Beyond the Pale


Beyond The Pale

I’m very excited to announce that tomorrow, Friday Dec 1st, the Kickstarter for Beyond the Pale is finally launching!

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What is it?

Beyond The Pale is an old school adventure module inspired by Jewish history, folk tales, and mysticism. One of the goals of this setting is to highlight the unique folklore and belief cultivated by the Jewish people and present them in an Old School RPG setting. The adventure has themes of oppression and persecution, hope and love, and idyllic country life.

The setting in this book is based on an actual territory in the western part of the Russian Empire known as The Pale of Settlement, which existed from 1791 to 1917. For over a century, Jews were restricted to this region. Jews often lived together in small, market towns called shtetls. During that time, hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed as a result of pogroms. Even with these restrictions, Jews in Europe were able to cultivate a rich culture and language. The village in this adventure, Kest, is based on one such place.

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The village (and the surrounding countryside) is populated with all manner of folk: erudite scholars, scheming politicians, jealous tricksters, lumberers, labor activists, folk witches, and many, many more! As they move about the countryside, characters will explore ancient ruins, dark forests, and broken lighthouses in their efforts to prevent - or assist - in a cataclysmic event.

As the PCs explore the town, the forest, and the dungeons of the Pale, they will encounter beasts unfamiliar and wild: an unrelenting dybbuk, a vengeful mazzik, the malicious Alukah, and many more.

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The events of this module take place during a week-long celebration, the Days of Remembrance, during which the PCs will need to gather information, solve mysteries, and overcome threats to prevent a great cataclysm.

Jewish stuff

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I am immensely fortunate to have found some incredibly talented people to help make the setting feel real and (hopefully) quite horrifying. One of the goals of Beyond the Pale is to highlight Jewish folklore and belief and present them in an “old school” RPG setting. The adventure has themes of oppression and persecution, hope and love, and idyllic country life, which the artists have captured beautifully.

The core development team (writing, art, layout) identify as Jewish, and members of the religious Jewish were brought in as sensitivity consultants. Great care was taken to ensure that the themes and images represented in the text were not offensive.

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The Book

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The book will be printed by Lost Pages, an esteemed publisher of multiple award-winning supplements such as The Book of Gaub, Wonder & Wickedness, Wulfwald, and more. The book will be printed in Estonia on thick Swedish cream paper, cased in hardcover, clad in black bookcloth, and given an embossed cover with white lettering.

The print copy also gets you a PDF, while the hardcover gets made (delivery in July of 2024). The PDF is fully complete, and will be sent to backers by e-mail upon the success of the Kickstarter.

Back it, please!

If you’ve read this far, why not do the thing? Here is that link again.

And one more thing! I’ll be at PAX Unplugged Dec 1st-3rd. Try to find me. I come bearing gifts.

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