This Fantasy RPG Takes Lord of The Rings And Adds Zombies

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The Lost Citadel is an apocalyptic fantasy role-playing game set in the last city, which uses the D&D 5th edition rules set. Hewn together by the minds that brought you games such as Vampire: The Masquerade, I Am Zombie, and the Freeport fantasy setting, it is on Kickstarter right now. The Lost Citadel is waiting, patiently but eagerly, to meet you like Hannibal Lecter looking forward to a good meal.

Seventy years ago, the dead rose, and swept everything away.

No wizard’s plot saved the day. No adventurers found the secret to driving them back to their graves. The Dead walked, and left in their wake cities of ash dotted with bones burnt black. The army of the elves, they said, would stop the Dead. The elven army fought, yes, but then broke, fled and was eaten raw by the pursuing Dead.

All were rent, torn, sundered, and slain by the unending dead horde.

One city stood against death, a dwarven city with walls both tall and thick. Once named Elldimek, it is now known as Redoubt, the city of last refuge. And the dwarves who were once hosts to those fleeing the Dead have been thrown down, replaced by a human government named the Magisterium which made slaves of the dwarves it did not kill.

The Magisterium “squeezes resources and civil liberties alike, all in the name of protecting all that’s left of civilization from the threats and depredations of the Dead. Security trumps all concerns.”

The City Never Sleeps Because This Night May Be Its Last

And it is within Redoubt, with the dead pressing hungrily on its thick walls without, and the Magisterium holding down those within, that player characters must find a place to stand.

Like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, the city is the natural gaming environment of Lost Citadel creator and rocket scientist of role-playing, CA Suleiman. Suleiman wrote the Cityscape supplement for Dungeons & Dragons and Vampire: The Requiem, both of which took the city as the stage for their adventures and machinations.  

Suleiman sees the city setting as one of the game’s major features. He said The Lost Citadel gives “players a localized play environment rich enough to sustain multiple extended campaigns without the well running too dry, while at the same time providing gateways to adventures that don’t just involve going from one city location to another. Other setting-based projects have braved these waters before, but I’m particularly pleased with how The Lost Citadel explores and navigates them.”

This Sounds Cooler than a Dragon’s Egg. Where’d It Come From?

The Lost Citadel role-playing game has its roots in another Kickstarter several years ago, that of the Tales of the Lost Citadel literary anthology. The Kickstarter backed the creation of a book of short stories set in Redoubt written by shining lights of the field, but was also conceived as a transmedia property, transmedia here meaning that CA Suleiman wanted to “create a setting that’s shared not just by the writers who contribute their words, but shared also by the artists, musicians, cartographers, and others who might bring their talents to bear in bringing that shared-world to life.” In other words, tales of Redoubt would not just be confined to being told in literature, but in other media as well. For example, the Kickstarter supported the creation of an album of music based on the anthology.

The role-playing game will obviously translate Redoubt into the tabletop space, and it is through that first Kickstarter that Green Ronin Publishing found it. Gaming mogul Nicole Lindroos, co-owner of Green Ronin Press, was one of the backers of that Kickstarter. CA Suleiman said, “She was hungry for a new dark fantasy property to shepherd into tabletop gaming, and she seemed to really like the [Lost Citadel] setting, so one chat led to another and here we are!”

Lindroos said, “I am most excited about the transmedia nature of the property which gives us the ability to work with new and talented people doing [Lost Citadel] system hacks for additional games, fiction, music, art, and more. The prospect of embarking on so many new creative opportunities is invigorating.”

And Green Ronin is no stranger to city-based fantasy campaigns. Their  Freeport setting (Fantasy pirates with Cthulhu cultists!) was one of the darlings of the D20 boom.

So sharpen your sword and hold that torch high. Make your stand against the Dead on The Lost Citadel‘s Kickstarter page!

Like horror in your fantasy? Tell us about it in the comments!

Image credits: Green Ronin Press

Ben Riggs speaks five languages and has lived in four countries on three continents, but still manages to lose his keys in the bathroom. A friend to man, animal, and werewolf alike, you can discover more of Ben’s thoughts on game, the universe, and everything on Twitter, or on the Plot Points podcast. He is also the liberal voice on Across the Aisle, a podcast where a liberal and conservative work together to solve the 21st century’s problems.

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