Terror Beneath the Frozen Gate

At long last the adventure Jeff, Karl and I worked on is uploaded and available for purchase on the DM’s Guild. You can find it HERE.

A lot of hard work went into this effort by all three of us. I’m extremely pleased at how it all came together. Every chapter, every portion of the story has all of our fingerprints marking the work.

 

Here’s a few sample pages from the production:

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Terror Beneath the Frozen Gate – sample art

I’m just a few days away from releasing my latest collaboration, Terror Beneath the Frozen Gate. In my last blog post I wrote a little about crafting this adventure with Jeff Stevens and Karl Resch. For this post, I thought write about the art I selected for our publication.

My first exposure to D&D was in the early 80’s. Outside of the wondrous coloured covers of most D&D books at the time the interior illustrations were all black and white. I still vividly recall flipping pages of the 1st edition Player’s handbook and staring at each picture and creating a story about each one. Today I feel spoiled looking at all the glorious full-coloured art of the current 5e publications. Oh how my 10-year-old self would have drooled over my 5e D&D bookd!

So as Karl, Jeff and I were throwing around ideas for this adventure, I had a desire to pay homage to the old 1e black and white printings. When I started planning the layout and choosing the art, I wanted our adventure have a little of the feel of those old adventures.

So the art in our production is mostly black and while line art. Thankfully, DriveThruRPG.com is filled with oodles of stock art that fit the bill. Just a few of the talented publishers I’ve purchased stock art from for this book include Daniel Comerci, Dean Spencer, Fat Goblin Games, and Outland Arts. We’ve used one of Dyson Logos‘ wonderful maps to illustrate our Village of Joarl.

Additionally, I commissioned a few new pieces from John Latta and Petar Penev. Here’s a couple pieces you’ll find inside.

First off is a mystical tower beautifully illustrated by John. No tower stands above the village of Joarl, so what could this building have to do with our adventure?

Second is a drawing by Petar of one of the creatures  gracing our cover. What are they and what threat do they pose?

 

 

 

That’s all I’ll share for now, but stay tuned! It won’t be long until our adventure is available on the DM’s Guild!

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Coming soon – Terror Beneath the Frozen Gate

I haven’t posted much because I’ve been focused on finishing up the new D&D adventure I’m writing with Karl Resch and Jeff Stevens. They’re both two remarkably talented RPG creators I’ve been lucky to work with.

As I look back, I’m flabbergasted to realized I’d reached out to Jeff and Karl almost a year ago. We bantered about a number of ideas for our story before settling in on an outline that we were happy with. Although some pieces changed during the course of writing, the main thrust our story stayed consistent. We soon had cover commissioned from the talented Petar Penev.  and I was optimistic we’d have a finished adventure in a few months time.

Unfortunately our initial rush of productivity slowed. A side effort that grew out of our adventure took on a life of its own. In trying to find a location for our adventure, we’d settled in on the Great Dale. It was a region in eastern Faerûn that seemed perfect for our story and was largely ignored by most of the D&D’s published material. PERFECT!

…that is unless you’re obsessed with having material that is consistent with the latest version of the game. I soon found myself spearheading the writing of a campaign source book for this area. It was a whole lot of work, but extremely rewarding as well as it resulted in my first printed publication, The Great Dale. I learned a ton about what it takes to create a print publication and got to connect with some really talented people in the industry. So although my adventure writing with Jeff and Karl was delayed, it was SOOOOO worth it.

I had a couple of other writing priorities sneak in as well that I’ll write about in another post, but finally this past December I was again able to focus on our adventure. I’m writing this post after having just reviewed edits on the second last chapter of our production. Alan Tucker is our editor for this effort. He’s treasure and really good at what he does. I highly recommend working with him if you get the chance.

Assuming all goes well, Terror Beneath the Frozen Gate will be available for purchase on the DM’s Guild at the end of this month. Until that happens, here’s a look at one of the great pieces we commissioned. This one was created by John Latta.

 

 

 

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Working Out the Connections

I’m currently working on integrating the work for my next collaborative effort “Terror Beneath the Frozen Gate”. It’s a tier-one D&D adventure that I’m creating with Jeff Stevens and Karl Resch. I’ve been a bit slow finishing this effort because other priorities kept getting in the way, but I think I’m finally making headway now that i’ve cleared my plate of other writing commitments.

One of the fun challenges I’m wrestling with is ensuring our individual contributions come together in a single cohesive story. Each of us have different strengths that we’ve brought to this collaboration and I want to make sure they all shine in the finished product.

Today I spent the evening working out layout challenges for a fairly complex dungeon delve. I wanted to ensure all the chambers aligned both laterally and vertically. I ended up creating a cutaway view of the complex to ensure the pieces would fit together. I’m not sure if this side-view will make it into the finished publication, but it’s helped me a lot in figuring out how all the bits fit together.

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The Great Dale – Creature Codex, Land and Lore, Player Options

The Great Dale Campaign Guide has been available on the DM’s Guild for a little over a month now and I’m quite pleased by how it’s been received thus far.

We were lucky to have Brandes Stoddard of tribality.com write a balanced and comprehensive REVIEW of the production. We received a 7.9/10, with high marks for our Settting and Monsters

  • “On material alone, this is a substantial work.”
  • “The setting material in this book sheds a lot of the cruft and gets to the good stuff.”
  • “…the setting material is strong, evocative, and feels immediately usable…”
  • “…the Great Dale does have connections to other parts of the Realms, but they’re minor enough that this is a great entry point to the Forgotten Realms, especially if you love the Mirkwood. If you don’t care one way or the other about the Realms, this is still a good contained setting with a lot of conflict and room for heroics.”

One of the challenges in pulling together a book of this nature is that our content targets a variety of different D&D consumers. We have exciting character build options for players who like to experiment with new and intriguing options, we have a ton of NPCs and new monsters that DM’s can drop into their home games, plus we have a comprehensive description of the lands and lore of the Great Dale region.

But does everyone want all of this content? What if a DM is only interested in reading about the lands and lore of the region and has no interest in new Player Options? Are they willing to pay the full price for the complete campaign guide when they are only interested in 1/3 of its content?

As such, I’ve decided to offer extracts of the Great Dale Campaign Guide that are focused on these different aspects of the game. You can now purchase Great Dale content focused on specific content at a more affordable price point.

Now available for purchase are:

The Great Dale – Lands and Lore: An extract of chapters 6,7,8,9, and 11, all of which are focused on describing the region and the lore surrounding it.

 

 

The Great Dale – Creature Codex: An extract of chapter 10, showcasing a collection of new NPC’s and Creatures from the Great Dale.

 

 

 

The Great Dale – Character Options:  An extract of chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, offering a wealth of new character options for players to experiment with in their home games.

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Interview by Under the Wing Gaming

Yesterday I had the pleasure to be interviewed by Dave Knighton for the 2D4 Damage podcast by Under the Wing Gaming. We talked a little about my recent Great Dale production.  I still find it weird being called a writer.

If you haven’t had a chance to pickup my Great Dale campaign guide, now’s a great time. We’ve setup a special 20% off discount link available from the podcast page. It’s good till the end of this year. Check it out!

dave - green logo.png

https://www.underthewinggaming.com/2d4damage-4

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The Campaign Guide to the Great Dale is now available for purchase on the DM’s Guild. It is now available for purchase in .pdf and hard cover formats.
My thanks to the many folks who helped bring this effort to completion!
Cover for Tthe Great Dale
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