The Road to Hell is a Halloween themed adventure for early editions of D&D/OSR using the Swords and Wizardry ruleset.
The year is 1604 and a group of Elizabethan adventurers travel the road from the medieval city Chester to join the employ of Dr John Dee, the famous former court Astrologer know Warden of Christ’s Church College in Manchester. Little do they now that this journey that starts the night before Halloween is fated to be dangerous and full of the supernatural.
The Road to Hell, cover by Jon Hodgson
The From the Shroud #2 Kickstarter is nearly over, with less than 48 hours to go. Four stretch goals funded which include two additional a5 books (Crypts & Things Black Hacked and The Lost Lands of Grungamesh) and now we are funding a preview version of Paul Mitchener’s Beyond Dread Portals; an A5 version with adventure playable up to 5th Level. This is your chance for as low as £3 (the pdf level) to get a playable sneak peek of this game of fantastic multidimensional exploration.
Quick update about the From the Shroud Issue 2 ZineQuest Kickstarter.
The zine itself funded on day one, its maxed out size wise due to the successful funding of two stretch goals which add new monsters and strange locations to bring the page count up to about 60 pages
So I added a zine sized (A5 approx 40-50 page) version of Crypts and Things powered by The Black Hack, called Crypts and Things Black Hacked, and guess what?
That’s right, so all backers of the campaign (whose buy-in is as low as £3/$4 for the PDF) get a copy of C&T Black Hacked as well as the From the Shroud #2. That’s two for the price of one!!!
And soon it’s going to be three for the price of one, as we are now funding a stretch goal which gives a new Swords and Sorcery setting in A5 Zine Format for C&T, C&T Black Hacked and other OSR RPGs to all backers. The setting has a more Saturday Morning Cartoons feel than C&T’s default grimdark setting of Zarth, and its sandbox nature means its the ideal accompaniment for C&T Black Hacked.
Welcome to The Lost Lands of Grungamesh!
Note, you won’t be able to get this bundle of zines at this crazy low price once they go on general release. Crypts and Things Black Hacked and Lost Lands will be full priced individual items, and Intro the Shroud won’t even be available in print outside of this Kickstarter.
If you’ve not backed you’ve got 5 days at the time of writing to do so.
It gives me great pleasure to announce Into the Shroud #2, my irregular Crypts and Things fanzine is now live on Kickstarter as part of their ZineQuest,
This issue takes the form of a 48 pages A5 black and white booklet, with black and white art by Jonny Gray (whose Death Rider graces the cover) and Dan Barker.
The contents are as follows:
- My Dirty Little Secret. A quick table of dark secrets that player characters can have, and probably wish they hadn’t, at character generation.
- The Pie Makers of Peoplolis. An adventure location in the Zarth’s City of Beggars (although they may have a franchise near you).
- A Strange Thing Happened on the Way to the Ruins. An encounter table of weird and wonderful non-player characters to liven up otherwise dull and humdrum journeys.
- The Place of Dark Hooks. The old lair of a foul Court Torturer, whose riches and secrets are said to lie in its depths. A full Crypts and Things mini-module, usable with any early edition D&D game even, 5th Edition pretty much as written.
- All Hail the Death Riders. They are death from above with these flying undead warriors, a new monster for the game.
- Prince of Rona. A demonic Prince of an Other World, fit to become the character’s latest Nemesis.
- Varna’s Travelling Caravan. Neil Shaw details this group of travelling merchants who deal with the mysterious and harbour a dark secret.
Also available if you missed it the first time around is issue 1, in pdf and print. Note both issues won’t be available in print after the KS via my normal outlets.
Also, there’s a chance to get the main Crypts and Things rulebook and the released adventures at a deep discount as add-ons.
I’ve finished The Road to Hell, it’s currently undergoing a final check with its proofreader, and I anticipate it will be out later this week, early next week to backers.
If you missed the Kickstarter and want the chance to win a copy sign up to our new newsletter by Jan 31st and you’ll be entered into a draw. If you don’t fancy a copy of it, you can choose any of D101’s published books (including the two other books that are coming out very soon).
As a teaser here’s the back cover, art by Dan Barker.
So I finished layout work on the Road to Hell last night, all bar pouring over it and checking for typos and layout gaffs. In a way I’m sorry, It’s been the most fun I’ve had working on any of my books. Partially because I’ve got my head in a place where I’ve made that happen, partly because Lamentations of the Flame Princess is just damn well written and a ton of fun to play/write for, but also because of the ace folk who have worked with me on it – from the production crew (Jon Jonny Hodgson, Daniel Barker, Peter Town, Glynn Seal and last but not least Paul Mitchener), the Kickstarter backers who played the various KS promo-games (“name your cultist” and “mention it on social media and I’ll make you a werewolf” ) and the folk who have played it with me during the playtests.
If you missed the KS it’s going to pre-order soon, but I’ll leave you with one of Daniel Barker’s wonderful illustrations of Lord Nick Woulfe of Toft Hall (which is part of Nick Brooke’s prize for winning (along with Neil Benson) the “mention it on social media and I’ll make you a werewolf” KS promo-game).
Sir Nick Woulfe of Toft Hall, by Dan Barker
OK I’m gearing up to a tenth-anniversary version of OpenQuest in 2019, probably Kickstarting it over the summer.
Obviously, I’ve got my thoughts on what I’d like to change. I’ve got two approaches I could take which fall broadly between two extremes.
Approach 1. OpenQuest 2 tidied up. Minimal changes, another editorial pass/proof, all new art from the current stable of D101 Artists, reintroduce the Empire of Gatan overview that was taken out in the last version and release the book as an all in one inclusive rulebook. Emphasis on polish rather than big rules changes.
Approach 2. OpenQuest 3 a more radical revision of the rules and presentation. Spilt the current 8 by 11 inch 250+ page book into three 6 x 9-inch books: Book 1: Rules + Magic, Book 2 D100 World Builders (GM’s book) Book 3 Bestiary. Under this approach, OpenQuest Basics (the current free pdf/lo-cost 6×9 inch book) becomes a free artless Book 1 in pdf only. Rules would also get a good going over and it would be a proper new version, called OpenQuest 3 – where there would be big changes such as elimination ot the three approaches of magic.
I’m running this as a poll over at the OpenQuest forum over at BasicRoleplaying.org, so if you want to add your voice there visit this post.
So as well as voting for which approach would you favour, what would you want to see changed or sorted out in this version of OpenQuest?
Slowly recovering from the awesome that was The Road To Hell Kickstarter, and getting back to the more mundane housework and day-to-day stuff I have to catch up with.
One of the things that was Awesome about the KS is that I’ve wanted to play Lamentations of the Flame Princess for a good couple of years (5 or so?) and the playtesting of this scenario (which has had a couple of outings now and has an ongoing playtest at the moment to test last-minute encounter additions) gave that one a good going over on that front. I’ll post more about that later, I’m overdue an appreciation post about LoTFP.
Another thing that was awesome about the KS was the fact that it funded and then some, so I’ll be able to take my original idea, pay the artists, pay myself and deliver it in a short time scale.
And it’s a model I can use for adventure releases in the future as well. I’ve got another two adventures that follow up Road to Hell (which I’m calling the Jacobean Trilogy for reference) but I’m also thinking about doing something for Mythras, which I’ve also wanted to run for like forever. As I develop the ideas I have for it (in what I call the Fun Phase), I’ll blog about it here. Look out for the tag #makemineMythras.
In the next couple of days, I’ll be finishing off some writing/publishing stuff for Road to Hell to keep it on track for a December/January fulfilment. But I’ll also be getting back into Crypts and Things with the last writing for Under Dark Spires and issue 2 of The Shroud. I’m going to be running The Lost City of the God-Emperor at Grogmeet next Saturday, so nailing that one down is high on the list of priorities 🙂
I wasn’t going to post about The Road to Hell, seeing as it’s my Birthday. A day of eating sausages and hanging out with my dog was in order. But as went out to take out the bins, I noticed the full moon hanging in the sky, which got me thinking about Werewolves. I then logged on to check how the campaign is getting on and was pleasantly surprised to see we had hit 90%, which again got me thinking (blimey all this thinking before I’ve even had my morning coffee!)
If we hit 100% funded today, I will add an extra adventure encounter on the Road, which features these hairy heathens, called Hunter’s Moon (which is what October’s Full Moon is called over here in the UK, and comes from Anglo Saxon calendar when it was a time to slaughter and butcher livestock before winter).
Here’s the fun bit. If are an existing backer you help us reach fully funded by say spreading the word via social media, (how about “Werewolves are threatening to run amok on the Road to Hell Kickstarter ->https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/645319106/the-road-to-hell”) I will let you name one of the family of Werewolves that form the centrepiece of the encounter I will put in the adventure. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and if we get funded, now there is a greater chance that we’ll get the stretch goals when all those Watchers get their emails 48 hours before the campaign ends. So everyone’s a winner 🙂 But as they say, you have to be in it to win it!! Also, existing backers who upgrade their pledge or add the Treasure Chest of Crypts and Things add-on (see update 7) also qualify to name a Werewolf (arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroooooooo!!!)
If you haven’t backed yet and are following these updates, you’ve got an even simpler job of backing the campaign today, and if we fund today, I’ll give you the opportunity to name a werewolf.
Here’s a quick update on the Road to Hell Kickstarter, which closes on Tuesday 30th October, which at the time of writing stands at 79% funded.
A couple of big updates
Jon Hodgson has completed this amazing cover.
The Road to Hell cover by Jon Hodgson
And 2018 Golden ENnie award winner Glynn Seal has done this map of one of the adventure locations…
Map by Glynn Seal of Monkey Blood Design
Peter Town also provided another portrait for one of the pre-made characters, the Elf Little Lord John.
Picture by Peter Town
And Daniel Barker has come up with a picture of the Great Adversary himself!
Lucifer by Dan Barker
Here’s the full list of recent updates: