Archive for the ‘Adventures’ Category

Notes on DragonQuest Titles

May 28, 2017

Feedback on The Wilderness of Ordurak has been pretty positive.  The most recent comment, from today: “At a first glance, the module looks fantastic, a very “authentic” feeling I think.”  Trying to match the SPI look was always a part of the intent, and it’s gratifying that backers of the project appreciate that about the adventure and the map.

A couple playtesters have looked at The Sentinel Chapel and given some initial feedback.  I’ve got a few more things to do for it, based on that feedback.  It was originally aimed at being a “capsule adventure,” like some other DQ titles; something maybe a little less fleshed out.  It was originally aimed at being 4 pages, but then I played with some SketchUp modeling, and I wanted to include that, and the descriptions grew, and now it’s pushing past the 8 page mark, and I have some further information to fill in.

The story grew and fleshed itself out as I was writing, and it really does need another pass to bring it together.  Some of the comments pointed out to me that it was much more of a first draft than I liked.

And, as much of a map maker as I am, even though I’m using someone else’s map for the adventure proper, it really could use a regional map, so I’m going to do that for it, as well.

Those still reviewing and playtesting I haven’t heard from yet, I’d really like to get your comments, too.



Seeking Playtesters for Antherwyck House

April 24, 2017

There are a couple projects underway for Antherwyck House right now, and we’d like to find a few playtesters for these things.

If you follow Thor Hansen on G+, you have already seen a bit of the art he’s gotten from Ed Heil for a game he is leading titled The Spires.  It’s still in its rough, early phases, and it may be a while before we’re ready to have others take a look at it, but gathering some people who are interested in the concept and are willing to give good feedback will help with developing this.

My next project is another DragonQuest adventure, one much smaller than “The Wilderness of Ordurak.”  (You also might’ve seen this post a few weeks ago.)  It’s coming in at around 8 pages right now; a capsule adventure along the lines of “The House of Kurin” or “The Treasure of Socranti.”  I’d like to find at least two different groups to playtest it: one a group of DragonQuest players who can evaluate it as a DQ adventure; the other a group playing something else (an OSR clone, D&D of one flavor or another, etc.) to see how readily it can adapt to another ruleset.  I think it’s mostly map and setting, and choosing some other stats for the encounters from your own favorite flavor should help make this more widely usable.  (And if I need to provide stats that adapt to other games, I’ll know I need to do that.)

If you’re interested in either of these, drop one of us a line (presuming you’re one of the folks who already knows how and where to get in touch on G+) or leave a note in the comments here.

A box full of Wildernesses

March 30, 2017

[Edit to add: the maps arrived tonight.  See below.]

There’s a real joy in getting a fat box from Lightning Source (the printer for OBS/DriveThru/etc.)  These are the fulfillment copies of The Wilderness of Ordurak, and these will get packaged up and mailed out to backers and supporters of the project very soon.

We’re still waiting for the maps (which are printed at a different facility than the books, so have to be shipped separately).


Modeling a scene

March 12, 2017


Here’s an image for the next adventure project I’m working on.  It’s a quick and rough model in SketchUp of the space where the adventure starts; this is a view looking into the chapel yard from just outside the wall.


Holding Pattern on Wilderness

March 11, 2017

Apologies to all of you waiting to get printed copies of the Wilderness of Ordurak.

There is some kind of hold-up with the print production for the Wilderness, and we are waiting for them to resolve things at their end. According to my contact at OBS, there are a number of larger files that are all hung up right now, and Wilderness happens to be one of them.

As soon as that is cleared up, we should be able to get the print copies of Wilderness finished and shipped off to everyone.

Next Projects

February 28, 2017

The Wilderness of Ordurak is wrapped up, and now it’s time to contemplate what is next. And, dear reader, if you are interested enough to be reading this, then you could have an outsized influence in helping steer the course for what projects are next for me and for Antherwyck House Games.

In the spirit of those old SPI questionnaires, here is a list of several projects and a brief description of each. Things that more people are interested in, or things that people are strongly interested in, will tend to get more attention.

Gazetteer for the Wilderness of Ordurak [DQ, generic]
Further development of the Wilderness of Ordurak as a system-neutral setting. As with SPI’s Frontiers of Alusia, maps and descriptions of places are pretty system neutral. So there would be appeal outside of the DragonQuest community.
This is already underway.  How extensive it will become depends, in part, on whether there’s any demand for it outside the backers of the Wilderness adventure.

Exquisite Corpse Dungeon [mapping]
Is it time for another one, yet? Has everyone burned out on the concept now, and no one would be that interested in another one? Does it need to be something different in order to get anyone’s attention?

Small, Untitled DQ Adventure [DQ]
Far from the Wilderness in scope, just a small dungeon in a single setting. I’ve found a couple other maps by other people that have struck me as being very suitable for DQ. Something more on the scale of the House of Kurin, or even smaller.

The Piranesi City Dungeon [DQ, OSR, generic]
There is a towering prison wagon, 2 stories tall, and with wheels ofsolid oak that are taller than a man. It is drawn by 8 bullocks and it moves slowly through the City, deep in the middle of every night, from the Prison to the Palace, and then back. One morning, you get word of a prisoner who is going to be transferred that night. You have that day to lay your plans and make your preparations, and tonight you have to strike in order to free the prisoner.
This would probably be written with dual system stats, so it was statted and ready for use for DragonQuest as well as at least one other OSR system.  The concept should be applicable to other games without too much work.  It would be part city map (of the route the wagon takes), part gazetter, with lots of information about all the places and people along the way, so you can try to find places and resources to do whatever you want to do, and part caper adventure.  Not small, but potentially quite interesting.  And, I think it would even have some replay possibility, taken as a one-shot.

moebiscayneOgunimata [Cyberpunk]
An adventure for Cyberpunk originally written in the 90’s and still holding up. Seeing +Geist’s recent production of a really cool Cyberpunk supplement made me think there might be some interest in producing it. We’re still looking to get a sense of how many Cyberpunk players there might be, and whether there is sufficient interest in this. A couple playtesters would also be good to get some feedback on this.
I’ve already briefly spoken with Claudia Cangini about illustrating this. Ideally, I’d like to run a kickstarter on it, with one of the premiums being having sponsors (maybe as many as 8) get to have themselves/their character illustrated by Claudia, and that art goes into the final version, as well as the sponsor getting the illustration from her.

Expanded Alusia [DQ, generic]
This would require coordinating Stephen Peto’s availability to produce another map. His feel for SPI style is pretty excellent (as you’ve seen in the Wilderness of Ordurak map). Phil Wright has been doing some other exploration of FoA recently, and the idea of connecting and building out more of that world could be an interesting (and daunting) project to undertake.

moonbaseMoonbase Zvezda [?, generic]
Space spies in the 60s, dealing with intrigue and espionage from low-Earth orbit to the Moon, and beyond. Whether this is a light set of rules, or a one-shot adventure, or just what it turns into remains to be seen. I did a concept illustration for this a while back (right), which turned out pretty well and got some of the tech documentation style I was after. Now to do something more with it.

More maps [mapping]
I haven’t been making as many maps recently as I have in the past.  That’s partly due to the new job and partly due to other projects being more at the fore.  But I miss those explorations, and will probably have more along those lines in the near future.

On top of these projects, Thor has a couple things underway, including a dungeon adventure using one of my previously posted maps, and The Spires, an interesting game/setting for a post-human, post-apocalypse world of intelligent animals vying for power and resources.

Your feedback on any of these would be very helpful. You can comment here, or drop me a line at rodger @ antherwyck dot com.

Project Completion – Wilderness of Ordurak adventure

February 24, 2017

wildThe Wilderness of Ordurak proof is completed, and copies of the set will be going out to the backers very soon.  57 pages, plus the ledger size map.

Our next step will be to clean up The Water Works and Poor Brendan’s Almanac.  Once those are revised, they will be available.  The terms set up for the Wilderness give the people who backed it exclusive access to it for a while.  If you’re interested in getting a copy of this, stay tuned later this year.

The other thing that’s in the works is a Gazetteer for the regional map.  That might be a separate thing on its own, with the map and an accompanying booklet of information about the features in the region, very much like Frontiers of Alusia.

Next Up: A Cyberpunk Adventure

January 17, 2017

The recent publication of the “Augmented Reality” cyberpunk sourcebook led me to realize that other old game systems are still being played, and there might be interest in adventures for other old games.  So, I’ve gone into my files and pulled out an adventure I wrote in 1990.

Ogunimata is an adventure written for the Cyberpunk 2020 RPG, but the story line is general enough that it should be adaptable for use with other games.  Even though it was written a quarter century ago, there isn’t too much that, at first pass, looks like it needs to be changed significantly.

If I’d had the self publishing tools (like RPGNow/DriveThruRPG) that are around today, this would have been published back then.  As it was, I was 2000 miles away from my old gaming group, and didn’t have any local connections to game with.  The adventure was inspired by some random bits I collected, and I had access to enough desktop publishing equipment that I was able to put it together as a one-off presentation quality piece (complete with info dossier for the players in addition to the GM’s book) and mailed it back to them for them to play.

It went exceptionally well, and it was a big hit with them.  But that was the last of it, and I simply filed it away.  Luckily, I still have the old text, as well as a hardcopy of the booklet, so I can piece it back together.

Because it was not going to go further than my gaming group, there was liberal use of material that cannot be used without violating other people’s intellectual property rights, so parts of it are going to have to be re-done.

The next steps with it aren’t entirely clear yet, but I’ve started discussing this project with a couple other people who we’d like to work with to bring it into production.  Part of what is an unknown right now is how much interest there is in something like this. If you’re interested in seeing this adventure, or in more adventures in general for cyberpunk-style games (Cyberpunk, Shadowrun, Mirrorshades, etc.) let us know.



Wilderness Proof

January 13, 2017


So, I got the proof copies of the Wilderness of Ordurak adventure and there are a couple things yet to fix. The background color for the CC sections is a little bit too dark. I think it’s okay in the PDF, but it’s too obscuring in print. I’m also going to tweak the page layout so that there’s a little more gutter. It’s thick enough that they’re perfect binding the book, rather than spine stapling it, so it doesn’t lay open as easily as it might otherwise.

Phil Wright pointed out a couple other things that were missing or needed clarification, so that still needs to be addressed. I also have high-resolution version maps of the two maps from Stephen Peto which are better quality than what was originally included.

Should be able to get this taken care of over the weekend. PDF editions will have an update pushed, and I’ll get the print rolling as soon as I can.

The Wilderness of Ordurak

October 26, 2016

Here’s something that has been a long time coming; the cover for the “Wilderness of Ordurak” adventure with art by Nate Marcel (and a few interior illustrations by him, as well).  This is an adventure written for use with DragonQuest, but, it should be adaptable to other games.


The original backers have gotten proof copies to look over.  There are some known issues, so there’s a little editing and revision work to be done, yet.  But this is finally just about complete.

The original crowd-supported project proposal was for a 16-page adventure.  This is presently clocking in at 54 pages (including the cover), plus there is a 12″ x 18″ region map.

Some people who missed the original crowd funding period have asked about getting in on this project.  It looks like IndieGoGo added a feature called InDemand that “lets anyone back you after your crowdfunding campaign is over.”  However, I haven’t been able to enable that feature on the site.

But, if anyone is still interested in getting in as a supporter at one of the Mercenary levels, let me know, and I will set up a selection at the Antherwyck House store to make those options available.  There is not a good way to extend any of the Adventurer or Hero levels at this point, since those were options that involved input in deciding the content of the adventure.

We’ll have more information about this adventure as it gets into production.

Penmorfa Longhouse

October 5, 2015

This is a page from the Wilderness of Ordurak adventure.  With the picture and map and the general descriptions, it probably works fairly well as a standalone encounter location, even if some of the specifics are incomplete.


This is what came of the Wilderness sketch from a few months back.  This is written for a larger DragonQuest adventure, but other than changing a couple of money references, I think it could readily be used for just about any game system.  And you could also take the picture and the map and re-purpose it for a completely different kind of encounter.

This is being shared for personal use, and I am happy to have the link shared if you want to point someone else at this, but please don’t distribute copies of this.  I know it’s going to happen, regardless, but I’d rather it wasn’t you that does it. Thanks!

And, if you do use this in your game and have some notes about how it went (or just if you read through it and have some feedback), I’d be glad to hear about it.

UnFurnished Dungeon #1 – The Merrimack Mine

July 25, 2015

MerrimackMine coverIt seems it has taken much longer than it should have to get the first UnFurnished Dungeon completed.  There has been (and still is) a lot of format experimentation going on.  But, among the others, there is now a version making its way through the OBS approval system (though it probably won’t be greenlighted in time for their Christmas In July sale).

[UPDATE: It’s now available here: ]

Part of what we’re experimenting with is different printing formats. For the OBS version, it is formatted as a 7.5″ x 9.25″ page.  That qualifies it as a small item, rather than a large one, and makes it less expensive to print.  It’s also going to be just black & white interior.  The PDF is the same size, so most people who get that and print it out are going to have wide margins all the way around.

There have been other sizes explored, as well, including 5.5″ x 8.5″ (classic white box/digest size), full 8.5″ x 11″ (standard letter), and a fold-out 3.5″ x 8.5″ that could be mailed in a standard business envelope (that we would distribute directly, and that might be even cheaper to produce and to mail, at least domestically).

Because this is still an experiment, I’m looking to get some feedback on this version, So, if you’re interested in this idea, and you’re willing to write a few lines about what you think are the good and the bad points in it, I’ll send you a copy of the PDF (either emailing it directly, or sending you a promotional copy from OBS).  I’m not going to do this forever; I was thinking I would cap it after a handful, though it may take a while before this gets to that point.  (Neither I nor Antherwyck House Games have all that much of a following, so it could be a while.  But I also don’t mind if you spread the word about this, either.)

The UnFurnished Dungeons were going to be a Patreon benefit, as well (and that’s still part of the plan).  I haven’t done much more to update the Patreon site recently, though I’ve seen that they are making some improvements to the systems there.  If you are interested in gtting this as a Patreon supporter, I’ll make sure you get a copy, too.

[Edited to replace image.]

A ‘Wilderness’ sketch

July 15, 2015


I was doodling this on lined paper, so this’ll take some work, or some rework to do anything with it.  But, I think it shows the general idea for this location (a rough longhouse structure in the Wilderness built of stone and timber, backed up against a low cliff and roofed with felled trees).

This wasn’t meant as finished art, and it probably won’t end up in the adventure; it’s the kind of thing I might do in a game I was running for my own players, but it’s not finished art.  There will likely be a plan of this place, and maybe also a section through it to show what it’s like (or just a good descriptive paragraph).

Added some quick pencil shading for a little more (hopefully) clarity and readability afterwards; here’s the original:

(10 minute sketch during a meeting)

Collected Notes on the Moonbase Map

May 26, 2015

{This was supposed to be posted a few weeks back as a followup to posting the Moonbase map, but it got sidelined in the Drafts folder, so here it is now.}

Lunar topographic map

First of all, if you haven’t seen the new USGS maps of the Moon, they are lovely (and huge files):

There was good feedback and discussion about the Moonbase map from the Google+ groups. This is a summary and accumulation of those questions and answers.


The idea of making this into a setting or a game has been kicking around for a long time, and it’s not likely to go away. And the feedback from a few people about this being posted on G+ was positive and interested in seeing more about it.


Bryan Rombough asked, “Why are just the habitat modules covered by regolith? Are the benefits from the regolith covering (insulation?, radiation protection?, something else?) not needed for the other modules? Or would covering those modules somehow be a hindrance?

Some of the inspiration for this came from proposed concepts (both US and USSR) for moon bases. The principal reason for regolith cover seemed to be for radiation protection. It probably would provide some insulation benefit (principally sun shading), as well.

Presumably the base is there for activity on the lunar surface, so some surface access is needed. And the greenhouse obviously can’t be covered. But also, all that work is presumably time consuming and difficult, and EVAs are better spent on useful activities.

The modular nature of the base allows for future additions, which would be much more difficult with having to excavate and then re-bury modules in order to access them to add on.

Also, the habitat modules would likely need to be structurally reinforced in order to support being buried. Other modules could be lighter if that wasn’t required for them.

Habitats provide 50% coverage (figuring that sleeping and personal time being roughly half the day) so it’s a trade-off between exposure and utility.


A couple others joined in on discussing the medical module. The idea for this was that it would be principally a medical research and health maintenance space, rather than a treatment facility. It would not be a “sick bay” for recuperation and invalid patient care.  It would have laboratory and medical diagnostic gear.  It’s more of a medical research and health maintenance space, rather than a treatment facility.

Wizard’s Tower – a One-Page Dungeon Entry

April 30, 2015


This is an old map that I had kicking around for a while, and I’ve added some description and narrative to make it an entry for the One Page Dungeon 2015 contest.

{I’ll edit to add a bit more about it later. Gotta get it submitted for now…}

PDF version

Unfurnished Dungeons – Patreon pre-launch

April 10, 2015


This is a rough, preliminary sample page for an ‘unfurnished dungeon’ project. I’m going to start offering these as a premium for Patreon supporters, as well as making them available as part of the Antherwyck House Games offerings on RPGNow/DriveThru RPG. And yes, this is an initial announcement of this Patreon.

At this point, I’ve accumulated a few extra maps, so the ongoing map-making is going to continue, but I’d like to make a basic, usable accessory that we can offer through Antherwyck House Games.

The unfurnished dungeon provides a setting and descriptions, but leaves the ‘monsters and loot’ to the individual game master. That way, a starting campaign could use the map as a warren of low-level critters, while a higher level group could find it as the lair of a more powerful foe, and an ongoing campaign could plug in specific NPCs or references that work specifically for their setting.

These maps are small enough that they should be usable for one-shot adventures, as well. We’ll be interested in any feedback about the size and scope of these, or sugestions about how to make them more useful for you.

Difficult Dungeon

April 1, 2015


A difficult dungeon to get through, with chambers long hidden from any exploration, lying untouched for millennia. Can your intrepid explorers find their way through and uncover the hidden secrets?

Happy 1st of April.

Connecting Wilderness and Alusia

February 25, 2012

There was a question raised on the IndieGoGo page for the Wilderness project, wondering if the adventure “is taking place on Alusia or not. Does anybody know?”

Since the adventure will include its own map (the new quarter-map that Stephen Peto is working on) it is not going to be located on the Frontiers of Alusia map (though I expect an enterprising GM who really wants to transpose it there may find a way to do that). 

The better question would be if it will coordinate with Frontiers of Alusia at all. My initial thought in putting it together was just that I was creating a new map; I meant it to be a completely separate setting. However, I’ve ended up with something that might coordinate with the Frontiers of Alusia rather well, for some people.

This map is one possibility. The Frontiers of Alusia are to the south. The Western extents of the Confederated Baronies (mentioned in the Frontiers of Alusia) would occupy the area of the black rectangle in the middle (which would be another Alusia-sized map. What I’ve written about it (draft) for the adventure is this: “The region of the map can be related to Alusia with another map of similar size to the Alusia map covering the majority of the land of the Confederated Baronies north of the Frontiers of Alusia. For a comparison to Earth, that’s approximately similar to having Carzala as Bilbao, Spain and Cape Bage as Saint-Nazaire/Nantes, France, or Los Angeles to San Francisco for a west coast cognate in the US.”

There are probably many campaigns that have already developed their own extensions from the Frontiers of Alusia, and this extension may not readily fit into how their campaign has developed the lands beyond Alusia.

I haven’t gotten a lot of strong feedback one way or the other about having a connection with Alusia. I’m curious if those of you who are using Alusia have strong thoughts one way or the other. Do you think this is a useful enhancement to the existing setting, or is this stomping all over sacred memory, and Alusia should be the beginning and end of it all?

Draft Wilderness Project Map

February 7, 2012

The artist for Wilderness

February 3, 2012

Had an exchange of emails with Nate Marcel, the artist who I’ve been in touch with about doing some illustrations for the Wilderness project. He’s posted a shout-out about the project on his blog, so I’m taking the occasion to also link to his blog.

Feedback from the adventure supporters about his work has been positive, too. This image (which I’ve linked to his online sketchbook) is very reminiscent of the illustrations by John Garcia from the original DragonQuest rulebook. It’s not the same style, but it has a similar character. (Garcia, unfortunately, died a few years ago). I’ve also been using this particular image as a placeholder/test image as I’ve been working on setting up the page layout. If you’re a DQ player, I think you’ll agree there’s something about this kind of black and white illustration that just seems right for DQ. I think he was a serendipitous find.

It’s a small job for him, but he’s been very receptive to working on a small scale gaming project and recognizing we don’t have a big budget. I’m looking forward to working with him on this.