Welcome to Death & Taxes
An ivory tube was cushioned in a traveler’s chest between the official’s silk pantaloons and soft velvet overcoats. Within, a writ’s wax stamp sealed a few terse commands, “Welcome the Salise back into our embrace. Pinpoint its wealth, then squeeze without mercy. You are beholden to no one.”
Without hesitation, the letter’s bearer set forth accompanied only by his handpicked porters, servants, and scribes. A detour to the windswept wastelands of the savage cold plain found him the type of soldiers he needed, ones who make looting a sport. They would enlist in his venture with promises of vengeance. The pay would be mere tokens from the spoils acquired.
He entered each town and gave a rough speech. “Welcome back to the glory your grandfathers knew,” he shouted. “Long have you lived a life of hardship beyond the fringes of the Empire.”
“We have much to do,” the official explained, “We shall begin by conducting a census.”
“If he is only here for a census,” they thought, “why does he need the half-giant Auditor and a pack of gnolls?”
After a welcoming feast, Æthelbert answered.
We are very pleased, and more than a little relieved, to present Lesser Gnome’s newest signature adventure, Death & Taxes. A limited number of Collector’s Edition sets are available now. These sets were designed for campaigns using rules inspired by classic fantasy systems (i.e. Swords & Wizardry, OSRIC or Labyrinth Lord). To purchase your copy head on over to our web store.
Death & Taxes is being converted for Pathfinder as well as that other fantasy game (currently in its 5th iteration). These are expected to begin layout after the holidays. There will be other formats in the coming months including-
- A PDF release designed to use the advantages of the format. It will include links, buttons, layering, and, I hope, the ability to display content based on the rotation of a tablet or reader. A scaled down version for reading and use
- The Compendium Hardcover
- Death & Taxes without all the fuss- a Retro style module.
Each of these versions were selected and funded by backers during our successful Kickstarter project that ended in November 2014.
What is it?
Death & Taxes is a comprehensive box set designed for Game Master’s who run open-ended, or “sandbox”, games. Deliberately designed to be useful for existing campaigns, Death & Taxes does not make assumptions about the Game Master’s world, keeping its focus on a small, relatively isolated area. References, like Gods and distant lands, beyond its scope are left out or presented in a minimal way to allow its easy integration. It in a small region experiencing great change and many unknowns. Non-player character factions have believable goals that are not necessarily good or evil. In the midst of these troubles ancient powers with their own agendas have begun to stir.
The Adventure Book includes-
- The two floors of the Auctor– The opulent palace built by ancient powers. Amid the splendor of kings and the forbidden chambers of Empyr Wards, a tenuous peace exists among competing interests.
- The tunnels and caverns immediately beneath its floors- Excavated as warehouses for the hoarding of salt, the underground works were later repurposed. They evolved into a debtors’ prison that filled with penniless paupers as quickly as the vast stores were drained. When the rulers fled, the lower levels turned feral, home to a small subterranean environment.
- The caverns deep below the Auctor’s foundation- The Abscess is a cavernous darkness where ancient Abyssal powers have breached the wall between worlds. This antechamber of the threshold conceals the Hryggan.
The Game Master’s Guide provides-
- Background information
- Optional location specific rules
- Summaries of important encounters
- A creature catalog with twenty-seven full creature descriptions
- An appendix detailing 34 unique magic items
The Setting Guide includes-
- Background information on geography and a brief history of The Salise.
- Three towns with descriptions of key locations including some prominent local actors
- Other places and personalities and factions not easily categorized
The Death & Taxes Collector’s Box Set
Three softcover game books describing the places, people and events in Death & Taxes. Set in a small region called the Salise, Death & Taxes describes a primary adventure location, three towns and over 25 Non-Player Characters for use in fantasy campaigns influenced by classic rule systems. It is designed to be very open ended, giving the tools to the Game Master to weave the locations and events they wish into their own worlds with minimal effort. The details of the setting beyond the small regions’ borders is vague and mysterious.
The books in the Collector’s Edition are…
- Death & Taxes Adventure Book
- Game Master’s Guidebook
- The Salise: Regional Setting Guide
All three books contain a combined total of 200 color pages. Written by Zach Glazar & Edwin Nagy, each of the books lavishly illustrated by Lloyd Metcalf with additional pieces by Andrew DeFelice, Brian “Glad” Thomas, and Michael Brand. The fantastic cartography was done by Alyssa Faden. Proofreading and content suggestions were done tirelessly by G. Scott Swift. Miniatures in the box set were sculpted by Nicolas Genovese, Michael Brand and Mark Evans.
- Adventure map folio – The complete set of interior adventure maps are re-printed for quick in-game reference.
- Poster map of the Salise – 26″ x 20″ folded map printed on gallery quality white poster paper
- The Sealed Letter
- 2 Shrink-wrapped Card Decks
- Monster Cards (14) – Color illustration on front, creature description/stats on reverse
- Magic Items Cards (10) – Illustrations with color highlights on front, item descriptions and function on rear
Dice & Extras
- Chessex 7 die polyhedral set, plus 2 Custom Dice (d6, d10)*
- Suedecloth™ 4″x6″ dice bag
- Custom silver coin
- Renowned Gnome Swag™
Miniatures – (25 total)
- Personalities – The Taxman, The Herald (Horn blowing goblin), M. Mange, Nogrod, Thopas, each with slotted bases (when appropriate)
- Empyrean Wards- Archivist, Harpy, Siren, Sylph (incl. 4 slotted bases)
- Gnoll War Band – A pack of four mercenary Gnolls (Archer, Axe bearer, Mace wielder, and Spearman with slotted bases)
- Torlings – Nine Individually sculpted Torlings, swarming pack hunters found both above and below ground
- Hryggan- A newly arrived visitor located in bad place who came from a worse one
- Bone Byrgh – Bottom of the food chain clad in bone ‘armor’ it borrowed from less successful visitors
- Empyrean Guardian – Watchmen waiting for trouble to arise (slotted base)
A collection of pictures showing the figurines in Death & Taxes can be found by clicking here.
Pick up your copy here.
Still not convinced, click here to read the Adventure Book on Adobe’s cloud reader (works in most browsers)
Review copies, podcast inquiries and general promotional requests should be directed firstname.lastname@example.org for an enthusiastic reply.