Over the past few years we’ve been secretly hard at work on our latest project for the Underworld Races & Classes for 5th Edition and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. This immense tome (two books actually, one for each system) has been in the works for many years now, starting originally with individual books created by popular demand after our best-selling Rise of the Drow became a heavy hitter in the RPG world. Since the original builds we’ve gone back and revised/added a ton of new material, produced new gear, spells, archetypes, domains, and more to craft a solid book filled with gorgeous top notch artwork (thanks to stretch goals).
For those of you who are fans of Hero Lab, Realm Works, and Fantasy Grounds we’ve got some amazing backer goals which everyone gets by pledging for a copy of this amazing book. Sure to be a classic and weirder, more insidious companions to your core books– Underworld Races & Classes Kickstarter awaits you!
Help us make this project a reality- there’s only 6 days left to pledge!
Have a great weekend everyone!
-Jonathan G. Nelson
We are enormously excited about AdventureAWeek.com’s nominations for two ENnies this year! It is a huge honor to be up for even one of these prestigious awards, and we are humbled to be counted alongside greats of the RPG industry like Paizo, Green Ronin, and Kobold Press.
Rise of the Drow is nominated for Best Adventure and the AaWBlog is up for Best Blog; please stop by the ENnies voting booth and cast your ballots for AdventureAWeek.com for 1st place in these categories, and express your opinion about the many other notable products and companies with the power of your vote!
Thank you, our readers, for making the AaWBlog the popular place it is and for coming back every day for more great Pathfinder and gaming material; we do it all for you! Help us bring home an ENnie (or two!) and make sure to get your ballot in before voting ends on June 30th!
Ladies and gentlemen, subterranean and surface elves, traditionalist and radical dwarves—the Rise of the Drow PDF is now available!
This enormous tome brings the fantastic trilogy of adventures detailing the dubious doings of the drow of Aventyr’s Underworld above the surface and into your game!
Within the Rise of the Drow PDF you’ll find a multitude of veteran industry designers like Brian Berg and Christina Stiles, inimitable illustrations by the likes of Jen Page and Jacob Blackmon, and more content than you can shake a +5 greatclub at. The beautifully rendered artwork and carefully crafted prose in Rise of the Drow creates an innovative and original subterranean setting for both the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 rule set AND Pathfinder, filled with numerous new creatures, equipment, magic items, spells, feats and interesting NPCs that breathe life into the world beneath the surface! Never before has such an amazing book brought together this kind of celebrity-studded cast of artists, cartographers and designers!
Grab your copy today and terrorize players with the bestial blood-sucking ahool, instill wonder with the fantastic Fungi Forest, and pique their interests with the intrigues of the diabolical drow of Holoth!
You can read more about what’s in store here, but if you aren’t interested yet, how do you feel about…
- A dozen drow houses, some at the height of their power and others that lurk in the darkness, waiting for their moment to strike!
- The brand new Mushroom domain, filled with a retinue of fun new spells guaranteed to garner the interest of any nature-minded spellcaster!
- Several incredible dungeons and locales—including the cavernous expanses of Jorumgard (designed by Owen K.C. Stephens of Green Ronin and Rogue Genius Games)—perfect from dropping beneath the surface of any campaign setting!
- Hosts of carefully constructed NPCs suitable for appearances both on the world above and beneath!
- Countless new cleverly designed mechanics and mini-games sure to ensconce your players in the Rise of the Drow!
Have you collected rations?
Sharpened your steel?
Filled your components pouch?
Then grab your copy of the Rise of the Drow PDF now and delve into the depths of Aventyr’s Underworld without delay—who knows how much longer the machinations of the dark elves will be contained beneath the surface!
Rise of the Drow hits store shelves in April, causing evil, maniacal grins to spread across the faces of GMs around the globe. But what if you’re a player? What new books do you have to look forward to? Check in with the AaWBlog every week and we’ll reveal more of the upcoming Underworld Races & Classes, scheduled for release in April with new content coming out every week in PDF and print!
Jurgen held his torch aloft, peering into the darkness ahead; the cave floor disappeared below, dropping steeply into a vast chasm before turning into a maze of descending boulders and open crevasses. He waited, trying to make his actions appear as experienced caution rather than nervous hesitation. The incessant dripping had long ago become a disorientating nuisance, with both the sound and out-of-the-periphery movement distractions he could do without. Jurgen turned to the rest of the party and nodded, handing over his torch and preparing his climbing gear to descend the slope. While not fresh-faced babes barely away from their mothers’ skirts, his adventuring companions were relative newcomers to the Underworld (if their braggadocio was to be believed) and were anyone to scratch the surface of their tales too deeply, complete novices. However he had taken their commision and Jurgen had a reputation as an experienced climber; still, this descent so soon after entering the endless caves could not be a coincidence.
Once fully fastened into a harness and secured with rope and pitons, he began to climb downwards, his only light source a small magical glowing stone upon the pommel of his sheathed blade. The pale white light illuminated little, but Jurgen’s eyes began to adjust as he neared the rugged cavern floor 60 feet below. Just before touching down the faint light source played across a creature nestled within a crack in the wall of the cave, hanging upside down. Its shape was not unlike that of a bat, but with long arms ending in dangerous looking claws along with huge muscular legs revealed that this was no ordinary nightflier, but a humanoid of some kind. The beastman had extended ears like its smaller batkin, and as Jurgen watched in horror, its eyes suddenly fluttered open—disturbed by his light, sound, and ripe Upperworlder smell. The creature snapped open its maw revealing faintly barbed fangs stained red from a recent feast, the curdling remains of which were spread out upon the rocks and dust beneath the creature. Bile rose unbidden in Jurgen’s throat, and the acidic tang caught him by surprise.
Then without warning, a terrible high-pitched sound struck Jurgen in the face like an angry slap, sending him sprawling to the cave floor. His companions, who had begun their own descent, lost their grip and fell the great distance past Jurgen, their wretched screaming and the subsequent sound of bones tearing through flesh was almost drowned out by the continuous piercing wail coming from the creature. One of his companions, blood streaming from his eyes and his hands clamped over his ears, stumbled forward and fell into a crevasse, disappearing forever into the great darkness below without so much as a sound. Jurgen struggled to free his blade but found himself unable to move.
The creature opened its massive wings and with a single beat of them, took flight effortlessly from its twisted and inverted position, blasting into the air above the climber—as equally abruptly as it started the sound mercifully ceased for a moment, allowing Jurgen to rip his blade free from its scabbard, only to have a web suddenly stick to it and snatch it from his hands and into the blackness. He looked towards where the weapon had disappeared only to catch a glimpse of a dark elf with the sticky strand extended from his outstretched hand, the other end of which was attached to Jurgen’s blade. The light on the pommel of Jurgen’s sword swirled wildly around as it followed the ascending web to the ceiling, where he could make out the shape of the drow as it clung to the ceiling using far more arms than any humanoid should have. There was nothing in this vision that could possibly be classed as helpful or encouraging.
He was barely able to take this in before a flesh-colored blade burst from his chest; turning in shock, Jurgen stared at his killer as life leached from his body—there stood the twisted form of an infernal dwarf, grinning widely with a hellish flicker of flames burning in its eyes, its very essence imbued with the pure evil of HEL. As Jurgen watched, the flesh-like blade withdrew from his body and morphed back into the dwarf’s hand. It was in these final moments that Jurgen’s journey and his adventuring days would come to an end, played out across his fading mind—for the Underworlders, the adventure had only just begun.
A Taste of the New Races:
Primordial Beastmen of the Endless Caves
These are the children of the dreaded, winged, nightmare beasts of the Underworld, the ahool. Compared to their elders they are considerably smaller and less of a threat, but denizens of the depths would find reason to disagree. The demanding life of ahool society irons out the failings and weaknesses of these youthful creatures quickly, but when one is led too far astray or abandoned by their tribe, they pursue whatever path life provides for them (sometimes never reaching their full primal potential). Small collectives of ahooling are said to live outside the incredibly fierce societies of the predatorial ahool, eschewing the bestial traditions of their greater cousins.
The drow were once denizens of Upperworld, sharing the realm with their elven brethren without consequence. Thousands of years have passed since those mythical times, and the children of the Spider Goddess have evolved far from their original state. The drow (now barely considered a subtype of the elven race) live far beneath the surface of known lands, deep in the Underworld. Their large cities are built in reverence to Naraneus the Spider Goddess, who intimately assists them, unlike the deities of Upperworld. Drow societies are matriarchal, and women generally hold every position of power within a city, their priesthoods always led by women of potent ability and foresight.
Drow are cold, cunning and manipulative; most live for the sole purpose of obtaining absolute power and control over those around them. Their entire race is inherently evil but there are rare occasions—when the moon is full and the Spider Goddess’ attentions are devoted elsewhere—that a good-aligned dark elf is born. Children born during these periods are generally sacrificed to Naranaeus without a second thought, but mothers with a strong parenting instinct that are unwilling to kill their own child give birth in secret, outside of their drow settlement, passing the child to an Upperworlder or asking an Underworlder of another race to care for the newborn. They may follow their offspring, secretly assisting from afar to see that their child grows and adapts to life amongst the other races.
Unless otherwise permitted by the GM, any drow character in Aventyr is of evil or at best neutral alignment. Any drow of a good alignment will have been raised by one of the good-aligned races of the Underworld, or—rarely—by humanoids of Upperworld. Evil drow PCs hail from the subterranean metropolises of the Underworld.
A taste of the new classes:
Master of the Web (Drow Monk Archetype*)
While the Spider Goddess Naraneus does not bless her sons with any great ability to channel her divinity, some are blessed with gifts that emulate their martial devotion to arachnids. These fell monks turn into hybridizations of drow and spiders, utilizing their natural webs to devastating effect on the battlefield.
Fledgling Ahool (Ahooling Base Class*)
The ahool are some of the most dangerous and mysterious denizens of the Underworld, rightly feared for their swift maneuvering on the subterranean breezes and deft, natural prowess in combat. Fledgling ahool is a class available only to ahoolings (a new player race), representing the rigorous upbringing required to attain the full spectrum of abilities possessed by their kin.
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the Mistress of the Web’s deadly words and the Ironsinger’s sovereign shriek when Underworld Classes begin seeing release, and make sure to check the AaWBlog for our next reveal; we’re bringing out the vile gitwerc and their hideously devious scions, the underterror!
Want to know what it’s like to run AdventureAWeek.com?
Check out this episode of Gamer Lifestyle, where the inimitable Jonathan Nelson breaks it down for Johnn Four (of Gamer-Lifestyle) and Brian “Fitz” Fitzpatrick (of Moebius Adventures)!
Jonathan tells all – the struggle to get started, the Do’s and Don’t’s of publishing, what programs and services are the best value for what AdventureAWeek.com provides, how to get started in the gaming industry, the pressures of publishing the hardcover monster that is Rise of the Drow – it’s all inside this interview.
If you just want the really good stuff, where he plugs me, check out the last 5 minutes. ; ) -Mike
Rise 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!
Do 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?
Send your (400 word – anything longer is automatically disqualified) pitches to submit (at) adventureaweek.com.
- 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.
Preperation 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.
3. 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.
Rise of the Drow, the project we have been working on for most of 2013 is nearly complete. We are ordering a limited edition run special for our Kickstarter backers and there will be a few extra copies of this book left over for the lucky few who can snag them!
The fantastic work and the caliber of the people involved in this project is top notch. The art filling these pages is gorgeous, the story and content are everything that an epic journey through the Underworld should be, the new spells, monsters, and magic items are forged from the minds of some of the greatest in game design.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the RISE OF THE DROW TRILOGY!