Welcome to Æthercoil
At the start of the adventure, the player characters only know the world around him. A world of magic and monsters, of brave warriors and spectacular adventures. A world of medieval fantasy not unlike J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan, the Hickmans, Terry Brooks, George R. R. Martin, and all the other well-known fantasy writers. The only difference is that the player characters doesn’t know what happened before they there born. In fact, nobody in their world has any memory of what happened just under three centuries ago. This missing question of their lost history is what got them started adventuring.
In time, the brave adventurers step foot on their grand quest. Maybe it’s a delve in a dungeon, or a lost castle to explore, or a wizard’s tower to investigate. It is there where characters discover only a bit about their past, but this little snippet shakes their preconceptions to the core. Before his world, another world appeared, a world far advanced and fantastic then his wildest imaginations. A world that has fallen and forgotten in just a span of a few decades.
A world that the players on the table, who created the characters, knows all too well: It is their world.
The people from this medieval time find themselves among the ruins of the modern world, with all its inventions, lore, and science secreted away before an evil force destroyed it not only from existence but also from memory. Some of these inventions are still working and the party can figure out how it works.
This will leave the party with a lot of questions: What was this lost age all about? What caused it to fall so completely and so quickly? And now that they have a piece of that world, an actual working artifact of a lost time, what on earth will they do with it?
Answering these questions is part of the campaign setting known as Æthercoil.
About the Campaign Setting
Æthercoil is a result of a progression I had by making a dungeon-punk type campaign world. It combines a standard Old School Renaissance world with a post-apocalyptic twist, setting it on the ashes of a modern. It even uses real world maps and locations both familiar and alien at the same time. In a typical Æthercoil campaign, the party discovers an artifact from the modern world, finds out how it works, and figures out what to do with it. Will they flat out reject it, or try to use it to make their world a better one. If they do try to make something out of it, what would the effects be? Locally, Internationally, Politically, Environmentally, their actions will have world-changing effects; will they be for good or for ill…or maybe even both?!
I started to create Æthercoil while converting changes I made into the Forgotten Realms, where the Spellplague triggered the advent of invention and science, into its own campaign setting. This happened during the recent years of political strife in America, from the dawn of the Social Justice Warrior movements, leading up to the 2016 Election. My thoughts and emotions connected to this chaotic time created a post-apocalyptic scenario.
In Æthercoil, the modern world collapsed into a global breakdown of society. We're talking multitude "Shit Hitting The Fan" scenarios including a nuclear war in the Middle East that literarly removed the entire region form the map. This leads to a dystrophic rule by a group called “The True Order” that wanted to erase all of history and restart civilization with them in charge.
They almost succeeded, but the aforementioned nuclear war interacted with Global Climate Change and created rifts that connected this world to a Dual Feywild. Through these rifts came the various Fantasy Realm peoples and monsters, including Dragons, that made short work of the True Order. However, the damage was done to humanity. In the whole European Continent, only a Half Million humans survived, and they were all in post-Millennial age. Globally, only a few Million humans and one country--China--survived. And only a handful of those could remember what happened before The True Order's rule. The Elves took the humans and managed to spare them from extinction, but now they’re in a world with Dwarves, Halflings, Orcs, Dragonkind, Giants, and various other monsters.
What was once a world the players know as their own is now barely recognizable, and the people in this world won’t even know what to recognize at all.
However, Human History was not completely irradiated from the world: Records of the Lost Age, including inventions, artwork, writings, music, movies, and other historical relics, were hidden from the sledgehammers and bonfires, sequestered in hidden keeps, locked under catacombs, buried in crypts, hidden in towers…just waiting to be found…and to be used again.
About this Patreon
While I was starting brainstorming this setting with Æthercoil Magazine, available for Pay What You Want at DriveThruRPG, I found myself regaining my lost work ethic lost. It dawned on me that a proverbial door leading to a better life for me was opening. While Dungeon Mastering isn’t the most financially lucrative business (although it is very enjoyable wowing a group on the table) content creation, thanks to several internet venues like DriveThruRPG and streaming on Twitch, can provide a realistic income for someone ambitious enough.
That is why I created this Patreon.
This Patreon will have regular updates on my development on Æthercoil, including downloadable modules and adventures set in the world. With enough assistance, I’ll be able to upgrade my computer and provide a daily stream online, including adventure creation, session planning, and streamed D&D sessions, at first online and eventually real life sessions. Ultimately, I wish to publish Æthercoil in a hardcover form, including a Starter Set and a Campaign Setting Handbook.
A Monthly Patreon
Before you ask, yes, the three levels are accumulative.
The basic Patreon level is $5.00 a Month, which includes access of the Feed, a Starter Set adventure set in the Æthercoil world (and inspired by Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Red Box), and various other artwork and lore, leading up to a monthly series of Adventurers’ League style (In nature if not in legality) modules leading from the Starter Set adventure. You’ll also find artwork, bits of lore, previews of various items, advance issues of Æthercoil Magazine, and other neat stuff.
Maybe I’ll get back into comics through this. Even I don’t know what would happen next.
At the $20 a Month level, you will have access to a Private server on Discord where not only I can chat with you, but you can provide me feedback to whatever is going on in the campaign world. You can even get at the head of the list for D&D sessions. You will also have your name included in the credits of all Æthercoil content.
At $50 a Month, I will allow requests. You can request a character, location, or even adventure in the campaign world, and I’ll move heavens and earth to include it into the setting. Of course, since you’ll be in the private Discord server, we can haggle over how to effectively put it in. Heck, you can even carve your own place in the setting.
As you can suppose, all your donations will be invested with care. These milestones are of total earnings to date, so I won’t be putting any monthly milestones here at the start.
When I get to $1000, I’ll be able to get a computer that is powerful enough to stream on Twitch with enough dependability to make it a daily gig. I tried to stream on Twitch but even with web-based streaming programs, my current computer does not have the power to do this. An upgradable more powerful computer is needed for me to make a daily stream a reality.
At $2500, I’ll be able to include a more powerful laptop, powerful enough for me to stream real life sessions. It has always been a goal for me to stream my Encounters tables, or have a way to have a campaign streamed from a room in my apartment. This milestone will grant me the tools I need to do so.
After that, I can go into more elaborate goals. They will appear later as I progress with this Patreon. My ultimate success is to have a published campaign guide or starter set adventure. Enough income from many sources, including streaming, DriveThruRPG, and this Patreon, and I’ll be able to publish Æthercoil to the general public, and Patreon will get a 50% discount, or a free autographed copy depending on Patreon level, of the product if that illustrious goal is achieved.