Empyrea Kickstarter

Quest for the lost city of Empyrea in Frank Mentzer's Aquaria Setting.
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Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby ExTSR » Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:14 pm

Loxley, 01 Sept: Empyrea Kickstarter Announced

Frank Mentzer's Empyrea begins on Monday 02 October—a Kickstarter for a boxed campaign set usable with multiple fantasy RPG systems.

This set is the first big step, created with the help of many friends. Watch for details coming throughout September.

The core set has a lot to cover, and must be brief. The ambitious Empyrea product line will eventually include adventures, novels, details of all cities and major areas, and other supporting products.

Empyrea Online is a future Community project, where many fans can design the details of the Realm. We hope to make parallel-world Empyreas available for most popular RPG systems. We'll need your help describing it… that’s a lot of real estate! The gateway has opened; throw your hat in the ring at http://worldofempyrea.com/.

This is thrilling! Lots more news to come. Thanks very much for your interest.

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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby Big Mac » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:50 pm

ExTSR wrote:Loxley, 01 Sept: Empyrea Kickstarter Announced

Frank Mentzer's Empyrea begins on Monday 02 October—a Kickstarter for a boxed campaign set usable with multiple fantasy RPG systems.

This set is the first big step, created with the help of many friends. Watch for details coming throughout September.

The core set has a lot to cover, and must be brief. The ambitious Empyrea product line will eventually include adventures, novels, details of all cities and major areas, and other supporting products.


Have you considered doing a Kickstarter preview (not sure of the exact name) so that if people have concerns about things (like backer levels outside the US or whatever) they can talk to you before the Kickstarter goes live and you have a final chance for tweaks?

Perhaps...after the Kickstarter kicks off Empyrea, you could switch to something like Patreon for small-scale ongoing funding of the community stuff that appeals to your most hard-core fans. :)

ExTSR wrote:Empyrea Online is a future Community project, where many fans can design the details of the Realm. We hope to make parallel-world Empyreas available for most popular RPG systems. We'll need your help describing it… that’s a lot of real estate! The gateway has opened; throw your hat in the ring at http://worldofempyrea.com/.

This is thrilling! Lots more news to come. Thanks very much for your interest.

—Frank Mentzer


Hmm. If I have my own Empyrea, I want it to be designed by a holographic Frank Mentzer*. ;)

* = Who pops up and says: "Please state the nature of the Empyrea emergency!" when I'm wondering how to do things. ;)
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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby Havard » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:51 pm

Great news!

I signed up for the newsletter!

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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby ExTSR » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:01 pm

Big Mac wrote:Have you considered doing a Kickstarter preview (not sure of the exact name) so that if people have concerns about things (like backer levels outside the US or whatever) they can talk to you before the Kickstarter goes live and you have a final chance for tweaks.

Well, Mac, I'd have to ask my Team.
Our team is headed for double-digit numbers soon and another dozen or more will be contributing authors & artists.
My simple little campaign turned into a rather large project.
We have 3 web sites in progress, one small portal just opened.
I'm a clueless senior, so I brought in young experts to fill the needs.
I'm gonna focus on the writing, the creation, and the possiblities.

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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby Big Mac » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:56 pm

Havard wrote:Great news!

I signed up for the newsletter!


I did too. My email account stuck the confirmation email straight in the junk mail folder, but I fished it out. (I wonder who was first to sign up to the mailing list! :) )

Weirdly, after I confirmed that I wanted the newsletter, I got sent to Frank's Facebook page...but that's not the worse place on the Internet to go for Empyrea information. :-)
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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby Big Mac » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:24 pm

ExTSR wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Have you considered doing a Kickstarter preview (not sure of the exact name) so that if people have concerns about things (like backer levels outside the US or whatever) they can talk to you before the Kickstarter goes live and you have a final chance for tweaks.

Well, Mac, I'd have to ask my Team.
Our team is headed for double-digit numbers soon and another dozen or more will be contributing authors & artists.


Nice. It sounds like you are doing something similar to Ed Greenwood, who has used his own D&D pull to launch the Ed Greenwood group and it's publshing arm Onder Librum. He is helping a ton of people (including one of my friends at The Piazza) to follow their dream.

I look forward to learning a bit more about your team, when the Kickstarter goes live. :cool:

ExTSR wrote:[My simple little campaign turned into a rather large project.
We have 3 web sites in progress, one small portal just opened.
I'm a clueless senior, so I brought in young experts to fill the needs.


3 websites. innnnteresting.

I've got your "World of Aquaria" website added into Havard's Other Aquaria Websites (& Free Downloads) topic. We will have to get the others added on later.

BTW: You might want to edit your Piazza forum signature, and add in the various links, as they go live. That should help people to find your new websites from any of your Piazza posts.

If your experts have the time to get the Facebook and Google+ pages for Empyrea added before the Kickstarter goes live, it will be slightly easier to make sure people don't miss the boat. :)

ExTSR wrote:[I'm gonna focus on the writing, the creation, and the possiblities.


Well that's the real stuff that we are all interested in seeing. :mrgreen:
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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby Mike Myler » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:42 pm

Big Mac wrote:Have you considered doing a Kickstarter preview (not sure of the exact name) so that if people have concerns about things (like backer levels outside the US or whatever) they can talk to you before the Kickstarter goes live and you have a final chance for tweaks?


Heyo I'm the Crowdfunding Engineer for Empyrea and wanted to chime in and say we're looking at a localized European-based crowdfunding campaign in addition to the Kickstarter. Not much we can reveal to that end just yet, but we've got non-US and non-Canada folks in mind. If you're signed up on Worlds Of Empyrea you'll know just as soon as anybody outside of the cadre of adventurers that made it past the ogre bouncer and into in our tavern. :D
There are dozens of free PDFs for my campaign settings on my website! Veranthea Codex (a coterie of 6 diverse areas of play in one heavily detailed 380+ page Pathfinder RPG book), Hypercorps 2099 (superhero cyberpunk Pathfinder and D&D 5E), Mists of Akuma (eastern fantasy noir steampunk for D&D 5E), 2099 Wasteland (apocalyptic atomic fantasy D&D 5E), and Book of Exalted Darkness (holy decopunk and evil for D&D 5e)! Check em out!
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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby Morfie » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:08 am

Signed up!

It came up with a street address for Loxley though, in Sharon WI.. I hope that's not Mr F's home address it gave me?
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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby Big Mac » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:19 am

Mike Myler wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Have you considered doing a Kickstarter preview (not sure of the exact name) so that if people have concerns about things (like backer levels outside the US or whatever) they can talk to you before the Kickstarter goes live and you have a final chance for tweaks?


Heyo I'm the Crowdfunding Engineer for Empyrea and wanted to chime in and say we're looking at a localized European-based crowdfunding campaign in addition to the Kickstarter. Not much we can reveal to that end just yet, but we've got non-US and non-Canada folks in mind.


I've seen other people just provide to backers via DriveThru RPG, who in turn have a Print on Demand service via Lightning Source, who can print locally in Europe (dropping shipping costs to localised shipping rates).

I've seen a few Kickstarters recently, that have said they are Australia/New Zealand friendly. I'm not totally sure what the deal is there, but we do have several people on The Piazza, who live on Earth's "reverse gravity plane". ;)

Mike Myler wrote:If you're signed up on Worlds Of Empyrea you'll know just as soon as anybody outside of the cadre of adventurers that made it past the ogre bouncer and into in our tavern. :D


I've signed up too. The email went straight into my Junk Mail folder, of course (that must be the ogre bouncer). (You might want to warn people about checking their Junk Mail folder and doing the "this is not junk mail" thing.)
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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby ExTSR » Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:00 pm

Big Mac wrote:It sounds like you are doing something similar to Ed Greenwood, who has used his own D&D pull to launch the Ed Greenwood group

Since this is a team for a specific project, and on a specific deadline & budget, it works a little differently, and requires more people.
[3 websites. innnnteresting.

Mine (Frank Mentzer dot something)
Loxley (corporate, a Design House with more plans still)
Empyrea (the lead project)

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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby ExTSR » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:20 pm

On prior hints & Empyreal history...

R4 "Doc's Island" (TSR) gives an accurate picture of the overall history. Much was changed in I-12 "Egg of the Phoenix" (TSR).

"Case of the Missing Magic" (Eldritch Enterprises) describes one institution near the coast, and mentions its origins. They apply here (and you will learn much of the Sef, ancient rulers of the sea).

The "Egg of the Phoenix" saga was originally played in the 1970s by my original campaign crew.
"Death in Wretched Swamp" (Eldritch, short pre-release) is a later adventure from my gaming group of 2009-12 (Arlington Heights IL).

(for Piazza viewers only, not crossposted :) )
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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby Mike Myler » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:47 pm

Big Mac wrote:If your experts have the time to get the Facebook and Google+ pages for Empyrea added before the Kickstarter goes live, it will be slightly easier to make sure people don't miss the boat. :)


Facebook here, Google+ here. :D

(and we've got a Twitter too, and an Instagram)
There are dozens of free PDFs for my campaign settings on my website! Veranthea Codex (a coterie of 6 diverse areas of play in one heavily detailed 380+ page Pathfinder RPG book), Hypercorps 2099 (superhero cyberpunk Pathfinder and D&D 5E), Mists of Akuma (eastern fantasy noir steampunk for D&D 5E), 2099 Wasteland (apocalyptic atomic fantasy D&D 5E), and Book of Exalted Darkness (holy decopunk and evil for D&D 5e)! Check em out!
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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby grodog » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:04 pm

Frank---

Do you have a list of your publications and how they relate to Empyrea? I'm sure that I've missed some over the years, would be useful as a checklist! I assume some were published with the serial numbers filed off, while other were published directly as part of the setting?

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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby ExTSR » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:19 am

grodog wrote:a list of your publications and how they relate to Empyrea?

We have a rough list of things, including a pile of unpublished RPGA tournaments, and are chasing down leads and memories. I'm aware that some want the tie-ins and an orderly layout, so we're on it.

But remember that the global is this: Everything written 1980-86 belongs to TSR, 1986-88 or so to NIPI, and then odd bits over the years to individual publishers, and hence off limits. We won't refer to it or use it. (This obviously covers everything from Gary's campaign.) Items published through Eldritch Enterprises are being discussed and negotiated.
I assume some were published with the serial numbers filed off, while other were published directly as part of the setting?

Let's catch everyone up first... that colloquial phrase means legally rewriting stories to avoid copyright issues, since the concepts and plot (normally) aren't protected -- though the execution certainly is. It's common and entirely legal (cf tales about everything being variations on # plots).

However, nothing has ever been published expressly for the setting since the setting has never been published. :) My usual style is to be half-generic with a few general tie-ins if you want context. That's a broader goal for Empyrea: it should be comfortable, familiar, a fast easy learning curve.

Hope that helps...

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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby Havard » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:11 pm

grodog wrote:Frank---

Do you have a list of your publications and how they relate to Empyrea? I'm sure that I've missed some over the years, would be useful as a checklist! I assume some were published with the serial numbers filed off, while other were published directly as part of the setting?

Allan.


Allan,
I think this list of Published Aquaria Material might be of help? :)

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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby Big Mac » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:38 am

ExTSR wrote:
grodog wrote:a list of your publications and how they relate to Empyrea?

We have a rough list of things, including a pile of unpublished RPGA tournaments, and are chasing down leads and memories. I'm aware that some want the tie-ins and an orderly layout, so we're on it.

But remember that the global is this: Everything written 1980-86 belongs to TSR, 1986-88 or so to NIPI, and then odd bits over the years to individual publishers, and hence off limits. We won't refer to it or use it. (This obviously covers everything from Gary's campaign.) Items published through Eldritch Enterprises are being discussed and negotiated.


I'm not quite sure on my timing (as I didn't start playing D&D until 2nd Edition and didn't join the RPGA (as I didn't think I could afford to). Did you write any of those unpublished RPGA tournaments before you started working for TSR?
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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby ExTSR » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:58 pm

Big Mac wrote:Did you write any of those unpublished RPGA tournaments before you started working for TSR?

Although some parts are based on actual campaign events, all the tourneys I wrote were after I started the RPGA, for that use precisely.
It shows in the designs. I always start with a party, equip them, and then tailor the adventure to their assets.
In old-school style, some things are of course too tough for them, and others seem easy but require more thought to find the best route thru.
And they all fit (pretty much) into a 4- to 6-hour timeframe.
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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby grodog » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:27 pm

ExTSR wrote:
grodog wrote:a list of your publications and how they relate to Empyrea?
We have a rough list of things, including a pile of unpublished RPGA tournaments, and are chasing down leads and memories. I'm aware that some want the tie-ins and an orderly layout, so we're on it.


Sounds good, thanks Frank.

ExTSR wrote:But remember that the global is this: Everything written 1980-86 belongs to TSR, 1986-88 or so to NIPI, and then odd bits over the years to individual publishers, and hence off limits. We won't refer to it or use it. (This obviously covers everything from Gary's campaign.) Items published through Eldritch Enterprises are being discussed and negotiated.

[snip]
ExTSR wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Did you write any of those unpublished RPGA tournaments before you started working for TSR?
Although some parts are based on actual campaign events, all the tourneys I wrote were after I started the RPGA, for that use precisely.
It shows in the designs. I always start with a party, equip them, and then tailor the adventure to their assets.
In old-school style, some things are of course too tough for them, and others seem easy but require more thought to find the best route thru.
And they all fit (pretty much) into a 4- to 6-hour timeframe.


While I understand not being able to reproduce the content in full, and not using the copyrighted/trademarked content for marketing/sales purposes, you should be able to refer to these kinds of historical products and documents via copyright fair use and put them into their full and proper historical context.

ExTSR wrote:
grodog wrote:I assume some were published with the serial numbers filed off, while other were published directly as part of the setting?

Let's catch everyone up first... that colloquial phrase means legally rewriting stories to avoid copyright issues, since the concepts and plot (normally) aren't protected -- though the execution certainly is. It's common and entirely legal (cf tales about everything being variations on # plots).


Agreed completely: we've done this extensively with Rob's writings and work over the years, without any legal challenges, quibbles, or eyebrows raised.

ExTSR wrote:However, nothing has ever been published expressly for the setting since the setting has never been published. :) My usual style is to be half-generic with a few general tie-ins if you want context. That's a broader goal for Empyrea: it should be comfortable, familiar, a fast easy learning curve. Hope that helps...


That makes sense, thanks!

Havard wrote:I think this list of Published Aquaria Material might be of help? :)


I was actually thinking more along the lines of an annotated bibliography, similar to what Rob and I put together years ago for his Greyhawk/Kalibruhn works on Canonfire! at http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php ... le&sid=125 or that Zach Howard did in Tales of Peril for Holmes' writings.

While the list of RPGA modules is nice to have in one place, its doesn't offer me any new information :D

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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby ExTSR » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:57 pm

grodog wrote:While I understand not being able to reproduce the content in full, and not using the copyrighted/trademarked content for marketing/sales purposes, you should be able to refer to these kinds of historical products and documents via copyright fair use and put them into their full and proper historical context.

Heya again ol' friend. You've done quite a job as semi-pro compiler of various historical bits, and we appreciate it.

::CEO hat:: Though I support such efforts in principle Loxley does not at this time have the resources to pursue such. ::offHat::

I hear ya, and we know a lot of collectors who are obsessive about supporting data, so the equation should obtain (as the stiffs say).
By early November, post-Kickstarter, we'll either have folded/revised the Empyrea project or will be making specific plans for specific funding.
Let's pursue this then. :)

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LIVE: The Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby ExTSR » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:16 am

And we're off!

Thanks again for your support and friendship in gaming.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ex ... for-10-rpg
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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby Havard » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:54 pm

Awesome! :)

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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby ghendar » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:01 pm

I have now backed only my second kickstarter ever. I am excited! Changed my mind. Taking a wait and see on this one.
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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby Havard » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:07 pm


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Re: Empyrea Kickstarter

Postby Havard » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:28 pm

Now a backer. Fingers crossed :)

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Update!

Postby ExTSR » Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:11 pm

EmpyrealNews

1. Updates

We launched on time, and work has continued. First up: Gamers want to know what's in Empyrea really.
So here it is. With full map (!). That's the simple digital one I've used online since 1992. Darlene is redoing it her way (woot!) for the set.
http://worldsofempyrea.com/what-is-empyrea/
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ex ... for-10-rpg

2. The Game is Afoot

We're gamers, we can't wait for Empyrea's publication. So we're starting now.

All Aristocrats ($100 backers) are called Sir or Lady. We'll need your character names eventually.
Barons and up ($200+) are Nobles. They are Powers. They have estates, influence, and networks.
If you're an Empyreal Noble, contact us to develop your character, and be part of the published set as well. (Note that if you cancel your pledge, your character may die horribly in the story. And if you upgrade, greater success awaits.) Use this addy for Nobles only (Baron and up):
EmpyreaNobles@gmail.com

=================

Current Events:
Publick Missive to: Prince Charles at Highdell
cc: King John IV

Greetings m'lord. This is your friend and ally Lady Zanjora.
I now represent the Nobility of Empyrea. The current membership of 102 includes:
72 Lords & Ladies (Aristocrats)
20 Barons / Baronesses
5 Viscounts / Viscountesses
oddly, no Counts/countesses
4 Marquis / Marquessas
1 Archduke (elderly, often napping)

Your Lordship is hereby duly Notified, sir.
Let us all work to improve relations between the nobility of the realm and the royal family.
Good days to the King, the Queen, and Princess Darlene (cc'd).

Respectfully yours,
Lady Zanjora
Marquessa of Melling

=================

Appendix by the Royal Scribe:
Zanjora
The Marquessa is half-olven, a precocious 19. She may become a caster, a fighter, and more... but her parents are missing, the family is rich, and the business calls for leadership. She supports the people and education, and is becoming the reluctant leader of a nuanced power group rising in Empyreal circles.
For Piazza only: Keywords Sef, Gorvale
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