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Sundered Isles: Seafaring Adventures for Starforged

In May 2021, as the Ironsworn: Starforged Kickstarter campaign was winding down, I was considering options for a final Kickstarter stretch goal. Nothing too ambitious, I told myself, but worthwhile enough to serve as a final thank you for everyone's support.

I love seafaring adventures. In my younger days, I read many of Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey/Maturin books. Master and Commander is one of my favorite movies. The first three Pirates of the Caribbean films are a lot of fun, with a ridiculous amount of fantasy lore. Black Sails is one of my all-time favorite television shows. Heck, even the widely lambasted Cutthroat Island with Geena Davis is a guilty pleasure.

It occurred to me — spacefaring and seafaring adventures are close kin. With its support for ships and a focus on exploration, Starforged offered a solid mechanical foundation for a seafaring setting. Why not Starforged, but at sea?

So, I announced the final stretch goal: Sundered Isles. A world of fantasy seafaring adventure for Ironsworn: Starforged. A free digital reward as a thank you to backers. I envisioned about six months of work to create some new assets, a dozen or so seafaring oracle tables, and some setting info...

As things tend to do, that stretch goal grew well beyond my original imaginings. After nearly three years of work, it is now a robust world guide and toolkit for seafaring adventure that also serves as a companion of new gameplay and character options for your Starforged sci-fi campaigns. Or mix-and-match the two for swashbuckling, Treasure Planet-style adventures.

Two ships battle on stormy waters.

Two duelists prepare to lock blades.

A sailing ship navigates the aetherial expanse.

Last week, I launched a Kickstarter campaign for Sundered Isles. As of this writing, it is nearly 1000% funded with 2,478 generous backers.

Sundered Isles is Live on Kickstarter

Thanks to your support, Sundered Isles will be produced as a 250+ page, richly illustrated. wirebound Guidebook, a deck of preprinted character asset cards, and a full-featured Digital Edition. What's more, it's already almost here! The Digital Edition will be delivered to backers in April, and the physical products will follow later this year.

And, as promised, original Starforged backers get Sundered Isles as a free digital reward — whether or not they back this new campaign.

Sundered Isles includes:

  • Setting info for a world of wooden ships and iron souls

  • Guidelines for nautical adventures and new options for the Starforged system, including ship and crew management, naval battles, seafaring navigation, wealth and treasure, character downtime scenes, and more.

  • Rules references, including minor changes from Starforged to better align with the nautical setting.

  • Extensive world-building tools for launching your seafaring campaign, including forging the truths of your world, building a backdrop of clashing factions, creating your character and ship, and more.

  • Massive collection of system-agnostic generators and random tables, including seafaring events and encounters, weather, island landscapes, details for overland expeditions, people, shipwrecks, settlements, ruins, caves, treasures, and much more.

  • The cursed die, a new option to reveal the eerie and supernatural aspects of your setting, and dozens of cursed oracle tables.

  • More than 55 new character assets for the seafaring setting, many of which are also usable in Starforged spacefaring campaigns.

Every new release in the Ironsworn family builds upon the previous one. Sundered Isles contains some new "Ironsworn tech" that will undoubtedly be included in future releases. Most notable is the cursed die, an option to reveal the supernatural and eerie aspects of your setting. This die (an additional D10) is rolled alongside your oracle dice when you check an oracle table for the details of a situation or location.

If the cursed die shows a 10, your answer is cursed, and you should use the cursed version of that table. You've revealed a strange or horrific aspect of the world, such as an uncanny event, grim discovery, confounding technology, monstrous foe, ghostly presence, or unnerving location.

A marooned mariner encounters a skull-shaped edifice.

Sundered Isles includes dozens of cursed tables for encounters, ships, characters, factions, settlements, caves, ruins, treasures, and more. You can even generate cursed aspects during character creation, setting you on a cursed course at the very start!

I love how the cursed die reveals the more fantastic aspects of a setting, but it's also a dial you can adjust on-the-fly. Want more magic and supernatural mystery? Toss the cursed die into the mix. Prefer a more grounded setting? Ignore the cursed die altogether, or save it for suitable moments in your story. I can envision a future version of the Ironlands that incorporates some variation of the cursed die for a fantasy setting that is tunable from gritty to gonzo (chaos die? mystic die?).

And there are other features that will inform future Ironsworn products, including an expanded emphasis on factions, character downtime scenes, managing wealth and treasure, and much more. I am very proud of Sundered Isles and excited about what it brings to Starforged.

The Sundered Isles Kickstarter page has lots more info. If you missed out on the original Starforged print run, I also have pledge levels to catch up with the complete Starforged/Sundered Isles kit.

The complete Starforged and Sundred Isles kit.

I'd be honored if you'd join me on this new adventure!

Art Credits: The illustrations featured in this post are by Joshua Meehan, Bryant Grizzle, Phill Simpson, and Vyacheslav Milinchuk. Icons by Nathen Græy


Sundered Isles is Here!


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