The Steel Road ~ Exotic weapons from around the world

Illustration by: Zachary Viola

The Steel Road is a source book of fifty exotic weapons from around the world.  This book is illustrated in sketchbook style, in keeping with its theme.  The Steel Road is presented as the sketchbook of a (fictional) traveling weapons merchant.  It contains game play data, illustrations, and details on enchanted "legendary" versions for each of the fifty weapons described. Each weapon is illustrated for both versions.  Yes, that means there are 100 weapon illustrations! This book is a fantastic resource for your 5th Edition role playing game campaigns.

The Steel Road has been illustrated by the remarkably talented Zachary Viola. As you see here, the sketch book style allows for an authentic look, appropriate to a fantasy period of medieval times.  

Note:  Art samples below are from current draft of the book.  Grammatical/spelling edits are forthcoming.


Art by: Zachary Viola


Eastern Europe




A KickStarter Campaign is being launched to help fund the production costs of this fine book.  At this time we are expecting to launch that campaign on May 24th,  2018 at 7:00 PM EST.  You can follow me (W.S. Quinton) on KickStarter to see the launch announcement in your feed there.

Updates will be posted at the bottom of the page as they occur.

Some things I am announcing about the KickStarter campaign:

1)  A lot of thought went into making this campaign a great value for backers, without having to ask for huge pledges.  So I decided to facilitate the bulk of the rewards through PDF and POD codes through, to curtail shipping costs and reduce extraneous expenses.

2)  I also thought on how to create a really great opportunity for all of you who have followed me on my blogs and other social media.  By the way, thanks for that, it means a great deal that people actual read what I write, and I enjoy the comments and questions people send to me.  I implemented an "early backer reward tier" with the idea that those people who have been with me on my adventure in self-publishing, writing, and game design would have the inside scoop on the best deal I could put together. {Really anyone can pledge at that level, but I thought it was a good way to get the best value out there for all your support.}

 Seriously, its pretty sweet if I say so myself.  So, for the first 72 hours there will be an early backer tier running that grant backers PDF and POD codes for only $8. I also decided, "why the hell not" and made the tier eligible for the stretch goals and social goal perks (so it means that if we reach our first stretch goal those tiers get an additional POD code for hard cover copy in addition to the soft cover POD code and if we meet the social goal then you also get a POD code for a Kickstarter backer only hard cover edition).  This will let Backers pick up as many as three physical copies,  paying the print cost plus shipping by pledging only $8!  So yeah, I think its a pretty good deal.  Added to that is the final stretch goal where we add in NPC specs for the weapon merchant caravan and it'll be a real looting.

Early Backers:  Come on out on launch day and take advantage of a $8 backer tier!

If you miss the early backer tier, you'll find the normal backer tiers are a great value

3) I have a personal goal I would like to reach for this campaign, something I've never come close to reaching yet. I hope to reach a total of 1000 backers (or more).  I would love to be able to say "One thousand people have my weapon source book".  Something about that just sets my blood on fire a bit.  1000 people would be simply tremendous, and its something I know I will need a LOT of help with!  So once you're done reading this, please do give it a +1 with the button, and share it to social media to help spread the word.  Share with friends, family, and gamer groups to help us reach this social goal.  The more people who know about this book the better.

4) Signed copies and high-end baker rewards:  I am making a limited number of signed copies available for backers as well as a handful of high end backer rewards to keep things interesting.  You'll need to check out the Kickstarter campaign once it launches to get any more data on that... I want people to be excited to see the campaign


What about the money you make (if any) from the Kickstarter?

I'm in the business of producing books, so what little money I have made from funded kickstarters to date has gone into bonuses for the artists and for expenses relating to operations and coming projects.  Truthfully, much of Sinopa Publishing LLC's costs have been funded out of my pocket so far.  Being in business means I need to generate operating cash for future products (basic business principle, so if you're just starting out remember this).  Any extra money I earn on this project is going into 47 Furious Tails and Whispers of Persephone.  I desperately want to see my first comic book in print, and 47 Furious Tails is something I'm very proud of.  Whispers of Persephone is shaping up nicely and is deeply dark stuff that I think people are going to really enjoy (unless the gm is using this material against you!).

I'll be updating this page leading up to the KickStarter launch.  I'll revise it upon completion of the campaign, to act as the product page with the backer credits and such included.  Your comments will remain, and I'll leave this material in place so that anyone looking to develop their own book or launch their own kickstarter campaign will have the benefit of this record.

Thank you for your support!

Update Number One:  05.13.2018

Today I am releasing a look at the early version of the formatted introduction to The Steel Road.
I hope you are as excited as I am about this coming book!
Remember the KickStarter campaign is starting later this month (official launch date will be announced one the proof copies for the current draft are in hand, so a few days from now).

Enjoy, and please do help spread the word by sharing this page around

From the introduction section in "The Steel Road"
Copyright (c) 2018 by W.S. Quinton


Update Number Two:  05.15.2018  

Art by: Zachary Viola
(early draft version ~ text and grammar edits are forthcoming)

Okay everyone, this update is released to answer a few common questions that have come up with regards to The Steel Road.

Question: What is the rarity of the "Legendary" enchanted versions of the weapons described?

Answer:  Each legendary weapon is unique, one of a kind.  These weapons are the kind you'll want to quest for!


Question:  Do the "Legendary" weapons have their own illustrations or do they just use the art for the mundane version?

Answer:  Each legendary weapon is uniquely illustrated.  We have Zack Viola to thank for that.


Question: Will a Pathfinder compatible version be released?

Answer:  We plan on developing a Pathfinder compatible edition after the new edition of Pathfinder is released.  We had initially planned on releasing a Pathfinder version along side the 5E version, but once the new version of Pathfinder was announced it was decided to wait for that new system release in the interest of book longevity.


Question:  What game mechanic is this RPG book for?

Answer:  This book is released under the Open Game License as provided for under the System Reference Document version 5.1.   Which is to say, this book is designed for use with the 5th Edition rule set of the world's most popular tabletop role playing game.

I know that seems like a long answer, but its the best way I know to stay compliant with the SRD.


Question:  How far along is book development?

Answer:  All art is done.  I am presently formatting the text into the book and expect to be done or nearly so when the KickStarter campaign launches, and will certainly be complete before the campaign concludes.  I am having the book looked at by a group of play testers I utilize to double check against any game problems.  In short, the book is in the final stages of  assembly.


Question: When will I get my book if I back the KickStarter?

Answer:  Fulfillment is planned to be completed by end of August 2018.  As we are fulfilling through PDF and Print on Demand codes (with a few higher level tiers... see the KickStarter campaign for those details), I expect the process to go very smoothly.

(Edited: Originally fulfillment was slotted by end of July, but the addition of two stretch goals made it advisable to expand that deadline.)


That's it for this update today.  I do hope you'll post your questions below (most of the questions I've received so far have come through Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and that's fine too).


Update Number Three: 05.18.2018
Art by: Zack Viola
Early draft capture:  grammar and spelling edits are forthcoming

Firstly, thank you all for your messages, comments, and questions!   This has been the most interest I've seen in a project to date.

During the few days since the May 15th update, I've received a lot of suggestions for stretch goals people would like to see.  I've also had the KickStarter previewed by some people to see how I might improve it, and bring the best value I could.

I'm adding two more stretch goals to the campaign.  These are easy to fulfill but add real value as they are going straight into the book.

Stretch Goals:

With the expanded stretch goals, I've also expanded the campaign itself to be a total of 28 days.  With additional content going into the book, I'm also pushing the fulfillment back to August of 2018 in order to accommodate the additional art Zack will produce should we reach these stretch goals.

As of this update, there are now six (6) days remaining before the launch of the campaign.

I hope you'll support the KickStarter campaign as well as share this information with others to help us reach our funding and social goals.  You can share this post using the buttons below to help gamers everywhere join this campaign.


Update Number Four: 05.23.2018 

Things have been busy as we approach the launch date.  Its hard to imagine that after almost a year of work, the KickStarter campaign is launching tomorrow.

I've updated the art examples from the working draft of the book (that being the draft I'm formatting text into).  You may have noticed some shadows around the art in previous releases.  We've been working to clear that up and it seems we've final corrected the issue that was causing the problem.

Art by Zack Viola
Working draft ~ spelling and grammar edits are forthcoming

Last night I made corrections to every weapon image to address this issue.  We're keeping a close eye on it to insure that the book is of the highest quality.

I want to thank James Lee (art director) for tackling this problem and Zack Viola for working long hours pouring over files to help identify and address the problem.  You two are awesome!

(Note: the page has been updated to reflect the changes made as of this update.)

Update Number Five: 06.08.2018    

The first two weeks of the KickStarter campaign are now behind us and as of this writing we have 154 backers and are funded past our first stretch goal. 

Several backers have contributed suggestions to help the campaign reach its stretch goals.  I've reached out to people and organizations that have been referred to me and I'll definitely be doing so with regard to Whispers of Persephone and other projects.  This just goes to prove that even after doing this for a year, you can still make simple mistakes that make a big difference.

Correcting the art issue was wonderful.  Formatting the text into the corrected pages is coming along nicely.  This weekend I hope to have all of the text formatting done within the next week.  Presently, I plan to then send the file to Pat for edits, and to upload that raw file to DrivethruRPG so I can order a proof copy.

The need for a proof copy, is to check how the images are printing, and to check the visibility/clarity of the text against the background.  I also plan to show this proof on video for the backers, and if it's in hand before the campaign ends I'll use it to promote the campaign as well. 

This has been a terrifically exciting campaign, surpassing my previous RPG campaigns in both the number of backers (to date) and the funding amount.  Zack and I continue to promote the campaign in our efforts to reach the next stretch goal at $10,000.   I've learned a lot during this campaign about what the backers are looking for in coming projects.  I recommend to any of you who are considering launching your own creator-owned project, that you spend time communicating with your audience to discover the same.  What you learn may surprise you, and could definitely be to your benefit.

Thank you all!

The Steel Road is copyright(c) 2018 by W.S. Quinton and is published by Sinopa Publishing LLC

Art used in the The Steel Road is copyright of Zachary Viola  (copyright (c) 2017 and 2018)

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