Sunday, February 7, 2021

Stonetop Kickstarter: March 1st, 2021

We're finally doing it:

Here's the teaser text:

The Stone has always been here, in the center of the village. It’s larger than life, older than anything, etched with runes. When storms roll up from the south, as they often do, the Stone pulls lightning from the sky and the village shakes with thunder. Visitors cower. The locals? They barely even notice.

You are one such local, someone who calls Stonetop home. You’re one of a handful of notables—admired, or respected, or maybe even reviled. When there’s trouble, people look to you for the solution. Or as the cause. Or both.

And right now, as the first wildflowers appear beyond the Old Wall? Trouble is brewing. The world itself is darkening, like the sky before a summer storm. Folks can feel it. They’re afraid.

These are good people, here, in Stonetop. Your kith and kin.

If you don’t step up to protect them, who will?

I've been working on Stonetop since, criminy, 2013? It started as a "playset" for Dungeon World with beefed up rules for managing the steading's prosperity. Then it became a whole slew of custom classes with a unique structure, and a bunch of creepy artifacts. And then I started tweaking basic moves, and eventually acknowledged that this was going to be a standalone game.

I've run over 75 sessions with 5 different groups. I've played in over 30 sessions myself. We've had something like 60 different playtest groups. 

And now, finally, the end is in sight. We'll be launching the Kickstarter on March 1, 2021, closing on March 31. Target fulfillment is October 2021.  

Jason Lutes of Lampblack & Brimstone will be running the Kickstarter and publishing the game. You might know Jason/L&B from The Perilous Wilds, which is where we first collaborated. Jason is also doing layout, editing, and art direction.

Illustrations will be done by Lucie Arnoux, a UK-based artist whose work includes reportage, children's books, set design, and comics. That's her work up above. Here's some more:

(details, including a sample chapter and a more art, after the break)

The Product

Stonetop is going to be two books:

mockups (subject to change)

Book I: Stonetop includes the rules, playbooks, player moves, and extensive (extensive) GM procedures, advice, and examples. I've posted early drafts of some of the GM content elsewhere on this blog (Parley, Discern Realities, and Running Fights), but here's a complete chapter for you, to see an an example of what you can expect: 


Book II: The Wider World and Other Wonders is the setting guide. It includes an almanac of the world, designed to be less of a "setting bible" and more a set of tools for GMs to exploit as they prep and run the game.  Here are some example spreads (click to embiggen):

The setting guide also includes 18 major arcana and over 50 minor arcana. Minor arcana look like these (they're designed to be printed as cards and given to players as handouts):

Each book will likely be quite thick (400+ pages).  We will of course be making PDFs available (bookmarked and hyperlinked), along with printable PDFs for things like playbooks, moves sheets, arcana handouts, etc. 

The Art

I'm thrilled with the artwork that Lucie is producing. Here are some of my favorite pieces so far (click to embiggen):

"What do you do?"

You can find a bunch of current handouts (player moves, steading playbook, setting overview, and a couple playbooks and major arcana) linked from the original Stonetop blog post.

We're still finishing up the Kickstarter page and hammering out some of the details (like price points for the PDF-only and stretch goals), so you can't follow it just yet. In the meantime, I recommend following Penny Lantern on Kickstarter so that you can get notified when the page launches. Click here for the prelaunch page, and then click Notify me on launch.

Questions? Ask in the comments below, email me at "jack" underscore "blackfoot" at yahoo, or message me on Discord @Jeremy Strandberg#1159.


  1. It's been a long time coming. Very excited to finally see this project released. Congratulations Jeremy!

  2. Finally! Best monday morning news ever!

  3. Jeremy, you have put your heart and sweat into this game and you can feel it in play; it sings. I am excited to help share and support. Bravo! - ben bisogno

  4. Awesome news! I'll be backing the Kickstarter for sure, and will try to drag some friends along too :)

  5. I've been looking for some PbtA to try and this seems right up my alley. I'm excited!

  6. @Jeremy will there be an opportunity for backers to proof-read the books in PDF form and give feedback before they go to the printers? I've noticed a few minor typos in the example spreads of book 2 (p30 "The Great Woods", Spring impressions, third dot-point has an extra "y" before "yellow"; p34 "The Great Woods - Dangers", Monsters, 7th dot point has "beatss" instead of "beasts")

    1. Oh yes. Very much so. There will be much typo hunting, and we will gladly partake of assistance! =)

    2. Excellent! I look forward to helping out :)

  7. Hey, I randomly stumbled upon this and the preview for Stonetop looks amazing! The crew over at NessunDove will be eagerly waiting for the campaign to drop. :D

  8. Oh ho! Congratulations Jeremy! This looks fantastic, I'm incredibly excited to back and eventually play this.