Born From Ice: Press Kit

Born From Ice is a new 5e Stone Age setting and epic adventure path, presented in three new books.

Quick Fact Sheet

What is Born from Ice?

Announcing the Kickstarter launch of Born from Ice: Stone Age Role-Playing, an innovative adaptation of the 5th Edition role-playing system set in a prehistoric world. This groundbreaking project reinvents classic Dungeons & Dragons gameplay with a unique historical perspective, offering players a journey through the perils and wonders of a world emerging from its icy slumber.

Unique Features of Born from Ice:
  • 5e Without Magic: While the people in the Born from Ice setting believe in magic, magic game mechanics and systems have been removed, replaced instead by a focus on human ingenuity and survival. This has been done to better emulate the real world prehistoric nature of the setting. To achieve this, classes, subclasses, feats, and game rules have been thoroughly reworked to fit the historical setting.

  • 6 New Classes Based on Primary Attributes: The game introduces six brand new classes built from the ground up around the Primary Attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma). Coupled with the all new Totem Path system (a reworking of subclasses), these new classes are specifically designed to work in a world without magic: prehistoric Earth.

  • Historical Accuracy and Scope: Dedicated to presenting a scientifically-informed view of prehistory, the game draws on the most recent research available in the fields of archaeology, anthropology, geology, paleontology, and other disciplines to span the last 70,000 years of the Ice Age, providing detailed information and ideas to enable campaigns and adventures on any continent or location where Homo sapiens were present.

  • Inclusivity and Authenticity: Avoiding clichés and stereotypes, the game celebrates the earliest days of humanity and the challenges and triumphs that our ancestors experienced, which still shape humanity today. To that end, the game embraces (and is committed to) a respectful portrayal of indigenous cultures, gender, and sexuality, as well as eschewing outdated 'caveman' tropes.

  • Enhanced Exploration and Survival: With the removal of magic, exploration and survival become much larger aspects of the game. While core 5e can sometimes underutilize these areas of play, Born from Ice places significant focus on them, with specific new mechanics that enrich these pillars of the role-playing experience.
ImageBorn from Ice Player's Guide Playtest - Free Download Coming SoonBorn from Ice Playtest 1 Adventure - Free Download

About Loren Small and Small Cog Creative:

Loren Small, founder of Small Cog Creative, brings his dual expertise in film and role-playing games to Born from Ice. With over two decades of experience in narrative development and a proven track record in creating immersive RPG experiences, Loren's transition into the world of game design is marked by this ambitious project. Small Cog Creative, a new tabletop role-playing game company, is proud to present Born from Ice as their first product.

The Born from Ice Trilogy

The world of Born from Ice is presented in three new books:

Core Book

The complete guide for Game Masters, filled with setting information, new monsters, environmental challenges, and a comprehensive Session 0 guide.

  • Epic Stone Age Setting Guide
  • New Prehistoric Monsters
  • New Bloodied Effect for Monsters
  • Environmental Challenges
  • New Rules, Tables, and Charts
  • All Content from the Player’s Guide
  • Session 0 Guide
  • Adventure Building Tools

Player's Guide

A concise, spoiler-free manual providing essential information for players, including new classes, totem paths, feats, and crafting techniques.

  • 6 Classes
  • 15+ Totem Paths (Subclasses)
  • 20+ Backgrounds
  • 30+ Feats
  • Equipment Guide
  • Crafting: Herbalism and Poisoncraft
  • Species: Homo sapiens
  • World and History Primer

Adventure Path

An epic, generation-spanning campaign optimized for 4-5 players, featuring a branching narrative where choices genuinely impact the game world.

  • Level 1-20 Campaign
  • Optimized for 4-5 Players
  • Branching Narrative
  • Generational Play
  • Grow and Shape Your Tribe
  • Player Choices Matter

Born From Ice: Core Book


Everything a Game Master or Player needs to fully understand the setting and play the game. Contains GM specific content.

An Epic, Research Based Setting

The Core Book describes the Paleolithic world in detail. Based on the current understanding of human origins, the Core Book lays out the history of humanity on Earth, with a focus on the end of the last Ice Age about 12,000 years ago. It details geographic and human migratory patterns on multiple continents, so you can place your tribe anywhere you would like in the world.

The Core Book, built on the 5e engine, presents new rules tailored for a raw, survivalist setting, all anchored by historically-inspired tables and charts. Plus, sink your teeth into setting-specific lore, drawn from anthropological studies and primordial tales, to enrich your narrative backdrop.

Prehistoric Bestiary

The Core Book boasts an expansive bestiary, teeming with terrifying creatures that roam the Paleolithic landscapes. Confront towering mammoths, elusive cave bears, and fearsome saber-toothed predators.

But the animal kingdom isn't your only concern. Face off against rival tribes, cunning hunters, and perhaps even ancient ancestors like the Neanderthals. These adversaries not only test players' combat skills but also their diplomacy, intelligence, and adaptability in a world where every encounter can reshape the story.

Dive into detailed profiles, behavioral patterns, and encounter tables, ensuring each confrontation feels fresh, dynamic, and deeply rooted in the era. This bestiary isn't just a list of foes—it's a journey into the heart of what made our ancient world so perilous and exhilarating.

Bloodied Effects

In Born from Ice, every encounter holds the potential for danger. The Core Book introduces the Bloodied Condition, a reflection of the raw, unyielding nature of prehistoric combat.

As creatures sustain significant wounds, they can unlock unique, potent abilities that reflect their primal instincts and desperation. From a cornered saber-toothed cat launching a ferocious last stand to a Neanderthal chieftain rallying his tribe with renewed vigor, the Bloodied effects add an unpredictable layer of strategy to every skirmish.

Every creature in our bestiary comes with distinct Bloodied effects, ensuring dynamic combat scenarios that will keep players on the edge of their seats.

Environmental Challenges

The world itself can be as much an adversary as any creature, and the Core Book provides guidelines and tables for handling natural hazards. Blizzards, floods, wildfires, and droughts can change the landscape and the course of any adventure. Navigating these challenges requires strategy and could lead to new discoveries or drastic shifts in the tribe's dynamics.

The Core Book's new rules, centered on survival and exploration, immerse players in the unpredictable Paleolithic world, and equips Game Masters with comprehensive tools for crafting dynamic adventures. Players must rely on their survival instincts and adaptability to navigate and thrive in the ever-changing environment. Each adventure in Born from Ice is not just a quest, but a rigorous test of endurance and wit in a magnificent, unforgiving world.

 Session 0 Guide

Session 0 is often considered the foundation of a successful tabletop role-playing game campaign. It's a collaborative time where everyone discusses game expectations, character creation, world-building, and establishes the ground rules to ensure a seamless and enjoyable gameplay experience for everyone involved.

Stepping back in time to a prehistoric world without magic might be a significant shift for many RPG players. That's why our dedicated Session 0 guide is essential. It ensures your players transition smoothly into the primal setting, with lots of guidance and support on how to prepare your gaming table to play Born from Ice.

Also included is a comprehensive guide on crafting prehistoric adventures. Whether it's a hunt that goes awry, a tribal dispute, or an exploration into uncharted lands, you're equipped with adventure building tools to better weave thrilling sagas of survival, discovery, and kinship.

Adventure Building Tools

Whether you're a seasoned Game Master or new to the realm of tabletop RPGs, our comprehensive guide equips you with the tools needed to craft unique and compelling adventures.

Whether it's a hunt that goes awry, a tribal dispute, or an exploration into uncharted lands, our adventure building tools provide frameworks, prompts, and guidelines to help you weave thrilling sagas. They are designed to not just challenge players but also to highlight the themes of survival, discovery, and kinship that are at the heart of Born from Ice.

Born From Ice: Player's Guide


A smaller, spoiler-free book that is easy to hand to players. Contains everything a player needs to understand the setting, make characters, and play the game.

World and History Primer

A robust history and setting section ensures every player is armed with knowledge, explaining how characters in the Stone Age would understand and interact with their world.

Equipment Guide

Survival in the prehistoric era hinges on resourcefulness and the tools at one's disposal. The Equipment Guide in Born from Ice is a treasure trove of tools and weapons, steeped in authenticity. From bone-tipped spears and flint knives, to primitive shelters, this guide ensures your survival toolkit is as historically accurate as it is functional.

Crafting: Herbalism and Poisoncraft

Delve deep into the knowledge of ancient plants, harnessing their properties for healing or harnessing their toxins for more nefarious means. This section offers players a detailed system to create and use herbal concoctions and poisons, adding another layer of depth to the gameplay.

6 New Classes

Carve your niche in the prehistoric world with six meticulously crafted classes, each designed around a primary attribute. Whether you're drawn to the brute strength of the Mighty Champion, the nimbleness of the Quickfoot, the unmatched endurance of the Unbreakable Survivor, the tactical genius of the Strategist, the keen insights of the Intuitive Sage, or the charismatic charm of the Silver Tongue, there's a role tailored for every hero.

15+ Totem Paths (New Subclass System)

At 3rd level, each class chooses a Totem Path, offering unique abilities and gameplay twists. Unlike the standard subclass structure in 5e, Born from Ice grants the freedom for any class to adopt any Totem Path. Whether it's the Cave Bear's combat rage, the Owl's tactical prowess, or the Wolf's animal companion, these paths allow characters to refine their strengths and carve out a unique identity within their tribe.

Why 15+? Because the game is still in development, and we don't know the exact number yet.

20+ New Backgrounds and Dozens of New Feats

Every character has a past that shapes their motivations and worldview. Born from Ice introduces a diverse array of backgrounds to breathe life into these backstories. Are you a wise Storyteller, a revered Clan Leader, a stealthy Hunter, or perhaps a mysterious Outcast?

The game also introduces a range of new feats, each designed to fit the Stone Age setting. Feats are included in character leveling, allowing even more customization.

As the game finishes development, we'll be able to give an exact number of feats and backgrounds included.

Born From Ice: Adventure Path


An epic campaign with a story that spans generations.

An Epic Campaign

A level 1-20 campaign setting optimized for 4-5 players plays across the span of thousands of years. The choices characters make will create legends, artifacts, and oral histories that will grant generational bonuses and inspire their tribe... or lead it to ruin.

Ancestral Legacies

This unique storytelling mode leads players through the centuries of the campaign. As the ages and generations pass players assume the role of a descendant of their previous character, providing a chance to refine characters and select legacy traits to empower higher level play.

The Paleolithic World

The Earth of pre-history is a place of great danger. Natural disasters, wilderness survival, ferocious predators, exciting mammoth hunts, and shamanic magic all haunt the pages of these adventures.

Tribal Development

The adventures in this book lead to opportunities to help the tribe grow and thrive. New technology can be unlocked, leading to tangible benefits for players, as well as new storytelling options.

Branching Narrative

Choices that players make will directly impact the story. Higher tier adventures directly reflect earlier choices, leading to multiple outcomes and unique stories for every gaming table.