A Walk in the Dark A look in to the mind of an RPG designer



The Heart of Fire

It's been two weeks since a post, so I figured I'd post something.

Yesterday I finished my editing pass on my upcoming Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition mega-adventure The Heart of Fire. I use the term "mega-adventure" loosely; it's 130 pages, which makes it larger than most adventures... but it's not as big as Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk (222 pages) or Return to the Tomb of Horrors (which is well over 200 pages if you count illustrations, maps and monsters). And I don't know how big Madness at Gardmore Abbey is, but by all accounts it's a big one too.

I mention those for a reason... Unlike my past endeavors, this is not a linear dungeon. There are two different entrances, each with a whole set of rooms, and players can take multiple paths through these areas to reach the final boss. They can hack and slash approach or try a more subtle tactic; it's up to them. In a full session, I don't expect a party to go through every room in the adventure, but it does give them the option to go exploring and investigate several different quests and subplots.

I've posted some teasers on Twitter, such as the map of the Isle of Pyrias (by J.D. Harvill from Cartographer's Guild) and the ground floor of the Temple of Blackfire. There are also some other pics on my DeviantArt page.

This week I am going to find editors for it; as you can imagine, it's kind of hard to find editors willing to plod through a 130 page document for free (NOTE: If you're willing to volunteer, please let me kn0w), but once that is done I will be releasing it digitally through Drive Thru RPG as well as submitting it to the ENnies (hey, might as well, right?).

Once that is done, I am going to attempt something: a Kickstarter for the print release. You see, there isn't a better feeling of accomplishment than to hold a physical copy of your own creation in your hands. So I'd like to try and run a very low budget Kickstarter - probably a couple of grand at most - to cover printing copies and other expenses (commissioning an artist to do the cover, getting my own ISBN number, listing on major sales venues, possible advertising, etc.) and see if t works. And if it goes really well, perhaps it could help fund future products like The Coming Dark.

So if all goes well, The Heart of Fire will be published by the end of this month, and the Kickstarter will follow shortly thereafter. We'll see how things go.

In the meantime, I have started to work on my next project: a significantly smaller adventure for a party of 0th level characters, using the guidelines published in "A Hero's First Steps" by Philippe-Antoine Menard (a.k.a. @ChattyDM on Twitter). If it goes well, I may also port the encounter over to Goodman Games' Dungeon Crawl Classics system if those rules become available soon.

Finally, I have one big article/blog post I'm working on, but it's complicated and it... well... needs to be approved by higher authorities. 😉

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  1. Very cool! I look forward to seeing the adventure. And FYI, Madness at Gardmore Abbey is a set of four 32 page books; so, 128 pages. You’ve got it beat!

  2. Cool stuff, ill likely help w the kickstarter

  3. I have some editing experience and, depending on how fast you need it done by, would be willing to volunteer.
    Email me at p_symptome(at)yahoo(dot)ca if you are interested.

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