The rewards for the first Kickstarter campaign in support of Places by the Way have all been shipped. Places by the Way #1: The Village of Darkharrow is now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble’s website, and One Book Shelf’s various outlets. Its Forgotten Realms sibling, In the Shadow of the High Forest, is available through Dungeon Masters Guild. I'm working under a spiffy new brand identity — Ramen Sandwich Press — and there is a website to support it. So I'm coming back to Kickstarter with a new campaign to keep pre-selling Places by the Way #2: A Treasure on the Rocks, and start pre-selling its sequel, Places by the Way #3. Secrets of Oyster Cove.
Places by the Way
For those of you who missed our first campaign, Places by the Way is a series of short modules created for use with Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Some of them will 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; as such it will be sold exclusively through Dungeon Masters Guild. The other version assumes a generic setting and complies with WotC’s Open Game License. It will be sold through DriveThru RPG, RPGNow and Dungeon Masters Guild, and a print version will be sold through Amazon and other online outlets.
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 #1 was published in early March. It describes a farming village that faces a dire threat from evil humanoids massing in the wilderness just beyond its cleared fields. Ib Places by the Way #2 the player characters are hired to salvage cargo from a shipwreck, but they encounter a couple of twists that were not in their original instructions. Places by the Way #3 describes a quiet coastal village driven by fishing and handicrafts; but like the sea, its placid surface conceals more than it reveals. This module may be used as a stand-alone, or as a sequel to Places by the Way #2. 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.
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 I offer it exclusively to Kickstarter backers. I offer both PDF and print versions, and there are more than a few possible configurations. So let’s break them down here for the sake of clarity. [Please note: If you purchased Places by the Way #2: A Treasure on the Rocks as part of your pledge for our previous campaign, you’re good to go. You’ll get it when it’s ready without any further action needed.]
$7 Places BTW #3: Secrets of Oyster Cove PDF: PDF of Secrets of Oyster Cove Limited Edition.
$10 Places BTW #2: A Treasure on the Rocks PDF: If you missed the last campaign, here’s another chance to pick up the Limited Edition PDF of A Treasure on the Rocks.
$15 PDF combo: PDF copies of the Limited Editions of A Treasure on the Rocks and Secrets of Oyster Cove.
$17 A Treasure on the Rocks cover art t-shirt: The cover art for A Treasure on the Rocks is almost in its final form. Ramen Sandwich Tees will put it on a t-shirt and offer it through Amazon's Merch by Amazon PoD service for $20. but as a courtesy to you good Kickstarter folks, I;n going to pre-sell it here for $17 + shipping. If you'd like to combine this reward to another reward, pick one and pledge the combined amount, then send me a message so I know what you're up to.
$20 Places BTW #1: The Village of Darkharrow Print Overrun: We over printed the Limited Edition of The Village of Darkharrow, to allow for accidents while signing copies — like my hand slipping, brain farting, or the pen exploding, etc. Fortunately, this only happened a few times. So we have some spares and I’m happy to sign and sell what we have left. Unfortunately, our printer misprinted these copies, so that the title is flush against the top edge of the front cover, so they’re slightly nerfed. We only have a limited quantity, so if you’d like to combine this reward with another reward (or rewards), claim it, pledge the combined value of all the rewards you want, then message me to let me know what you’re up to.
$20 Places BTW #3: Secrets of Oyster Cove print: Print copy of Secrets of Oyster Cove Limited Edition, signed to you by me, author Douglas Sun.
$25 Places BTW #2: A Treasure on the Rocks print: Print copy of A Treasure on the Rocks Limited Edition, signed to you by me, author Douglas Sun.
$25 Places BTW #3: Secrets of Oyster Cove print + PDF: PDF and print copies of Secrets of Oyster Cove Limited Edition, print copy signed to you by me, author Douglas Sun.
$30 Places BTW #2: A Treasure on the Rocks print + PDF: PDF and print copy of A Treasure on the Rocks Limited Edition, signed to you by me, author Douglas Sun.
$45 Signed print copy combo: Print copy of A Treasure on the Rocks and Secrets of Oyster Cove Limited Editions, signed to you by me, author Douglas Sun.
$55 PDF and signed print copy combo: PDF copy and signed print copy of A Treasure on the Rocks and Secrets of Oyster Cove Limited Editions.
Risks and challenges
The risks associated with this project are minimal. The work on A Treasure on the Rocks is substantially done. We have the staff and process in place to finish Secrets of Oyster Cove within the anticipated time; we just need a little material support to keep us moving forward.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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