A Pocketful of Gnomes Preview #1

Welcome to Briar’s Glen

gnomeregionNEWI put together a short preview of our upcoming adventure “A Pocketful of Gnomes”. In this preview you will be introduced to the region of Briar’s Glen where the adventure takes place. The document contains about 4 1/2 pages of information on the area all told from the perspective of the gnome, Ratchet.

I hope you will find his writings amusing and please let me know what you think, and I hope you all enjoy it, and there is more to come.

Get the .pdf below!

Briar’s Glen Preview Document (.pdf)

Pocketful of Gnomes *Update*

3/18/2019

I’m continuing work on my 5e Adventure “A Pocketful of Gnomes.” Today I worked on a small regional map that will be included in the book. All maps used in this module, will also be included in the text as well as separate .jpg files so that they may be printed for reference or handouts if desired.

This regional map is being used to denote important locations used in the adventure and will give an idea of scale. The adventure itself takes place in a relatively small area, with most locations reachable in the span of half a day, following the roads. Saving time by taking short cuts through the dense forest may save time, but is also more dangerous. Many beasts and other hazards lurk in the forest, adventurers are advised to travel with caution.

gnomeregionPREVIEW

Regional Map (Without Labels)

A Pocketful of Gnomes

A pocketfull of GnomesIn the corner of a small forest lies a quaint little cottage. This home is the residence of a gnomish family. Ratchet, an inventor (and not liable for damages), shares the home with his wife, Widget and their two children. Struggling against an approaching (and arbitrarily chosen) deadline, Ratchet hurries to finish his latest project on time. The characters, drawn into his machinations must aid him in his endeavors. With promises of fame and fortune they will be needed to gather materials, sooth grumpy dwarves, and fend off packs of poor, misunderstood kobolds. Can they overcome the tasks before them? Or will be swallowed up by a cruel and unjust society that unfairly discriminates against gnomes (who just want to make the world a better place and no way make things explode, unless they are designed to do that in which case it is good and a sign of scientific progress!)?

About the Adventure

This adventure was inspired by characters created by my friends. The main NPC, Ratchet, is based on by one played by my friend John, who passed away this January. It is being written in his memory.  John was in many ways a gnome in a man’s body. Cheerful, curious, and optimistic. He brought Ratchet and his other characters to life in ways I never could. I hope that his  memory can bring smiles to the faces of all those who never got the chance to meet him in life.

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Current Progress

Several maps the introduction and a good chunk of chapter one have been completed. Maps and materials presented with be released in printer friendly black and white. I hope to have a rough draft of chapter one completed by the end of the week. I will give regular update on progress of this adventure.

Coming out of Hibernation

I apologize for the long silence. 2018 thoroughly kicked my ass, and 2019 hasn’t fared much better. Its now March and I’m slowly starting to pull my self back into the light.

A lot has changed for me these last few months, and I’ve been forced into an adjustment period that I had not been prepared for. Relationship and personal issues did a number on me, but it has probably been the recent loss of my best friend which hit me the hardest.

John was a wonderful man, and one of my biggest supporters. His passing was a significant impact on all who loved him, and I miss him every day. He was a friend to many, a loving husband, son, and brother. His love and passion of gaming and rpgs, brought him into the lives of many. He gave encouragement when I needed it, never failing to provide feedback, praise or constructive criticism. John inspired everyone around him to their best, and not a day passes where I don’t think of him..

 

Both as a coping mechanism, and an escape. I have pushed myself back into my work. Behind the scenes I have putting together a map pack geared toward users of virtual tabletop software. The first pack will be released before the end of the month and will be available on Drivethrurpg. More info on this release will be

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revealed soon. I will continue to release free maps to the public, but they may be less frequent as other projects take up my time.

I have also produced a couple maps for a Dungeon Master’s Guild release. I can’t say much as I’m under a NDA. I will be sure to let you all know when they announce the release.

Last but not least, I have begun working on a short adventure for 5e, that is being written in memory of my friend John. I plan to release it when complete to Drivethrurpg.com with 100% of the proceeds going to his wife and family. I will give more details on this project soon.

Thank you to all of you who have been following my work. I wouldn’t be here without each and every one of you.

 

July Update

Current Progress 7/13

Below are some updates on the things we’ve been working on and a new staff member joining the team.

New Staff!

quill-and-ink-11I’d like to officially welcome Eric MacLean to the team. He’ll be joining out team as a co-conspirator and writer and has already helped me to flesh out a significant portion of the dwarf write up. Welcome Eric!

Backgrounds

Not too long ago we released a backgrounds playtest, and got very positive feedback, with some great suggestions on some improvements to them. We’ll be revising them again this week, and maybe adding one or two more to the playtest document.

Races

As far as the races of Veyrn, we very much want each race (and even subrace) to have its own unique culture and traits. The idea being that each subrace should be a distinct look at that race, not merely a dwarf or elf with slightly different bonuses but a branch of the race with very different ideals and beliefs, something that sets them apart and lets them be unique. Because of this the sections for each race will likely be longer than similar sections in other books, the dwarf section is currently at about 2200 words and only about 60% complete. When we are relatively content with what we’ve come up with we will be sure to give you a peek at what we’ve come up with.

Library_Dark_Scene_v01While the Millennial Kingdom is not meant to be an extensive look at every race in Veyrn, our goal is to include every race in the setting so that other books aren’t required to play every race found throughout the setting. Later supplements will of course expand on the material within, but won’t be required to play.

Death of Winter (First Adventure Module)

After sitting on the first draft for a few weeks, I’m ready to start the next step, and begin typing and editing it. Having taken the time to think about it over the last couple weeks, I’ve realized that it is likely a bit boated and could stand to be streamlined a bit. So I’ll begin the arduous task of cutting down the unneeded bits and making the story a bit tighter.

Thats all we have for this update, we’ll keep you posted and things progress!

 

June Update

Death of Winter

34307215_749159412140013_9084793989336399872_nThe rough draft for my first module is complete. Coming in at 153 handwritten pages. It pretty much filled a single composition book, and I look forward to going back and revising it. I will put the project aside for a week or so before I start the second draft, this way I can come back to it with a fresh perspective.

There is still a LOT of work to put into it, but am pretty pleased with how it came out. I look forward to sharing bits of it after it is polished a bit more.

After the second draft is complete I will begin organizing a playtest for those who might be interested in helping me to improve this project.

Map of the Week

I had put a lot of time into the first draft of Death of Winter, this along with working on a commissioned map gave me little time to put into producing my weekly maps. Now that the first draft is complete I plan to continue work on these maps. Look for the return of them in the next week or two. I will have a large number of maps to make for my module, so I may release versions of these as free maps and previews (killing 2 birds with one stone.)

Veyrn Campaign Setting

MellenialKingdomThis is a huge project and one I haven’t had the time to put as much effort into as I would like. As the project grew I realized I could not do it justice in a single book. I therefore have decided to do each major area of the world as its own text. The first of these will be the Kingdom of Zayre, known as “The Millennial Kingdom” This central nation will provide a solid entry to Veyrn. I have pages and pages and pages of notes on the setting I just need to start planning out the actual book and begin writing it. As with death of winter I look forward to sharing more as I get things more or less nailed down.

I will provide more detail on TMK in a future update.

 

Death of Winter

Current Project

So the last few weeks my work schedule has had me up earlier than usual. I work a “flexible schedule” [sic] and my hours typically changed from week to week. Lately however they’ve been very consistent. This isn’t an inherently bad thing, but the early morning shifts have altered my sleep schedule so that I have been up early every morning (typically between 3 and 4am) With the extra time in the morning I started to write an adventure module.

Library_Dark_Scene_v01This adventure has so far been penned entirely by hand, and as of this writing has just topped 110 pages in a standard composition book, including sketches of maps (which I will recreate in full color), and countless notes penned into the margins. The adventure is tentatively titled “Death of Winter” In a nutshell the story is about a small village stricken by a disease and the struggle to discover the source and find the cure. I haven’t been this engaged in a single project in ages, and am very pleased with some of the surprises I’ve come up with.

The adventure is set in my setting of Veyrn, but the setting elements have been toned down so that it could very easily be adapted to any setting. It contains a strong emphasis on roleplaying and exploration, but contains enough combat to keep a dedicated fighter entertained. Things the characters do or don’t do will have consequences throughout the story, and will force the players to make some very difficult choices. I hope that GMs and Players enjoy it as much I have enjoyed writing it.

When do we get to see it?

I’m still working on completing the rough draft, but am in the final stretch. Being written by hand I will be typing it up and revising it as I go. The second draft of the writing should be complete in a few weeks. After that I must go through my sketches and create all the maps I will need to accompany this tale. Once all the needed material is written and created, I will put together a working copy of it for playtest purposes. All in All it will still be a couple months until the project is ready for others to see, though I may share it with some trusted friends for initial feedback. It may not be pretty but it will be functional.

Playtesters Needed…Eventually!

I do plan to playtest this adventure as much as possible, both by myself and through  other interested parties, I need more people to gauge difficulty, clear up any confusion, and otherwise make this product the best it can be. This will be my first published work and as such I want it to be the best I can be. I will be posting more information at a later date if any of you are interested in participating, along with more information on my expectations, what I hope to get out of the play test process.

That’s all I have for now, I’ll share more as I progress!

 

 

Adulting is Hard / New Project

Somebody has a case of the Mondays

So as you’ve probably already noticed there was no new map this week. My work schedule has had me working many early shifts which have decreased the time I’ve been free to work on my maps. I do plan to resume posting them next Monday, so check back here then, for my next free map.

Project Update

As you’ve likely seen on this website I’ve been working on a campaign setting for 5e called Veyrn. This project is still in the works, though I’ve realized how large the project really is, and am considering breaking it into smaller chunks based in the various regions of the world. This will likely just be for play test purposes. The first of these is tentatively titled “The Millennial Kingdom” and will be focused on the nation of Zayre. Zayre is a human dominated nation in the center of the continent of Reghal, and contains more of the traditional fantasy elements one would expect with 5e, with a few surprises. It will contain new maps, lore, backgrounds, domains, a new race, monsters and other goodies to sink your teeth into.

New Adventure

My frequent early shifts at work has altered my sleep schedule, and currently I’m awake by 3 or 4am, whether I like it or not. This has given me a little time in the morning to write. I dusted off a composition book and went old school, plotting it out entirely by hand. Little by little its been coming along, and I’m currently up to about 40 handwritten pages (likely less when typed and formatted)., and only about 1/4 of the way through the adventure.

The adventure is set in the kingdom of Zayre and tentatively called The Death of Winter. Based in and around the village of Dynesdale. It is written for 1st level characters, and focuses heavily on roleplaying and exploration. Given the plan to focus the first major playtest release on the setting of this adventure it will likely replace Secret of the Misty Vale as my my first official release, preceding the setting material itself. While set in Veyrn, I am intentionally limiting some of the more setting specific content so that it can be run in most any setting with very little work. Stay tuned for more updates as this project progresses.

Thank You!

I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has seen and enjoyed my maps. My maps have been well received and I hope all those who have downloaded and used them found them to be a great addition to their games. So thank you all, I wouldn’t be here without you!

Halqan Creation Myth

candlebook

The Myths of the Halqan people are old, and predate their use of written language. The story of their creation has changed much over the years, and many different versions are still told.

When they learned to write, during the early days of their people, they set down these ancient stories into the Book of Nushku, a text of stories and beliefs, regarding their history as much as their religious beliefs.

Below is a first draft of my human myth of creation, and one of the oldest stories of the Halqan people.

And lo, they descended from their blessed realm,
Two of the Magatu, Lords of Nushku, shapers of all creation.

First was Utu the elder, lord of the Sun, and giver of life,
Second was Enu the younger, Lady of the Moon, she of many faces.

The Light of Utu shone down from the sky,
Chasing away the darkness, which fled from his sight.

Enu stirred the seas to motion,
The tides swelled, and waves crashed upon the land.

Yet they beheld the land barren, devoid of tree or beast,
Utu released his breath upon the earth, and life sprang forth.

Seed and plant grew from every corner,
Filling the land with tree, flower, and grain.

Soon the lands of Nushku were lush and fertile,
But the Magatu were not satisfied.

The two lay together, in a grove of sacred trees.
Enu took his seed into her sacred womb, and from it sprang life.

Her children dwelt from forest to plain, from coast to sea,
Each of them blessed according to their measure.

Of their progeny one was blessed above all others,
Born with strength of body and mind.

These children tamed the beasts of the fields,
They bent the land to their purpose.

Yet above all, honored their creators,
Giving them offerings of grain and flesh.

The Magatu were please by this,
And so rewarded them for their devotion.

Utu blessed them with prosperity,
And the people’s cities prospered.

Enu gave them hope,
For without it, they would not endure.

The people rejoiced,
Their voices echoing through night and day.

The Children of Nushku have awoken.

A World Without Heroes [Fiction]

A World Without Heroes

by Patrick Harron

Tamerus lead the young acolyte through the vaults of the great library. The air was stale, dust heavy upon the assembled tomes. Library_Dark_Scene_v01They seemed endless, written in many languages. Some of them were easily recognizable, others strange, foreign tongues. Others encoded in esoteric symbols, puzzling even her keen mind.
The wise old sage had brought her here for a reason, and with steady hand he held out a lantern, guiding them. They walked together in silence, past row after row of books. The sound of their footsteps was the only noise to break the silence, echoing through the depths of the vault. The light of the lantern flickered and she watched as shadows danced across the walls. The shadows enthralled her and for a moment she thought they took shape of creatures and beasts, monsters from legend, such as those within many of the old texts they walked past as they continued their way through the long dark of the vaults. Only their tracks in the dust gave any sign of their passage. This was a place seldom tread, even within the vast repository of knowledge. Just the thought of being here filled her with an excitement and curiosity she could scarcely contain.
“There exists within the depths of my library countless tomes. Words penned by ancient scribe bearing names long forgotten by most. They contain the wisdom of ages, thoughts and ideas which have over the many years evolved, taking on a life of their very own. I have read them all, each and every one. Every page committed to memory during the course of my long life.” Tamerus spoke, breaking the silence. He pulled a volume from the shelf with care, opening it with long, calloused fingers. The words were written in a fine, delicate hand. She recognized the script, the flowing calligraphy of the Althuwatha. Known in the common tongue as elves, they were said to be as eternal as the great sage himself. The tongue of her mother’s people, but one foreign to the young pupil. He held the book out before her. She reached out with trembling hands. It felt heavy, smelling of frankincense, cloves, and something otherworldly. A sweet pungent smell, that seemed familiar, yet unknown. The words though beautiful, held little meaning to her. “You have no doubt seen them,” her teacher continued. “Myriad tales of myth and legend. Stories of heroism and adventure, of hearts won and favors earned. Such tales form the foundation of our history. The backbone of every culture, shaping the very beliefs and ideals we live by today. In these stories monsters are slain, and nations saved from certain doom.” The acolyte nodded, handing the book to her elder. He placed it back onto the shelf with care. “Fate choose those destined for greatness. Through their deeds and hardships they became more than mortal. They became myth. Their actions elevating them, granting immortality in form of story and song. These sagas remain, forever etched in history. Many of them line these very shelves. The heroes, however, are gone, long since turned to bone and dust.”
Tamerus motioned them forward, leading her through a passageway into another section of the vault. He unlocked doors as they went. Making use of the large keyring that hung from his waist. They continued in silence until they came before another locked door. She noted the slightest smile on her teachers face and he procured the key to the door. There was a loud click, and the door unlocked. He pushed it open, revealing a small study or workshop. An empty workbench sat in the middle of the room. Beyond it, a small bookshelf in the corner, next to a desk, covered in papers. Candles lined the room, and she jumped as their flames sprang to life as if by their own volition.
quoteShe felt a comforting hand on her shoulder, and he motioned for her to sit at the desk. He began to rummage through the books on the shelf. “Once again a darkness spreads across the land. It waits, lurking just beneath the surface of conscious mind. Hiding in the cracks between waking thought and the fantasy of dream. It is insidious, growing greater in strength and influence with each passing day. When strong enough it will threaten to devour the world. The first signs are now upon us. Crops wither and livestock suffers. The blight grows and spreads, but mortals do not recognize the danger. Nor will they until it is too late. Threats both old and new will rise to swallow the world whole.” Tamerus set a pair of books down upon the desk before her. Opening the first she found it blank, numerous pages of empty parchment. The second was full of words and symbols she did not recognize. They were unusual, alien, yet seemed to hold some power. She felt a warm tingle in her fingers as she ran her hand across them. Tamerus said nothing, only placed a quill into her unsteady hand. “I have not asked you here to frighten you with tales of danger or prophecy. Nor to scare you from these hallowed halls of knowledge. The time for heroes must return, but will they heed the call? Will they rise up and protect the world? Or will they throw it away, plunging it forever into shadow. The choice is yours. Yes, yours young one.” She could only stare at him with wide eyes. Thoughts raced through her head as she tried to discern meaning from his words. “I tell these stories, not simply to educate, but to inspire. Heroes have not disappeared, they reside within each of us, a tiny voice, whispering to them deeds that will lead them to greatness. That voice resides within you as well, young one, you need only listen. The pen is in your hand. It is time to write your story…”