Monday, 19 March 2018

2G2BT v0.12

No huge news on the 2G2BT front, but the game has accumulated a small number of clarifications and very minor changes, and it seems silly that the last word on this game is a few versions out of date.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Kickstarter Plans

Time to talk a little bit about my upcoming adventure compilation, which I'm going to Kickstart this year. All of this is tentative, but I figured it can only be helpful to open up my plans and get some feedback.

What will it be?

I'm taking all of my adventures, and putting them into a book. By the time I'm ready, there will be something like 45 of them, all lovingly written up and illustrated.

Beyond this, they will all be:

  • All re-edited, and in some cases rewritten for clarity
  • Brought up to the same stylistic look and feel of the newer ones
  • Replacing a map or two (Steeps of Ur-Menig is really bad)

It will also contain the adventure A Clutch of Shadows, which was never widely released. There will of course be a brand-new compilation-only adventure! Maybe a couple.

The Format

As you may know, some of my adventures are landscape-letter, and some are portrait (tall and skinny). I'm reformatting all of them to have the same orientation, the super-wide and cinematic letter landscape.

If all goes well, there will be three formats to choose from:

A hardcover edition, something on the order of 110 pages. A little more depending on stretch goals. For comparison purposes, this is the of the classic 1e Monster Manual, but of course turned sideways. This is an unusual format, but I think it works really well with the layout.

A saddle-stitched edition. This will come as two or three slim books—stapled, with no spine, they will lie flat. This version is meant to be spread out behind your GM's screen, with everything you need to run one of the adventures right there.

A PDF of the single-volume edition.


At this point, I'm looking seriously at DTRPG POD for the printing. I'm going to be carefully looking at samples before this is for sure, and it does have the "buy twice" symptom: people will pay once for the Kickstarter, which gives them a coupon for an at-cost copy from DTRPG, with shipping charges worked out at the last moment.

This feels like the right move for me to Kevin Crawford this to a sensible conclusion, in a way that works both for backers and the complexities of my life.

This lets me keep the project very DIY, while at the same time reducing shipping charges for European customers ('cause copies can be printed in Europe).

Extra Content

Here are the types of extra content I'm planning. I'm deliberately keeping the stretch goals modest. My plan is to try to complete the project very soon after funding, so stretch goals that jeopardize this are not an option. No T-shirts, buttons, or anything else I don't know how to make myself. Nor anything that depends on stretch goal writers.

Although.. I have been working with some fabulous guest writers recently, and that will continue over the coming months. In a sense, I'm picking writers I've really been wanting to work with before the Kickstarter campaign, which is a little bit like knocking out stretch goals before the campaign starts. :P

When I ran a poll many moons ago, by far the biggest request for additional content was gazetteer information about the world these adventures are set in. I'm planning to have a few pages on the major regions, and the history of the place. There will probably also be a few regional random encounter tables.

EDIT: A section on hooks for one-shots. What should the party be trying to do in order to engage with the adventure most fully?

I'm seriously considering a section on how to chain adventures together to form larger campaigns. There are some obvious links now, such as Oracle's Decree -> Roots of Ambition -> Lair of the Lantern Worm, and the various underworld adventures that lead to City of the Carreg. Then there are less obvious links, like Circle of Wolves -> Chains of Heaven.

There are now enough new creatures and unusual peoples in the adventures to warrant a short bestiary. This will likely be a paragraph on each creature, as well as systemless awesome stuff they do in combat. This will look a little like a Dungeon World monster stat block, just without numbers.

More detail on the magical items and treasures in the adventures.

Maaaaybe Stretch Goals

Color plates of select adventures—what would it look like from an adventuring party's perspective to arrive at this place?  I have already had one commissioned, and holy snot it's so cool to see it painted. If I go this route (if the math works out), then I might do a few more as a color insert in the middle of the book.

System-specific stats for the bestiary. Probably (in order of likeliness):

  • OSR-friendly B/X or Lamentations stats
  • Dungeon World
  • 5e (maybe)
What Do You Think?

What kind of feedback am I hoping for?

1. That sounds great, especially ____________________
2. I'm interested in this project, but I would much rather buy ______________
3. I have run a Kickstarter of this sort and don't forget ________________

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Mulciber's Flute

In the Motes of Eternity, the old world has been ploughed under, demigods and all. I've been mulling over this process - was it cataclysmic? Was it gradual? I find that fascinating, the idea that the mythic underworld was once the surface world.

Perhaps it's the regional demigods, the ancestral hosts that protect pockets of the world being lost. Maybe the mountains are hollow, each one an ancient cyst.

Either way, not all of the powers would accept their fate gracefully. Mulciber's Flute is an adventure set in hell - well, a specific kind of hell: a pocket nightmare, the sort of thing you might expect if a demigod went all Vlad the Impaler.

In a way, I suppose it's my take on a paladin in hell, but with the prospect that adventurers could do something about it, without having to upend a spiritual pole of the entire universe. This is a hell without a heaven.

I kinda love Mulciber. :)

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Sirens of Sea and Blood

In collaboration with Kira Magrann, here's Sirens of Sea and Blood. A trio of horrifying sirens lives in a twisty set of sea-side caverns. They've got a taste for man-flesh, but they're more than happy to bestow the gifts of their ocean-goddess upon any women willing to endure their violent ritual of indoctrination.

This adventure can be set pretty much anywhere you have a coastline. The sirens could be the answer to a number of local disappearances, or they might have arcane secrets your adventurers need and must bargain for. Daring women adventurers might even take up the sirens on their offer! This map (like Hounds) was drawn digitally, so it's a little crisper than the hand-drawn ones.

As always, thanks to the generosity of my patrons, the text, map art and the siren illustration are all available for non-commercial use through CC-BY-NC 4.0.

For more of Kira's writing, check out her patreon. She's also recently published A Cozy Den, a story game about lesbian snake women trying to stay cozy during a long winter!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

City of the Carreg

Down in the lightless depths of Ur-Menig, beyond where surface dwellers can breathe, is Sifoon, the City of the Carreg. Once a jewel of the underworld, the laconic clay-people have seen their hold over the city dwindle to barely three districts.

Ever since the Carreg first made an appearance in the Steeps of Ur-Menig, I've been wanting to write more about this place.

Sifoon is half settlement and half adventure - divided between safe and lost districts. Like Moon is a Mirror, there's a random element to the danger and treasure in each lost district; my goal is for each district to be an interesting landscape for the encounters to play out.

As written, reaching or leaving Sifoon requires either magic or help from the Carreg. If that doesn't work for your campaign setting, consider making Ur-Menig a lake or sea surrounding an island with an atmosphere problem.
As always, thanks to my generous patrons, the text and art is free for non-commercial use under CC-BY-NC 4.0!

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

The Hounds of Low Tide

The muggy tropical coasts of the Caribbean have many dangerous harbours, but the unassuming Frigate and Barrel Tavern is one of the worst. If the scoundrels and thieves don't get you, the proprietors certainly will.

This adventure is a collaboration with Ennie award winner Kiel Chenier. Wasting no time on a victory lap, he's hard at work on a wavecrawl setting and toolkit book called Weird on the Waves.

"Weird" is an unofficial Lamentations of the Flame Princess supplement, and the adventure assumes a pseudo-historical setting of the Carribean islands in 1655 during the rise of buccaneers, just prior to the golden age of piracy.

Of course, this setting is just a suggestion. This adventure can be used in any fantasy setting of any time period, provided there’s a coast and fishing boats to sail along it.

In any case, there are two versions of this adventure a systemless version, and one statted out for  Lamentations!

As always, thanks to my generous patrons on Patreon, all of the text and art is free for non-commercial use under CC-BY-NC 4.0!

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Shattered Gate

In the marshy lowlands of the Grinvolt, there once stood a mansion, home to sorcerers. So perverse were their bargains that the earth itself opened up to meet them, and the yawning Ur-Menig rose up from the depths to whisper its secrets. Although the mansion is gone now, once-hallowed ground rarely loses its power, and a bestial mockery of the sorcerers' faith is still practiced in the darkness.

This month's adventure is a collaboration with Sean Winslow. I've been gaming face-to-face with Sean for six years now, but sadly he's headed off to central Europe. Here's his parting gift!