Three days remain before Parefid's Tomb is closed to new pledges. I'm approximately finished with the meat of the adventure module -- the characters, the locations, the monsters, the dungeon itself and the room descriptions -- and what remains is to complete the maps, playtest the monsters to ensure appropriate challenge ratings, and then put the whole business together in a handsome layout. Judging by its current size, the adventure should print to over fifty pages, once the maps and monsters are added to my ~22,000 words. It's been fun to put this beast together, and if you have even half that much fun playing it, I'll be proud of how it's turned out.
Since pledges will soon close, I'm going to give one more run-down of the pledge threshold for unlocking the backer reward that I plan to give to anyone pledging three standard deviations above the mean pledge. A new $25 pledge came in as I was writing this entry, altering the data even as I calculated it! The current mean pledge is now $22.18, with a mode of $25, and the standard deviation from the mean is $17.78. To qualify for the secret backer reward with those numbers, one would need to have pledged $75.51 or more; however, no-one has passed $70. Since new pledges change the mean and the standard deviation, a new backer would have to pledge no less than $88.60 to qualify (assuming no other changes). I'm not expecting anyone to cross these thresholds, but in recognition for her enthusiasm, support and general awesomeness, I'll be sending that (admittedly less exciting than one might expect) secret content to Iskandra along with her copy.
Now, since we're almost at the end of the pledging period, you may wonder when you'll see your copy of Parefid's Tomb. I intend to complete the maps and the written portion of the module this week. It may be some time before I can scan them in and begin the layout process, however, as my scanner is at home in the woods while I am abroad, conducting an electroencephalogram experiment in social judgment at my alma mater. During that interval, I'll begin playtesting monsters, doing a few trials in person before engaging backers and distant friends for some online fun. I might set up chat sessions with myself as GM, and I'll certainly send out the current drafts of several monsters for testing at your convenience. Since Pathfinder is currently a big market with which I have no at-the-table experience, I'd especially appreciate any Pathfinder playtesting. I'll also create a few incidental pictures and three major illustrations (to celebrate passing the funding threshold by over $150).
If playtesting doesn't throw any red flags, this module should be ready for PDF release within three weeks after pledges close. The hard copies -- I believe that there will be sixteen -- should follow shortly thereafter; I'll contact you individually to ask for shipping addresses. After that, I'll see whether any d20 publishers are interested in distributing the module (and whether they have room for a "producers" page on which to list the backers).
Now that I've laid out the details, let me just say one more thing: thank you. Even if the profit margin on this is as slim as an Ichneumon wasp's metathorax, adventure design is satisfying work. I hope that Parefid's Tomb sees print with a proper distributor, but even if it goes no father than the backers who've pledged thus far, I'll view it as a grand success. Anticipate further (perhaps less ambitious) adventures to come.
I did a little math tonight, and guess what? Unless I do some serious shrinking after I scan them in, Parefid's Tomb should have about fifteen pages worth of hand-drawn map grids.
Meanwhile, I'm almost done with the room-by-room descriptions and the rest of the module's main content. We're now running at >22,000 words. I'm planning to do some monster playtesting in the near future. The initial testing will done be in person, but then I may do some online sessions. Would any of you like to be involved?
pledged of $450 goal
seconds to go
Feb 16, 2011 - Mar 19, 2011 (31 days)
Pledge $2 or more
Every backer will receive a digital copy of the adventure module, which you will be free to copy and use as you please. Under the terms of the Open Gaming License, what's protected is more or less everything you might call fluff: the stories, the characters, the settings and the new monsters are not themselves open content, although they rely on the open content rules system to make sense. You're free to do whatever you want with the module in the privacy of your own basement.
Pledge $25 or more
I will ship you a personalized hard copy of the module in addition to the digital copy all backers receive, complete with ridiculous personalized illustrations.
Pledge $40 or more
Any person pledging $40 or more will get stats for a custom monster of my design, included in the back of their hard copy of the module. It will be creative, but not overcomplicated -- I'm aiming for that classic monster vibe.