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

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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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Campaign Guide to the Great Dale

At long last, my collaborative effort, the Campaign Guide to the Great Dale, will be available for purchase on the DM’s Guild this coming Friday (Oct 11th) in .pdf or print-on-demand formats.

The Great Dale lies in the Unapproachable East region of the Forgotten Realms. It is a long journey from the Sword Coast and it is filled with ancient and terrible secrets awaiting to be discovered. Here, powerful druids clash with the fiendish taint of a long vanished empire.  Opportunity and intrigue await any who join the rush of factions seeking to control the rejuvenated city of Uthmere. Above all, the Great Dale is a land of adventure.

The Great Dale Campaign Guide is filled with exciting new ideas for Dungeon Master’s and
players to add to their home games. Inside you’ll discover:

  • An overview of Dunwood, the Dale, the Forest of Lethyr and surrounding lands
  • A history of the Great Dale and the factions that influence the region.
  • A new player character race – the Volodni
  • 11 class archetypes such as the Nar Demonbinder, the Nentyar Hunter and Rauthmari Battle Mage
  • 3 new character backgrounds customized for the Great Dale
  • 6 feats including cooperative Circle Magic
  • 18 spells wielded by the Great Dale’s mystics and learned wizards
  • 13 magic items used to tame a war-torn land
  • 15 unique NPCs waiting to help – or betray – adventurers
  • 13 new monsters to challenge players, including the Demon Lord Eltab
  • A collection of adventure ideas to create your own campaigns in the Great Dale.


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Uthmere Rejuvenated

In my upcoming campaign guide to the Great Dale, we’ve included two pages of lore describing the current state of the city of Uthmere.

In the 1300’s FR, prior to the events of the Spell Plague, Uthmere was a small but thriving city of nearly 9,000 souls. In my take on the regions history, the Year of Blue Flame (1385 DR) had the city rocked by a series of earthquakes. The damage devastated many buildings and took the life of its ruler Lord Uthlain. Then when the Easting Reach receded during the Year of the Halfling’s Lament (1386 DR), the economy fell apart as ships could no longer dock at the city’s ports.

For the next century, the city withered to a fraction of its former glory. It became nothing more than a glorified trading village of a little over 400 inhabitants.

With the Great Rains that ended in the Year of the Nether Mountain Scrolls (1486 DR), the waters of the Easting Reach returned making Uthmere’s port a viable option again. Unfortunately, these rains brought added pain to the city as the Dalestream broke it’s banks damaging many of the structures near the river.

In the current year of the Forgotten Realms (1492 DR), the city is booming. It’s population now surpasses 1,000 individuals, and grows daily as people arrive to seek their fortune in the growing city. Traders are returning and factions rush to build a power base in the frontier town, making it an exciting and dangerous place for adventurer’s to visit.

Here’s a map of Uthmere updated to the current year by the talented Daniel Walthall,


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Mistkickers Sidekicks

The D&D 5E’s Essentials Kit released this summer. It introduced “sidekicks”, simple characters that can join an adventuring party and help make small groups, or even 1-on-1 games that much easier to run. For more details on sidekicks, check out this article from from earlier in the summer.

The three simple sidekick archetypes presented in the Essentials Kit just call out for creative individuals to expand upon. One of the talented creators who stepped up to the plate was Oliver Clegg. He marshaled a group of talented DM’s Guild writers to create a collection of sidekicks all themed to fit within a Ravenloft campaign, many with a decidedly irreverent flair. Ravenloft is a Gothic setting where dark powers have trapped tragically evil beings within domains of dread. Mistkickers: Ravenloft Sidekicks is now available on the DM’s Guild.

I was lucky to have my “Toybound Avenger” included with Oliver’s compilation. My concept was to twist the idea of a Revenant, an undead creature that the D&D Monster Manual describes as forming “from the soul of a mortal who met a cruel and undeserving fate”. It has one year to enact its revenge. If its current form is destroyed, it will returned to pursue its quest for revenge by reanimating another corpse. I thought it might be interesting to have such a vengeful spirit awakened within the shell of children’s toy instead.

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Sample NPC – Nentyarch

I recently handed off my Great Dale production to the publisher for them to do their thing. Hopefully the files we’ve sent are good enough to move to the print-proof stage. It’s hard waiting to hear back if the thing you’ve toiled over is good enough to go when you just want to finally see it out in the world.

However, with the large pile of work behind me, I can finally get back to working on other efforts that were unfortunately sidelined while I shepherded this big production over the summer.

So while I anxiously wait to hear how the print layout turned out, why not share another sample page from the production. Below is my interpretation of the Nentyarch, the druid leader of the Circle of Leth. The Circle is arguably one of the most powerful druid groups in all of Faerûn. They oversee the Forest of Lethyr and the Great Dale in general and are revered by most folk of the land.  This illustration of the Nentyarch was commissioned from the talented John Latta.

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Current DM’s Guild Pricing Trends – Sept 2019

As I’m getting closer to having my Great Dale campaign guide released for on the DM’s Guild, I wanted to think a bit on how to price this book. I invested a good amount of funds in this effort to commission new art, purchase stock art, and to pay for the services of a skilled graphic layout individual. I don’t want to overprice the book, but I do want to recover my investment within a reasonable amount of time.

As such, I decided to take a look at the current top most popular DM’s Guild products to see how they have priced their .pdf’s. Here are two charts came up with:

Do these rates adequately compensate the people who’ve invested their time and money to craft these productions? That’s hard to answer as each product included in the data-set are very different, representing a wide spectrum of time and dollar investments by their creators.

I suspect these graphs look different than a couple years ago when the DMsGuild started. As a small creator, I am encouraged to see a majority of the offerings are now north of $0.10/pg, but I suspect these rates still greatly undervalue the time spent by many of the Guild’s creators.

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