So Bruce Heard has been busy with the Calidar Wings of Darkness Kickstarter, but gasp the world of Calidar is D20!?! No this source book is actually system neutral & easy to adapt to the world's most popular role playing game.
Bruce Heard really seems to have a winner on his hands here, this source book is going to be in the same style as some of his earlier efforts;"Along the same general idea, "On Wings of Darkness" blends a new skyship episode in a 132 pg. geographic Gazetteer packed with info about a realm of wizards and demons. The following chapters follow the introductory short story".
So the whole kickstarter is funded but their still in the midst of unlocking rewards & paying artists,etc;
"This Kickstarter's intent is to fund cover and layout artists, the illustrators, the project editor, and the cost of your rewards (print & postage.) Artist Brent Chumley committed to producing the cover artwork needed for this book. Steven Cummings, Joe Garcia, and Eric Lofgren will bring their talents to illustrate this gazetteer as much as our stretch goals will permit. Janet Deaver-Pack has staked her claim upon the project's editing, while Thorfinn Tait will pull all the pieces together, including new maps. Most of us have have worked together before on previous Calidar projects. Like all previous Calidar projects, "On Wings of Darkness" will be printed on demand via DrivethuRPG, which eliminates mass printing, warehousing, and retail distribution."
"The core book itself is written and awaiting final editing. All floor plans and geographic maps (some of which are featured in the video presentation) are complete as well. Those of you who have backed my earlier ventures: Thank you! Many of you are familiar with my writing style and design abilities since the 1980s. My long-time partner in life, Janet Deaver-Pack, is a published author and a professional magazine contributor. She has produced and edited a number of anthologies along with much of what I’ve been writing during the past decade. We’re confident that “On Wings of Darkness" will be as good as or better than “In Stranger Skies.”
So that's some of the real world background & the kickstarter material, if you want to really get on board the just hope over to the Kickstarter & pledge.
But how are you going to incorporate 'On Wings of Darkness' into an on going campaign. I've been wracking my brains because this is a high fantasy setting. The answer came to me over lunch whist working my way through a ham sandwich. The answer of course is demons! I own one Pathfinder book & its CAL1 Calidar In Stranger Skies.
Even though this is a 'Pathfinder' book its in the same style as Bruce Heard's Princess Ark style but with a very nifty high fantasy setting. On Wings of Darkness is going to be using that same setting with a game system neutral mechanism. Calidar is a setting where demons are being used for many of the settings tasks & infrastructure.
In the chapter Master & Servant of 'On Wings of Darkness' this gets a whole plethora of adventure hooks;
"Master & Servant: A nation where demons serve the spellcasting class, local laws, and tools of lordship are presented alongside a who's who of Caldwen's most notorious demons." Demons are not known to be easy to deal with at the best of times. A world where wizards are political & ethical rivals opens up all kinds of opportunities for the dungeon master. What if Calidar's plane/universe merges with other realities ala the worlds of Lord Dunsany. The sky ships of Calidar already have a Spelljammer/boxed set Champions of Mystara: Heroes of the Princess Ark (1993) feel. This hook puts Calidar into the realm of Clark Ashton Smith, Leigh Brackett, or perhaps some of the other efforts of Robert Howard.
Heard's own articles from his blog entitled Masters & Commanders Pt. I
not only suggest that this is the case but expand out NPC captains in BCEMI D&D stats.
"In the first of the articles intended to convert Star Phoenix crew members to D&D BECMI, I had detailed Captain Isledemer d’Alberran. Here’s the shyship’s first mate, Enna Daggart. She was first described in CAL1 “In Stranger Skies,” page 110, for Pathfinder. If you haven’t read the first article, for details, and familiarize yourself with Calidar’s peculiarities. Reminder: weapon damage listed here reflects the Weapons Mastery Table (Rules Cyclopedia, pg. 78-79)."
If your not following Bruce Heard's blog then I strongly suggest you do.
Much of the material for the setting of Calidar has appeared there. I've been following Calidar for sometime but there are not enough hours in the day to get all of this on the blog. Work has been taking great swaths of my time.
What does all of this mean? It means that player's PC's might be running into the skyships of Calidar in a wide variety of ports & not all of those ports might be a part of the waking world of your current campaign.
Reality in certain ports can be a bit fuzzy & highly dangerous so those attempting to make the crossing into the realms of dreams or the alien stars that shine down upon alien planes should remember how dangerous these journeys can be.
“Well did the traveler know those garden lands that lie betwixt the wood of the Cerenerian Sea, and blithely did he follow the singing river Oukranos that marked his course. The sun rose higher over gentle slopes of grove and lawn, and heightened the colors of the thousand flowers that starred each knoll and dangle. A blessed haze lies upon all this region, wherein is held a little more of the sunlight than other places hold, and a little more of the summer's humming music of birds and bees; so that men walk through it as through a faery place, and feel greater joy and wonder than they ever afterward remember.”