcome again to Four Perilous Journeys. As things tick along, I’ll be sure to share regular updates, insights from the authors of the four books, plus progress on art.

A note on that: I don’t usually commit to art funding until the Kickstarter actually passes the funding goal. Again: never promise what you can’t deliver, and it’s unfair to the artists to engage their time and creative energies and to have to say “nevermind.”

So: get the word out. There are forum threads on the RPGPub, theRPGsite, RPG.net, MeWe, and Facebook. Share wherever you can, and talk the projects (this one and Decks of Destiny) up, since a word from a fan carries more weight than a creator hawking their own wares.

Until then: thanks for making the beginning of this campaign so exciting!

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