Saturday, January 1, 2011

RPG Projects for 2011

The Lands of Ara Blog
Future plans for the blog include unveiling the Elementalists of Ara -- culling spells is extremely slow going for me, but the first type, the Earth Elementalists, are almost finished! -- and a new Arandish PC race: the ogre. I will also continue to document the ongoing exploits of my Labyrinth Lord group, with an eye toward including some reflective commentary at the end of each session report. I hope I can also encourage my co-contributor, The Spawn of Endra, to occasionally post thoughts about and analysis of the gaming sessions from a player's perspective.

In terms of new blog features, I have decided to make more of an effort to review and evaluate OSR products here at The Lands of Ara. I haven't done much of that so far, yet I notice that as a reader I greatly appreciate reviews of new (and old) products. I am not an exhaustive buyer of such stuff, but I pick up a goodly number of modules at least, so look for reviews of some key OSR modules (and possibly other publications) in the near future.

And speaking of modules. . .

Adventure Module Projects
I buy and read a fair number of Adventure modules. They are one of my favorite sources of inspiration, and I always love seeing how other writers and DMs put together an adventure location. I learn a lot from how other people do it, and I frequently hork maps, rooms, situations and general scenario ideas from other people's adventures, even if I do not always run each and every module I buy as writ.

I am currently writing an adventure module of my own, for eventual publication. I cannot reveal much about it at this point, but as soon as I can, I will give you the inside scoop. I also suspect that I will write at least one more module in the coming year, since the module I am currently finishing strongly implies the existence of a sequel, a follow-up module for which I already have maps.

Megadungeon Project 2011
As I mentioned in my last post, I have been incredibly inspired by Michael Curtis' Stonehell: Down Night-Haunted Halls. That megadungeon has changed how I play and think about the game of D&D. I find myself wishing there were more products out there like it. And while there are a few other megadungeons out there available in the blogosphere and on the net, when I say "products like Stonehell" I mean products available in published print versions. I am a bibliophile; I like physical books a great deal.

So I have been thinking lately: why not write my own megadungeon for eventual print publication? I have had an idea for one in my mind for a long while -- a conceit involving the place's physical layout and the key players who are currently inhabiting it. So why not write it up?

I won't say much about the specifics at this point, but I will reveal that the project involves one of the five possible Arandish megadungeons discussed here. Since I intend it for publication, it will NOT be too Ara-specific, though its history will be compatible with events that occurred in the Lands of Ara setting, and it will almost surely include stats for some new creatures, magic items, spells, etc. that have emerged from my Lands of Ara campaigns. It will use Labyrinth Lord as its default ruleset. It will not necessarily follow the Stonehell one-page dungeon format, though I have been thinking that, just to get started, maybe I will design a few one-page dungeons for eventual (modified) inclusion in the megadungeon, and preview them here on the blog. We'll see. I have been  quite inspired by Michael Curtis' and Dyson Logos' use of one-page dungeons, and I recently downloaded Michael Shorten's OPD Template (found in the "Downloads" section of his blog) to give the format a spin, but I am concerned that the OPD layout may not work so well for couple of the weirder levels I have in mind.  I also tend to be secretive in the design phases of a project, so I may decide to withhold information about the megadungeon's layout and contents until I am well into the writing phase, hence less motive to parse it out into OPD's for advance preview purposes.

Maybe I will simply write up a one-page dungeon or two for the blog, unrelated to Megadungeon Project 2011. . . .

In any case, thanks for the ongoing readership and support!


  1. Hey Carter, that all sounds great! Good luck with the modules and the megadungeon!

  2. I'll start pulling my weight around here as well!