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Designer Spotlight: Michael Allen and Twin Crossings!

Twin Crossings cover v1Which Adventureaweek.com modules would work well as a prelude to Twin Crossings?

I wanted to write an adventure that would give the PCs a reason to travel beyond Rybalka. To get out and see some other parts of the Klavek Kingdom. The PCs are 4th level now—this gives them a chance to see some of the eastern Klavek Kingdom. Any of the Rybalkan peninsula adventures work well as prelude to Twin Crossings, and as we establish the fact that there is an east-west caravan between Cherr’s landing and Mokhba (with Rybalka in spitting distance—giant’s spitting distance at least) there is a way for the PCs to reasonably go back and forth.

 

What was your source of inspiration for this adventure?

I loved Raymond Feist’s Rise of a Merchant Prince and the character of Silk in Edding’s Belgariad. I always wanted to explore these themes in an adventure one day. Indeed, my rogue PC in a campaign of War of the Burning Sky set up businesses in the war torn cities of that world. One day I’d like to do an AP on these themes, and this was a great way to test out some of my ideas on a smaller scale.

 

How did Twin Crossings change from your original concept?

The caravan rules changed three times. I originally wanted the players to be able to build their caravan almost like a PC, using all of the information they found along the way to make it as efficient as possible. In the end, the calculations for determining the PCs’ profitability were almost automated. Information and player choices still had an impact, but it became more organic rather than an ongoing math problem.

 

What is your typical process for fleshing out an adventure like this? Did you do anything different this time around?

After settling on a theme, I start with the creatures. Monster descriptions usually inspire encounters for me. If its a classed creature or NPC, I might have an idea of what role I want them to fill in a combat, but I usually wait until designing that combat before building them. Once the encounters are roughed in, I make sure there is a good mix of varied challenges, a spell combat here, a hazard/terrain enhanced combat there, a beefy damage dealer combat over this way.

The challenge here was the flowchart of the adventure. I wanted to give the PCs a way to chart their own course, but I also didn’t want to have them totally bypass any encounters (it is a waste of space—every word is precious).  I think I came up with a good solution in the end—indeed one of the last encounters in the adventure is entitled No Monster Left out.

 

aaw-free-5What tools did you use while writing Twin Crossings?

I’m a big fan of Paizo’s NPC Codex, and the NPCs in the Gamemastery Guide. I can usually mine those for ideas for my classed characters—especially mooks.  I can easily swap out feats, weapons, spell selections, and even change up the races or modify stats on some of the stock builds there to customize opponents. It allows me to save time for the truly important custom builds (or converting to 3.5).  I would rate NPC compendiums like this as high on the priority list of any GM looking to have some ready resources at their fingertips.

 

What is your favorite part of the adventure?

There is a lot of background and rumors for the PCs to discover. The opening scene of the adventure has many opportunities for some in-depth role play as well as some skill based challenges. These opportunities continue throughout—and I enjoyed tying the success or failure of these moments into the PCs overall success.


Tell us about one character, creature, item, or spell which was unique to this adventure. How did you come up with the idea and what went into the design of this part of the adventure?

Confession time—I went over word count on this adventure. It crept up on me. Part of it was the extra background and role play moments, part of it was underestimating the word count on providing stat blocks for both systems (which I did not have to do for the Pathmaster contest).  The unique magical items were included in a detour quest the PCs have an opportunity to go on during their journey. While the PCs still have a chance to discover these magical items (and all of them are still included and have an impact in the adventure) we had to trim back much of that quest to save on word count. Fortunately, we are releasing the full side quest here on the AaWBlog! All of the items in this cache spring from an idea I had around an engineering battalion led by a mage-engineer, and help the PCs make a lasting impact on travel in this new area of the Klavek Kingdom.  I think the most fun I had was beefing up the legend and history for release in the blog posts—I hope you enjoy the tale of the last stand of the Lost Battalion on the blog.

 

diceIs 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?

My play testers were bloodthirsty gits. The adventure contains some suggestions to the GM on how to handle the rivalry between the two competing caravans early on so bloodshed doesn’t break out too early. In the end my group still activated the encounter with their rivals early. Don’t sweat it too much if this happens. It is not a game breaker—and I ended up satisfied that the flowchart still allowed the PCs to get back on track.


Which Adventureaweek.com adventures would work well after the players conclude Twin Crossings?

PCs should be close to leveling to 5th after this adventure and if you beef up the adventure with a few random encounters or side quests will likely do so.

A-6 Bear Trouble could easily be relocated to the mountains of The Knee on the Vladen Peninsula where the new town of Svest is located. There will be a call for mercenary bands with the opening of new overland trade routes to Cherr’s Landing, and the discoveries made in the mountain passes…

B-7 Beauty and Blood could be set in Aventyr in the woods of the Vladen Peninsula with a little bit of renaming of the geography.  

B-9 Curse of the Full Moon could likewise be set in the Eastern Klavek Kingdom; Locate the town of Rooknest somewhere between the mountains of The Knee and Cherr’s Landing.

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IRONWALL GAP MUST HOLD – Interview with author Jachob Michael

cover1. Why should I read Ironwall Gap Must Hold?

Because instead of a traditional trip into a dungeon to find treasure, or a mystery to stop a deranged killer in town, the PCs find themselves in charge of an entire fort, which they have to lead to victory against an army that vastly outnumbers them (using the new mass combat rules in Paizo’s Ultimate Campaign sourcebook). Also, orcs shouldn’t be low-level fodder and in this adventure, they’re a deadly, overwhelming force arrayed against the PCs.

2. What makes Ironwall Gap Must Hold unique?

Unlike most adventures, the PCs aren’t primarily going out adventuring or solving a mystery. Instead, they’re playing the role of defenders of the “dungeon,” giving an experience unlike most modules. It gives them the chance to turn the tables on the monsters, setting up traps and defenses and letting the threats fight their way to them.

3. What neat stuff is in Ironwall Gap Must Hold?

Catapults! An orc horde! a 30-foot-tall new monster! A fully fleshed out mountain pass fortress! A new magic item that can turn your enemies against each other (or do the same to the PCs, in the hands of a cruel GM)! Plus, lots of use of the new mass combat rules in Paizo’s “Ultimate Campaign” sourcebook!

4. Which part of Ironwall Gap Must Hold was the most fun to design?

I really enjoyed devising the orcs’ tactics for assaulting the fort, especially with the way they interact with the mass combat rules. The orc horde certainly rushes forward in all-out attempts to take the wall by sheer force, but the enemy is smart enough to use subterfuge too. If the PCs aren’t ready, plenty of dire consequences wait for them, and they could soon find their forces routed and orcs pouring through the gap.

beard bro5. Is there a specific part of Ironwall Gap Must Hold that you identify as your favorite?

I feel like that’s equivalent to asking if a specific part of my dog is my favorite. I love all of her (the dog) and it (the module)! More seriously, I think I’m most pleased with the role-playing aspects. There are a lot of difficulties that can be solved through role-playing and fully fleshed-out NPCs, both as allies and adversaries, to interact with. I like that the NPCs have their own stories going on, which inform and shape their roles in the adventure.

6. What kind of gameplay was the focus for Ironwall Gap Must Hold?

I don’t focus on a specific type of gameplay, as I think a good adventure should have elements of everything. In addition to the previously mentioned role-playing possibilities, there are a couple mysteries to solve, some sandbox-style exploration, a variety of monsters to fight, and mass combats where you must lead your small garrison against the massive horde of orcs.

7. Did you have any inspiration for Ironwall Gap Must Hold?

One of my favorite memories as a younger player was our party having to retreat to a house deep in the woods and set up traps as we prepared for a coming enemy. I no longer recall why we couldn’t keep running, but I had so much fun digging our own spiked pits and getting to play “defense.” Ironwall Gap is intended to do that, albeit on a larger scale. It also takes inspiration from any number of siege stories/seemingly hopeless battles, particularly Jim Butcher’s “Cursor’s Fury” and the battle of Helm’s Deep from Peter Jackson’s movie adaption of “Lord of the Rings.”

8. If any theme dominated Ironwall Gap Must Hold, what would it be?

Holding out against overwhelming odds, with hundreds of lives depending on your actions. This is a fight not for treasure or secrets, but survival.

armydill9. Are there any particularly interesting monsters or NPCs in Ironwall Gap Must Hold?

The PCs get to know several interesting NPCs in the fort. With a hundred soldiers under incredible pressure, not all of them react well to the situation and some are even partly responsible for the chaos in the garrison. PCs also get a chance to meet at least one of the orc leaders, putting a personal face on the enemy. Finally, a throckha — a new, Colossal beast with the ability to smash through stone and metal — will test the very limits of the fort’s defenses and the PCs’ own mettle.

10. What part of Ironwall Gap Must Hold did your playtesters enjoy most?

They really enjoyed the basic setup itself of the module, with themselves being put in charge of this border fortress and having to lead a garrison against a vastly larger force.

11. Is there a specific scenario in Ironwall Gap Must Hold that is going to stick with me?

I think the climactic battle should be a good challenge, with several different enemies harrying the PCs. Another scene, sort of a “charge of the light brigade” action — which ironically only happens if the PCs fail in their attempts to avert it — really grew on me through development of the module. I’m excited to hear about players’ experiences as they’re forced to abandon the protection of the fort’s walls to rescue some of their soldiers from disaster.

12. In one sentence, what can I expect from Ironwall Gap Must Hold?

A thrilling, non-traditional adventure pitting the PCs into a desperate, last stand against the forces of evil, chaos and destruction.

Jacob W. Michaels’ earliest memories of gaming are from 30 years ago, when he was introduced to Advanced Dungeons and Dragons in the third grade, filling in blue dice with a marking crayon before looking for laser guns in Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. Since then, he’s played and run countless games, enjoying Champions, Shadowrun, Toon, Gamma World, Battletech, TMNT, Torg, Talislanta, Marvel Super Heroes, Vampire: The Masquerade and even several home-made games, but always coming back to the sword and sorcery genre: Dungeons & Dragons for many years and more recently Pathfinder.

His beginning steps in designing games for a wider audience than the friends in his gaming group came at the end of 2011, when he decided to throw his hat in the ring for Paizo’s RPG Superstar 2012 contest. His haunting glass was a popular choice among the judges and his second-round entry, the Unfettered, garnered popular acclaim during public voting. (His Round 3 monster won’t be mentioned here, as he’s still trying to live it down.) He’s incredibly excited to have his first module, Ironwall Gap Must Hold, published with Adventureaweek.com.

When he’s not gaming, Jacob’s a newspaper copy editor in eastern Pennsylvania. He lives with his faithful hound, Holiday, who hasn’t inherited his interest in gaming, but enjoys when her dog friends come over during games. His parents and younger sister have always been supportive of his hobby since his earliest days playing in New Hampshire, and he appreciates his girlfriend’s encouragement, even if her reaction to watching her first (and only) gaming session was “there are some things you can never unsee.”

 

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TO WALK THE DARK ROAD – Interview with author Michael Allen

cover1. Why should I read To Walk the Dark Road?

Who doesn’t want to feast on the history of lost armies and empires, seasoned with torture, curses and dark magic?

 

2. What makes To Walk the Dark Road unique?

I set out to design an adventure without a single stat block – all challenges straight out of the bestiaries. I usually enjoy adding class levels to monsters to beef them up and make them unique, so sifting through the monster books for just the right critter that fit the story was a lot of fun – and something different for me.

 

3. What neat stuff is in To Walk the Dark Road?

The adventure is fairly straightforward to run, but there are a number of twists and secrets for the players to discover. As well as surprising the players with these, there are some cool magic items and a good chunk of environmental challenges that will keep the adventurers on their toes.

 

bat4. Which part of To Walk the Dark Road was the most fun to design?

I enjoyed the magic items. Working their background into the tale made these items breathe a little bit more to me. I also like the fact that power also comes with a price, and any opportunity to provide players with trade-offs for power is one that should not be missed.

 

5. Is there a specific part of To Walk the Dark Road that you identify as your favorite?

My kids’ favorite is the part where a party member has to drive a steel stylus into their eyeball to access the magic therein. I think my favorite part is how many times they described that scene to their mom and grossed her out.

 

6. What kind of gameplay was the focus for To Walk the Dark Road

It is a wilderness trek that has the feel of a dungeon crawl. Not so much from an exploration standpoint but from the set up and pacing of the encounters. There are role-playing opportunities in some interesting places, but for the most part, you are trying to survive and accomplish your mission in a hostile land.

 

hag7. Did you have any inspiration for To Walk the Dark Road?

Two really. The first was the sack of Anglesey and destruction of the druid’s stronghold there by the Romans. The second is Celtic cauldron myths. The artifact in the adventure, The Tear of the Mother, is really a mythic cauldron in a different skin.

 

8. If any theme dominated To Walk the Dark Road, what would it be?

The subtitle says it all…A waking nightmare! Dreams, visions, and horrific events plague the PCs every step of the way. The monsters fit into this theme quite elegantly.

 

9. Are there any particularly interesting monsters or NPCs in To Walk the Dark Road?

I like them all of course – I really had a great time crafting the encounters around the monsters, and then the story line around the monsters. Each monster is there for a reason that backs up the history or environment of the tale. But if I had to pick a few, I like the set up of the very first encounter, the boss fight in the icy moors, and the encounter in the deep woods as the PCs approach their final destination. Your scrying spells will get no more information out of me on what those monsters are…you will have to walk the dark road yourself.

 

aquamonster10. What part of To Walk the Dark Road did your playtesters enjoy most?

They liked the ramping up of the intensity as the adventure progressed. My group is a pretty savvy Pathfinder rules group, and I was hoping they would not figure out the main boss until the end. They got bits and pieces of the mystery – identifying some of the abilities in play, but not the creature itself, so I think the way the adventure is written, it is possible for other judges to draw out the mystery like we were able to do in the playtest.

 

11. Is there a specific scenario in To Walk the Dark Road that is going to stick with me?

One of the magic items is very unique, and gives the judge a tool to reveal much of the back story of the adventure, which I think the players don’t always get to discover 100% in the course of play. Combined with other role-playing opportunities written into the adventure to reveal some background, a canny judge can satisfy both the combat oriented player and the story oriented player.

 

12. In one sentence, what can I expect from To Walk the Dark Road?

Expect an intensifying ride of combat and horror as the PCs wrestle with what risks they take, and moral choices they make for power and success.

 

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We are re-opening Adventure Submissions!

RotD-sidebar-widgetRise of the Drow is on its way out of the house and into the printers [Spoke a little too soon on that – it’s now in layout and heads to the printers in Octoberish – MM]. We here at AdventureAWeek.com are taking a huge sigh of relief and are happy to announce that this highly anticipated tome will be making it to backers (thanks again!) in March of 2014 and everyone lucky enough to grab one of the (limited) copies in the pre-sale (arrival in April 2014)!

What’s the best part about all of this? Aside from the staff getting to eat and sleep with some kind of regularity for a week or two?

We are re-opening Adventure Submissions!

Timeless Fort - coverDo you have a chilling tale of suspense? A mysterious dungeon crawl? Perhaps there’s a vile story of civil intrigue on the tips of your fingers? An adventure to stop a truly dastardly arch villain and a mob of minions prepared to take a humble but marvelous town?

TELL US ABOUT IT!

Send your (400 word – anything longer is automatically disqualified) pitches to submit (at) adventureaweek.com

Cutting Silver Pass coverYour pitch must:

  • be submitted as a doc, docx, or rtf attachment.
  • have Adventure Pitch [insert adventure title] in the email’s subject line.
  • include your full name and contact information in the body of the email (not in your attachment)
  • be designed for both D&D 3.5 and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
  • NOT include any references to any settings not published by Adventureaweek.com, LLP. Please note that AaW does not have a license to print adventures using settings published by other companies. Any such entries will be immediately disqualified. You may refer to locations from the AaW Campaign Setting.

ACT COVERPreperation for the next stage: If your pitch is well received you should be prepared to provide an Adventure Background, Synopsis, and Hook(s).  Please download and read the Adventure Composition Tutorial & Map Request Tutorial.  If you need additional help or tips on how to write a successful adventure submission click here.

 

Please bear the following in mind before sending anything our way:

1. Anyone may submit a pitch.

2. The pitch must be your own work, which has not been published previously, is not being considered for publication by any other publisher, and is original and does not infringe upon any copyrighted material.

Ironwall Gap Must Hold cover3. By submitting your pitch, you authorize the use of your

4. All decisions of Adventureaweek.com, LLP are final.name and likeness without additional compensation for promotion and advertising purposes in all media.

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THE TIMELESS FORT – Interview with author Luis Loza

Cover1. Why should I read The Timeless Fort?

You should read it you’re interested in a contained sandbox for low level characters that features plenty of NPCs and a variety of encounters.

2. What makes The Timeless Fort unique?

It’s a sandbox adventure that gives players the opportunity to make decisions about what to do and where to go. If they don’t like the results or would just like to see a different path, there’s a means for them to do so.

uhoh chain3. What neat stuff is in The Timeless Fort?

Time travel, or at least, pseudo-time travel is prominent. Players won’t be visiting ancient civilizations or the far future, but given the chance to deal with an isolated portion of time to do with what they will. There’s a smorgasbord of enemies and allies that are part of Fort Jaroma.

4.Which part of The Timeless Fort was the most fun to design?

I really enjoyed trying to keep the time travel as airtight as possible. With the possibility of paradoxes and other problems, I had to make sure the time travel made sense without becoming a chore or something to be abused. I feel I did well on that.

Along with the time travel, I had a self imposed challenge. As this was my first adventure, I wanted to make sure I was capable of writing an adventure with only the bare minimum, namely the Core Rulebook and Bestiary. A time-travelling sandbox is ambitious enough as it is without piling on extra classes or sub-systems. It was a fun exercise in character diversity working only from Core. Also, It made sure that a GM with only those two books was ready to play without having to buy or look up any additional rules.

Orc King5. Is there a specific part of The Timeless Fort that you identify as your favorite?

I’m pretty pleased with how one of the villains is first introduced (in particular, his entrance into the fort).

6. What kind of gameplay was the focus for The Timeless Fort?

The entire adventure is a puzzle with a multitude of encounters. To save the day, the players have to stop a certain event from happening – how they go about that can be done in a variety of ways. With no right or wrong answers, it becomes a matter of finding how the different NPCs and events fit together and how to make the best use of that knowledge.

7. Did you have any inspiration for The Timeless Fort?

As mentioned in my notes at the beginning of the adventure, “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask” is the primary inspiration. The idea of having a variety of choices and sidequests available, but being forced to choose which ones you do take on is neat. However, once you add a “reset button” to let you make different choices, it becomes a different beast. It’s something that has stuck with me for some time.

The presentation of the adventure was entirely inspired by Nicolas Logue’s “Razor Coast.” Initially, after submitting my pitch for the contest, I worried I had been too ambitious in my proposal. However, after reading “Razor Coast,” I found a fantastic method to handle the adventure I wanted to write. The way the NPCs, encounter areas, and events are listed is my attempt to emulate Nicolas’s work on a smaller scale.

8. If any theme dominated The Timeless Fort, what would it be?

Choice is very much at the center of the adventure.

Needs dental work9. Are there any particularly interesting monsters or NPCs in The Timeless Fort?

The villains of the piece, a trio of kings mad with greed, are at the top of my list. They are a varied bunch with, what I believe to be, an interesting mix of personalities and abilities.

10. What part of The Timeless Fort did your playtesters enjoy most?

The time travel is definitely the most talked about aspect. My players usually find themselves at a loss when presented with a typical sandbox. However, once I added the boundaries of the fort and time travel, they ate it up. The villain’s entrance mentioned in the previous answer gets a nod as well.

11. Is there a specific scenario in The Timeless Fort that is going to stick with me?

It may be the entire adventure that sticks with you! In regards to a particular event, I would say the final battle is a good contender. It’s a large scale battle with multiple events happening at once, possibly ending in a deadly showdown with the kings themselves.

12. In one sentence, what can I expect from The Timeless Fort?

It’s an interesting take on sandboxes featuring time travel, invading armies, kobold saboteurs, sneaky assassins, and more!

Luis is an aspiring game designer with too many games and not enough time on his hands. When he’s not working, playing video games, painting miniatures, and browsing the internet, he finds time to play the occasional tabletop game. He is also preparing a eulogy for the upcoming death of his free time with his imminent return to school.

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CUTTING SILVER PASS: Interview with author Scott Janke

cover1. Why should I read Cutting Silver Pass? 

Cutting Silver Pass offers a little something for everyone – monsters, puzzles, exploration, history, negotiations & a fast-track river run.

 

2. What makes Cutting Silver Pass unique?

It has an old western boomtown feel instead of medieval Europe basis. It features a sandbox approach allowing players to explore at their own pace & interests.

 

3. What neat stuff is in Cutting Silver Pass?

Haha! What’s not? The engineering projects? A silver dragon? Lost wizard’s underground tower?

 

boomtown4. Which part of Cutting Silver Pass was the most fun to design?

Keeping the sandbox aspect proved challenging as well as adding 1800’s mining town to fantasy. I loved watching Chorboden’s backstory develop from a plot point into a full on character with ambitions, allies & enemies.

 

5. Is there a specific part of Cutting Silver Pass that you identify as your favorite? 

Well I got to add earthbending to a dwarf. The Hobbit is the book that turned me onto reading & fantasy. I hope the homage(s) gives due credit to that story. I was also able to work in a dragon without (spoiler alert!) making it the BBEG. I keep reptiles (turtles & two prehensile tailed skinks). The idea of having to kill every one you come across saddens me, but from a gaming point of view they are just some awesome foes. 🙂

 

6. What kind of gameplay was the focus for Cutting Silver Pass?

Exploration & Sandbox. The greatest times my gaming groups have had were taking over that borderland keep, or turning the abandoned crypt into a home base, or building defenses to protect that coastal town from a pirate attack. I even remember building a canal across part of Greyhawk back in AD&D days.

 

7. Did you have any inspiration for Cutting Silver Pass?

Several. The mines of Moria did not get explored enough for me & Gimli never got Legolas to the caverns under Helms Deep. I wanted to explore both those places. Stephen S. Greer & Gary Holian’s  Tides of Dread (Dungeon Magazine #143; February 2007) showed how a series of encounters did not have to be geographical or even chronological.  

 

8. If any theme Cutting Silver Pass, what would it be?creature

Earth magic mining, what every adventurer hopes to retire to. 

 

9. Are there any particularly interesting monsters or NPCs in Cutting Silver Pass? 

Absolutely. Scrilmeiias, a noble personage looking for a cause & Red Bear was fun to build. Chorboden grew from the plot of magic transport to an earth mage, engineer, explorer with real plan to change the world & a hero to the people of Imarlap. 

 

10. What part of Cutting Silver Pass did your playtesters enjoy most?

All the folks who helped me found <redacted> to be particularly fun. The sandbox nature of the adventure appealed to everyone as well.  

 

11. Is there a specific scenario in Cutting Silver Pass that is going to stick with me?

Roleplayers will like negotiating with the neighbors. The river run has traditional dungeon crawl combined with a high speed chase aspect. Puzzlers will enjoy deciphering Chorboden’s plans. Hopefully the underground river & other locations will stick with the storytellers & directors alike.  

 

orc12. In one sentence, what can I expect from Cutting Silver Pass? 

A face paced roller coaster ride from an isolated mountain town through the heart of the mines with dragons, were-bears, & giants along the way!

 

Scott currently owns & runs the local used bookstore and is probably one of the few English majors working in his field. His interests include strolling with the pups, bagpipes, mountains, movies, books, painting minis, and ‘herping.’ His love of dragons led him to keep reptiles and he knew he found the right woman when she agreed dragons looked better than a plastic bride and groom on their wedding cake.

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TWILIGHT FALLING: Interview with author Michael Holland

1. Why should I read Twilight Falling?cover
Twilight Falling is meant to be an adventure that will challenge your players. At the same time, it is also an adventure that presents a number of opportunities to meet interesting NPCs, uncover ancient secrets, and ultimately, the PCs success or failure will decide the fate of the town and the surrounding region. The PCs are heroes, and they have been called upon to do heroic deeds.

 
2. What makes Twilight Falling unique?
The town of Crepus, the setting in which the adventure takes place. In Crepus, when one dies their soul does not become fodder for the gods, angels, demons, and primordial beings who rule the cosmos. Instead, the soul passes into a pocket dimension called the Twilight Hold and becomes one of the Honored. The Companions oversee the daily rites which provide for the Honored and maintain their connection with the Hold. Every aspect of life in Crepus is shaped around the veneration of the Honored and the protection of the town’s way of life.
 
3. What neat stuff is in Twilight Falling?tfhandout
I love the undead. This adventure is full of classic monsters, some of my new favorites, as well as an undead creation of my own; the Honored. Some people love goblins and kobolds, but ghosts and ghouls have always been the critters that got me going. If you love the undead, then this adventure will fit the bill with a healthy dose of other foes to keep things interesting.
 
4. Which part of Twilight Falling was the most fun to design?
I am torn between my time spent developing the town of Crepus and my time spent designing the Inner Sanctum of the Circle. In the end, I think I wrote almost 10,000 more words of material for Crepus that I had to cut because I needed to shorten and restructure the adventure, and a lot of it was interesting details that may or may not have been pertinent to the story. I also wanted to leave GMs enough space to play with the story and setting as they saw fit. On the other hand, it was fun to design a dungeon, and then ransack it because…well, that might be saying too much.
 
5. Is there a specific part of Twilight Falling that you identify as your favorite?
The Goblin’s Flask. I would say more, but I don’t want to spoil the fun.
 
6. What kind of gameplay was the focus for Twilight Falling?
 Twilight Falling is an adventure for a group that likes a bit of investigation and exploration, with the bulk of the adventure taking place in a dungeon complex controlled by one group while being under siege by another. In the midst of the invasion the PCs must act and do so quickly. Players will be challenged. Resources will be strained.

Corvus7. Did you have any inspiration for Twilight Falling?
I enjoy studying ancient art and architecture. I think everyone has some interest in those areas, but I really like to dig into the meaty bits. I use a lot of what I learn when I run games. A while back I was reading about some locations in ancient Macedonia where tombs and crypts would be built alongside or as part of homes and businesses. Cemeteries were far more common in the region, but these special locations fascinated me. These were places where one’s ancestors were very much an important part of day to day life. I started thinking about how that would translate into a fantasy world and Crepus began to form in my mind.
 
8. If any theme dominated Twilight Falling, what would it be?
Ancient religions and politics danced through my head while writing this module. Can our leaders be trusted? Is everything they tell us the truth, or are they cleverly crafted lies designed to reinforce the greater good? In the end, is the truth better than the lies if it endangers everything?
 
9. Are there any particularly interesting monsters or NPCs in Twilight Falling? (What/who were they?)
The Honored come from the Twilight Hold; created from the souls of Crepus’ ancestors. They feed on emotion and the intangible charismatic qualities that make up one’s personality. They can be quite nasty in combat.
 Seeri
10. What part of Twilight Falling did your playtesters enjoy most?
My playtesters enjoyed the challenge of the Inner Sanctum itself the most. The threats they faced were daunting, their resources were stretched, and they had to make a lot of hard decisions.
 
11. Is there a specific scenario in Twilight Falling that is going to stick with me?
“The Fall of Urthu” and “The Hall of the Honored” are my favorite encounters in the adventure.
 
12. In one sentence, what can I expect from Twilight Falling?
Twilight Falling is a challenging adventure filled with iconic undead critters in a setting which resembles your traditional fantasy locale but is driven by very strange views.

 

 

 

Michael Holland was introduced to Dungeons & Dragons in the mid-80s and needless to say, he has been a gamer ever since. Whether attending college, serving in the military stateside or oversees, or working hard to raise the next generation of geeks, he is always thinking about games. When he isn’t playing games, Mike spends his time blogging about games, writing reviews, and moderating the White Wolf community forums. Mike lives in the Indianapolis area with his wife, three children, two dogs, four cats, and a sister-in-law (or as Mike likes to call them, his home group.)
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PATHMASTER ADVENTURES RELEASED

Ironwall Gap Must Hold coverThis year Adventureaweek.com launched the first annual PATHMASTER Adventure Writing Contest™.  Over a hundred budding game designers submitted their pitches to be considered by top Paizo reviewers Endzeitgeist and KTfish7.   Out of these pitches just five adventure concepts were chosen and thus, five brave new souls began their first foray into the RPG writing and publishing world!

2013 PATHMASTER finalists include Michael Allen, Jacob Michaels, Scott Janke, Luis Loza, and Michael Holland.

cutting_silver_UPDATED-smallNow, almost a year later, these five finalists have the pleasure of seeing their adventures released by Adventureaweek.com! The winner will be determined by public voting and reviews, so please support grassroots independent game designers and check out these great new adventures available now on Adventureaweek.com, Drive-Thru RPG, and Paizo.com.

You can get $2 off any of these adventures by picking them up in the Adventure-A-Week online store.

 

About the PATHMASTER Adventure Writing Contest™

By purchasing and voting on the PATHMASTER adventures, you help decide the fate of valiant new game designers!

pathmaster-small

Your rating helps decide the winner!

The adventure scoring the best “verified owner” ratings/reviews will be declared grand prize winner and the author hired to write a 6 part adventure path published in PDF and PRINT by Adventureaweek.com.  In addition, the grand prize winner will also receive a free one year subscription to Adventureaweek.com, a limited edition village of Rybalka print autographed by AaW founders Todd Gamble and Jonathan Nelson, as well as a print copy of “BASIC1: A Learning Time” autographed by author Kevin Mickelson (Mask of Death).

Special Note: Anyone may rate an adventure, but for your rating to count you must purchase and read this adventure first!  Those who have purchased and rated (and/or reviewed) the adventure will receive a special “verified owner” next to their rating guaranteeing that their rating will be counted!

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PATHMASTER #2 NOW AVAILABLE!

PATHMASTER #2 NOW AVAILABLE!

Ironwall Gap Must Hold coverThe five finalists for the PATHMASTER Adventure Writing Contest have completed their adventures!  The second of these adventures, Ironwall Gap Must Hold by Jacob Michaels has just been released in PDF and is scheduled for PRINT sometime next week!

About PATHMASTER:

Welcome to the 2013 PATHMASTER Adventure Writing Contest!  By purchasing and voting on these adventures, you help decide the fate of these valiant new game designers!

pathmaster-small

Your rating helps decide the winner!

The adventure scoring the best “verified owner” ratings/reviews will be declared grand prize winner and the author hired to write a 6 part adventure path published in PDF and PRINT by Adventureaweek.com.  In addition, the grand prize winner will also receive a free one year subscription to Adventureaweek.com, a limited edition village of Rybalka print autographed by AaW founders Todd Gamble and Jonathan Nelson, as well as a print copy of “BASIC1: A Learning Time” autographed by author Kevin Mickelson (Mask of Death).

Special Note: Anyone may rate an adventure, but for your rating to count you must purchase and read this adventure first!  Those who have purchased and rated (and/or reviewed) the adventure will receive a special “verified owner” next to their rating guaranteeing that their rating will be counted!