Magonomia® is a roleplaying game of wizards, intrigue, adventure, and mystery, set in a fantasy version of Renaissance England. Everyone plays a wizard, wielding magic based on authentic sixteenth-century lore.
Your wizard will wield one of the five noble Sciences of magic: alchemy, astrology, sorcery, theurgy, or witchcraft. Explore mysteries in a world that combines the intrigue of Elizabethan England with the enchantment of legend.
What destiny do your stars foretell?
If playing an all-wizard game based on Renaissance lore appeals to you, we urge you to show support for this awesome game even if you can't afford a big monetary pledge right now. This campaign isn't just about raising money. It's also about jump-starting the global Magonomia fan community.
- $1 is all it takes to show your support for the creators and to be counted as a backer. You'll get the playable "Early Access" plain-text draft of the rules quickly, by May 12.
- Money from this campaign will pay for more work from our talented artists and other freelancers. Shewstone Publishing is committed to fair pay for RPG freelancers including royalties for authors.
- The more backers we have, the easier it is to get the next backer and the better our chances of hitting level-ups that will add more gorgeous original artwork and premium content!
Your character is a wizard: one of the rare few who can cast truly wondrous spells such as turning invisible or walking on water. You may wield your magic in the service of Queen Elizabeth or you may pursue a personal quest for magical secrets that takes you into ancient ruins or distant lands. The world around you is infused with legend. Faeries beguile unwary travelers, ghosts haunt the alleys of London, even giants and dragons lurk in remote parts of Yorkshire and Wales. Enchanted England is a place of wonders and perils, a world ripe for adventure!
Here's what sets Magonomia apart from other roleplaying games:
- All the player characters are wizards. There are five different styles of magic, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
- Forget fireballs; the spells use historical themes like horoscopes and conjuring spirits. The unique magic system is simple to learn, yet provides rich opportunities for creative problem solving.
- Enchanted England is a detailed, realistic world players already feel familiar with, that has legends aplenty to inspire stories about wizards and magic. It's fantasy with history as an optional side dish.
- Innovative divination rules ensure divination can guide your character toward their destiny, but never spoils the mystery.
Magonomia is built on the award-winning Fate™ Core System rules. Fate is lightweight enough to learn in half an hour, but it provides rich opportunities for creative gameplay. Fate has incentives to draw players into helping to shape the story, making them active participants. It's perfect for evoking the interplay among free will, Fortune, and Destiny that characterized the magical thought of the European Renaissance. We've created an all-new magic system on top of the Fate mechanics.
To defend Kingdoms, to discover the secret counsels of men, to overcome enemies, to redeem captives, to increase riches, to procure the favor of men, to expell diseases, to preserve health, to prolong life, to renew youth, to foretell future events, to see and know things done many miles off, and such like as these, by vertue of superior influences, may seem things incredible; Yet read but the ensuing Treatise, and thou shalt see the possibility thereof confirmed both by reason, and example.
From the start of play, your wizard's spells enable wondrous feats such as invisibility, flight, even forecasting the future.
We have built a rich magic system with over 175 unique spells. The spells use historical themes such as divination, curses, conjuration, magical amulets, and even creating permanent magical effects through elaborate Grand Enchantments. Venture beyond your laboratory in your quest for mystical knowledge, for only by following your destiny can you unlock your potential. Magic is the secret that cannot be told. If you remain true to your purpose, you may even reveal the secret, mystical laws of the universe: the Magonomia!®
Your wizard will specialize in one of the five magical Sciences. Each Science has different strengths and weaknesses so a group of different wizards will complement one another.
Alchemy is the practice of mystical refinement: awakening hidden magical properties in things and people. An alchemist has versatile, short-range spells and can bestow magical powers on others.
Astrology is mastery of the ever-changing influences of the planets on earthly things. As above, so below. Astrology is the subtlest Science: it changes conditions in the wizard's favor and finds answers other magic cannot.
Sorcery is the art of conjuring and commanding spirits, like Prospero from Shakespeare's The Tempest. Sorcery grants the most overt magical powers: flight, moving objects at a distance, and creating illusions.
Theurgy is the study of names of power. Invoking the names spirits or angels, the magician can command both the natural and supernatural sides of the world. Theurgy most excels at divination and combating supernatural enemies.
Witchcraft is the folk magic of Britain, a hodgepodge of herb lore, charms, and a smattering of the other magical Sciences. The most powerful witches cast spells of prophecy and shapechanging from northern Europe's pagan past.
Historical fantasy might seem intimidating at first, but players quickly feel a sense of immersion because the world is so similar to the one we all know. Even the fantastic elements are connected to real-world folk tales.
Wizards in Magonomia don’t live separately from the rest of the world: they are part of it! You can become one of the Queen’s secret agents, using your magic to foil sinister plots against the Crown. You can join the famous Sea Dogs, exploring exotic lands and using your spells to plunder the Spanish treasure fleet. You can vie for favor and influence at the royal court or use your magic to become the greatest outlaw in the history of the British Isles. Just as Shakespeare wrote both comedies and tragedies, you can make your stories whimsical or epic.
"if you love playing wizards that are not grossly worldshaking and all-powerful, or ... limited by spell slots, you should definitely give this game a look." DeathByMage
"Add wizards to the politics and magic to the exploration and discovery and you simply have a recipe for wonder." John Sharp, More Than Just Gaming
You can try Magonomia for yourself: download the best-selling Magonomia Starter Rules and intro adventure from DriveThruRPG.com. You can experience the game play and the magic system today! Please note, the Starter Rules were produced using stock art and public domain art. The full Magonomia rule book will add full-color original artwork to bring Enchanted England to life!
Our blog has feature stories on the design of the game, including excerpts from the text. Our article on Grand Enchantments shows how you can make your wizard's personal quest for magical power an integral part of the story in your game.
Magonomia is featured on the March 22, 2020 edition of Morrus' Unofficial Tabletalk RPG podcast!
Here is a 24-minute design video by the authors about what makes Magonomia unique:
And we have two videos of actual play sessions, thanks to the generous cooperation of two of my gaming groups.
First, a 30-minute, edited video that explains some of the basics as we go:
Second, a full-length video (2.5 hours) of an entire play session:
Friend to Wizards For $ 1
Every pledge is appreciated, especially at a time like this! You can be part of this project for as little as $1. Your name will appear in the list of backers and you'll receive any level-up rewards we may achieve.
Cautious Optimist For $ 10
You'll receive the "Early Access" plain-text version of the rules so you can read and play the game right away. Your pledge will support development of the full PDF and you'll receive a coupon for your full pledge amount off the retail price of the finished game. Your name will appear in the book as a backer.
PDF with Print Option (Hardship discount) For $ 15
For backers who are experiencing financial hardship or uncertainty. These are exactly the same rewards as the $25 option. You decide if this level is right for you.
You'll get a full-color PDF of the Magonomia Core Rules, delivered through DriveThruRPG. You will also receive a coupon code for one print-on-demand copy at cost (plus applicable taxes, duties, and shipping costs), good for 1 year after the PDF is delivered to backers. Your name will appear in the credits as a backer; the fact that you chose the hardship discount won't be shown.
PDF with Print Option For $ 25
A full-color PDF of the Magonomia Core Rules, delivered through DriveThruRPG. You will also receive a coupon code for one print-on-demand copy at cost (plus applicable taxes, duties, and shipping costs), good for 1 year after the PDF is delivered to backers. Your name will appear in the credits as a backer.
Gaming Group Bundle For $ 75
Set up your whole gaming group! Four copies of the "PDF with Print Option" rewards for the price of 3. More than four people in your gaming group? Choose the add-on for additional copies.
Patron of the Arts For $ 200
Your pledge will finance one original illustration for Magonomia! Our art director will decide what artwork we need, and as special thanks for your support you'll get to choose your favorite illustration and receive a high quality 8"x10" print. No text or logo (other than the artist's signature) will appear on the print, so you can display it as the fine art it is.
This project will finance artwork, layout, and editing to turn Magonomia core rules into a professional grade PDF. Backers who receive the PDF will be able to get a hard copy at cost through DriveThruRPG print-on-demand.
Magonomia will have:
- Approximately 275 pages
- 8.5" x 11" (21.6 x 28 cm)
- Complete rules in one book: Fate Core System not required
- Over 175 detailed spells
- 25 pieces of original artwork (10 color, 15 black & white) plus stock art and public domain art
- Introduction to the Enchanted England setting including enchanted creatures, opponents, and story hooks
PDF rewards will be delivered through DriveThruRPG. Backers at the PDF+Print level will receive a coupon for a print-on-demand copy of the rule book at cost (plus shipping, taxes, and import duties). Print-on-demand rewards will also be delivered by DriveThruRPG.
|Funding campaign ends||28 April 2020|
|"Early Access" PDF sent to backers||12 May 2020|
|Finished PDF||22 November 2020|
|Print-on-Demand Copies Available to Order||1 December 2020|
Short Adventure +5 color illustrations unlocks at $ 5,500
Gamers love color illustrations. At this level up, we'll add 5 half-page color illustrations to the rule book, for a total of 15 original color illustrations.
All backers will also receive a short 5-page beginners' adventure (to be written) for free.
SRD + 5 color illustrations unlocks at $ 8,000
When this level-up is unlocked, all backers will receive a plain-text System Reference Document with all the Open Game licensed rules -- including ALL 175 SPELLS! This will be free for you to distribute, share, and even modify and republish if you want. Plus, since a picture is worth a thousand words, we'll add another 5 color illustrations (for a total of 20).
Another +5 color illustrations unlocks at $ 11,000
At this level, we'll add another 5 color illustrations for a total of 25!
+10 spells and full color chapter illustrations unlocks at $ 15,000
We'll develop 10 more original spells (two for each magical Science), and upgrade the parchment-and-sepia chapter illustrations to full color!
More spells, more color illustrations unlocks at $ 17,500
At this level-up, we'll add 10 more spells and 5 more color illustrations!
Full-length Adventure: Queen Elizabeth's Astrologer is Missing! unlocks at $ 20,000
A 36-page adventure: Queen Elizabeth's Astrologer is Missing! This adventure has been playtested and was run at Gen Con in 2018 and 2019 to very positive feedback. At this level up, we'll illustrate and lay it out concurrently with the core rulebook. $10 retail value: free to backers.
Print-on-demand costs are slightly different in the US and UK or Europe. During layout we're going to make sure the actual printing cost for standard color is $25 or less for all locales. If you choose to purchase a print-on-demand copy, you will also be asked to pay actual shipping costs plus applicable taxes and duties.
We'll offer you both choices.
No. Our art director will decide what illustrations we'll commission. When they are done, a Patron of the Arts gets to choose their favorite piece and have a high-quality print shipped to them. These art prints will not be available for sale: they're exclusive to backers at this pledge level. The backer will be asked to pay actual shipping costs plus applicable taxes and duties.
Some gamers already own Fate Core System and may feel that including the Fate rules in Magonomia is asking them to pay for content they already have.
Feedback from playtesters was overwhelming: they wanted everything you need in one book. We started out writing Magonomia as a separate book that requires Fate Core System to play, and changed course very quickly based on feedback from players.
We've tried to add value to the OGL Fate rules by redesigning character creation and by presenting the rules system in a slightly different, beginner-friendly way. Again, this was guided by playtester feedback.
The level-ups offer additional artwork as an incentive to bring in more pledges, but not 100% of that money goes to artwork. We're also paying for editing, and the authors get a share of any profits.
We realize a lot of gamers are facing financial uncertainty for various reasons, not limited to the current global pandemic. If $25 is too much for you to feel comfortable paying, you can pledge at this level instead. We're not going to ask why. You decide if this is the right reward level for you. Your name will appear in the list of backers alongside everyone else.
Your pledge gets collected when the project funds. When the PDF is finished, we email you two coupon codes. The first code allows you to download a copy of the PDF from DriveThruRPG.
If you want a physical copy, the second coupon allows you to buy it from DriveThruRPG for the actual cost of printing, plus shipping and applicable duties and taxes. The cost of printing will be approximately $25 for standard color.
This way, all the production and shipping are taken care of by DriveThruRPG, who are very experienced and reliable. You get the chance to see the finished PDF before you commit to a print copy. Budgeting also becomes easier for the creators because all the money we raise for this campaign can be invested in product quality -- production and shipping costs are paid separately later on by backers who want physical copies.
Andrew Gronosky has been playing and GMing since the 1980s. He began his RPG design career as a freelancer for Ars Magica in 2005. His credits include the bestiary chapter of Realms of Power: Magic and the advanced combat rules for Lords of Men. Andrew is a cybersecurity expert in his day job and has applied the software industry's Agile process of continuous feedback and improvement to the development of Magonomia.
Christian Jensen Romer is a former professional ghost hunter, a part-time lecturer on the occult, and a freelance game designer with a portfolio including The Mysteries Revised Edition for Ars Magica. He organizes the Grand Tribunal UK gaming convention and runs the Arcane Connection podcast.
Tom Nowell has been roleplaying a long time, and some of his favorite games have been historically inspired ones like Ars Magica and 7th Sea. The opportunity to work on a game set in Elizabethan times was too good to pass up, and he's tried to bring in all the things he loves about a good game: a strong setting, a sense of the variety of characters you can play, and solid material to make life easier for players and game-runners alike. Tom lives in the UK and works in insurance. This is his debut as an RPG author.
Vesna Gronosky holdsmaster's degrees in history and in user experience design. She is a longtime player and GM of both tabletop and live-action roleplaying games, with her favorites being fantasy and horror. She designed the character creation system for Magonomia and led the analysis of feedback from both internal and external playtests. This is her first professional RPG project.
This is Shewstone Publishing's first full-length RPG book. We realize you may have reservations about our ability to deliver on time. Here's what we're doing to address that concern.
This is our first game, but not our first publication. Magonomia Starter Rules is a professional grade product you can check out for free as a sample of our work.
The biggest risk in a tabletop RPG is delays. We've invested over three years of work into developing and playtesting this game. It's ready. We've committed to deliver the "Early Access" PDF very quickly so you can see this is true.
We created the $10 "Cautious Optimist" level so you can support the project for less than the full cost of the game. If you like what you see, your $10 pledge can be applied to future retail purchase.
We've chosen print-on-demand from DriveThruRPG so they can handle the complexities of printing and shipping. No waiting for cargo containers to get cleared through customs!
Andrew Gronosky is an experienced project manager in his day job and we've chosen experienced professionals as business partners so they can help us avoid any delays or other pitfalls.
You deserve transparency. We will provide informative, concise project updates at least once per month while the project is on schedule, and once a week if it falls behind schedule.