Tuesday, 8 September 2020

The Adventure Pipeline: Soon to be Unblocked

I had hoped in the summer to Alpha release about 30% of a big 1st Edition adventure (1st-12th levels, or thereabouts), the Grottoes of the Fallen Feyarchy. Indeed, it was only ever a few thousand words off completion – only a few necessary introductory sections needed writing, and a 5th-7th Level “hidden dungeon” in the starting village needed development. That’s taken a couple of months, largely due to busyness, though in part due to the fact that designing a 5th-7th level area is a very different prospect to designing the 1st-3rd level areas I had completed. If nothing else, this “hidden dungeon” contains a Shrine to the Mirror God replete with magic mirrors, some of which are portals, which required more development in turn! That’s all coming together now, though. There’s a degree of toil involved – sometimes the “creative brain” needs whipping to work, or else nothing gets done – but once you start, it gets enjoyable quickly. On that basis, I think I’m in a position where I can confidently say that in the next 2-4 weeks I’ll be releasing THREE adventures for free:

 *GROTTOES I-III: 1st Edition. Three of the ten Grottoes, as discussed in a previous post, including much of the “campaign mechanics” material, too. This will be in Alpha – I’ll be running my first group through this subsequent/simultaneous to release. It’s running over 20k words now, and will gain another couple of thousand before it’s done.  

*WORKSHOP OF THE GNOME ARTIFICERS: 1st Edition. 1st-3rd Level adventure for 6-8 characters. Small-medium but moderately complex, heavily interactive dungeon I’ve added to my ToEE campaign, to give players something to do early on other than the Moathouse (I’ve added some smaller side treks, too). I’m running this at the moment, so this will come out in Beta. This is populated by Automata, there’s a bunch of half-finished magical items and potions to mess around with, there’s a magical blue worm called a Spelleater, oh, and illusions of course, plus a Young White Dragon in a cave which serves as one of the entries/exits. (This is fully written up in Alpha, but I’d rather release it after a test.) 

 *LAKESIDE LAIR OF THE BARROW-BOGEYS: Old School Essentials (B/X). 2nd-3rd Level adventure for 6-8 characters. Part of my ongoing Dolmenwood campaign, this has a small gang of Barrow-Bogeys living in a Barrow, allied with the resident Wight. There is, however, another Wight in a sub-layer who’s displeased the Barrow Wight has turned aside from “worshipping” the Earl in Yellow – so you can pick sides! There is also a Nixie in an underground river, misanthropic mushroom men, a hallucinogenic Sacred Ditch (?!), and a very important brand new Monster – the Giant Woodlouse! I’m running this now, so this will technically come out in Beta, but as it’s not even hypothetically a commercial release, that’s as good as “final release”. 

 I technically have something like 8 other adventures in a fairly advanced state of writing, though for various reasons none are very close to release (if nothing else, 5 are for other IPs, and so occupy a little less of my immediate creative focus). 

 *3 x BORDERLANDS ADVENTURES: Old School Essentials (B/X). These go in the same setting as “The Monastery of the Chuckle Brethren” and “The Barrow of the Woad Chief”. “The Tree-Village of Rollo Hatt” (levels 1-3) and “The Valley of the Waterfall Portal” (levels 2-6) have both been developed to significant degrees, and the Tree Village has been playtested once. The Tree Village needs a little more life injecting to satisfy me, and the Valley just needs more writing. There’s also the “Starting Area/Campaign Mechanics” section. Gosswold, the starting village, is significantly developed, as is the encounter table, but Gosswold contains a small 4th-5th Level dungeon – “The Coin God’s Plaza” – that is basically unwritten, and there are still a few tables to write up. (Another Borderlands area, the fairly large “Cold Flood”, has been lightly keyed, but is much further back in preparation.) 

 *CATACOMBS OF CASTLE BRACKENWOLD: Old School Essentials (B/X). 2nd-8th Levels. A large, single-level, mixed form “dungeon” for use in my Dolmenwood game, using a Dyson map. Wide level range. Lightly keyed, and I have run a few sections in our campaign, but several dungeon “zones” need more development before being used by anyone else. 

 *THE OBSERVATORY AT POMELÚ: Adapted 5th Edition. 3rd-4th Levels. Accessed by my “Exploring Chult” players via the Night Wolf Inn, whilst doing a favour for a Slug-Man Magic-User of relatively high level. Based on paragraph-long location in Yoon-Suin (one world my NWI opens into). Deranged Descendants, Light Golems, treasure, puzzles. Was good fun but requires some redevelopment before going public. 

 *3 x NIGHT WOLF INN ROOMS: Adapted 5th Edition. I’ve fairly heavily keyed three Rooms of Anthony Huso’s modern classic – “I – The Forest of Dreams”, “IV – The Restful Seas”, and “VII – The Murmuring Grasslands”. My players have been in those three rooms (as well as elsewhere in the Inn!). Plenty of obstacles to these going out – I’d want permission, they’re very niche, and they’re vast areas, which would need microsetting-level attention to prepare for publication. 

 I even have a few scraps beyond these, but that’s a summary of the things in the pipeline – which, as I say, is about to be unblocked!


  1. Wow. That sounds like a HUGE undertaking.

    Just keep plugging away at it. Projects like this (for me anyway) always seem to get bogged down a handful of pages from the end. Make yourself write something on it every day!

    Good luck!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement JB. The first of the above is now out! The Barrow-Bogey Lair will finish its Alpha in the next ten days. Grottoes should be finished in the next 2-3 weeks, too.

      (...I'm also finishing my last PhD chapter, so we'll see, right?)

    2. Also, love your blog. Keep up the good work.


ADVENTURE: The Workshop of the Gnome Artificers (1st-3rd Levels, 1st Edition)

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