ShadowSea is a game of fast-paced miniatures combat using 28mm scale figures, powered by the renowned Song of Blades ruleset from Ganesha Games and set in the same game world as our game DeepWars. Six unique forces search for ancient artifacts and golden treasures through crumbling ruins, trap-filled catacombs and underwater citadels. ShadowSea has many features that make it a flexible gaming system that is perfect for beginners but deep enough for experienced gamers. The goal of this project is to make the second edition version of ShadowSea, with new artwork, rules and complete starter sets of miniatures.
For an idea of the quality of our work on the rulebooks, here is a section from DeepWars. It is recommended that the section is downloaded before reading instead of reading in a web browser as those can be slow.
ShadowSea takes place in the late 17th century in a alternate history of Earth, where explorers and scientists have discovered a lost underground world beneath a frozen southern continent and salvaged technological wonders left behind by advanced beings. The game world mixes swashbuckling tabletop combat, elemental magic and ancient technology with RPG elements, such as as character development during battle campaigns and a fully customizable character and weapon design system. The look and feel of the game crosses genres, including both fantasy and sci-fi elements, where esoteric science and dimension-shifting magic have unlocked lost cosmic secrets. The competing forces in the Underlands, a lost world beneath ice and snow, each have scientists that have salvaged ancient technology and re-built it for battle, even designing their own new versions in some cases. Groups of adventurers, or Warbands, battle in the Underlands to discover new artifacts, golden treasure and glowing crystals that channel the ubiquitous ether fields and power all tech devices. Raw ethereal energy is channeled by spellcasters also, allowing them to vaporize enemies, open dimensional portals or cause earthquakes.
When combined with DeepWars, its companion game, battles can be played above and below the surface of a deadly underground sea, on ships and within submersibles, experiencing multiple levels of gameplay.
DETAILED MINIATURES in 28mm scale, cast in solid metal, with some of the larger pieces cast in resin.
FAST GAMES, lasting 30-45 minutes, with game models on each side alternating their turns of activation so that all players can stay in the flow of the game.
SMALL WARBANDS of 5-10 models, so that anyone can have a warband destined for glory without spending a fortune.
EASY MOVEMENT rules using three simple measurement sticks, but deceptively complex in how movements may be coordinated between models.
TABLETOP PLAY allows players to build a map on any 1 meter-square surface without the need for a grid. Just add scenery and start the game.
LITTLE TO NO BOOKKEEPING! The models in a warband are represented by a basic block of two statistics and a few special abilities, weapons and armor.
CAMPAIGN PROGRESSION allows a warband to increase in power as it wins battles along an epic campaign across environments spanning fungal forests, ruined cities, underground temples, and shadowy underwater citadels.
MAGIC AND TECHNOLOGY interweave in the Underlands. Warbands may battle using arcane magical spells or ancient technological weapons in the mysterious underground realm.
ACTION BASED GAMEPLAY means that models have many choices of actions besides simply whacking each other across the skull. Leap chasms, climb pillars, break through walls, set explosives or try something unexpected.
SIX COMPLETE FORCES battle in their quest for ancient artifacts. Hundreds of heroes, fiends, wild creatures, ethereal demons, ancient mechanical constructs and stygian monsters.
We are proposing to update the old ShadowSea rules with the new features from DeepWars, adding new artwork and game mechanics so that they can be played together. The main goal though, is to produce starter sets of miniatures for each of the main six forces, adding more if the project is funded.
Those that backed the DeepWars project and back ShadowSea at the $50 level or higher get an additional 28-32mm tall miniature (30mm base size) from any force of their choice added to their rewards, either from DeepWars or ShadowSea.
Also, anyone pledging in this project can choose to select DeepWars starter sets and rulebooks to replace any starter sets and books from ShadowSea, or they can mix and match. If someone chooses DeepWars products only, they can get them shipped out in November, and can choose available DeepWars commander miniatures as their special edition miniature option.Note that if there is a mixture of products from both games and some is shipped early (such as getting DeepWars now and ShadowSea product later), it may require an additional shipping fee to cover the packaging and handling costs.
Here we have a gameplay example, showing two small forces engaging on a ruined temple. The miniatures shown here are from the Dragonblood line owned by Cavalcade Wargames, and were the original miniatures used for ShadowSea. These miniatures are still available and will be compatible with the new version of the game but our goal is still to make new miniatures.
Here is another gameplay video by Enos Kline, who runs demo game for ShadowSea at many conventions and brings along all of this great terrain, that explains more of the process of movement and dice rolling in detail.
There are six main forces in ShadowSea. Additional miniatures from the Stygian Depths (snakemen, demons and dungeon creatures) and Ethereal Realm (more ethereal elder beings), as well as terrain (fungal trees, ruins) and wild prehistoric creatures (Gorgonopsid, dinosaurs, etc) will be unlocked if the game is funded.
Within a few short years of the discovery of the previously uncharted wasteland beneath ice and snow, scores of grizzled veterans and starry-eyed dreamers came by sea to lay claim to this new land and the glittering treasures that it held. Fortune hunters come from different countries, with expeditions and ships funded and led by wealthy nobles working in collaboration with powerful factions within kingdoms. The stated goal of the expeditions is scientific exploration and discovery of the nature of the world’s history. The unstated goals center around conquest and plunder, utilizing freebooter pirates and mercenaries to neutralize any savage natives encountered, as well as scholars and priests with experience using and countering the powers of ancient artifacts.
Included in the Fortune Hunter starter set
Medium Mechanical Construct
From such a noble civilization, the Dark Mariners have completely devolved into nightmare, mixing their bloodline with the foulest of undersea life. A stone tablet dredged up from the sunless ocean, covered in glyphs, has been partially translated and indicates that their history may have begun to degenerate with increased reliance on esoteric forms of communication, manipulation of cosmic energy and twisting of their own physical forms to enhance their abilities. The Dark Mariners are an enemy to all creatures living above the sea, able to slither up on land while carrying their own water and lay waste to all in their path using terrifying blasts of energy. Their weaponry and armor is some sort of natural material, neutrally buoyant and resistant to most weapons.
Included in the Dark Mariner starter set
Cephalid Mind Stealer
Raider Cavern Crawler
Pureblood Noble Scientist
The Axibalán Empire is and ancient civilization living in the lost underground realm. The empire is ruled by sorceresses, tall and powerful, who handle streams of ethereal energy like conductors of a symphony. Few men are apparent in their society, but those that have been identified have been priests involved in the most blasphemous rites imaginable, ones that often involve the form of physical transmutation of man and beast. The frontline soldiers of the empire are the unholy spawn of these rites, mixtures of men and various bloodthirsty creatures that had lived ages ago on the surface and are still found lurking in the Underlands. While not armed with modern weapons, the raw power of these beastmen is enough to shatter most enemies. Combined with the magical ability of the sorceresses, the Axibalán forces are a difficult challenge to overcome.
Included in the Axibalán Empire starter set
Amatzl Relic Hunter
Holotl Gate Smasher
Amatzl Battle Sorceress
The inhabitants of the Sunless Kingdom are loosely organized and consist primarily of troglodytes, reptilian creatures with bird-like features and a propensity to ally with any powerful forces. Troglodytes speak in a sing-song manner, but have an uncanny ability to mimic languages and show surprising intelligence, making them uniquely suited as mercenaries for the highest bidder. Other inhabitants of the Sunless Forest include amphibious Cochi that kill with poisoned weapons, savage garks that revel in bloodshed, disgusting giant humanoids called trolls by our men, and a race of tall insectoid beings called “Clal-Chk” by the troglodytes. The trogs utilize simple stone axes and spears made from the strange fungal trees but the enigmatic Clal-Chk weapons are actually living creatures that fire poisonous darts or spray out powerful acid. The service of any of these creatures can be hired through negotiation with the wily trogs, who desire gold more than anything else.
Included in the Sunless Kingdom starter set
Troglodyte Witch Doctor
Clal-Chk Catacomb Prowler
A mysterious group rumored to wield power behind kingdoms and governments through esoteric means, the Order of Yosoth has been whispered to have been studying many artifacts recovered from the Underlands and trying to decipher the part they will play in their apocalyptic vision of the future. The rumors of esoteric magic and association with demons have recently been confirmed after the incident at Dunkelheim, where an unspeakable horror was contained and banished only by the powers of mages of the Order of Yosoth. It is not clear, though, if the Order was responsible for summoning what eventually destroyed the city block, but their activities portend a horrible end for all of humanity.Their activities are still difficult to predict, but what is clear now, based on accounts from those working the docks, is that the Order has procured a number of magnificent vessels for expeditions to the Underlands. The ships have begun boarding some of the most powerful sorcerers, occult scientists and demonologists that have been reputed to wallow in the depths of things most vile. Some dock workers speak in hushed voices of loading crates that emanate sounds of no animal they have ever heard, floppings and writhings that leave them white with fear. Others describe seeing lighting and hearing thunder when there are no clouds in sight, and glimpsing fantastic metal devices crackling with energy...
Note: Concept art is a work in progress and miniatures may differ from art.
Included in the Order of Yosoth starter set (subject to change)
Priest of Yosoth
Fanatic Blood Drinker
Chittan - Ethereal Demon
Many early explorers died at the claws and teeth of savage reptiles during the earliest excursions into the Underlands. It was said that these reptiles were similar in appearance to dragons of legend, yet walked upon two legs and showed cunning intelligence and the ability to communicate. As more expeditions returned, they found that the draconids had been steadily carving out their own empire, with groups as far up as the mouth of the Underland entrance and now discovered even on the surface lands in the jungles of the New World, migrating ever northward. This is apparently a very young species, as no pictograms exist of their origin outside of those in a recently captured Axibalán temple. Murals in the temple describe how the draconids were a creation of the Axibalán sorceresses from glittering, flying dragons but were banished from the empire and hunted mercilessly. The mural is not clear on the reason, but draconids are clearly devious in nature and fully capable of forming an organized assault. They have also somehow managed to discover the basic nature of metallurgy and some of our men have recently reported of battling draconids equipped with metal armor vaguely in the form of our own.
Note: Concept art is a work in progress and miniatures may differ from art.
Included in the Draconid Legion starter set (subject to change)
Harlequin Lizardman Burgler
Ridgeback Lizardman Champion
Here is an overview of the figures, plus the prices if chosen individually with the minis-only pledge. Adding a Large Temple of the Ancients adds $235 (+25 more for international shipping). Figures on 30mm bases are $8, while the big figures are $15. Any special edition resin figures are $15.
Adding DeepWars Rewards
One can add any DeepWars models and starter sets to the pledge. These can be shipped soon after the Kickstarter ends with a separate shipping fee. The fee will be $5 in the USA and $10 internationally. If the DeepWars figures are shipped with the rest of the ShadowSea rewards there is no additional fee. Adding the DeepWars Deluxe Softcover Rulebook is an additional $45, or $55 for hardcover, including shipping in the USA, and an additional $5 for international shipping. So an international pledge with a bunch of DeepWars miniatures and a book requires $15 in shipping.
Funding from Kickstarter will be used to produce the the miniatures for the starter sets and create additional artwork for the rulebook. It will also help cover printing and other production costs. Miniatures usually take from 3-6 weeks each to sculpt, then require master casting and then production casting before they can be packed into starter sets. All of this takes time, but if thing go well the final boxed sets should be ready by June 2013. That is the target date, but some rewards are set up for supporters to get castings as they are finished if the wait is too long.
Miniatures will be cast in either white metal or resin, depending on the size of the models. Casting, packing and production is done in the USA. Shipping does not include VAT or any other taxes for international awards.
The person running the show at AntiMatter Games (www.antimatter-games.com) is Eric from the Lone Brushman painting studio, who handles the game design and art direction. He is the primary contact point for inquiries into the game. Painted miniatures by Eric can be viewed atwww.lonebrushman.net.
The primary artist, website developer, and producer of the video is Marcelo Orsi Blanco, owner of the Hidden Workshop design studio http://www.hidden-workshop.com/.
We are always looking for sculptors, but have a few already working on miniatures. The stable so far includes the great Bob Olley (a master of tentacled monsters), Kev "Goblinmaster" Adams, Bobby Jackson, Patrick "Bombshell" Keith, Brother Vinni and Sandra Garrity.
Some existing miniatures and terrain made for ShadowSea are shown below.
There are also many miniatures produced by Cavalcade Wargames for the Dragonblood line that are designed for ShadowSea. These are still going to be compatible with the new miniatures and the new version of the game. We are showing them as an example of what the new miniatures will look like.
Here are some unreleased sculpts for the Order of Yosoth also.
Here are a WIP sculpts of sorceresses of the Axibalán Empire, by Patrick Keith, which will be modified in final form to have more detailed display bases if the project is funded. These two are choices for the Special Edition miniatures, which will be cast in resin with and made in a limited run of 300. To get these, one must pledge at least at the $180 level. They can also be chosen to add to individual orders for $15 each.
Here is the Cavern Crawler from the Dark Mariners - by Bob Olley
There are many steps to completing this project but we feel that we can manage it well. One of the ways to do this is to coordinate the artists and sculptors involved and make sure they share the same design vision. ShadowSea has a distinct theme and art style, and we will strive to adhere to the look and feel of the background material.
The biggest challenge is timing all of the different aspects of design so that they reach completion at expected deadlines. We have learned though our our previous project, DeepWars, that issues do occur during production and to leave sufficient time and funds to mitigate the issues. We are currently shipping products out for DeepWars and are on schedule even after these issues. Sculpting miniatures takes time, upwards of weeks or months in some cases, so we have organized the sculptors to work on different parts of the starter sets to improve production speed. Book design also takes a great deal of time, from writing the text, designing interior art and editing, so that task is handled separately from the miniatures so that it will be completed at the same time.