Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Castle of the Mad Archmage Pathfinder Edition now available

I am pleased to announce that the Pathfinder-compatible edition of the best-selling Castle of the Mad Archmage is now available, in pdf, softcover, and hardcover editions. Converted by veteran Michael McCarty, Castle of the Mad Archmage features more than 1,500 keyed encounters on more than 13 dungeon levels, and includes new monsters, magic items, and spells.

The Castle of the Mad Archmage is designed as an old-fashioned "funhouse" megadungeon, with tricks and traps, many different factions of monsters, and can provide literally years of mayhem, dismemberment, and other fun.

The adventure is comprised of three books; the Adventure Book, the Map Book, and an Illustration Book with pictures to show your players what they see at key and interesting points in the dungeon (due to a limitation of the RPGNow site, you must add all three of these books to your cart separately).

Monday, March 31, 2014

Castle of the Mad Archmage on RFI

This weekend the Roll for Initiative podcast did a very nice and in-depth review of Castle of the Mad Archmage. Very positive; most of the crew gave it four or four and a half swords out of five. Definitely check it out.

They did have a couple of questions, and I thought I'd just cover them here real quick (I'll also send an email, in case they don't read this). (Caution: Spoilers! - actually there are spoilers throughout the podcast too, so don't listen if you think you're going to play in the adventure.)

  • I'm pretty sure the grey monks are original, and not found in Gygax's dungeon. I don't recall hearing about them...
  • The gate to Lewis Carroll's Wonderland is in the mushroom forest in the Greater Caverns.
  • Unfortunately the three books can't be bundled on DriveThruRPG/RPGNow because of a technical limitation of the site. You can't do bundles of print books, so you have to add them separately to your cart. The pricing for the books was adjusted so that the total is what it would have been if I had been able to do a print bundle.
  • The maps were printed in their own book based on playtest feedback. It's *far* easier to have a separate book rather than needing to flip back-and-forth in one larger book. I found that out myself, too, running it for my group at home as well as at conventions. When the decision was made to do an illustration book (because the fans overwhelmingly said that was something they'd like to see), it made sense to treat it the same way. 
  • You're correct about the designer's notes that were in the original free version - they were excised because, as a published product under the OGL, I was much more sensitive to copyright issues. I might do some designer's notes here on the blog, if people think it would be fun and/or helpful. Let me know!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Design Notes: Cathai

The mythic China rulebook (aka Cathai) is coming into focus. Two new races; the shanxiao (monkey-men) and yao (dog-men) but none of the regular demihuman races. New character classes; the monk (sub-class of fighter), wu (sub-class of cleric), and fangshi (sub-class of mage). No bards, jesters, cavaliers, paladins, or illusionists. Combat is the same, except with different weapons and armor (of course), and the addition of kung fu styles.

Kung fu styles work just like secondary skills in the core Players Manual; you pay x.p. to get a skill level, and get a bonus or power accordingly. The rub is finding someone willing and able to teach higher-level skills; the rare ones are very difficult to find someone who is even able to teach it, and harder still to find someone willing to do so.

Everything is designed to integrate completely and seamlessly with the main rules, which means they'll also integrate well with most OSR type rules. Kung fu skills will give bonuses and some cool theatrical effects, but nothing game-busting. A plain sixth level fighter should be roughly equivalent to a fourth level fighter who spent the extra x.p. on some kung fu skill levels.

On the whole, I'm really liking the direction the book is taking. And yes, there will be terra cotta golems.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Thank You

I can't believe it. Two months after it was released, Castle of the Mad Archmage is still in the top ten best-sellers list on RPGNow.com. That kind of support really means a lot, and I would like to thank each and every one of you who has bought my magnum opus megadungeon, either in pdf or hard copy.

Thank you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Swords of the Damned hard copy now available!

Woo-hoo! "Swords of the Damned," the first-ever novel based on Adventures Dark and Deep™ novel is now available in hard copy! Here's the cover blurb:
Morcar, a professional adventurer down on his luck, is shanghaied into attempting his riskiest mission yet – venturing into the labyrinthine tunnels underneath the ancient city of Graybarrow. Accompanied by a band of desperate renegades and rogues, he faces both the dangers of the unknown depths and a force that lies beyond death itself, with cultists and warriors on his trail. Can he conquer the Swords of the Damned, or is he destined to join their ranks...
You can get the softcover book from DriveThruFiction.com here, and don't forget that the ebook format is of course still available directly from the author via Amazon.com (sorry, there's no way to buy them both at the same time due to licensing).

It's really a nice book, and if you're a fan of Adventures Dark and Deep or fantasy fiction in general, you should definitely check it out.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Swords of the Damned ebook now available

Well that happened a little bit sooner than I was expecting!

I am pleased to announce that the ebook version of the first-ever Adventures Dark and Deep novel, Swords of the Damned, is now available through Amazon.com (what, you're in Britain? Fine... here you go). Here's the blurb:
Morcar, a professional adventurer down on his luck, is shanghaied into attempting his riskiest mission yet – venturing into the labyrinthine tunnels underneath the ancient city of Graybarrow. Accompanied by a band of desperate renegades and rogues, he faces both the dangers of the unknown depths and a force that lies beyond death itself, with cultists and warriors on his trail. Can he conquer the Swords of the Damned, or is he destined to join their ranks...
The book will be available in hardcopy in a few weeks, but don't let that stop you from getting the ebook first (the ebook and hardcopy versions will be sold separately). It's a nifty adventure novel, and well worth the $3.99 to get it on your Kindle. Personally, I can't wait to have a dead tree version in my hand, but then again I am an old grognard, and set in my analog ways. This is also the first book in a trilogy, so more fun to look forward to!