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In dark forests, beyond the mountains, by black lakes in hidden groves. At your doorstep. In the shadows, something stirs. Strange beings. Twisted creatures, lurking at the edge of vision. Watching. Waiting. Unseen by most, but not by you. You see them for what they really are.
Vaesen – Nordic Horror Roleplaying is a brand new RPG line from Free League Publishing. Written by award-winning author Nils Hintze (Tales From the Loop RPG) and based on the work of Swedish illustrator and author Johan Egerkrans, Vaesen presents a dark Gothic setting steeped in Nordic folklore and old myths of Scandinavia. The game mechanics use an adapted version of the award-winning Year Zero Engine.
Swedish: Rollspelet Vaesen kommer självklart även att publiceras på svenska, med namnet Nordiska väsen. Du kan välja vilket språk du vill ha i en pledge manager efter avslutad kampanj.
We are raising funds to produce a lavishly illustrated and beautifully produced book with more than 200 pages of content. This core rulebook will contain all you need to roleplay in the Mythic North: rules, setting and an introductory scenario. The book will be printed on premium paper and will be in the US Letter format. The text is written, translation and layout is well underway. We need the funding to complete the layout, and print and ship the book. Shipping will be added later and handled in the pledge manager after the kickstarter concludes, read more under the headline Shipping at the bottom of this page.
You can see sample spreads from the book below.
If we exceed our base funding goal, we will unlock physical stretch goals that include a big full-color map of the Mythic North, a GM Screen, and custom dice designed specifically for the game.
You can see the standard edition of the book cover at the top of the page. A limited edition with cloth covers and gold foil details, included in the LINDWORM reward and above, is shown below.
Welcome to the Mythic North – northern Europe of the nineteenth century, but not as we know it today. A land where the myths are real. A cold reach covered by vast forests, its few cities lonely beacons of industry and enlightenment – a new civilization dawning. But in the countryside, the old ways still hold sway. There, people know what lurks in the dark.
They know to fear it.
The dark forests, deep lakes and vast mountain ranges of Scandinavia are home to a multitude of supernatural beings. They are known as the little people, the invisibles, or simply the fair folk. When someone vanishes in the woods, when the milk curdles over night, when strange noises are heard in the loft or when an unexplained ailment strikes, it is said to be the work of such entities.
Some of these creatures appear all over Europe: ghosts, giants, dragons, trolls, werewolves and faeries. Others are endemic to Scandinavia, such as the Neck who rules the rivers, the Huldra who guards the forest, tomtar, mylings and many others.
You and your companions in the Society were born different. You have the Sight – the ability to see what ordinary people cannot. You know that vaesen have lived beside humanity for untold centuries, in an uneasy peace. Not anymore. Rumors spread of kittens born with two heads, streams red from blood, groves lulling children into eternal sleep, fairies dancing through villages, luring the young into the woods to be forever enthralled.
Embarking on journeys to remote villages in the wilderness, you will uncover the secrets of the Mythic North. Armed with nothing but your courage, conviction, and ability to see the supernatural, you will face the creatures of the forest. Neither bullets nor blades can stop them. To drive them off, you must understand them. Find their weakness.
Yet even if you prevail, facing the vaesen will leave you with scars that never heal.
The game rules of Vaesen are based on the award-winning Year Zero Engine, also used in Tales From the Loop, Forbidden Lands, Mutant: Year Zero and the upcoming ALIEN RPG.
The core mechanic is straight-forward: To make a skill roll, you simply grab a number of dice for your attribute score, skill level and gear, and roll them all together. You need at least one six to succeed, and extra sixes can give you stunts and other bonus effects.
In Vaesen, you will find fast and flavorful rules for horror and the scars that will permanently change your player characters. Encountering vaesen will change you forever, in one way or another. In addition, there are fast rules for managing and developing your group’s headquarter – Castle Gyllencreutz in the city of Upsala. Expand your library, build a laboratory or hire staff to help you. Together you will expand your abilities to confront and fight your enemies and solve mysteries.
The setting of Vaesen is called The Mythic North, loosely based on Scandinavia in the middle of the 19th century. A desolate area on the northernmost fringes of Europe, it is covered with vast forests broken by craggy hills and lonely mountains. It is a wild place, where a few developed cities in the south are the few beacons of civilization.
In the countryside, the old ways rule. Peasants work the land as they always have done, workers toil in the dark woods and on the mighty rivers, often paying the ultimate price while doing so. A few rail lines connect the important cities, otherwise you need to travel by horse, coach, or foot.
We love friendly local gaming stores all over the world and want to forge an even closer relationship with you. We offer a retailer pledge, including five copies of Vaesen – Nordic Horror Roleplaying (including printed stretch goals), at a heavily discounted retailer price. You can complement your pledge with retailer addons, including the full range of our core RPG rulebooks, which you’ll find in the Addons section below.
By taking part in this Kickstarter as a retailer, you make sure you get the games on time for launch and you get them at a lower cost than through normal distribution channels. As an added bonus, you get access to all updates and sneak peeks of Vaesen here on the Kickstarter.
We also offer FREE SHIPPING to retailers in the EU, UK and North America.
For more information about how we work with retailers, and to get early information about our upcoming releases, sign up to our monthly retailer newsletter!
Please note that retailer pledges are only available to actual retailers. You will be asked to present your company organization number when confirming your pledge in the pledge manager.
Free League Publishing supports the Kickstarter workers’ efforts to organize a union, and we encourage the Kickstarter management to support this effort as well. We have communicated our stance to Kickstarter management, and we are following the matter closely. Currently we do not believe in a boycott however, and this is also not something that the Kickstarter workers themselves recommend. However, should you prefer an alternative method to support this project, we offer the possibility to make a late pledge via Pledge Manager after the Kickstarter ends. To be notified when the late pledges open, sign up for our newsletter and we will drop you a line!
With your help, we can make Vaesen even more amazing. Below are the stretchgoals we have lined up if we exceed our initial funding goal.
We will print the Vaesen book in top-quality hardback covers.
A double-sided full-color print of Tobias Tranell’s magnificent map of The Mythic North. This physical stretch goal will be included in the TROLL reward level and above.
The mystery “A Grim Secret” written by Gabrielle DeBourg. The player characters are tasked with investigating the disappearance of two visitors in a remote village deep in the vast forest. This digital stretch goal will be included in PDF format in the VAETTIR reward and above.
We will add an eight playable archetype, the Private Detective. Put your crime solving skills to use in the fight against the most dangerous enemy yet! This stretch goal will be included in the core rulebook.
If we reach this goal, we will publish a high quality, deluxe GM Screen with Johan Egerkrans’ art on the outside and useful tables on the inside. This physical stretch goal will be included in the TROLL reward level and above.
The mystery “Silver of the Sea” written by Tomas Härenstam. Welcome to Wrecker Isle, a godforsaken island brimming with debauchery and criminality. The player characters are asked to investigate the vile murder of a local priest and are soon pulled into a web of intrigue. This digital stretch goal will be included in PDF format in the VAETTIR reward and above.
We will add a ninth playable archetype, the Vagabond. Never staying in one place, always on the lookout for the next shelter and food for the evening. The vagabond has seen more than most and know her way around the countryside. This stretch goal will be included in the core rulebook.
The mystery “The Night Sow” written by Nils Hintze. Welcome to Mölle by the sea, a picturesque small town popular with tourists from all over. But the player characters will get no rest here. A kidnapping and a grisly murder suggests that someone, or something is haunting the town. This digital stretch goal will be included in PDF format in the VAETTIR reward and above.
If we reach this goal, we will produce a new set of engraved custom dice specifically for Vaesen. One dice set (of ten dice) will be included in the TROLL reward level and above. Additional sets can be purchased as addons.
We will add the horrific mara to the bestiary in the core book.
A new playable archetype, the occultist has a special interest in the otherworldly that can come in handy while solving mysteries…
The mystery “A Song for the Falling Star” written by Kiku Pukk Härenstam. Travel east to a birthing nation to aid a young family in deep despair, and uncover the truth in the hollow of a falling star.
We will add the terrifying brook horse to the bestiary in the core book.
We will add a brief guide to the core book that will let you hack the game to play in other parts of the world. Solve mysteries in your home town, back in the day!
We will add a eternal classic, the elusive sea serpent, ruler of deep lakes, to the core book.
A handy book ribbon marker will be added to the core book.
We will add a streamlined system for rolling your life path and creating your backstory as you go along.
We will add the deadly nattramn to the bestiary in the core book.
We will compile all four bonus mysteries previously unlocked in this campaign and produce a printed book, “A Grim Secret & Other Mysteries”. This book will be included on TROLL level and above!
Below is a summary of what is included in the different pledge levels that you can choose between. As we unlock stretchgoals, the rewards will grow.
You can complete your pledge with additional products, at a discounted price. These will all ship alongside the Vaesen core rulebook. You can only order physical addons if you are a backer at level MYLING or above.
To buy an addon, click the “Manage My Pledge” button and increase your pledge manually with the total cost (in SEK) for all the addons you want. After this Kickstarter is over, there will be a pledge manager in which you can mark which addons you want. Please note that addons can incur additional shipping fees, paid in the pledge manager.
An additional copy of the Vaesen core book, including all unlocked printed stretch goals. Available in English or Swedish. PDF is included.
The book that started it all. Author and illustrator Johan Egerkrans presents what he regards as the most important – and most fascinating – Scandinavian folkloric beings. This richly illustrated, well-informed collection, a bestseller in Swedish, is now available in English for an international audience. You can choose to get it in Swedish or English.
Three different posters to choose from. Printed on high quality paper in 70×100 cm. Shipping will be added later.
A beautiful set of custom dice, especially made for Vaesen.
In this award-winning RPG set in the amazing world of Simon Stålenhag’s Tales from the Loop, you’ll play teenagers solving mysteries in the vein of E.T. and Stranger Things. 192-page hardback book. Available in English or Swedish. A complete PDF is included.
Return to the Loop in this standalone sequel to the award-winning Tales from the Loop RPG and continue the story into the 1990s. This time you can die. 216-page hardback book. Available in English or Swedish. A complete PDF is included.
An copy of the multiple award-winning Forbidden Lands core boxed set, English second printing. The Swedish first printing is also available. PDF is included.
In the award-winning post-apocalyptic Mutant: Year Zero RPG, you play as one of The People – heavily mutated humans living in The Ark, a small and isolated settlement in a sea of chaos. Available in English or Swedish. 272-page hardback book. A complete PDF is included.
Arabian Nights in space. Coriolis: The Third Horizon, awarded the ENnies Judges’ Spotlight 2017, is a science fiction role playing game set in a remote cluster of star systems. Available in English or Swedish. 384-page hardback book. A complete PDF is included.
Explore the vast Forest of Davokar in the hunt for treasures, lost wisdoms and fame. But whatever you do, never ignore the warnings spoken by the wardens of the forest: tread carefully and do not disturb the ruins of old, for the dark deep of Davokar is about to awaken. Available in English or Swedish. 240-page hardback book. A complete PDF is included.
Five-time Gold ENnie-award winner! In this award-winning RPG set in the amazing world of Simon Stålenhag’s Tales from the Loop, you’ll play teenagers solving mysteries in the vein of E.T. and Stranger Things. Available in English or Swedish. 192-page hardback book. FREE SHIPPING to the EU, UK and North America. For retailers only!
Return to the Loop in this standalone sequel to the award-winning Tales from the Loop RPG and continue the story into the 1990s. But remember – this time you can die. 216-page hardback book. Available in English or Swedish. FREE SHIPPING to the EU, UK and North America. For retailers only!
Five copies of the Forbidden Lands core boxed set, second printing. Available in English or Swedish. FREE SHIPPING to the EU, UK and North America. For retailers only!
In the award-winning post-apocalyptic Mutant: Year Zero RPG, you play as one of The People – heavily mutated humans living in The Ark, a small and isolated settlement in a sea of chaos. The outside world is unknown to you, and so is your origin. Available in English or Swedish. 272-page hardback book. FREE SHIPPING to the EU, UK and North America. For retailers only!
Arabian Nights in space. Coriolis: The Third Horizon, awarded the ENnies Judges’ Spotlight 2017, is a science fiction role playing game set in a remote cluster of star systems called The Third Horizon. 384-page hardback book. Available in English or Swedish. FREE SHIPPING to the EU, UK and North America. For retailers only!
Explore the vast Forest of Davokar in the hunt for treasures, lost wisdoms and fame. But whatever you do, never ignore the warnings spoken by the wardens of the forest: tread carefully and do not disturb the ruins of old, for the dark deep of Davokar is about to awaken. 240-page hardback book. Available in English or Swedish. FREE SHIPPING to the EU, UK and North America. For retailers only!
We will be charging shipping after the Kickstarter concludes, based on the actual costs incurred to ship your particular pledge and choice of addons. We will collect this via our Pledge Manager after the campaign ends. This is so we can be fair to all our backers as shipping is rarely one size fits all.
Here is a list of rough shipping estimates:
Unfortunately, import laws and customs in some specific countries have made it impossible for us to ship to them. We do not ship to: Belarus, Brazil, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan.
RETAILERS: Please note that we offer retailers free shipping to the EU, UK and North America.
Author and illustrator Johan Egerkrans published the Swedish book Nordiska väsen in 2013 and it became an overnight success. Selling out multiple print runs and quickly becoming a modern Swedish classic, the book was published in English as Vaesen in 2017. His other books include the critically acclaimed De odöda (The Undead) and Nordiska gudar (Norse Gods). An avid movie buff, miniature painter and gamer. Johan lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden.
During his twelve years as a game writer, Nils Hintze has written a great number of scenarios, articles and reviews, as well as being the main author of critically praised and award winning Tales from the Loop and Things from the Flood roleplaying games. Previously he has written plays for theatre groups.
Nils is known for his ability to create scenarios which allow the players to explore their characters and their relationships while facing dangers and solving mysteries. The conflicts in his games are often built on personal dilemmas, where thrill and mystery is not seldom mixed with humor.
Nils is educated in creative writing, but he normally works as a psychologist. Nils is also one of the three creators of the Swedish role-playing podcast Podcon
Free League Publishing is the international name of Swedish game and book publisher Fria Ligan AB. Since 2011 we have produced a range of pen and paper RPG’s, and have won several awards in the process.
Our first international game, Mutant: Year Zero, co-published with Modiphius Entertainment, was awarded a Silver ENnie for Best Rules at Gencon 2015. In 2017 Tales from the Loop won five Gold ENnies (including Best Game and Product of the Year) as well as three Golden Geek awards. We have also created and published Coriolis – The Third Horizon (2017) and Forbidden Lands (2018) winner of four ENnies in 2019 and Things from the Flood (2019).
Our Kickstarter fulfillment and shipping is handled by GamesQuest in the UK and Flat River Group in the US.
Join us on Facebook at facebook.com/frialigan!
We have done many successful kickstarters and have solid experience in the field. The text of Vaesen is written and translated and layout is underway. What we need to do now is finishing the layout, printing and shipping.