A finger trails the letters across a dusty tome.
A finger points the way down a dark haunted alley.
A finger feels for the pulse of life on a long decayed corpse.
A finger scratches the floorboards beneath your feet.
A finger chewed down to a white bone.
A finger that is not there.
A finger catches a shed tear and slides it into a bottle.
These are the Seven Fingers of the Hand of Gaub.
The Book of Gaub is a RPG supplement and anthology of creepy magic and micro-fiction, fit for all game systems and tailored to retro/old school D&D in the style of Wonder & Wickedness. Written by seven authors, their concerted effort fleshes out the Seven Fingers of the Hand of Gaub, manifest through the filigrees of cobwebs and nails, false memories, and nightmares you want to forget.
Aside from its core content - 49 spells and small tales - the Book also includes 100 terrible Catastrophes to invoke when its vile magic goes awry. 20 Monsters are bound in the book as well, together with insidious rituals to turn them to your gain. With some of the 49 bizarre paraphernalia in hand, you may begin your descent to the place where fear lies.
The Book of Gaub book takes inspiration from "floorboard and cobweb" horror; touchstones of this are The Babadook, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, Stephen King's works like Misery and The Shining, and so on.
The Book of Gaub is about 100 pages, and divided in four sections:
Spells - 49 micro-fictions and 49 spells, seven for each of the seven fingers of the Hand of Gaub, each finger tied to a different discipline of forbidden sorcery. Written primarily for any edition of That Famous Fantasy Game (including retroclones and other old school systems) but applicable across the board, the book presents spells without levels in the style of previous Lost Pages publications, such as Wonder & Wickedness.
Paraphernalia - forgotten in abandoned homes, hidden in dusty attics, found in the pockets of cultists, a catalogue of 49 strange objects and minor magic items to help you bring the mood of Gaub to the table. Best gifted as random starting items to sorcerers.
Catastrophes - sticking your fingers inder the skin of the world begs disaster, and disaster you will have. The Book features seven grave catastrophes for each finger of Gaub, plus 51 generic catastrophes for all the other times when magic goes terribly wrong.
Monsters & Their Uses - twenty horrible monsters made from the worst of our nightmares: six generic to Gaub, plus two for each of the seven fingers. Each monster comes detailed with stats, Means, Wants, Omens, and a way to turn the monster into an item, asset, or help. Often by capturing it and treating it truly horribly.
Rowan A./Monsieur Le Battlier: lead writer, artist, author of The Thawing Kingdom (blog, portfolio, twitter)
Charlie Ferguson-Avery: writer, artist, author of Into the Wyrd and Wild and Vast in the Dark (portfolio, twitter)
John Gregory/The Lawful Neutral: writer, author of Gourmet Street and Lowcountry Crawl (blog, twitter, itch.io)
Furtive Goblin: writer (blog)
Isaak Hill: writer (blog)
Paolo Greco: developer, designer, publisher of Lost Pages (blog, twitter)
Additional art by Trevor Henderson (twitter) and Enoch Duncan (twitter).
The Book of Gaub will be available in three editions:
- Seeker - PDF - optimized for screen and for printing at home. 8£
- Initiate - Hardcover - our team has printmaking and bookbinding experience, so we are aiming for a high standard. The book will be printed on thick cream paper by an offset printer, smyth & sewn, cased in hardcover with a rounded spine, clad in bookcloth, and given an embossed cover. Buying a print copy also gets you a PDF, so you can read and dream of Gaub while the hardcover gets made. 20£
- Cabal - Kickstarter Limited Edition Hardcover - since some of you asked, and to celebrate the thirteenth issue of a Lost Pages occult book, we offer a special limited edition available only for the Kickstarted campaign: a local bindery is going to create a limited number of numbered copies and case them in a selection of materials for you to choose, with a range of sustainable leathers and synthetics available. They will the hand-tool the cover and the rounded and raised spine. We will not release more than 70 copies, priced at 100£ each: we understand it's a steep price, but we believe in supporting local bookbinders and their trade.
Backers for all levels also get temporary access to the rough, unedited development files.
We want to deliver an awesome book without delaying delivery, so we carefully picked our stretch goals to not impact on printing and fulfillment.
- £6000 (LOCKED) - 20 distressing adventure hooks, by horror connoisseur Jack Shear of Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque and Bad Books for Bad People.
- £8000 (LOCKED) - more art by Trevor Henderson. Because your night terrors are worth it.
We will uncover more goals as the campaign continues. Stay tuned!
We are trying to make shipping as easy as possible for you:
- Shipping to the US will be collected after the campaign. We expect costs to be in the ballpark of 5 USD.
- Shipping to the EU will be collected after the campaign. Our EU shipping partner will take care of handling import fees and VAT, so you are not going to be burdened with additional customs and handling fees. We expect costs to be not more than 5£.
- Shipping to other locations will be collected after the campaign. We expect costs to be around 5-10£.
The Cabal limited edition will incur in slightly higher shipping and handling costs, as fulfillment will use a different process.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risks for this kind of project are fulfilling late, stretch goals and fulfillment. We have tried to reduce all the above as much as we could. To do so we have done as much work as possible before the campaign: the core of the writing is complete. Stretch goals for extra writing are of manageable size and the writers' schedules have been taken into consideration. Layout is also complete, any additional text requiring only minor layout work. Art is also almost complete, and are waiting for a limited number of contributions, which are already underway. We are not going to have extra items as stretch goals: in our experience they risk dragging on for a long time, and often fail to deliver. We have chosen instead to make our stretch goals part of the book, or digital: this is to keep manufacturing and fulfillment as straightforward as possible. Fulfillment is carried out by our specialist partners, which have been doing this for a while and for much bigger projects. We are also only shipping one single item, a book, which makes it easier for customs. Our shipping partner will take care of import VAT for EU customers, so you won't have to pay extra handling fees.