I’m working on developing the Aruneus Source book(s) – a high-fantasy, zombie apocalypse based world for the Pathfinder system. Things are moving along very well and include play testing, a quest for funding and now a Wiki and some snappy new Forums to go along with the world.
Note: If you want to follow the development of the Aruneus world, just click this. Bookmarking that will bring you back to the latest news.
All of the freely available content will be posted here on this site and a short time later added to the Wiki. This site will serve for the latest updates as they come out of my brain. The wiki will act as a repository of all Aruneus information past and present, in one indexed and easily searchable form. The forums will be for anyone who wants to get involved at any level, be it a question or suggestion or taking on some play testing responsibility.
That leads to the question, what won’t be freely available? Well, the art (unless it’s made so by the artist), a PDF version of the book, or a hard cover, or the rather large campaign I’m planning to go on in the world running from levels 1 – 20.
The Aruneus project raised it’s first financial backing, with a pledge of $2! For some it may not seem all that exciting but a first pledge is a first pledge. It moves the project that much closer to fruition. If you’d like to help, rewards for pledging range from a feel good time to a hard copy, PDF copy, exclusive adventure crafted by me, your name (or character’s name) in the finished project and a bunch more cool things. I’ve also added an incredibly cheesy video I did in my office over the course of about 17 minutes. Check it out.
If you are interested in getting involved, I’m looking for artists and layout folks. I’ve got to have this looking nice in both the art and print portions of the project. If you’ve got some experience or a portfolio (published is not a requirement) please get in touch with me either through the contact form or the forums. If I can make the funding happen in the next 44 days or so, these will all be paying gigs.
If any of this sounds interesting to you, please spread the word. Making a pledge is a great way to reserve a copy either in PDF format or an actual book. It will also get folks who may not get paid or exposure for their artwork and editing skills a nice check and a published work under their belt. Plus it will expand the RPG world in general just a bit. And lastly, if you make a pledge but I don’t raise the $7000 I’ll need, you won’t get charged. Not a cent.
What is Aruneus?
Aruneus is a source book for the Pathfinder Role Playing Game detailing the world, politics and life of those living in a high fantasy world one hundred years after a cataclysmic zombie apocalypse.
The world was a large place. The four races, Humans, Elves, Dwarves and Orcs existed if not in peace, at least able to survive with each other. Empires were formed, lives created and destroyed, magic flourished and for a brief time, Humanity strove to master the world. Then the undead scourge broke the world.
It started with a single child. Then a family. Soon, a whole village succumbed. Within weeks hordes of mindless, always hungry undead swarmed over the Human empires, destroying any creature that was foolish enough or unlucky enough to fall into their path.
Although the disease effected only humans, rendering them first dead and then undead in less than two days, the hungry corpses would eat anything warm blooded that fell into their grasp. Mice, cattle, even the great dragons. none were immune. They were not fast or overly strong but their numbers became massive. Weapons proved to be nearly useless against a horde. Magic and fire could do more but sheer numbers, the undead in the thousands proved too much. Worse, they did not seem to decay or become weaker. Years would pass before even the hint of corruption appeared on their bodies.
One organization, the Order of the White Cloth proved to be a counter to the undead scourge. Able to organize to the point of defending a small but determined group of Human settlements, the clerics proved invaluable. Able to destroy the undead through sheer power of will their protection became vital.
The Order have become the new nobility. Their upper echelons have become the wealthy elite, admitting very few in to their ranks and supplanting kings and emperors as the new, untouchable power. Anger them and their protection can be withdrawn, leaving you and yours to fend for yourself.
The Elves and Dwarves too have been decimated by the undead. Their cities ravaged and their population has plummeted. Fear of Humans is a normal reaction. Any who may have been bitten will turn and in turning they will eat flesh endlessly until put down.
While the Orcs of the north have suffered as well, their frozen country and nomadic ways have gone far to preserve them. For the first time in centuries, a new Orc empire is rising.
Magic users have become something of a rarity, as the practice and study of magic is a luxury not often had when fighting for mere survival. The Order of the White Cloth has all but outlawed the practice of magic unless it is done on their license, in their temples. The lay people see mages as a curiosity and a person to put their hope into. What is left of the old nobility would seek to manipulate them in their secret war against the Clerics. The Order of the White Cloth simply seeks to use their power without them becoming a threat.
There are rumors of a small island containing the last operating wizards collage not under the thumbs of Clerical overlords but at this point, they may just be rumors.
When the undead scourge, some called it the apocalypse, spread through the world it was the grimmest of times. Societies collapsed and Empires fell in the span of a few years. Over ten million sentient beings vanished from Aruneus in a matter of years, many returning as mindless undead. It is only now, one hundred years since that ill fated child destroyed the world that hope can once again be seen in the faces of man, dwarf or elf.
Walled cities are for the first time in a century growing. The undead are finally succumbing to time and literally falling apart. While still out there, beyond the safety of walls, their numbers are slowly dwindling. The invention of lighter than air craft have reintroduce trade and communications.
The Order of the White Cloth, seeing their reign beginning to slip, are tightening their yoke on the human population, quashing rumors and allowing only those communications they see fit to pass through their censors. Still, it is hard to stop a rumor.
A rumor, recently surfaced, hints at a possible cure. A means from keeping a living human infected with the undead Contagion from turning in to one of them. If this were to be true it could be the final answer to the prayers of hundreds of thousands of humans.
The nobility would kill for this and a chance to seize the reins of power from the Order of the White Cloth. The Order would kill to keep this from dwindling their power. Whole cities would become mobs should they learn that the cure was being withheld from them, or was within reach.
Should you be given this power and asked to save all of humanity, what would you do with it? Where would you turn and who would you pick to live or to be condemned to shamble and moan and wander always lost?
[tags]aruneus, rpg, role playing, zombies[/tags]
Image: wikimedia CC