CA$ 5,079
pledged of CA$ 14,500pledged of CA$ 14,500 goal
174
backers
10days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, November 29 2019 5:00 PM UTC +00:00.

Mystery at Millwarren

An RPG adventure for new Dungeon Masters and 5th-level characters — Written for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons

Mystery at Millwarren

An RPG adventure for new Dungeon Masters and 5th-level characters — Written for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons

CA$ 5,079
pledged of CA$ 14,500pledged of CA$ 14,500 goal
174
backers
10days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, November 29 2019 5:00 PM UTC +00:00.

About

An Old Darkness Falls — And New Heroes Rise

Mystery at Millwarren is a fully illustrated, 76+ page adventure for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons — written with a special focus on young, new Dungeon Masters.

Created by designer and editor Scott Fitzgerald Gray, Mystery at Millwarren is the sequel to the ENnie-nominated Hidden Halls of Hazakor — a 1st-level starter dungeon crawl adventure for young first-time DMs. It’s not necessary to have played The Hidden Halls of Hazakor to run Mystery at Millwarren, which is a standalone adventure suitable for any group of 5th-level characters. But Millwarren is written as a continuation of Hazakor’s young-player-friendly format, offering not just a fun adventure but advice, tips, and hints aimed at helping new DMs of ages 12 and up run great games. 

(And if you don't have The Hidden Halls of Hazakor but would like to check it out, see the first two entries in the campaign's Frequently Asked Questions.)

Imp attack — sketch and finished-art overlay

With more powerful characters in the party and more dangerous foes to face off against, Mystery at Millwarren is written to help new DMs get a handle on some of the more complicated aspects of running a game:

  • Managing larger numbers of characters and adjusting encounter difficulty for groups of different sizes
  • Using more random elements in encounters and story to keep things unpredictable — for the DM and the players alike
  • Working with adventure narrative that’s less linear and more wide open 

All these topics and many more are covered in the course of an investigation-focused adventure that can help new DMs take their games to the next level. 

Like The Hidden Halls of Hazakor, Mystery at Millwarren is fully illustrated by artist and comic creator Jackie Musto. And as was done with the Hidden Halls of Hazakor Kickstarter campaign, if you’d like the young gamer in your life immortalized as their very own RPG hero, Jackie will be doing a limited number of original illustrations as part of the campaign’s “Eternal Hero!” reward tier.

Magical duel with a bugbear bard

Mystery at Millwarren is an adventure in three parts, which will take an experienced group of heroes from 5th to 8th level. A burned-out village and a mysterious windmill make up the centerpiece of the adventure start, as the characters try to discover what’s inspired undead attacks against farm villages along the frontier. But the more they investigate, the deeper the mystery of Millwarren becomes — and the greater the danger of an ancient evil that threatens to spread once more. This isn’t a stripped down or simplified adventure scenario, and there’s no reason why experienced players and veteran DMs won’t also have a good time running it. But Mystery at Millwarren has been designed and written with young DMs firmly in mind — helping them learn how to build a dynamic world outside the dungeon, how to work with mystery and investigation storylines, how to build freeform encounters that will make the players feel like all their choices count, and how those choices come together to build stories the way that only roleplaying games can.

Click on the image to view and download a 5-page PDF sample

The Creatives

Scott Fitzgerald Gray is a publisher, writer, editor, story editor, and RPG designer, whose gaming work covers three editions of the Dungeons & Dragons RPG — including working as an editor on all three core rulebooks,  the D&D Starter Set, and the D&D Essentials Kit for D&D fifth edition. He’s written and edited upwards of two hundred books and articles for Wizards of the Coast, Dungeon magazine, Schwalb Entertainment’s Shadow of the Demon Lord, Sly Flourish, Gamehole Publishing, Green Ronin, Frog God Games, and others, as well as producing adventures and gaming supplements on DriveThruRPG and Dungeon Masters Guild under the Insane Angel Studios imprint. 

Jackie Musto is a comic creator, illustrator, and educator. She’s been working for nearly a decade creating fantastical worlds, daring adventurers, and monstrous beasts, and spent her childhood lost in roleplaying worlds and games. While playing tabletop games as a teenager, her career path was decided — she wanted to be the person who drew the amazing illustrations that brought those games to life! Now it’s her pleasure to fulfill her dream and help other young folks get entranced and creative with their own ideas and stories.

Her webcomics Kay and P (the story of a girl whose best friend is a skeleton) and The Adventures of Lady Skylark (a sky pirate adventure) are found online at: www.kayandp.com and www.ladyskylark.com

PDF and Print from Drive-Thru RPG

“Mystery at Millwarren” will be available in both a full-color electronic PDF version and as a full-color print-on-demand softcover printed on high-quality paper and with heavy cardstock covers. The print edition will be fulfilled by Drive-Thru RPG, which offers the most economical option for small-run RPG projects, high-quality paper and cover stocks, and great color through IngramSpark/Lightning Source — one of the world’s premier POD printers. And making use of print-on-demand technology means your book is shipped as soon as it’s printed — there’s no additional downtime as books are shipped from the printer to us, then reshipped to you.

Stretch Goals

Beyond the base goal of the fully-illustrated adventure, we have a number of stretch goals on tap.

At $16,000, the book gets even bigger — approximately 80 to 84 pages — including even more amazing art by Jackie Musto.

At $17,000, $18,500, and $20,000, the adventure expands with DIGITAL STRETCH GOALS — three original side trek scenarios, each 10 to 20 pages with original art. Each side trek is designed so that it can tie in to the central Mystery at Millwarren campaign, or be played as a standalone one- or two-session adventure.

If we start to work through these additional funding levels, even more stretch goals and special surprises will be revealed during the campaign.

A Note on Pledge Pricing

Because Insane Angel Studios is a business entity based in the Great White North of Canada, Kickstarter policy means that we’re obliged to set up our project with pledge levels in Canadian dollars. If you’re backing the project from outside Canada, you should see your preferred pledge level (and shipping cost, if applicable) converted into whatever currency you’ve set up for your Kickstarter account. After the Kickstarter, the PDF and print-on-demand versions of Mystery at Millwarren will be retailing for $15 US and $20 US, respectively. This means that no matter where you’re backing from, the Kickstarter gives you a nice exchange-rate discount off of what you’d pay to buy the books later.

A Note on Shipping

Shipping costs for the print book have been estimated using Drive-Thru RPG’s estimated shipping costs and current Canadian dollar/US dollar exchange rates. If you’d like a print book shipped to any country not listed, please email insaneangel@insaneangel.com with your address information, and we’ll confirm the shipping cost from Drive-Thru RPG.

The shipping cost from Drive-Thru RPG does not include customs or duty that might be applicable to your order, depending on your location. Drive-Thru RPG titles are printed by Lightning Source in the US or Europe, and will be shipped to your country from there (depending on which location you’re closer to). Neither we nor Drive-Thru RPG have any way to determine whether new books shipped to your country from the US or Europe are subject to duties, import taxes, or other fees. It’s up to you to determine this, and to decide whether ordering a print copy of the book is something you want to do.

Backers wanting a print copy of the book in Canada and Brazil should also see the “Frequently Asked Questions” section for additional information.

“Dungeons & Dragons" and “Dungeon Master” are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, LLC

Risks and challenges

“Mystery at Millwarren” has a healthy production schedule (with expected delivery of the PDF in or before May 2020, and expected delivery of the softcover one month later). This timeframe incorporates final playtesting, development and editing, illustration, and layout, and takes into account the holidays in December. Although real-life issues might result in minor adjustments to the schedule, there are no expectations of being unable to meet the delivery timeframe.

Writer and designer Scott Fitzgerald Gray is a full-time freelance editor, writer, and RPG designer, and understands full well the process of delivering work on schedule. Scott has been involved with a number of successful and on-time Kickstarter projects, including the successful campaign for “The Hidden Halls of Hazakor”; having been editor for Mike Shea’s “Sly Flourish’s Fantastic Locations,” “Sly Flourish’s Fantastic Adventures,” “Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master,” and “Fantastic Adventures: The Ruins of the Grendleroot”; editor for Jacob Hurst’s “Hot Springs Island”; and editor and writer on a number of titles in Robert J. Schwalb’s monumental Kickstarter-backed “Shadow of the Demon Lord” RPG.

Illustrator Jackie Musto is likewise a Kickstarter veteran, having run five successful campaigns for the print versions of her webcomic series “Kay and P” and “Lady Skylark.”

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    You receive a copy of “Mystery at Millwarren” as a full-color softcover book printed and shipped by Drive-Thru RPG/Lightning Source — plus a full-color softcover copy of “The Hidden Halls of Hazakor” from Drive-Thru RPG. For those who don’t already have the “Hidden Halls of Hazakor” (or who want an extra gift copy), this is a great deal.

    “Mystery at Millwarren” is estimated to ship in May, 2020. “The Hidden Halls of Hazakor” will be shipped as soon as the campaign ends.

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    You receive a copy of “Mystery at Millwarren” as both a PDF and a full-color softcover book printed and shipped by Drive-Thru RPG/Lightning Source — plus PDF and full-color softcover copies of “The Hidden Halls of Hazakor” from Drive-Thru RPG. For those who don’t already have the “Hidden Halls of Hazakor” (or who want an extra gift copy), this is a great deal.

    “Mystery at Millwarren” is estimated to ship in May, 2020. “The Hidden Halls of Hazakor” will be shipped as soon as the campaign ends.

    Shipping for both books is in addition to the cost above, and is priced according to Drive-Thru RPG rates for standard shipping. Estimated delivery indicates the date at which “Mystery at Millwarren” will be available to ship. Shipping time will then vary, depending on your location.

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    Eternal Hero! (Print, PDF, and portrait)

    LIMITED REWARD! 10 BACKERS ONLY!

    In addition to receiving the All-Around Adventurer rewards (full-color softcover book plus PDF and digital stretch goals), you get the young adventurer of your choice heroically rendered as an original illustration by Jackie Musto. You’ll provide a reference photo of your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, ward, et al, along with their favorite character class and favorite colors. After talking to you, Jackie will produce an original 5"x8" watercolor portrait of your child as an RPG adventurer.

    Shipping for the softcover book and the illustration are in addition to the cost above. Shipping for the book is priced according to Drive-Thru RPG rates for standard shipping. The portrait will be shipped straight from Jackie’s studio in a reinforced mailer. Estimated delivery indicates the latest date at which your portrait will be available to ship. Your softcover book will ship by June. Shipping time for both will vary, depending on your location.

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