Carved in Stone

Created by Dungeons on a Dime

A system-agnostic setting guide to Scotland’s Pictish peoples, for players, historians and enthusiasts of all ages!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Pre-order Store & Pin Badge Mock Up
6 months ago – Wed, Dec 22, 2021 at 12:34:55 PM

Just a short and sharp update here!

Pre-Orders

The pre-order store is now live. If you missed the Kickstarter and want to get your hands on a book, you can grab it over at Backerkit.

Pin Badges

Here's a mockup of the special pin badge reward! It's a cloak pin engraved with Pictish hounds, set on a bouquet of wild common dog violet, a native wild flower that enjoys wet, stony and mossy conditions 🐕 💜

A mock-up of a pin badge

That's all for now! Catch y'all in the new year :)

-- Brian

We did it!
7 months ago – Wed, Dec 15, 2021 at 12:22:54 PM

Gosh guys, we really did it! The team and I are ecstatic that the campaign funded; it's been almost a year and a half of hard work to get the project to this point, and there'll be plenty more work for us in 2022 to bring Carved in Stone to your doorsteps.

I'm not one to count chickens before they've hatched, so I'll be back with a more significant roadmap of what we've raised, the number of books in the Community Box, how we'll be handling special rewards (and more) closer to the new year after all the pledges have been collected.

For now, we'll be taking December easy (and having plenty of naps!)

-- Brian

48 Hours To GO!
7 months ago – Tue, Dec 14, 2021 at 08:20:08 AM

We’re enterring the last leg of our campaign, and we’ve had some amazing high points from all of your generous support. Before we bow out, I wanted to leave everyone who’se still on the fence about backing with a little extra encouragement - some mock-ups of some of the papercrafts available to all backers if we hit 30k!

Paper Craft Miniatures

At 30k, we’ll be designing a whole series of full colour Pictish Paper Craft Miniatures! The full set will allow you to construct your own Pict settlements and highland scenes. 

The crafts will come in two sets; the larger first will be sized for shelf and desk models, and the smaller second will be scaled to fit on standard inch-grid combat maps, for easy use with any tactical combat TTRPG like Dungeon and Dragons.

A Pictish Long House - often extended families of 10-12 people lived together in large communal buildings. Some interior partitions could have provided nooks and personal spaces, but everyone would have shared the same fires and meals together. They were made out of local materials; stone foundations, wicker and wattle walls, and thatched rooves. 

Picture Stones - The namesake of our project, and one of the primary sources for much of our evidence about the Picts. They were erected in all shapes and sizes, and in the 7th century contained a mixture of older more interpretive carvings, and newer more Christianised depictive artwork. They often feature Ogham script along their edges, naming places, events or borders.

Not Far To Go!

At the time of writing, we’re hovering around £26.5k. As with all campaigns, we’re seeing shifts in pledges; some of our exclusive Trove Tiers have opened up again, so if you were eyeing up a set of Antiquarian Tomes or a Personal Workshop on game design, fantasy writing or Pictish archaeology, now’s the time to snag it before someone else does! This campaign will end on Monday at noon.
 

Hope everyone has a restful weekend!
 —Brian

Celebration of Blades | Our Next Stretch Goal
7 months ago – Thu, Dec 09, 2021 at 06:22:52 AM

Hello, hello, hello!

We're back with some truly delicious artwork teasing what's to come if we reach £25k by December 13th!

Celebration of Blades

This full-length campaign features stories from across Fortriu, the Pictish kingdom of northern Scotland. Your village's smith, an old friend of the King, is on death’s door. It’s down to you and your friends to travel the wilds of Scotland in search of everything you’ll need to host one hell of a Wake.

A mocked-up spread from Celebration of Blades. All art in this update is credited to VER (@VerFace on Twitter) ❤

What To Expect

Celebration of Blades will be part of the Carved in Stone book, so everyone will get access to it.

It will contain a 3-arc campaign, bringing players on a full circle from their home village of lair around the territory of Fortriu. 

A plethora of customisable, open-ended and optional stories await, perfect for new and experienced players. Each story will build on the information in the main book, providing further nuance and license to explore the past through different lenses.

Carved in Stone will also be printed with the award-nominated TTRPG Adventures on a Dime, which celebrated its 2nd edition release earlier this month.

Our wandering adventurers heave on the horns of a placid, unmoving cow. Other members of the herd chew cud and watch with bemusement.

A Home Called Lair

In the middle of Fortriu, in the hills we now know as Fife, lay a span of agricultural villages. From above they seem scattered and alone, but they are united under the protection of Warlord King Bridei and connected through an iron heart; the smith of the village of Lair.

Lair is the start and the end of this campaign. This section will cover topics such as:

  •  Establishing your players as Picts, and the other populaces in Scotland during the 7th Century.
  •  Building backstories that link into the average lifestyles of people.
  •  Who can be found in the village, including leaders, parents, and mischief-makers
  •  Important reoccurring figures, such as the smith’s apprentice, and the King’s messenger.
Our wandering adventurers parlay with a river-druid and their hawk companion.

Goods for the Grave

Their task assigned, a party of Picts leave the civilised niche of Lair to roam the wild highlands in search of all the components of a great feast.

The largest of the three parts, this section is made up of self-contained stories that take place across Fortriu. Players can explore as many or as few as they like, and in any order. Each story comes with the information needed to help tell it, such as key facts, guiding illustrations, and more.

The start of this section is also packed with advice on how to thread each of these stories together into a grand campaign!

These are just some of the stories you can expect:

  •  Salt, Fish, and the Boatsmen of Burghead; exploring one of Fortiu's largest ports.
  •  Cow Rustling; or, trying not to form an emotional attachment to the cow you intend to eat for the funeral.
  •  Corraling the Carousing Bards; herding notorious drunks from the bawdiest halls to the biggest party your village has ever held.
  •  The Hunt; bringing rich game meats back to prove the vitality of your village to the king.
  •  Haggling for Beer; trading silver trinkets for the finest brews, and trying not to get swindled!
  •  Traditions Old and New; Completing sacred rites of your scattered peoples, and appeasing the spirits of the land.
  •  Rekindling the Smith’s Fire; helping maintain Lair as the a key stopping point for farmers across lower Fortiu.
Our wandering adventurers barter with silver-savvy monks from Abernathy Monastery.

The Feast of Kings

Overcoming the challenges of the previous stories isn’t the end of this grand tale; if the party return to their home in time, they’ve still got a wake to prepare and a King to greet.

This final part explores the consequences of the player’s actions and brings them face to face with the charismatic-yet-terrible King Bridei. 

Emotions are tense in the village, and these are some of the short stories to explore at the funeral:

  •  A Timely Arrival; Making through the hazards of the wilds faster than the king can.
  •  The Unexpected Guests; finding ways to entertain not just a king, but his whole warband.
  •  Passing of the Torch; observing the changing power dynamics of your own home.
  •  Barren Graves and Full Hearts; the king's special guest has... strange practices, and navigating them is as spiritual as it is political.

After the final story is told, there is time to look back on the entire journey and question what was learned. The end of this section contains tools to help guide a non-roleplayed discussion about the past and consider the future of Fortriu, and how we can see ourselves in Scotland’s history.

Our wandering adventurers realise they've bitten off more than they can chew.

 More Work For Everyone!

With a campaign this large, we'll be spending the additional funds to create amazing opportunities for upcoming illustrators, writers and game designers. Our ethos of accessibility and diversity continues in this expansion, as it does in all of our work.

We hope you're as excited for Celebration of Blades as we are. Honestly, the past year we haven't shut up about cow-based fetch quests, and all the hijinx we have planned. 

How Best To Support Carved in Stone

Tell your friends! Post about us on social media! Share the campaign on Discord! Word of mouth is such an important factor in all publishing projects, but especially for TTRPG books. 

We're so thankful for everyone who has already spread the word, and because of your support we've managed to get some incredible press (including major news outlets like National Scotland and the BBC!) We've just gotta keep going; we'll make this new goal for sure!

That's all for this teaser of an update. Thanks for backing us so far, and we hope to back soon with more exciting news!

-- Brian

Final Week, Accessibility, Outreach and Last Stretch Goals!
7 months ago – Thu, Dec 09, 2021 at 05:51:07 AM

Oh wow, there's only five-ish days left on the Kickstarter! 

The last few days we've jumped all the way up to £24k. I'm confident we can make our £25k goal for a full system-neutral campaign in Pictland!

In this update, I wanted to highlight some of the efforts being made for accessibility on the project, and our progress so far. Here's a summary, and there's more detail inside:

  • Community Box - we've raised over 450 free books for schools!
  • Accessible Media - we're committed to producing a text-only version of the book, with image description and screen reader tagging.
  • £30k Stretchgoal - Pictish Papercrafts! Build longhouses, standing stones and sheep pens.
A mock-up of Carved in Stone

Community Box Books

Thanks to the incredible generosity of our community, I can confirm at the time of writing that there are 457 free physical books in the Community Box,  or just over 90 packs of books that social institutions like libraries, schools and clubs will be able to claim.

How these books will be distributed is going to be carefully considered by our team, balancing factors to make sure the books go where they are most needed. 

Picts working together

Accessible Media

We want to make Carved in Stone as available as possible to as many audiences as possible. This requires a multi-faceted approach, starting with writing styles, illustrations and layout, but also including what formats our final outcome will be available in.

We're committed to creating a text-only printer-friendly version of Carved in Stone, as part of the public release under a Creative Commons license. This document will include special image descriptions, with the goal of creating an experience that is just as enjoyable and immersive as the full-colour book.

This will not be a small task but is far from the most that can be done.  We have hopes of producing an audiobook version of the book as well, available as downloadable MP3s and also to stream via YouTube. We also hope to create a fully re-tagged version of the main PDF, making it more suitable for screen readers.  Lastly, we're considering translations in Scots Gaelic and Braille.

These efforts will most likely require additional funding, which we will be seeking outside of Kickstarter. We have the intention of pursuing them but may not have the ability to at this time.

A landscape, transitioning from the 21st century into the 7th century

£30k Stretch Goal - Pictish Papercraft!

Our next stretch goal after the Pictish campaign will be new papercraft models

Sheets of these designs will be printed with all mailed rewards from £15 and up, and digital versions will be available for free to all early access backers, before becoming free for everyone. You can fill your game table with late-antiquity longhouses, sheep pens, and famous standing stones!

Our project has over 925 followers, 96 of whom are currently backing us. Let's get that last number higher :D

Watching and Waiting 👀

A final thought for everyone following the project along. Of the 900+ folks following the campaign and its updates, only 10% have backed our project. If you're as keen to see Pictland come to life as we are, we'd really cherish your support! You could be the one to help us tip over into our next goal!

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That's all for this update. We'll be back at the very end with a round-up of how we're doing this weekend. See you soon!

-- Brian