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

25Apr/12Off

The Heart of Fire

We are pleased to announce the release of The Heart of Fire, our next major adventure/campaign for Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition! Here is a brief synopsis:

     Over a century ago, the nation of Cerra was terrorized by Vulkanon, a fearsome dragon that rose out from an active volcano on a small neighboring island.

     To deal with the threat, the council of Cerra hired a group of adventures led by Raylen Darathar—a powerful elemental mage—to seek out of the dragon and destroy it. Raylen emerged mortally wounded, but alive. The volcano was silent, and the attacks stopped. Cerra believed itself to be safe once again.

     But decades have passed and now evil stirs again. As the volcano begins to tremble, fearful rumors spread that the great dragon has somehow returned. Sailors whisper of a dark mage that has managed to resurrect the dragon and intends to use its power cower the land into submission. Cerra seeks heroes once again to save itself from fiery destruction.

This adventure has been in development for some time now, well before the "DnD Next" announcement. After I created the thing it sat on my hard drive for about a month, collecting virtual dust, with me wondering exactly what I was going to do with it. The way I see it, it was written... Might as well get it out there even if there's the risk that nobody will buy it.

Admittedly, the adventure isn't at the 100% quality that my obsessive self likes to have, but I wanted to get it published while still being eligible for this year's ENnies. There's no chance in hell any 4E product will be eligible for nomination next year; it was now or never. We are still going to be doing some basic editing to it and will post an update one of these days. If you purchase it and find something glaring in it, please let me know and I'll correct it accordingly.

I'd like to thank a few people who assisted in this project:

Editing: Stephen Newton of Thick Skull Adventures and Ian "Reg09" Ramsey. They fixed my crappy writing and horrible plot holes, and Ian provided some mechanical insight that really helped out in some of the more major encounters of the adventure.

Cover Art: The cover art is by Sigbjørn Pedersen of Pedersen Airbrush, a very talented artist. I chanced across the cover image on DeviantArt and it was absolutely perfect; I had to have it. Thanks for letting me use it!

Island Map: The map of the Isle of Pyrias was done by J.D. Harvill from the Cartographer's Guild. As I've mentioned many times before, I am fairly decent in tactical maps but are abysmal when it comes to regional and world maps. I must have tried to do the island map a dozen times and spent two weeks only to come up with crap, but less than a day after posting the request on Cartographer's Guild J.D. responded splendidly. I am eternally grateful.

Other People: A few other people have seen bits and pieces of the adventure; for example, I know a few that helped me review one major trap in the encounter ("The False Vault" on page 91). At this point I don't remember your names, so email me and I'll acknowledge you accordingly.

You can purchase it now on Drive Thru RPG! I was planning to use this to launch my own store front, but just haven't had the time to get all that done.

-=O=-

So... what's next for us? Glad you asked...

  • I am currently waiting for a response from WotC regarding something I pitched. As usual, regardless of what they answer it's going to get created... It's just up to them to decide who owns it and when it sees the light of day. For obvious reasons, I can't provide more details on that.
  • I have a general concept and two rooms done for a Fourthcore adventure idea I had, so I just need to find the inspiration to finish up the rest of it. The tentative name is the Something of the Crystal Something... Yeah, I know that needs a little work...
  • I have another idea for a D&D 4E adventure that is based on an active war front, similar in concept to the "Reavers of the Harkenworld" mini-campaign included in the DM's Kit. Barring any major change in plans (see above) this will probably be my next major project.
  • The Coming Dark is currently locked in a safe, waiting for the day that we have enough information on "D&D Next" to get working on it.

Finally, as I believe I've mentioned before: we will continue to create D&D 4th Edition content until a higher authority tells us to do otherwise. I am not the type of person to sit on my hands and not do anything about all these ideas I have. And waiting a full year to publish an idea for a game system I know very little about is unthinkable right now, so I will continue to publish with the framework I have currently available. So long as 4E has players, I will continue to create stuff for people to use.

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