If you've been reading Grognardia, you know that an essential part of Dwimmermount's development was the interplay between James' creation and the players who helped define its world through the characters they created and the adventures they played out. As we work towards the publication of Dwimmermount, preserving the history of this original campaign is as important as leaving room for new groups to create their own interpretation of the dungeon's mysteries and meaning.
Mark Allen's cover painting (finished and now being photographed for reproduction) depicts the adventuring party from James' home campaign; Jeff Dee's own take on these characters, climbing the stairs to Dwimmermount's summit, is the subject of another full-page illustration (currently underway). And the back cover painting by Jeff shows the scene players chose as the most memorable moment from James' 2009 play-by-post campaign at the OD&D boards, another early step in Dwimmermount's development:
If you've been reading these backer updates, you also know that we've been working to commission art for Dwimmermount's publication that reflects the new adventures of our supporters which are continuing to shape the vision of this mega-dungeon and its setting. I'm pleased to be able to share the first round of these new illustrations!
Ryan Browning was the illustrator-in-residence for the preliminary G+ session James led. Events from this game have been passed on as rumors, but thanks to Ryan we can now see the climactic moment when Zak S achieved his long-standing ambition to kill someone with ventriloquism:
Events from another of the Dwimmermount playtests has been reported at Delta's D&D Hotspot, including this picture of the party approaching the circular Room of Masks as rendered by Dwarven Forge's Master Maze layout:
Thanks to the evening's illustrator-in-residence Paul Hughes, this lengthy marching order's worth of adventurers will be immortalized in an illustration that'll be published both in the Dwimmermount book and as part of Paul's Random Dungeon Generator as a Dungeon Map poster:
Since the Room of Masks was also one of the places explored in a session featuring Adept backer Jason Azze and returning illustration-in-residence Ryan Browning, it's possible we'll see another take on this feature of the dungeon, which clearly has claimed one victim already and can be seen to be puzzling another.
We're looking forward to using the Kickstarter to create more of these unique interpretations of events in play by the artists who took part in the adventures! The next two opportunities will be games at the Brooklyn Strategist tonight (3/17) and tomorrow (3/18). Tonight's illustrator in residence will be Conor Nolan. Here's a preview of an illustration we commissioned from Conor of a scene deeper in the dungeon than we're likely to reach tonight...
We're grateful to the backers whose support has made these illustrations possible, and to Kickstarter which makes it possible to explore new models for developing and releasing material for role playing games. No list of great mega-dungeons of the past would be complete without Rob Kuntz's Maure Castle. A key part of its legend comes from the way that its original publication as Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure preserves a record of Gary Gygax's player-characters who first adventured within. We're proud to continue this legacy from the earliest days of the hobby by honoring the original adventures in Dwimmermount, and excited that crowdfunding lets us add something new to the legacy by creating ways for backers to become part of the legend.
If you know gamers who might share this excitement, be sure to let them know about this Kickstarter! Spreading the word to communities you're part of through forums, blogs, and social media will make it possible for us to commission more illustration so that the published Dwimmermount can communicate the visions this dungeon has inspired in the minds of all those who participated in its development.