What’s Changed Since the Start of the Campaign?

Its nearly the begining of the end of the Tales of the Sorcerer Under the Mountain Kickstarter campaign, which enters its last 48 hours in a couple of hours, so its time take stock and see what has funded.

As well as the basic goal, five stretch goals have been funded, including two new adventure modules (Fires from the Deep & The Curse of the Emerald Swan). Finally, we are currently funding The Jungles of Ruin by Guy Milner, which will very likely fund in the last days of the campaign.

+ Community Extras have been added as we gained backers, which give in total an extra 40-45 pages of content to each backer.

  • 4 Sunday Dungeons (one-page adventures) in pdf form.
  • 9 Monsters are People pdfs. We will likely reach the 10th pdf at 240 backers, at which point it will the individual pdfs will be collected into a single pdf which will be available in POD.

+ Two new Rewards.

  • Shield Bearer Pledge Levels for those people who want me to send them the OSR Rulebook and/or 5th Edition adventure to them directly.
  • Sorcerer Under the Mountain Pledge Level. A high tier backer reward for people who want signed copies of everything the campaign produces in print, signed by the author and sent to them directly (4 of 5 remaining).

Oh and Jon Hodgson did this cover for Fires from the Deep

Five Questions about the Curse of the Emerald Swan

The next stretch goal that we are funding on the Tales From the Sorcerer Under the Mountain is Neil Shaw’s The Curse of the Emerald Swan adventure for both 5th Edition and OSR rulesets.

This is Neil’s basic description:

A mysterious mist shroud gallon has come into port at night and is blocking vessels leaving the narrow harbour. Brave fishermen have tried to approach and those who did flee from the mournful wailing they heard as they approached, never returned. Now the mayor is worried that if his fishing fleet cannot sail his town is wither and die.

Your group of brave adventures have been hired to board the cursed ship, brave its sinister inhabitants and finally discover the ships purpose and reason for being here.

So like Paul Mitchener before him, I asked him five questions about his adventure:

Q1. What influences are you drawing on for this adventure?

For me I tend to work off one set piece or idea and use that a skeleton and work out from there. In this case oddly the core idea came from Terry Pratchett’s Sorcery which to the best of my recollection doesn’t contain any boats, haunted or otherwise.  Beyond that I tend to expand outwards from there until I have a story. When it comes to naval things in general I tend to fall back on Master and Commander as it gives me a good understanding of life on an old navy vessel and I find it a highly enjoyable film, always worth another watch.

Q2. Which flavour of FRP do you favour, Old School or New School?

I enjoy new school more as some of the creative minds out there are taking the rules light history they came from and adds to them without adding too much or making the game a quagmire of optional books that in reality are essential. I find that D&D5e captures the feel and spirit of old school D&D while addressing its short comings very well.

Q3. Your description gives the adventure an air of mystery. Is this a mystery adventure, with an investigation at its heart. Or is there more to it than that?

There is a mystery as to why the Emerald Swan has come to roost in this small harbour and how it came to be the creepy mist shrouded terror it has become. For those willing to piece the clues together it is possible to answer these questions and more. However don’t expect a run of the mill haunted boat, this is something more.

Q4. What sort of foes will the adventurers meet?

Without spoiling too much there’s ghoulish bilge rats, an undead cook, and some giants, that last one may seem out of place but that is part of the mystery.

Q5. Maximum Game Fun or Logical Fantastic Realism?

I see it on a sliding scale with the baseline being a simple down to earth medieval setting. I want players to be able to visit a town, city or village and feel like it makes sense, at least initially. This grounding is essential for the outlandish and crazy things a group of adventures will encounter when they go into that part of the map that is blank or says “here be dragons”. Once the adventure is in full swing I want the players to expect the rug to be pulled out from under them and have a great time. At no point should an adventurer see a beholder floating towards them and think “well this is normal”.

If that sounds fun to you, go back the Tales From the Sorcerer Under the Mountain Kickstarter, where its available as one of the funded stretch goals 🙂

Five Questions about Fires From the Deep

Fires From the Deep cover by Jon Hodgson

Fires From the Deep cover by Jon Hodgson

Fires from the Deep is a standalone adventure for both OSR and 5th Edition rulesets, by long time D101 contributor Paul Mitchener (OpenQuest/Cruicible of Dragons/Hunters of Alexandria). Its one of three adventures which are up for grabs as part of the Tales from the Sorcerer Under the Mountain Kickstarter, and has already funded. Here’s Paul’s pitch for it.

Something came from the underworld in a jet of hellfire. Something unique and valuable. More than one group seeks to retrieve it. Naturally, the player characters are one such group. A dangerous wilderness trek with an uncertain goal, and all sorts of room for complications, but hey, the job pays well.

Currous to know a bit more beyond the basic descriptoin of the adventure? Me too, so I asked Paul five quick questions about it.

Q1. What influences are you drawing on for this adventure?

What I think of as “classic D&D” along with a splashing of Fritz Leiber, a dash of Michael Moorcock, and a touch of Tanith Lee. That should give you the tone.

Q2. Which flavour of FRP do you favour, Old School or New School?

I think I’m a hippy, though less so since my haircut. I don’t see the two as opposed; peace and love. I want characters to be important, but I don’t give two hoots about things like character optimisation. I want decisions to matter, and not just tactical decisions. I want exploration and playfulness. I want story to be what comes after the session rather than something pre-planned. When it comes down to it, I guess that’s sounding pretty old school.

Q3. Your description hints at something more, than the quest for the implied magic item that has come from below. Can you throw any light on this?

The “magic item” is not just an McGuffin- it’s the soul of the adventure. And not just in a “ooh, what a cool gizmo, and everyone wants it” way. Though everyone *does* as it happens, want it, without really knowing what it is.

Q4. What twists and turns does the adventure throw at the players ?

Spoilers! Seriously though, the characters won’t be alone in their pursuit of what came from below, and might have to fight even to get the job. As well as expected and unexpected dangers, there’s a moral dilemma at the heart of the adventure, and an open conclusion depending on what the player characters decide to do, not just whether or not they win.

Q5. Maximum Game Fun or Logical Fantastic Realism?

I don’t think the two are exclusive. Actions have consequences, and that’s an important part of my fun. I want adventures about people, not just situations. After all, even in a “standard” dungeon delve, for me things are all about the player characters, and how they react to danger, strangeness, and rewards. Not to mention solving problems creatively. That sounds like Maximum Game Fun to me!
If that sounds fun to you, go back the Tales From the Sorcerer Under the Mountain Kickstarter, where its available as one of the funded stretch goals 🙂

There will be Fires from Below!

Things are hotting up on the Tales from the Sorcerer Under Mountain Kickstarter, since Paul Mitchener’s adventure for OSR/5th Edition has now funded.

Something came from the underworld in a jet of hellfire. Something unique and valuable. More than one group seeks to retrieve it. Naturally, the player characters are one such group. A dangerous wilderness trek with an uncertain goal, and all sorts of room for complications, but hey, the job pays well.

Its available to all backers at no extra cost, and is the first of three adventures currently funding on the campaign.

Jon Hodgson is doing the covers for the adventures and has just sent me the final gorgeous wrap round cover for Fires From Below, of which this is a detail.

Tales from the Sorcerer Under the Mountain the Halfway Mark

We are halfway through the Tales from the Sorcerer Under the Mountain campaign.The base goals of the campaign are already funded. Two books, a concise version of Swords and Wizardry (A5 230+ pages) which contains the adventure of the title amongst other new content from me, and a standalone version of the adventure for 5th Edition.  Both these books funded on the first day and will be available to backers as soon as the campaign ends at the beginning of September.

We’ve funded an additional three stretch goals; a portfolio of pre-generated characters, an article about moving from the OSR to 5th as a DM, and a one on one adventure for 1st level characters for both S&W and 5th Edition.

Now we are boldly  funding three additional exciting adventure books, by British authors Guy Milner, Paul Mitchener, and Neil Shaw. At time of writing the first of these is but £50 pounds away from its funding goal.

Backers will also get access to community extras, which are funding as we get extra backers. Monsters are People Too, which is a series of fully-formed monster NPCs, and Sunday Dungeons, which are one-page dungeons.

If you’ve looked at the campaign before but were put off by the fact that the books are being delivered by via drivethrurpg.com as at cost POD coupons, I’ve now added a series of pledge levels that mean you can get the books sent directly from me (just look for the Shield Bearer rewards).

Finally, you can use the campaign’s add-ons as a chance to get hold of a large part of D101’s back catalogue very cheaply at Summer Sale prices.

Tales of the Sorcerer Under the Mountain KS launches tommorrow

The Tales of the Sorcerer Under the Mountain launches tomorrow, you can read more about this OSR Rulebook + 5th Edition adventure in this previous post.

A couple of weeks ago I got the map for the adventure from the uber-talented Glynn Seal of Monkey Blood Design fame. There’s a reason why he’s an award-wining cartographer 🙂

 

 

Shadow Over Dunsmore Point Kickstarter

I’m backing John Davis’ latest adventure Shadow Over Dunsmore Point.

This time he’s mixing up the Cthulhu Mythos with early TSR modules. To quote the man himself:

It pays homage to early 1st edition modules such as Sinister Secret of the Saltmarsh and Against the Cult of the Reptile God. It also draws inspiration from 1980s  adventures as featured in Tortured Souls, Imagine and White Dwarf Magazine, as well as the Call of Cthulhu novella and other Lovecraftian tales

I’ve yet to dip my toe in 5th Ed properly, but I find John’s adventures, with their distinctive  Jonny Gray art more inspiring than the official WoTC offerings.

He’s got a good clear funding model and delivers quality every time. So I’m in again.

The Shadow Over Dunsmore Point by Jonny Gray

 

Something mysterious is happening on Furlong Down

I nearly missed this one due to being on holiday,  but John R. Davis is Kickstarting his latest 5ed adventure module, The Mysterious Happenings on Furlong Down, to pay for art by the extremely talented Jonny Gray as well as a bit of editing. It’s already met its modest goal and is now racking up the stretch goals.

John has a proven record of delivering Kickstarters, having done previously done two other 5ed/OSR modules (linked to in the Kickstarter description).  I can personally recommend this.

More info from the Kickstarter page.

The Mysterious Happenings at Furlong Down is an adventure landscape (mini campaign) for use with 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons. It pays homage to early 1st edition modules such as Bone Hill, Sinister Secret of the Saltmarsh and Against the Cult of the Reptile God. It also draws specific inspiration from the following 1980s small press publications: Starstone by Paul Vernon & the Adventures in Tortured Souls Magazine.

There are at least 20 quests / plots / mysteries to resolve. There is plenty for the PC’s to do.

This Kickstarter is to raise funds to pay for editing and to add as much art, from the most excellent Jonny Gray,  as possible. Some draft illustrations are shown.

This publication will contain:

  • A rural village to investigate, and save?
  • 20 wilderness encounters to overcome.
  • 10 site based adventure areas (with 11 maps), containing about a 100 dungeon ‘rooms’.
  • A random encounter table for the various terrains.
  • A table of rumour, worry and gossip.
  • A map for Hexploration outlining the ranges of the many foul, and fair, creatures that roam the land.
  • Total 32-36 page count PDF in two column format. Size 11 font. Approximately 20,000 words.
  • Access to an at cost Print On Demand.