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A Viking Adventure Kickstarter: Into the Wintery Gale is known for amazing adventure modules that captivate PCs and give GMs an epic saga within which to tell their own tales of heroism, redemption, or whatever it is they’re about. Most of these are extremely collaborative works and while many innovations and wonderful encounters are designed in this fashion, it’s extremely rare—almost unheard of!—for a single individual to carry their vision through to the end of a project, personally creating or overseeing all the aspects of production as artist, cartographer, designer, and writer.

Justin Mason picBut today, we’ve got a right honest auteur adventure that is already kitted out with amazing illustrations, cartography, and more in Into the Wintery Gale!

What do I mean by an auteur adventure?
Justin Andrew Mason (JAM) is a talented artist, award-winning cartographer, fun writer, and great designer—he can do it all! While collaborating with the rest of the AaW crew is inevitable, this module is different from the rest because the creator’s original vision is getting fulfilled in a more comprehensive manner than anywhere else in the many fiefdoms of the RPG industry (not unlike an auteur film, for my fellow movie buffs)!

JAM approached me about this project sometime late last year with the intent of posting it onto the AaWBlog. The boss stepped in though (he just loves vikings) and since then the format of everything has been reworked from the regular blog schedule (magic item-trap-haunt-locale-sidequest-monster) and into a proper adventure, one sure to set all other viking modules into their place.

profile-picWe could go on singing JAM’s praises for weeks, but encourage you to instead get a look at the Into the Wintery Gale Kickstarter (25% funded in a matter of hours)! Check out the video, peruse the pledge levels, grab your greataxe and get into this bundle of Norse goodness now before the best pledge levels are all gone!



UPDATE (3/29/2015)
Our amazing backers have pushed the Kickstarter past ALL of the initial stretch goals! If you haven’t gotten onto this Kickstarter yet, you’d better do it now before it’s too late—vikings raid hard and fast, and this project’s funding period ends on April 9th! As of this update a few of the higher pledge levels are still open, but they won’t stay that way for long!

into the wintery gale promo image


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Wonders of NaeraCull Brochure #1: Sunny Southern Shores

Hello brave adventurers!

Last week we met Jurgen the dødelig, a mad little undead that wanders across the Hungering Jungle (and beyond) attempting to bring more adventurers deep into NaeraCull, handing out odd little brochures to anyone that crosses his path.

Today we’re bringing you one of these unique pamphlets!

If you’d like to download a copy of this FREE PDF head on over to the Store page, but AaWBlog Presents: Wonders of NaeraCull Brochures are available on,,, and as well!


We’re keeping it short and sweet today; enjoy your free PDF!
[And hey, maybe check out that nifty Snow White Kickstarter the internet is all abuzz over! -MM]

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Designer Spotlight – Rory Toma and Rito della Successione

rito coverWhich adventures would work well as a prelude to Rito della Successione?
Since this adventure starts out at level 13, there are a lot of modules you could run! A18: Storm’s Wake is probably best as the prelude, given that it is at the appropriate level and water-based.

What was your source of inspiration for this adventure?
I was part of the Open Design project “Dark Deeds in Freeport”. After pouring through lots of Freeport source material, I found it both odd and intriguing that the opera house and Donadrien were mentioned by name and had their own little section, but as far as I could tell, nothing was ever done with them. I wanted to do something with them. After all, how many adventures prominently feature an opera house? Also, my own home campaign (set in Freeport) was going to run out of source material.

How did the adventure change from your original concept?
I can’t answer that completely without providing a spoiler. Let’s just say that there was going to be more carnage and far-reaching effects, but I didn’t want to disrupt the setting.

What is your typical process for fleshing out an adventure like this? Did you do anything different for Rito della Successione?
When I write an adventure, I start with a hook. In this case it was the opera house. I then make my maps and write somewhat detailed descriptions of each of the locations. Once I have a firm grasp of the setting, I find it far easier to write the adventure. In this case, though, I had to develop the story first, and make the settings match the plot progression. Other than the opera house, I really didn’t know what other locations I would need before I wrote the adventure.

rito 13What tools did you use while writing this adventure?
I used Pathfinder rulebooks and almost all available Freeport material. Maps were hand drawn in scientific notebooks, because those have graph paper inside and I can take notes. I also used Hero Lab and PCGen to generate stat blocks for monsters and NPC’s and sample PCs. I always make some sample PCs at level so I can refer to their skill bonuses. This helps to set up the encounters and DCs.

What is your favorite part of the adventure?
I really like the ending. There is a lot going on and needs to be managed carefully by the players. In this finale, they need to use their brains, brawn and skills to succeed.

Tell us about one character, creature, item, or spell which was unique to to Rito della Successione. How did you come up with the idea and what went into the design of this part of the adventure?
Grantland Lovejoy is a very minor character, but I think he is the one that the GM and players can have the most fun with. He is a celebrity reporter and interviews the characters near the beginning of the scenario. Their answers to his questions end up in the next day’s newspaper. The short-term reputation effects can be played up and could impact the adventure in a fun, new way. Fantasy paparazzi, anyone?

Is there anything you would change looking back? Any suggestions you could give a DM/GM running this game which could help them through any rough patches?
The one thing I would change would be to lower the character level for the adventure. At this level, there are some contrivances to circumvent the power and abilities available to PCs, that would simply not be needed at lower level. I would have also added rules for reputation, and interaction with the paparazzi and the general populace as the PCs could be possible celebrities in their own right, depending on how the interview with Grantland transpired.

Which adventures would work well after the players conclude Rito della Successione?
I would run A19: Incandium’s Eruption, as it is recommended to run after A12: When the Ship Goes Down anyway. This adventure can provide some needed XP and resources to bridge the gap from level 12 to level 14.