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Overview

Shortly after Clifford B. Bowyer's epic fantasy novel series, The Imperium Saga, was released, he was asked by Tom Shea (owner of TJ's Collectibles, one of stores that supported Bowyer and purchased his books for sale) if he had ever considered making a game based upon his world. After considerable research into both the state of the gaming industry and the development materials Bowyer had available, the decision was made to launch and develop a Role Playing Game (RPG) based upon The Imperium Saga.

A Development Team was formed and the decision was made to utilize the Open License Agreement to make an Imperium Saga specific game based upon the established d20 rules utilized by Dungeons & Dragons, the game that started the entire roleplaying game category.

Players will have the ability to build their own characters just like those they enjoy from the Imperium Saga novels. Become a Mystral like Solara, a Dwarf like Ilfanti or Thamar, an elf like Ashwin or Cala, a Madrew like Kai or Arifos, a Frost elf like Mylvannan, a Sabrenoh like Sartir, a Sarnal like Tarwas, and much, much, more. You also get to chose what kind of character you want to be, whether a Mage from the Mage's Council, a Soldier of the Imperium, an Athlete ready to dominate the game of Lumnia, the unicorn riding Elandeeril of Faylinn, and more.

Once your character has been created, you and your companions would explore the Seven Kingdoms and all of the dangers, perils, and triumphs that come with that. Perhaps you are seeking the the lost tomb of Warlord Liodden, or stumble across a ferocious lupan, or find yourself on the icy peaks of the Mourning Mountains desperately trying to survive what Mages dubbed "Deathtrap," or find yourself plundered by pirates, or any of numerous other adventures. Like D&D, one member of the group, the Dungeon Master (DM), will create, narrate, and referee the game. Together, the DM and the Imperium Saga characters you create bring the story and adventure to life.


Current Status

The game originally was written and in playtesting using the Dungeons & Dragons version 3.5 Open License Agreement. Part of the agreement indicates that when a new version is released, games using the license must utilize the newest version of the game. When 4.0 was released, the development team began working on converting the existing materials into the new format. While these efforts were underway, the announcement that D&D NEXT was going to be released was made. Development efforts were put on hold until the new version is launched.

Depending on the complexity of D&D NEXT, the development team will look for the best way to proceed with the conversion. The current outlook is to reduce the overall complexity of the game to help get it into playtesting more quickly with the more popular aspects of The Imperium Saga rather than being all inclusive and giving the gamers a wide array of options initially. Once an initial book is launched, additional supplements can be developed with expanded options for gamers (such as additional Playable Races, Player Classes, and more detailed material from the novels).


Meet the Developers

Without the hard work and dedication of those who share the vision of bringing the world of the Imperium Saga to life as an RPG, this game never would have happened. This section brings recognition to these individuals and their contributions.

 

Bowyer, Clifford B.

Quick Hits:

Team Role: Project Manager (or as my team quoted: "Inhuman Creative Juggernaut")

Favorite Imperium Saga Character: How can the author chose just one? I've always been partial to the core group of Braksis, Solara, Thamar, Arifos, Baldock, and Kai, though Kyria (and her friends), Ilfanti, Kabilian, Mylvannan, Ashwin, and Ravinder all have a special place in my heart. 

Favorite Imperium Saga Book: The Changing Tides (published), Falestia (overall)

Favorite Imperium Saga Race: Mystral

Favorite Imperium Saga Class: Soldier (or Mage)

 

Developer Bio:

Clifford B. Bowyer has been a lifelong fan of novels and reading. He can always be found with a book in his hand and reads a variety of topics and authors. From a very early age, he used to write short stories in notebooks while traveling, and entertain family and friends by reading his stories to them.

 

During his eighth grade school year, Bowyer wrote his first novel, a western that had been written as a school project. He thoroughly enjoyed the experience and always wished to write more over the years. Throughout his education, Bowyer had always received top honors and marks for his writing, including standardized exams (GMAT’s) where he scored in the top 5% of the country.

 

Bowyer went on to Bryant College to pursue business for his Undergraduate degree, and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a double concentration in Management and Marketing. Not only did he receive the double degree, but he also completed his studies a full semester early.

 

Bowyer then entered the business world, working a variety of positions, including customer service, supervisory roles, marketing management, and then moving into a financial services company with an entry level position that he had for a year before advancing to a Business Analyst position in Risk Management and Compliance. From there, he was hand-selected to join a Project Management team with the goal of revolutionizing the way the company did business, where he remained until deciding to leave the company for a few years to finish another degree (a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Babson College) and also focus more upon his writing.

 

When Bowyer was approached about the possibility of developing a game based upon his world, he would be the first to admit that he had never role played in his life and had never considered it. However, he put together a team of individuals who knew both his world and the gaming market in general and had them complete a full assessment of the feasibility of turning his world into a game and whether it would be worthwhile doing so. The research team responded with a resounding yes, and then Bowyer dove headlong into the project learning as much as he could while navigating the tightrope between staying true to his world, adhering to the d20 rules, and making sure gamers would get something that would excite them.

 

Bowyer resides in Massachusetts where he continues to work on developing and writing new novels, leads the RPG development team and provides source documentation and design materials to assist with their efforts.

 

LaPointe, David

Quick Hits:

Team Role: Concept Creation / Idea Generation Team

Favorite Imperium Saga Character: Mylvannan

Favorite Imperium Saga Book: The Changing Tides

Favorite Imperium Saga Race: Frost Elves

Favorite Imperium Saga Class: Hunter

 

Developer Bio:

David LaPointe had grown up on comics, video games, and customizable card games  such as Magic. He currently enjoys playing online role playing games and similar themed console games. Although he never was a d20 RPG gamer, he has a wealth of knowledge of games and also a firm grasp on the world of the Imperium Saga. He works to bring his knowledge and perspective to the Imperium Saga materials for a fresh look at the conversion efforts.

 

Marshal, Jessica

Quick Hits:

Team Role: Concept Creation / Idea Generation Team

Favorite Imperium Saga Character: Kai

Favorite Imperium Saga Book: The Impending Storm

Favorite Imperium Saga Race: Madrew elf

Favorite Imperium Saga Class: Scholar

 

Developer Bio:

Jessica enjoys comics, fiction books as well as historical non-fiction, and has spent many years playing various MMORPGs.  Also, Jessica is a professional student earning a Bachelor's of Science in Organizational Management and a MBA with an emphasis in Human Resources, both from Campbellsville University.  Currently, she is working on an Associate's Degree in Nursing with plans to graduate in December 2010.  Jessica married her husband in 2009, and they have two dogs and a cat.  They reside in Kentucky.

 

Mitchell, Ben

Quick Hits:

Team Role: Concept Creation / Idea Generation Team

Favorite Imperium Saga Character: Angel and Braksis

Favorite Imperium Saga Book: The Impending Storm

Favorite Imperium Saga Race: Mystral

Favorite Imperium Saga Class: Mage

 

Developer Bio:

Ben Mitchell was a man of passion for his family, friends, and the things he enjoyed. He had a deep love for all things Fantasy, Science Fiction, comics, and games and brought such joy and excitement to his discussions about it that one could not help but be swept up and share it with him. He became a fan of Clifford B. Bowyer’s Imperium Saga series, and after several encounters at events the two became friends. He became a developer in the effort to convert Bowyer’s world into a d20 RPG game, and also began writing a short story in the Tales of the Council of Elders anthology project. Ben passed away on October 28th, 2007 of a stroke. Bowyer finished the short story in honor of his friend and dedicated the book to him. The current Concept Creation / Idea Generation team is trying to keep Ben’s (3.5) game designs viable in the new 4.0 format.

 

Sapia, Frank

Quick Hits:

Team Role: Concept Creation / Idea Generation Team

Favorite Imperium Saga Character: Prince Winton (I actually liked the little cowardly prick, because deep down he knew he fudged the heck up and it made me giggle)

Favorite Imperium Saga Book: The Changing Tides

Favorite Imperium Saga Race: There are so many to like, can't be bias you know.

Favorite Imperium Saga Class: Mage

 

Developer Bio:

Frank A.S. Sapia born April 29th 1979 in the small town of Middletown Connecticut. He was an artist from day one; drawing on the walls with crayons and pencils, building cities with Lego blocks, and getting into a fifteen-pound bag of flour in the kitchen trying to cook. His favorite thing between the ages of eight and eleven was to draw warriors fighting demons and monsters. This was unfortunately not appropriate at church in CCD where his teacher Sister Cavina told him he was going to go to hell if he kept drawing these things. To this day he hasn’t stopped drawing valiant warriors, vile villains, malicious monsters, and voluptuous vixens.

 

He was a graduate from Vinal Regional Vocational Technical School in 1998, earning his degree Mechanical Drafting. From there he went to college at Middlesex Community College in Connecticut studying graphic design. Unfortunately in the summer of 2000 he was unable to continue due to the growth of tumors behind his eyes. This interfered with his ability to read and type anything without getting severely nauseous.

 

In the summer of 2003 he was introduced to NERO (New England Role-playing Organization) a live action fantasy role playing gaming community based on medieval high fantasies (elves, dwarves, orcs, etc.) and he continued playing until 2005.

 

In 2007 his search for new role play gaming equipment and anime he visited the yearly summer convention ConnectiCon in Hartford CT. Here he was introduced to Clifford B. Bowyer who was an author selling his fantasy novels and looking for play testers for a game based on the series. Frank signed up and kept in contact with Bowyer for several months and readied his gaming group. Regrettably some financial situations came up in his life at the time. This hindered his ability for travel and leisure, losing contact with many people in his life. In the summer of 2008 he came across and old email he sent to Clifford Bowyer and resent it hoping to see if the play testing was still available. Clifford wrote back with a series of questions and Frank sent back his replies to them. The next message from Bowyer asked if Frank was willing to join the design and development team for his game. Tragedy had also hit the team having lost a very valuable and long time friend of Bowyer’s. Hearing this, Frank knew this was a chance of a lifetime for him that may never come again, as well as a chance to see this man’s vision come to life.

 

To this day he works proudly creating new ideas and new challenges for the old generation and the next generation of role players to enjoy.

 

“Role playing games are my anti-drug. It keeps the heart young and the mind sharp and full of imagination. You can’t experience this with a video game.”

- Frank Angelo Sebastian Sapia

 

Siders, Craig

Quick Hits:

Team Role: Game / Rule Conversion Team, Playtesting Supervisor

Favorite Imperium Saga Character: Thamar

Favorite Imperium Saga Book: The Impending Storm

Favorite Imperium Saga Race: Ja'Drall, Sarnal, and Mystral

Favorite Imperium Saga Class: Mage

 

Developer Bio:

Craig Siders has a doctorate degree in clinical psychology and is currently working toward licensure and board certification as a clinical neuropsychologist.  He has written for clients such as NASA and the United States military and has published two academic articles.  Literary writing pursuits include screenplays and books primarily in science fiction, fantasy, and comedy genres.  He also has over 20 years experience nerding out to various RPG systems such as AD&D, Paranoia, Cyberpunk, various GURPs systems, and Savage Worlds

 

Siders, Shaene

Quick Hits:

Team Role: Storyline / Writing Team

Favorite Imperium Saga Character: Kai

Favorite Imperium Saga Book: The Impending Storm

Favorite Imperium Saga Race: Mystral

Favorite Imperium Saga Class: Mage

 

Developer Bio:

Shaene M. Siders is a writer/producer who writes and consults for the entertainment and technology industries.

 

An accomplished screenwriter, Shaene has won the Scriptwriters Network Hollywood Outreach Program and scored finalist and quarterfinalist awards in separate Scriptapalooza contests.

 

Shaene has written for clients such as Creative Screenwriting, IBM, and the U.S. Military, and she publishes a series of creative training manuals.  Titles like Java for Mad Scientists have been used repeatedly by major organizations, including NASA and Federal Express.

 

Shaene grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, on a steady diet of Dungeons and Dragons, comics, fantasy, and science fiction.  She wrote her first full-length D&D module in junior high, and her roleplaying background includes nearly 15 years of games like AD&D, Dangerous Journeys, TopSecret, ElfQuest, Car Wars, Savage Worlds, Marvel Super Heroes, and even the Indiana Jones RPG. 

 

Shaene lives in Long Beach, California, with her husband and two pet bunnies and may be contacted through her  website.

 

Webb, Robb

Quick Hits:

Team Role: Graphic Design / Layout / Art Supervisor, Playtesting Supervisor

Favorite Imperium Saga Character: Boudie and Drew

Favorite Imperium Saga Book: The Changing Tides

Favorite Imperium Saga Race: Lupan

Favorite Imperium Saga Class: Hunter

 

Developer Bio:

Robb Webb has been gaming for over 20 years. Since the first time he opened a D&D manual he was hooked. He has played and game mastered a wide array of game systems, and at its heart has always been the development of a character's relationship to the story told. Professionally he has worked in Graphic Design, Project Management, and Voice-over acting. Bringing his imagination, wealth of knowledge of games, his love of the Imperium Saga novels, and artistic talents to the mix, Robb has been helping to bring the world of the Imperium Saga to life in the new venture.

 

Additional Contributors

We would also like to acknowledge and recognize additional contributors who had assisted in various roles since the beginning of the project, including James Andrews,  Jim Haines, Dan Keating, Melissa Novak, Jayson Palmer, and Tom Shea.

Playtesting

What is Playtesting?

Playtesting is the process where game designers have the game or elements of the game developed undergo rigorous and detailed testing in an attempt to identify bugs and breaks to the game prior to bringing to market. There are various stages to testing, including controlled testing run by the current Development Team with established groups, as well as open testing that will allow team that are not familiar with the Imperium Saga game or development efforts to play and test.

Who can Playtest?

Controlled testing will be closed to teams outside of the network of players connected to the Imperium Saga development efforts. Once playtesting moves into open testing, any existing RPG team is eligible to be selected to test.

What do Playtesters do?

Playtesters are given a variety of materials, ranging from a single element of the developed game to the entire game. If they are given a single element (i.e. a Playable Race), then they are to incorporate this race into their existing game and test how the race itself work. If they are given the entire game, they are to play an Imperium Saga specific game to identify bugs / faults / breaks for the development team to review and modify as appropriate.

 

Playtesting teams will have a "Testing Supervisor." It is the role of the supervisor to coordinate feedback from the gamers on his or her team and provide it to the Development team on a periodic basis (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly depending on the team). This feedback includes information on what works, what doesn't, what was fun, what they didn't like, and numerous other observations and specifics about the gaming experience.

 

The Testing Supervisor would also be available to address questions or requests from the Development team, including retests or specific scenarios to have their team play in an attempt to test a specific aspect of the game.

 

Depending upon the round of testing, playtesters may be given detailed scenarios to have their team play, or simply allow the team to play without limitation.

Can I Playtest?

Individuals interested in "open" playtesting should answer the following questions and mail them to:

Silver Leaf Books

Attn: Imperium Saga d20 RPG Playtesting

P.O. Box 6460

Holliston, MA 01746

1. Please provide contact information (name, email, phone number).

2. If selected, would you be the Playtesting Supervisor for your team? If not, who would be the Playtesting Supervisor?

3. How many members do you have in your RPG group?

4. Are all members of your group interested in participating in playtesting?

5. How frequently does your group meet to play?

6. When would your group be available to begin playtesting?

7. How much time would you be willing to commit toward testing?

8. Does your group currently play, or has already played, a version 4.0 d20 game?

9. Does your group play campaigns or do you only play modules?

10. Have you read any Imperium Saga novels? If so, which ones?

 

Please provide any additional information that you feel would be beneficial or helpful for the Development team to review to consider your group as playtesters.

 

Note: All testers will be required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement if selected to playtest.

Playtesting Schedule:

Playtesting schedule to be announced following completion of conversion to D&D NEXT. Now accepting requests to be involved in playtesting activities.

 

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