Welcome to Ramen Sandwich Press’ fifth Kickstarter campaign in support of Places by the Way. This campaign offers you your only chance to copies of the Limited (Kickstarter Only) Edition of Places by the Way #5: The Dwarven Smith's Tome.
Places by the Way
For those of you who missed our earlier campaigns, Places by the Way is a series of short modules that I’m creating for use with Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. They work fine as short stand-alone adventures, but each Places by the Way module is meant to be a kit for creating a memorable interlude in a larger campaign. Each entry in the series consists of two versions sold separately but similar in content. One version is set in the Forgotten Realms, so Ramen Sandwich Press sells it exclusively through Dungeon Masters Guild. The other version assumes a generic setting and complies with WotC’s Open Game License. It’s available through DriveThru RPG, and a print version is available through Amazon and other online outlets.
For purchase links and product information, check out the Ramen Sandwich website. We also post news, announcements and random musings to our Facebook page and our new Twitter feed, and I have posted some designer's notes to my personal blog, "I Think We've Been Playing It Wrong."
Places by the Way has two inspirations. One is the line of mini-adventures that AEG published as part of the D&D 3rd Edition open license boom. I recall that the word count for those modules was only 5,000 words. I wrote a few of them, and they suggested to me that the short form could be made to work in adventure modules as it does in fiction. That is to say, if the typical folio-sized module is the novel, and the hardcover campaign books that WotC is publishing for 5th Edition are epics, there should be also be a place for the module equivalent of short stories.
The other inspiration is the strangely important role that side quests play in what we now recognize as standard CRPG structure. Side quests are those little tasks that you can find throughout the game world, and while they have no direct bearing on the main story, they allow you to accumulate XP, money and items, and meet memorable NPCs. If they’re done well they can add real flavor to the game experience. Fallout remains one of my very favorite CRPGs. One of the first things that jumps back into my mind is Tandi, the Shady Sands girl voiced so perfectly by Cree Summer. Her wistful musing about what lies beyond her little village convey the fallen melancholy of that world so beautifully that it made me forget all about finding that water filter. My goal for Places by the Way is that somewhere in the series, I will create an NPC encounter that has an effect like that. My disadvantage is that I won’t have a talented voice artist to help. But I’m going to try to create a moment in a campaign that you will find memorable out of proportion to its role as a diversion.
Places by the Way modules average about 15 numbered locations, each of which offers an encounter, noteworthy items, noteworthy NPCs or an opening into which you can hook your existing campaign.
This may surprise you, but Places by the Way #5: The Dwarven Smith's Tome focuses on a village of dwarves. A small minority of humans and halflings also live there, but mainly for the purpose of making jokes about height differential. Its leader is a weapon smith of extraordinary skill who has written down the secrets of his craft with both the present (training his assistants) and the future (his legacy as a craftsman) in mind. If your party sticks around the village for Chapter 2, they'll learn that the smith's book of knowledge has gone missing and get caught up in the frenzied search for the who, why and where of the mystery,
You can run The Dwarven Smith's Tome as a stand-alone, or as a prequel to Places by the Way #6, The Demon's Veins (available later this summer). To that end, The Dwarven Smith's Tome Limited Edition will have two Easter Eggs — one will be the usual gratuitous inside joke, and the other will be a passing reference to an NPC who will appear in the Easter Egg for The Demon's Veins.
Our rewards focus on a special, “Limited Edition” of each OGL Places by the Way module. It contains an Easter Egg of additional content that is not part of the version that is sold to the wider public, and we will not offer it outside of Kickstarter campaigns. Think of it as an inside joke between me and the good folk such as yourself who back Places by the Way.
$8 Dwarven Smith Digital: PDF of The Dwarven Smith's Tome Limited Edition.
$22 Dwarven Smith Print: Print copy of The Dwarven Smith's Tome Limited Edition, signed to you by me, author Douglas Sun.
$27 PDF + Print Combo: You’ll get both the signed print version and the PDF version. No need to choose one or the other.
$30 PDF Catch-Up Special: We've had a couple of requests for the older modules, so we're offering a package that includes PDFs of the Kickstarter Limited Editions of Places by the Way #1-4, as well as The Dwarves Smith's Tome!
$75 Print Catch-Up Special: Also by request, we're offering a print omnibus of the Kickstarter Limited Editions of Places by the Way #1-4, in addition to The Dwarven Smith's Tome. And I'll autograph them to you!
$90: PDF + Print Catch-Up Special: All the Kickstarter Limited Edition PDFs, plus autographed copies of the print omnibus and The Dwarven Smith's Tome. Why choose between electrons and dead trees when you can have both?
Risks and challenges
We've completed four successful campaigns in support of Places by the Way modules, and we've delivered on every one of them. Unanticipated bumps in the road sometimes come up, but we've always kept our balance, never been derailed. As long as we get enough backing to allow us to cover layout, art and printing, Places by the Way #5 (and #6 after that) will happen.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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