Wayfaring Strange

Wayfaring Strange

A tabletop roleplaying game about folk magic, urban legends, hidden highways and survival in liminal America
$12,100 🎉
of $4,500 (USD) goal
Project Ended
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Welcome, Wayfarer!

Wayfaring Strange is a diceless tabletop roleplaying game about hidden highways, folk magic, urban legends, and the concept of liminality in America. The characters who populate the world of Wayfaring Strange have fallen between the cracks of society, often unseen because the rest of the world chooses to ignore their existence. These Wayfarers have formed transient communities that depend on one another for survival.

America is ripe with untold power; like a river or stream, there are places where it pools and directions that it flows. People have been tapping into these channels of power for centuries, and eventually someone thought to map US highway routes on top of them. Wayfarers using the Hidden Highways can bend distance and time, build Waystations that possess protective or healing properties, or use their Wayfaring abilities to track, hide or elude pursuit.

In Wayfaring Strange, you play one of these Wayfarers; traveling the Hidden Highways and coming in contact with the Strange, the magical and the otherworldly. If you're a fan of American Gods, Alice Isn't Dead, or Gravity Falls, then Wayfaring Strange might be the game for you....

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A Little Strange

The word Strange in Wayfaring Strange is capitalized for a reason. When we say something is Strange, we don’t just mean it’s weird; we mean it’s downright uncanny, unearthly, numinous or sublime. The Strange in Wayfaring Strange is a literal force that exists just beyond the boundaries of modern society, and is responsible for all of the odd and inexplicable things that lurk just beyond the corners of your vision. The Strange is also what gives rise to urban legends and folktales, and shapes those who live on the fringes of society, making them at once both more and less than they seem.

Characters in Wayfaring Strange have all had a brush with the Strange and have been changed by it—some moreso than others. Once you’ve seen into the darkest corners of reality, once the Strange itself has become a part of you, it’s hard to go back to a normal life. And of course, sometimes, the Strange has other plans....

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Strangeness & Charm

Wayfaring Strange uses an original tabletop roleplaying system called Strangeness & Charm. Because Strangeness & Charm is a diceless system, you won’t roll dice to complete your character’s actions. Instead you’ll use something called Wooden Nickels to buy or bid for successes, or you’ll expend something called Strangeness to do anything especially weird. 

Wooden Nickels are what players use to perform most of their characters’ actions in Wayfaring Strange, and they make up the backbone of both the in-game and out-of-game economy. Using Wooden Nickels, Wayfarers can do the impossible, make the mundane magical, and even shape miracles. Everyone and everything wants a taste of that power, so Wooden Nickels are the currency of the Wayfaring world. Wooden Nickels are used to power Routeworking Rituals, are ingredients in Talismongering Recipes, can be used as payment for services rendered, and so much more.

Strangeness, on the other hand, isn’t something most people seek. Sure, it powers Manifestations--those odd and inexplicable gifts of the equally esoteric force known as the Strange--but the more you use them, the more it changes you. All Wayfarers are a little bit Strange, but the more Strangeness someone has, the more they stand out as something preternatural. Some people accept the Strange’s gifts more willingly than others, and rumor has it that’s where creatures of urban legend like the Mothman or Jersey Devil come from.

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Drowning Moon Studios

Drowning Moon Studios is the tabletop roleplaying game publisher responsible for Praedormitium, Mage to Order and Follow Me Down. Company founder Joie Martin has been writing, designing and developing roleplaying games since 1996, and has produced content for ARGs, interactive theater, tabletop roleplaying games, live action roleplaying games, and charity events. Joie has been a key speaker on panels about roleplaying game design at events such as DragonCon, MomoCon, and Metatopia, was Head Judge for the 2020 IGDN Indie Groundbreaker Awards and is the current sitting IGDN Secretary. Drowning Moon Studios has so far completed three successful crowdfunding campaigns for Mage to Order, Follow Me Down and Starkhollow Hall.

Find out more about Drowning Moon Studios here on our website!

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Rewards & Add-Ons

Print versions of the Wayfarer's Guilde, a fan of five 4.25x11 booklets with the Wayfaring Strange logo, a vintage blue, white and orange motel sign bearing the words "Wayfaring Strange" and "Vacancy," and an illustration of an orange VW van against a rocky backdrop.

The WAYFARER'S GUIDE is the core rulebook for Wayfaring Strange, and is available as both a PDF and a print 4.25 x 11, black and white booklet, with full color cover. An abbreviated "ashcan" version of the Wayfarer's Guide is currently available for free download from DriveThruRPG and itch.io. There are five other supplementary books that can bundled with the Wayfarer's Guide, or purchased individually as add-ons:

The TRAVEL GUIDE'S ATLAS is our GM's handbook, and provides instructions for planning adventures and campaigns set in the world of Wayfaring Strange.

The ROUTEWORKER'S ALMANAC is an in-depth guide to playing Routeworkers; characters who tap into the power of the Hidden Highways to cast spells and perform Rituals.

The TALISMONGER'S COOKBOOK is a guide to playing Talismongers; characters who create charms, Talismans, and other objects of power for Wayfarers to use along their journeys.

STRANGE CURRENCIES is an in-depth look at the Strange, its Apostles, and their Manifestations of power.

PITSTOPS & WAYSTATIONS digs deeper into the world of Wayfaring Strange, including a state-by-state guide to landmarks, urban legends, and potential encounters to use in your game.

Finally, you can purchase several add-ons, such as a custom set of ten WOODEN NICKELS or SEW-ON PATCH bearing the Wayfaring Strange logo, or a limited edition MAP OF THE US that details the Hidden Highways, prominent landmarks and local legends!

Pledge Levels

There are seven pledge levels to choose from when you back Wayfaring Strange:

$10 WAYFARER - Wayfarer's Guide PDF + Backer Attribution

$15 TALISMONGER - Wayfarer's Guide Booklet + PDF + Backer Attribution

*NEW!* $20 DIGITAL NOMAD - Wayfarer's Guide PDF + Travel Guide's Atlas PDF + Backer Attribution

$30 ROUTEWORKER - Wayfarers Guide Booklet and PDF + Travel Guide's Atlas Booklet and PDF + Backer Attribution

*NEW!* $60 DIGITAL APOSTLE - Wayfarer's Guide PDF, Travel Guide's Atlas PDF, Routeworker's Almanac PDF, Talismonger's Cookbook PDF, Strange Currencies PDF, and Pitstops & Waystations PDF + Backer Attribution

$90 APOSTLE - Wayfarer's Guide, Travel Guide's Atlas, Routworker's Almanac, Talismonger's Cookbook, Strange Currencies, and Pitstops & Waystations Booklets + All PDFs + Backer Attribution

$135 URBAN LEGEND - Wayfarer's Guide, Travel Guide's Atlas, Routeworker's Almanac, Talismonger's Cookbook, Strange Currencies, Pitstops & Waystations Booklets, + All PDFs + Wayfaring Strange Logo Patch + Wooden Nickel Set + Hidden Highways Roadmap + Backer Attribution

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Stretch Goals

$10K - PDF Adventure Unlocked!
If we reach $10,000, all backers will receive a free PDF of To Cast A Lonesome Shadow, a Wayfaring Strange adventure!

$20K - PDF Character Sheets
At $20,000, all backers will receive fillable PDF character sheets to use in their games!

$30K - Audiodrama Podcast
At $30,000, Drowning Moon Studios will record and produce a ten-episode fiction podcast set in the world of Wayfaring Strange!

$40K - LARP Rules
At $40,000, we'll release a live action roleplaying version of the Strangeness & Charm rules, so you can take your game to the streets!

$50K - Interactive Game
At $50,000, we'll produce a live action, interactive game set in the world of Wayfaring Strange!

A black and white illustration of a buffalo wooden nickel against a scarred and chipped background.


Estimated Shipping

Shipping is not included in your pledge and will be charged in Backerkit after the campaign ends! In an attempt to keep shipping costs low, print books without physical add-ons will ship as media mail to US backers. International backers, and US backers that include the wooden nickel set, patch or map print will receive their rewards via USPS First Class shipping, based on individual package weight.

Please be aware that shipping can be quite expensive for international backers! We have listed approximate shipping fees below, but these may change between now and the distribution of physical rewards. Once again, you will not be charged shipping until after the campaign ends and rewards are ready to ship!

Estimated Shipping Rates:
  • United States: $6 (Books Only)
  • United States: $12 (Including the Wooden Nickel Set, Sew-on Patch, and/or Hidden Highways Map Print)
  • Canada & Mexico: $21
  • United Kingdom: $26
  • Australia & New Zealand: $29
  • Everywhere Else: $29

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As mentioned above, the majority of the Wayfarer's Guide is complete, and you can download a free copy of the Wayfaring Strange Ashcan to see the game in its current form. Drowning Moon Studios has successfully completed multiple crowdfunding campaigns, so we don't expect significant difficulty in completing this one. We estimate that all rewards should be fulfilled within 18 months from the end of this campaign.

We are aware of continuing supply-chain issues but, per usual, we intend to print in the continental US, which reduces the amount of time it will take for the books to arrive. We have chosen to charge shipping in Backerkit after the campaign ends, and closer to the time rewards will ship, to give backers the best shipping rates we can offer.
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