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Messages - Nelyhann

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RPGs / [Kickstarter] Shadows of Esteren: Dearg
« on: November 05, 2016, 01:43:26 PM »
Hello all!

We are very happy to announce the launch of our new Kickstarter campaign.

The main purpose is to finance the release in English and in a deluxe edition of the Book 3 Dearg, the campaign book for Shadows of Esteren.

Below you will find the complete press release with a lot of information about this new project.

If you are new to Shadows of Esteren, you can download the quickstart PDF Book 0 Prologue here on our Dropbox or on DrivethruRPG.


Dark Fantasy RPG Gets New Rulebook with Innovative New Game Mechanics and Concepts Designed to Put Players Face To Face With Their Inner Demons

PARIS, FRANCE (October 27, 2016) – Agate RPG, publisher of the award-winning Shadows of Esteren, announces today plans for Shadows of Esteren: Dearg, the third rulebook for the fan-favorite medieval horror roleplaying game and the launch of the Kickstarter to fund the publishing of this new must-have tome. The Dearg Kickstarter is now live and runs through November, 17th, 2016.

Shadows of Esteren: Dearg puts players at the heart of the game’s narrative in a 500-page, hardcover essential rulebook to be published in two volumes and introduces three new innovative concepts to the world of Shadows of Esteren; Narrative Arcs, Focuses and Modular Scenarios.

Players will define a narrative arc for their character centered on the main themes of Love, Ethics, Guilt and Adoption. Through 21 scenarios, Player Characters are at the heart of the narrative, their own personal stories becoming critical components of the game’s dramatic tension. While the PCs are involved in the same quest, each member of the party has their own history and motivations. Among the campaign’s 21 scenarios, six are Focuses that will explore each PC’s intimate story, ultimately affecting the direction of the game. Modular Scenarios are comprised of several modules exploring various facets of a theme or character and offer the Game Leader several ways the scenario can evolve. Each module is symbolized by a tarot card drawn from Dearg’s tarot and by connecting the modules the Game Leader can create a story of their own.

“Dearg is the result of nearly 10 years of development,” says Agate RPG Creative Director Nelyhann. “Shadows of Esteren players will experience a story that will change their vision of the world of Esteren and bring them ever-closer to its dark secrets and to their own inner demons.”

The Shadows of Esteren: Dearg Kickstarter campaign offers several pledge levels, including one designed specifically for newcomers to Shadows of Esteren and one for veteran players of the game, as well as a slew of limited edition bonuses, stretch goals and add-ons. Dearg accessories include a complete soundtrack recorded by the Budapest Symphonic Orchestra, the Shadows Tarot Deck and game aids such as art prints, maps and scenario synopses.

Since first launching on Kickstarter in 2012, Shadows of Esteren has received more than a dozen awards for its art, production value and cartography, earned a silver ENnie Award for Product of the Year and has thousands of devoted players worldwide.

Shadows of Esteren is a medieval roleplaying game with horrific and gothic overtones in a dark, low fantasy setting. Drawing inspiration from Celtic myths, this universe has a subtle fantastic side hidden under a bleak, realistic surface. The Shadows of Esteren world is populated by men and women trudging through daily lives whiles also struggling with supernatural threats lurking in the dark. With the focus of its adventures being investigation and survival, Shadows of Esteren favors immersion and interaction among the players.

For more information, visit the Shadows of Esteren: Dearg Kickstarter.

RPGs / [Kickstarter] Shadows of Esteren : Book 2 Travels
« on: July 11, 2013, 09:51:30 AM »

The new Kickstarter for Shadows of Esteren is live !

Here is the link:

After Book 0 – Prologue and Book 1 – Universe, we are very proud to show you the third opus of the series: Book 2 – Travels. The purpose of this campaign is to help us finance a Limited Edition, as well as some exclusive content for this new release.

our Kickstarter is live :

Our initial goal was reached in two hours and now over 30K$ after only one day. This is amazing!

If you have any questions or wish to share your impressions, feel free to post a comment. A crowdfunding campaign is a living project subject to evolutions, and we always welcome feedback!

Cheers from France!


RPGs / Re: [Kickstarter] SHadows of Esteren: Prologue
« on: November 23, 2012, 04:13:56 PM »
Hello Everyone!

Here we are! We hit 50k and now Book 2 Travels is unlocked!
THNAK YOU everyone!

And here is the complete update because others things are also unlocked:

    Book 2 Travels

First, this new stage gives you the possibility of getting access to the whole content of Book 2 Travels!

  • The PDF is automatically included without any additional fee for the following pledges: High Shadow, Farl Collector, Tuaille Collector, Gouvran Merchants, Seòl Patron, and Lord of Shadows.
  • For the Tri-Kazelian and Varigal pledges, you must select the “High Shadow” option ($15 and $10 respectively) to get this PDF.

You will get the PDF of Book 2 Travels as soon as it is ready, well ahead of its public release. We plan to release the book for next Gen Con, and we intend to deliver the PDF next spring. Note that these dates are purely indicative. It is not easy for us to determine when the translation of the book will be complete exactly! We will do everything we can to stick to this planning, but we wish to be honest with you and warn you of possible delays.

The English version of Book 2 Travels will be an extended version of the French one: it will be a hardcover book, and the number of its pages will be increased from 80 to about 140. The Travels book contains Leader material: descriptions of important places of the peninsula, a series of scenarios, a gallery of non-player characters, and also a small bestiary. You can learn more about the contents of this book here.

    Special poster for Tri-Kazelian and higher pledges!

But we are not done yet! We are also going to print a special poster illustrated with one of the sketches realized for the cover of the “Kickstarter Special Edition” of Book 0. Moreover, on the other face, we will print a map of Tri-Kazel (the same as the one printed for the map of the first Kickstarter). This poster will be included in the Tri-Kazelian, Varigal, Farl Collector, Tuaille Collector, Seòl Patron, and Lord of Shadows pledges. If you have chosen another pledge, or wish to get a second poster, simply add $5 to your pledge. Here it is... with a reference to the movie posters!

And the other side with the map of Tri-Kazel:

    New option: Engine Room

Moreover, we propose you a special and new option for Book 2 Travels:

  •     Option 10 – Get access to the work forum "Engine Room" for the translation of Book 2 Travels and get the PDF in priority (included for Seol Patron and Lords of Shadows, $20 for others pledges).
This very special option will give you access to a private part of the forum where the game's team will show you, piece by piece, the contents completed for Book 2 Travels (whether translations, additional content, or illustrations).

This way, you will have a front seat to witness and support with your feedbacks the conception of this next release. These pieces of work will be made available to you as they will be completed, so that you can use them during your game sessions. It is even planned that the game's team will ask for your opinion about exclusive content that will be added in the upgraded English version of Book 2. The opening of this work forum for Book 2 is planned for January.

This option is automatically included without any additional fee for the following pledges: Seòl Patron and Lord of Shadows. The Lords of Shadows of the previous Kickstarter will automatically be given access to this private forum.

For other pledges, you can add $20 to get the advantages of this option.

Once more, THANK YOU ALL for your support,

We are glad we can make this new book available to you! Tomorrow we will update the pictures for every pledges on the front page with the new contents and options.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate!

Only 3 days to go and new stretch goals.. you can check here:

All the best,

RPGs / Re: [Kickstarter] SHadows of Esteren: Prologue
« on: November 08, 2012, 02:56:43 AM »
Hey Thank you Dom  :D

Gawain has worked the last three days on the cover for the Kickstarter Special Edition of the Book 0 Prologue... And here is the result:

Now we will work on the layout of this cover.
Thank you for your great support,
All these exclusives, it is thanks to you!

RPGs / Re: [Kickstarter] SHadows of Esteren: Prologue
« on: November 05, 2012, 06:59:47 AM »

Your support on this new Kickstarter campaign is quite amazing! Already near 35K and still 3 weeks to go..!
Here are some news:

Backers have chosen their cover for the KS Special hardcover edition for Book 0 Prologue. This is the number 3 "Attack":

By the way here is the new pledge with the very last copies of Book 1 Universe Limited edition:

If you have any question, feel free to ask!
The link to the campaign:

Thanks again for your great support,


RPGs / [Kickstarter] SHadows of Esteren: Prologue
« on: October 29, 2012, 03:33:21 AM »
Hi everyone,

We are very pleased to announce the start of our second Kickstarter campaign for Shadows of Esteren!

Shadows of Esteren is a medieval role-playing game, with a horrific and gothic influence. Drawing inspiration from Celtic myths, this universe has a discreetly fantastic side hidden under a bleak, realistic surface. This world is populated with humans who have to cope with tough daily lives, and face a supernatural threat lurking in the dark. With the focus of its adventures being investigation and survival, Shadows of Esteren favor an immersive mood and interactions among the Players.

This Kickstarter was designed for people who do not know about this RPG as well as for the backers of the first Kickstarter. You will have the possibility of acquiring the last remaining items created for the first campaign (Book 1 Universe Limited Edition, artworks, leader screen), but also of participating in the funding of a hardcover Limited Edition for Book 0 Prologue.

Some artworks:

The link to the campaign:

All the best,

Esteren Team

RPGs / Re: The Shadows of Eseren
« on: August 04, 2012, 01:30:15 PM »
Hi everyone!

I can not resist the pleasure of sharing it with you ...

This is an illustration for a new NPC for the Shadows of Esteren, commissioned by one of our generous patron of the Kickstarter campaign that will be included in an upcoming release..

By the way, thanks for your support during our KS campaign!
We hope you will like our books,


RPGs / Re: The Shadows of Eseren
« on: July 11, 2012, 05:15:26 PM »
Thanks Tadanori!

I signal you the existence of a very complete thread on about Esteren.
One of the participants introduces our work very well! He is Kyadark.

For exemple :

(English is not my native language, sorry for the weird sentences...)

Shadows of Esteren never claimed to re-invent anything, it just take several concept, atmospheres or gameplay options that alreadu exists and intricate them rather smoothly to make a rather coherent and very well designed game.

En résumé, I'd describe three axis which make SoE a different game :
- The harshness of the daily environnement
- The complexity of the clash between cultures
- How fantasy and horror are dealt with

I can't help but comparing it to Westeros in the first book of ASOIAF (before magic comes to make a mess). I haven't seen the new Pixar movie yet, but Brave appears to illustrate a lot of the atmosphere of the Tri-Kazel environnements.

It's a classic medieval setting, kinda projecting what would have the british isle become if christianity didn't get up here.
Tri-Kazel possess a feudal society where a lot of celtic culture has remained. Most villages evolved from ancient clans and kept their social structure. In some place mens keep wearing kilts, the battle axe is still the weapon of the village chiefs (while sword is more a weapon for feudal lords and knights)
People worship the spirits of nature and the Demorthèn (druids) try to keep the balance between humans and nature, bards (not like in D&D where the bard is only some music player) plays the role of teachers or diplomates and use the arts to get a different point of view of the world.
Dolmens and erected stones belong to the landmark and the whole land is full of a history not perfectly remebered.

The nature is very harsh on the inhabitants of Tri-Kazel. The peninsula is surrounded by furious seas, and most of it's land is covered by huge mountains that cross the peninsula in it's length. So most of the people have no choice but to live in a mountainous environnement, where winters can be so cold that villages can be cut off the rest of the world for months. Flat land exists, but is either covered by thick and dark forests, or dangerously exposed to the winds.

So, basically SoE presents a rather common setting, but when you look closely you can see how it's swarming with little details that send shivers down your spine when you read about it and picture this setting in your mind.

One of the main theme of Shadows of Esteren is the clash of cultures.
About two hundred years before the recommended date of setting for the game, people from the mysterious continent came to Tri-Kazel and brough with them two different thing :
- The Temple brought Faith in a one true god, spreading very fast since the purest believers are granted miracles much more impressive than what the mysterious arts of the Demorthèn can give. Bringing down menhirs to building churches and monasteries (no, the monks in here don't know kung-fu), it looks like the christian religion coming a bit late, but still as determined as ever. The feudal lords don't like them very much but they are very popular with some peasants.
One of the main inspirations for SoE is the Name of the Rose, you get quickly why when you read the chapters about the Temple.
- The Magientist brought an anachronic science, with strange devices using a fuel, the Flux, extracted from rocks or living beings. They can do extraordinary things, the first magientists came in a flying engine, their medicine can cure almost any diseases... It's rather steampunk, the point of this faction is that everyone can become a magientist if he has the capabilities, it's a way to raise socially thanks to your mind rather than your strengh or your blood.
But the costs are huge, the machines use tons of Flux and the liquid needs a lot of natural ressources to be collected, and the by-products of it's extraction causes pollution.

These two + the traditionnal society of Tri-Kazel can hardly live together on the peninsula. It even turned to a war between the three kingdom as the Temple tried to whipe out the magientists. Now there's peace but the war left behind a lot of orphans and ruins are still present in numbers near the borders. The point of playing after such an event is that the tensions are still strong, but the situation can change in still many ways 'cause no one really wants the horrors of the war to return and none of the three factions really has an advantage over the two others.

The factions are well described, the Temple isn't just a bunch of religious maniacs trying to destroy everything that doesn't believe in their one god for example, it's a faith base on purity and respect in front of the creation, believers are hard workers and help each other a lot, the clergy gives an opportunity to get a new start in life.
On the other hand Demorthèn are not just peacefull nature-lovers who meditate to help the life of their fellow citizens, they have a rather strict look upon life (abandonning weak newborns to the spirits of the forest is an old tradition), don't like their autority to be discussed, and jealously protect their secrets.

And in the middle of this, everyone tries to get the best of the opportunities that are given to them. The implications are rather coherent, with the various political applications of every faction on different levels and the troubles it causes. Villagers, knights, messengers, bards, dukes and kings...
Travels are also an important part of the setting, and discovering the variety of situation (you can't find two identical valleys) and the powers at play is a recurring plot-point in most adventures.
It's more complex than it first appears, but everything is logic and you can easily imagine new situations that make perfect sense.

Fantasy and magic have a somehow subtle presence in this universe.
Some chosen priests can unleash ice storms to freeze the ennemies of the Temple, Demorthèn can aquire strange capacities by communiating with the spirits, some magientists study esoterism and even witchcraft...
But it's still a rather discreet part of the setting, the most obvious supernatural forces despicted in the book are the feondas.
Feondas is a generic term (meaning "Ennemy" in the old tongue) to describe a wide range of creatures, sometimes humanoid, sometimes just monstruous; animal, vegetal and even mineral beings that all have in common a furious and unexplained agressivity towards human beings. Coming from the dark corners of the misty valleys and dark forests, they are present everywhere and have no organisation whatsoever. Omnipresent in folklore and legends, you can spend an entire life without seeing a single one, but sometimes they gather together and perform deadly raids upon the villages, towns and even capitals.

Unknown and capable to appear in a great variety of appearances, feondas are one of the main sources of horror in the game. But actually most horror come from the humans themselves.
In Shadows of Esteren, you play really fragiles characters. Not weak, usually they do a god job to perform most actions, just that they don't have a lot of "life points" and even small wounds can harm their capabilities greatly. The combats are deadly and usually comes to an end in a matter of three turns, there are numerous ways of dying and even the character's minds are vulnerable.
Shadows of Esteren offers a really interesting mental health system and you quickly see that psychology is an important part of the game. Not as extreme as the CoC system, it is meant to give a slow progression into madness, specific to each player.

After this description that was much longer than I expected it to be when I began to write this post, I'd like to finish on a few thing that might not mean a lot to other people, but that personally when straight to my heart when I discovered this setting.
First of all, the book is stunning you can all see that easily, but the writing is stunning too. The description of the setting is just like a folder of letters, notes, book extracts and other texts written by very different characters from everywhere across Tri-Kazel, gathered together.
It's dynamic, easy to read, and give several biased description that only makes sense when you put them together.

I don't know how it would look in english, but in french the texts are really excellents, there's a whole double-page describing the Tri-Kazelian cuisine, that can seem like a rather boring/useless topic but it's written so well, like a fable of some witty bard, that makes it absolutely captivating.

Plus the book swarms with small ideas, not enough to make a different setting on their own, but that together helps to make Shadow of Esteren a really unique universe.
For example, centuries ago a new people appeared on the peninsula, called the Tarish. Very mysterious, they claim to have reached the peninsula with a huge boat that no one has ever been able to find, but they don't say a word about the place they came from. Now several of their caravans roam across Tri-Kazel and they behave pretty much like bohemians, performing shows and original arts when they get into a new town, but stays shadowy and mysterious everytime they travels.
Horses are usefull to travel the few real roads the peninsula gets, but in the mountain the best way to travel is on the back of a caernid, a deer-like domestic creature, very agile, like the mount of the hero in Princess Mononoke.
One of the rare large flat area that is not covered by trees is the giant beach that surround the biggest forest of the peninsula. Since you can't grow anything on sand, there are not a lot of villages there, but it's in the middle of one of the main commerce road between south and east. So the main way to travel along this beach is with a sand yacht.

You can find it here :

Hope it can be helpful,


RPGs / Re: The Shadows of Eseren
« on: June 30, 2012, 10:57:38 AM »
Thank a lot for the proposal!
It would be a pleasure but i can't do it myself, i am afraid my english is too poor...
However, i will ask our proofreaders, i think some of them will go to Gen Con, maybe they can do that ?

By the way, i am very happy to announce you that our Kickstarter campaign is now alive :

Thanks for checking out!

RPGs / Re: The Shadows of Eseren
« on: June 27, 2012, 01:38:28 PM »
More recently, Qin is also a French game, you can find more here.
But you are right, if RPGs crossing over into Europe from America is quite common, the opposite is rather rare.
The particularity of Esteren is that we made everything ourselves, including the translation. But we were helped by a dozen of English speakers proofreaders without whom nothing would have been possible. It was really an amazing experience. You can find more information about the history of the project on this open letter.

Personally speaking, I am a fan of Ravenloft, I played years with ADD2. It is just like that that I discovered the RPG back in the 90' and that I became a tabletop RPG lover. It is a very special moment to see our work being introduced on the country where come from tabletop RPG. I really hope you will enjoy our interpretation of this classical kind of setting  :)

The signing session is going to last during four days. I will be there with the translator of the book and the French editor. We will also bring some home made goodies for this occasion.

RPGs / Re: The Shadows of Eseren
« on: June 27, 2012, 08:27:47 AM »
Hello everyone!

Pyrite, thanks you very much for your kind support. You have helped us a lot as a proofreader, thank you again!
Tadanori and Clockworkjoe, thanks for your interest, it will be a pleasure to meet you at Gen Con. I have the great chance to come this year! We will present Esteren and do sign session on Studio 2 Publishing booth.

By the way, i am author and illustrator as well as the coordinator of the Shadows of Esteren series in France but i reassure you, i a m NOT the translator of the game... :p Please forgive my horrible mistakes.

Here are some artworks :

If you have any question, please feel free to ask.


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