We’re a little less than two weeks out from the kickoff of the Zinequest 3 event through kickstarter and I’m wrapping up the bulk of the production work for my upcoming adventure module: In the Shadow of Tower Silveraxe. The prelaunch page is live and now begins the rush to get the word out. In this post I want to share what the module is all about and show a bit of the layout and art. The info here is also found on the kickstarter.
Kickstarter launching February 2nd! Tell your friends!
In the Shadow of Tower Silveraxe is a classic old-school fantasy sandbox adventure module.
There could be several reasons to seek adventure in the Gemthrone Wilderness. It is a region that is often the subject of speculation on cold nights in the glow of a tavern hearth. Some may talk of the magnificent treasures that have laid untouched for centuries in dark dungeons, just waiting to be pilfered—which is, almost without fail, followed by another who interjects with the dangers of such notions, were such legends even to be believed.
There are, however, those whodo believe such tales—wizened adventurers whoknow there is always some truth to even the most unbelievable stories. One just has to know what rumors to listen for…
A chaotic leader of a group of outlaws and mercenaries, Duard Silveraxe, has braved the Labyrinthine forest and taken control of the ancient ruined Tower of Shadow from the elves. Duard seeks power here—legends say that the elves of the tower keep a dark power hidden there—immortality and weird magical abilities granted to the one who performs the rituals to unlock them.
For centuries, the elves of this region have been custodians of the Tower of Shadow. Their charge has been to keep its ancient magic hidden from those who might use it in the name of chaos—the ability to harness the powers of the Shadow Plane. To become shadow itself.
Since the assault, the denizens of the surrounding forest, including the more monstrous creatures—trolls and giant spiders— have fled from the vicinity of the tower and into the nearby mountains, causing problems for settlers of the region—including the residents of the peaceful dwarven town of Karn Buldahr. The town council has sought aid from any willing adventurers to help deal with the attacks.
In the Shadow of Tower Silveraxe is a 48 page (not including cover) adventure module zine designed for use with the Old School Essentials or Basic/Expert classic Dungeons & Dragons rules. It’s old-school in both flavor and design mindset—weird and fantastic pulp adventure. Not all encounters are balanced and survival is not a guarantee.
The setting is intentionally lite and it allows for input from the referee and the players. Dungeons & Dragons from the 70’s and early 80’s had its own implied fantasy setting baked into the rules—one that I am deeply fond of.
The zine contains a detailed map of the Gemthrone wilderness, seven dungeons, and four settlements including the dwarven town of Karn Buldahr— which can serve well as a starting location for lower level adventurers. Each settlement has its own list of rumors, hooks, and NPCs
It is designed as a module. Use it as a standalone campaign, graft it onto your existing campaign wherever you find mountainous wilderness, or pull out and use any of the dungeons as a one-shot.
Furthermore, its layout is designed with clarity and usability in mind. Dungeon maps are easy to read and their corresponding room descriptions are placed so that they are both on the same spread—less page flipping!
- 48 interior pages (as of this writing, might go up a little)
- Topographic wilderness overland map
- 7 dungeon locations
- 4 settlement locations with hooks and NPCs
- Setting and faction information
- Additional rules for more interesting weather
Below are a few examples of what’s inside.
The map is done in the style of a topographic wilderness hiking map, complete with elevation, contours, vegetation density, relief shading, water features, and trail mileage noted to the 1/10 of a mile! All this detail is so the referee can accurately describe the surroundings, precise travel times, and adjudicate exploration should the players decide to take a different route. In addition, a 6-mile hex grid overlay will help if they want to go off trail or if you prefer running a hex-crawl style games.
All of the art, cartography, and layout design are done by me. The only art left to complete is the interior art which will come as either smaller filler art and a couple (maybe more) larger full page pieces in black and white. The art will be thematic to the content of the zine. I usually work traditionally with pen (and brush) and ink—except for the cover art, which I digitally painted. Here are some more examples of my art so you can see my style and know what to expect.
You can also check out my instagram where there are more examples of my work.
I have set July as the expected delivery date, but I expect to have it out sooner than that. The bulk of the production work is complete and all that is left is interior art, playtesting, editing, and revisions.
Thanks for checking out this preview for In the Shadow of Tower Silveraxe. I’m super stoked to launch the kickstarter campaign and add my contribution to the awesome indie RPG community. I’ve had an absolute blast writing this adventure module and if this zine does alright, I would love to put out more projects like this one in the future.