Irid is a world trapped in an endless cycle of recurring calamity known as the Everthroes. Once every decade, waves of devastating natural disasters accompanied by hordes of vicious, otherworldly creatures known as the Wretched plague Irid's populace for months before vanishing. Ten years have passed, and this year the Everthroes arrived as predicted, but something is different...
As our story begins, a lone adventurer has booked passage aboard the merchant ship Crescendo, sailing north to the site of a mysterious magical endeavour that is widely rumoured to provide all of Irid with a measure of refuge from the chaos of the Everthroes. Much to the relief of all aboard, the Crescendo's month long voyage has been largely uneventful, but with mere days remaining until landfall, disaster strikes...the adventurer awakens in the middle of the night to find the ship adrift and a strange affliction has beset the crew.
Something sinister lurks both above and below the waves, and our hero will have to use all their skill and cunning to have any hope for survival.
A PDF download of Adrift in the Dark: a one-shot 5E adventure that I’ve written and designed to be played as a Duet. This short mystery/thriller adventure takes place aboard a pair of drifting ships, and is suitable for new players and fledgling Dungeon Masters, but still has plenty to offer those with more experience. Most groups finish the adventure in 4 to 5 hours. Check out a preview page of the first draft below.
Full Party Adventure
Obviously, the number of people interested in playing strictly as a Duet are dwarfed by those who'd prefer a full party. To include as many potential players as possible, every pledge will also include a PDF version of the Adrift in the Dark adventure that I'll be rewriting and balancing for a 4 player party as well...No one will be excluded!
Duet Game Guide
I’m also including a Duet game guide PDF to help Dungeon Masters and players who are new to Duets get the most out of their games. The guide includes Duet-specific backgrounds, sub-class and character options, along with hints, tips and DM tools to help convert existing 5E adventures written for a standard party into smooth-running Duets. Check out a preview of the Duet Game Guide here.
I've been a musician for almost 30 years, and I've been having fun putting together some cinematic background music in Reason & Logic for this project. Every pledge will receive ~8 (possibly more) tracks of background/ambient that I've created specifically for this adventure. Track cues will be included in the adventure. I think this music will be generic enough to find a place in most fantasy themed rpg games. Sample vid below.
- $500 - A Bigger Adventure
Extending the current '3 Act' one-shot adventure format with deeper storytelling, additional optional encounters, challenges, obstacles and interactions. Rather than a one or two-shot, we'll end up with something in the neighbourhood of a three-shot if all optional content was touched upon. All pledges will be upgraded.
- $800 - A Class of our Own
A combat class built from the ground up specifically for Duet gameplay. Custom classes are incredible difficult to balance for normal games, but for Duets the task is slightly easier. We'd intended to use these in a future campaign sourcebook as they're tied to the campaign setting of Irid, but there's no reason we can't unveil one of them now as a stretch goal. All pledges will be upgraded.
The Larger World
I've included some background fluff below in the form of an in-game bulletin to provide some overarching context and feel for the larger world that this story (and hopefully many more) takes place in.
Assuming successful funding, I'm planning to fulfill via DriveThru RPG, but given the small scale of this project, if anyone prefers being emailed the final product directly or Dropbox/Google Drive link, I have no problem doing that. The big advantage to DTRPG is being able to have continued hassle-free access to any further iterations of the product if it's ever updated.
A Duet is a tabletop roleplaying game (5E, in this case) played by the Dungeon Master (DM) and a single Player Character (PC). It’s convenient to play a Duet not only due to lack of available players, but also because Duet gameplay is well suited to certain players and styles of adventures.
Mechanically, my Duet system has been developed under OGL v1.0a, and uses a tweaked version of the familiar 5E rules, so there is very little in the way of additional rules or systems that need to be managed. Skill checks and combat rounds move along fast and smooth, while narrative develops and evolves very quickly and dynamically compared to a standard party game, allowing both the player character and dungeon master greater freedom and deeper engagement in the adventure.
Are you an experienced player or DM, but just don’t have a circle of friends who still game, or have the right schedule to field a full party? Do you have a spouse or friend who you know would love the game, but would likely balk at playing their first sessions with a group? Are you a newcomer to the hobby who already owns the 5E player handbook and DM's guide, and just want to try running your own 5E game for the first time with a friend? Maybe you’ve just always wanted a chance to call all the shots and decide on your own where the adventure should head next, or you just want that character that you've put so much effort into developing to finally get some time in the spotlight?
For any and all of the above reasons, consider trying a duet.
I was ecstatic when my wife first showed an interest in a certain popular tabletop roleplaying game years ago, but I had long since lost touch with my old gaming group. I decided to convert a popular one-shot adventure into something that could be played by two people, and what I ended up with is something now commonly referred to as a Duet. She had a great time learning the game, and I had a great time learning how to DM effectively for a single player. Fast forward a decade or so, and our little duet games have evolved from one-shots, to multi-session adventures and full blown campaigns with years of world building and development that continues on today in 5th edition. We do play regularly in an ongoing full party game, but we always seem to find our way back to Duets.
I've always been an obsessive collector of notes and data. A few months ago I decided to start pulling it all together into something more cohesive. I thought that some day it would be worthwhile to share our Duet experience with others, potentially bringing new people to the hobby who either didn’t have a larger network of gaming friends, or were shy and/or intimidated by it. I thought Duets would also be a great option for experienced players who were looking for something new or different from their regular game sessions, or just weren’t enjoying their current games as much as they’d hoped.
The result is this humble offering of a one-shot Adventure and a Duet Gameplay Guide. As my first Kickstarter, I'm keeping my expectations reasonable, and have some very modest stretch goals in mind if the need arises, but my primary focus is getting this project off the ground and into your hands as fast as I can.
Assuming successful funding, my long view will include creating several more interlinked one-shots, culminating in a full length adventure in the Iridei campaign setting that currently exists spread across many, many spiral bound notebooks and legal notepads here in my office.
Please, wish me luck and join me on my journey!
Risks and challenges
Risks are minimal. The material is already written, so at this point all that's left to do is take some time off work and focus on arranging, editing and laying the adventure out with Indesign and working on a bit of art.
I have 12 years of experience in manufacturing, supply chain management and logistics, so deadlines are something near and dear to my heart...I'm confident nothing short of a major life/medical event will cause any delay.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (19 days)