MOON13-3 Wolves of the Sea at GenConOnline 2020

This year I was lucky to have my first Adventurer’s League Adventure run at Winter Fantasy.  I wrote MOON13-3 Wolves of the Sea as part of Baldman Game’s tier 3 trilogy. The Trilogy was developed and edited by Pieter Sleijpen and Eric Menge, and follows the adventurers as they search for missing refugees fleeing Norland as part of the Moonshae Isles Rising Shadow’s adventure path.

Adventure Overview

An expedition has gone missing. Rumors surface that reavers based in the pirate city of Westhaven are selling slaves to unscrupulous merchants. Is the expedition still alive? Can you uncover the slavers and rescue the expedition before it’s too late? A four hour D&D Adventurers League adventure for Tier 3 characters, set in the Moonshae Isles and brought to you by Baldman Games. Optimized for APL 13. This year we are proud to support several charities on top of what Gen Con is already doing. We will be donating a portion of our proceeds to Black Lives Matters charities at the conclusion of the show. On top of that, we are happy to partner with Jasper’s Gameday once again to offer rerolls and other exciting showtime activities to support their awesome mission statement.

Gen Con Online Schedules

Although I’m still eagerly awaiting for it to be published on the DM’s Guild, I’m excited that my adventure is being run as part of GenCon 13. The following are a list of schedule slots for the adventure:

Friday, July 31 Noon

Saturday, Aug 1 – 9 AM

Saturday, Aug 1 – noon

Saturday, Aug 1 – 4 PM

Saturday, Aug 1 – 7 PM

The evocative art I’ve used in this post is by Piotr Krezelewski. I thought Piotr’s illustration nicely presents what the pirate town of Westhaven might look like.

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Gen Con Online – 2020

My hope had been to attend my first GEN CON this year. Unfortunately, because of the COVID craziness affecting all of us this year, that won’t be possible. However, the convention has moved OnLine and they’re running a ton of gaming events. I’m both excited and scared to be running my first online D&D games at the event using Roll20.

I’ll be running modules from Baldman Games CCC-MOON-10 series. I’m very excited to run these tier-2 adventures. The series creative lead was the uber-talented Amy Lynn Dzura. The adventures take place in the Moonshae Isles of the Forgotten Realms.

Although not required to play in these adventures, Baldman Games published a well-made campaign guide for the region (Rising Shadows:Moonshae Isles Regional Guide) written by Shawn Merwin, Robert Alaniz, & Eric Menge. I highly recommend this book.

Adventure Outlines

  • MOON 10-1 Whispers and Warnings: The reach of the Shadowfell has come to Alaron! The Great Gark’s forces are intent on spreading the Howling Disease throughout the island, and the fey are in dire peril. Will you ride to their aide or will the shadow spread across the land? Part 1 of the MOON 10 trilogy. A four hour D&D Adventurers League adventure for 1st to 4th level characters, set in the Moonshae Isles.
  • MOON 10-2 Shadows and Shrouds: A new threat is gaining power over the moonwells of Alaron, and the druids of the Earthmother believe the best way to uncover the sinister plot is to venture into the Shadowfell itself. Part 2 of the MOON 10 trilogy. A four hour D&D Adventurers League adventure for 1st to 4th level characters, set in the Moonshae Isles.
  • MOON 10-3 Fortresses and Fortunes: Forces are gathering at Caer Callidyrr. The Slain seeks to capture the High King of the Moonshaes, and the fate of Alaron hangs in the balance. What will happen when the Shadowfell and the Feywild troops collide? Part 3 of the MOON 10 Trilogy. A four hour D&D Adventurers League adventure for 1st to 4th level characters, set in the Moonshae Isles.

Joe’s DM’ing Schedule

I believe event registration opens up July 13th. Here’s my schedule for the games I’m DM’ing during the convention (all times in Eastern Timezone). Although they’re designed to be 4-hour adventures, they’ve set aside 6 hours for each timeslot. I’d love to see you at my table!

Thursday, July 30th

Friday, July 31st

Saturday, August 1st

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Hatred In Strale

One of the great things available to current D&D players is a wealth of campaign world in which they can run their games. Late last year, I had the pleasure of meeting Travis Legge, who shared with me a love for the Scarred Lands setting.

This well-detailed campaign world was first published using the d20 System by White Wolf Publishing starting in 2000. During the early 2000s a flurry of material detailing this campaign world was released. In 2013, Nocturnal Media and Onyx Path Publishing picked up the rights to the fantasy setting and a few years later released their 5th Edition remastering of the material.

What are the Scarred Lands?

The Scared Land setting is a world that reels from the effects of a war between the gods and titans. 150 years have passed since the gods won this war, but the lands still bear witness to the horrors unleashed by this conflict. You can grab the 5th edition version of the Scarred Lands sourcebook on DriveThruRPG.

Slarecian Vault

The Slarecian Vault is Onyx Path’s community content publication platform offered through DriveThruRPG. Much like the DM’s Guild, the Slarecian Vault allows individuals to create and sell new Scarred Lands content.

Hatred in Strale

In speaking with Travis last year, he encouraged me to try my hand at creating material for this setting. Though it took longer than I’d like, I’ve finally finished my first publication for this setting.

I’m pleased to present Hatred in Strale.Hatred In Stale - v1.0 - 20200519_Page_01 It’s intended to be a two to four-hour adventure to challenge 4-5 characters of 1st level.

The characters stumble upon the survivors of a doomed expedition and learn of a shipwreck that may still hold items of great value. Can they overcome an abomination that now claims the vessel, or will they fall victim to the Hatred in Strale.

Although it was designed for the Scarred Lands adventure setting, the adventure is easily adaptable for most fantasy settings.

Please take a look!

Here are a few sample pages from the production:

Hatred In Stale - v1.0 - 20200519_Page_03 smallerHatred In Stale - v1.0 - 20200519_Page_04 smallerHatred In Stale - v1.0 - 20200519_Page_11 smallerHatred In Stale - v1.0 - 20200519_Page_13 - smallerHatred In Stale - v1.0 - 20200519_Page_17 smallerHatred In Stale - v1.0 - 20200519_Page_18 smaller

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Jasper’s Game Week Discount

This year, Jasper’s Game Week starts May 2nd and runs until Thursday, May 7th. It’s a Dungeons & Dragons community charity event raising money to support suicide prevention in the United States.

I’m very pleased to participate this year, as I’ve donated money for a chance to play on a streamed D&D game run by Shawn Merwin Tuesday May 5th at 5pm eastern. If you’d like to see me fumble through playing my human wizard Vanor Longsleeve, please tune in and watch.

Better yet, if you’re able, please consider donating to the event here. DONATE.

For those interested in helping Canadian organizations, here are a few that could use your help:

In addition, between May 1st and May 7th, 2020, I will donate to this charity event my commissions from Terror Beneath the Frozen Gate. It’s my collaborative D&D adventure available on the DM’s Guild that I co-wrote with Jeff Stevens and Karl Resch. Please consider picking up a copy. You can even use this special discount link to grab the .pdf  at 1/2 its regular price.


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Circle Initiate

One of the fun D&D innovations released in the last year were the official sidekick characters in the D&D Essentials Kit. In my gaming experience, all too often it’s been difficult to pull together 4 or 5 folks for a D&D game. Historically, playing D&D with just a DM and a single player was unwieldy, usually forcing the player to juggle managing two or more characters. Certainly can be done, but it does add a lot of thinking overhead to remember all the different abilities of each character.

Sidekicks remind me of 1st editions henchmen, hired non-player characters brought with adventurers to tackle difficult adventures. Henchmen were usually one-dimensions figures used by players to beef up their group, to help their main characters survive.

5E’s sidekicks present simplified characters whose abilities nicely fit into a single stat block. With a streamlined set of skills, these characters easily augment a small group of characters, making even the DM and single-player a viable option.

Earlier this year I released Terror Beneath the Frozen Gate, a tier-one adventure I wrote with Jeff Stevens and Karl Resch. We designed it to be an adventure that could take new players from level 1 to level 5. My intention was to provide a full set of pre-gens to make it a quick, ready-to-run adventure, but as often happens, there never seems to be enough time to do everything I’d hoped to do.

However, I thought it might be fun to add a set of side-kicks that a small group could use to help run this or any other adventure based in the Great Dale. So this week I released the Circle Initiate, the first of a series of Great Dale themed sidekick characters. Over the coming months, I intend to publish four or five more and finally bundle them into a single collection.

The Circle Initiate took inspiration from the Circle of Leth, a druid order that watches over the vast forests surrounding the Great Dale. These characters bring a host of nature-themed abilities to support player characters, including the ability to augment berries created by the goodberry spell to make them viable healing support as the group advances in level. Cover art for the Circle Initiate by the talented stock art artist Daniel Comerci.

If you have a chance, pick up a copy. I’ve also included it in my Great Dale Campaign bundle allowing you to get it along with my Great Dale Campaign Guide, and a few adventures including  Terror Beneath the Frozen Gate.


Interested in finding some other articles on Sidekicks check out the following links:

  • Down With DnD Episode #174 – Merwin and Sniezek looked at the sidekicks when they were still in development as an Unearthed Arcana consideration.
  • DM David  – a post back in 2017 by David Hartlage describing the benefits of augmenting an adventuring party with NPC support, which for me foreshadows the arrival of sidekicks nicesly.
  • RPG Bot – an overview of sidekicks, how to use ’em and make your own.
  • DnD Duet – a nice overview of using Sidekicks in your games
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Great Dale Bundle

I’ve just created a bundle to help start campaigns in the Great Dale region of the Forgotten Realms.

This bundle contains the Great Dale Campaign Guide and a few adventures to get ya going – A Fey’s Anger, A Fey’s Evil, A Fey’s Lair and The Terror Beneath the Frozen Gate.

Remember, bundles reduce pricing for any products you’ve already purchased. Please take a look!

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Chris Perkin’s Birthday Discount

Today is one of my favorite WOTC designer’s birthdays as Chris Perkins finally turns 13!

In celebration of Chris becoming a teenager this year, for the next 13 days, I will offer two of my most recent DM’s Guild publications for 50% off.

Hurry, the deals expire on March 13, 2020.

Terror Beneath The Frozen Gate – $4.95 US

The Great Dale – $9.95 US

Cover for Tthe Great Dale


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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, 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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