The oasis at Mizar is a popular way station in the bleak, endless desert. It's just a village, but the water from one of its springs, the Spring of Wonder, is said to have remarkable properties: It cures the sick and lame, it dispels curses and magical effects, it restores lost hair, it increases stamina and promotes intimacy. And that's not the half of it. Many folks come to Mizar believing that the water is literally magical.
These awestruck tourists don't know and may not notice that Mizar is in trouble. For generations, the Phares family owned the land containing the Spring of Wonders and they managed this tourist attraction wisely and well. The entire village benefitted. But the last of the family died without an heir, leaving their followers — the guards and other staff who took care of the spring — to split into rival camps and contest who should inherit this landmark of incredible value. Driven by greed and cruelty, they're using Mizar as their battleground and the once-happy residents as pawns.
To make matters worse, the Phares family seems to have taken with them the true secret of the Spring of Wonder — that it's a portal to the Elemental Plane of Water, and the unique properties of the water come from the supernatural forces roiling at the point of contact between two planes. Powerful water elementals lurk at the bottom of the spring, and the head of the Phares family used to keep them at bay with a ring of elemental command. Now, the ring is gone, and no one realizes that the elementals are tired of being controlled by puny humans.
So you have a party of adventuring heroes trekking through the desert? Welcome to Mizar; we hope you enjoy the gang war and elemental apocalypse. As if that wasn't fun enough, you'll also find a band of 38 thieves, a djinn and an efreet who are best frenemies, and, for you Kickstarter backers only, a lad in a lamp and a powerful artifact.
That, in short, is Oasis of the Elementals, our eighth Places by the Way location module for D&D 5E, and Path to the Mizar Oasis, our eighth Found by the Way module for Pathfinder (and the first for Pathfinder 2E, although 1E compatibility notes are included). This campaign offers you your only chance to get copies of the Limited (Kickstarter Only) Edition of both modules.
If you're new to Ramen Sandwich Press and our Places by the Way and Found by the Way location modules, I've shifted an overview of both series over to the FAQ. You'll also find a discussion of our plans for Pathfinder 2E in the FAQ.
Tome of the Utility Drawer
I wanted to free up some space in the main description to talk about a new product that we're tacking onto this campaign. While working on the Thornbriar modules (#7), I realized that Places by the Way and Found by the Way had built up a noticeable body of new mechanical bits, mostly magic items and ingenious mundane items with unusual effects. So I decided to cobble them together and publish them as their own thing, mostly in order to reach out to folks who have skipped over Places by the Way and Found by the Way. We understand that not everyone wants location modules; but what about an inexpensive, but ingenious list of new magic items? Right? How's that sound? Come on, you know you want some.
Hence: Tome of the Utility Drawer. It's a collection of stuff that you want to keep around in case you need it later. It has 20-25 different mechanical add-ons. There's no separate version for D&D and Pathfinder; each entry has details for using that particular thing with D&D, Pathfinder 2E and 1E. For those of you who have been following either or both series, it's largely familiar stuff. But I am adding a couple of new items just for this collection, and (at the risk of giving TMI) there's also some deep-dive into what I was thinking. The Kickstarter Limited Edition includes material unique to the Kickstarter Limited Editions of the modules, like the sleeping poison from the Snow White spoof in module #5. And for those of you who enjoyed The Third Eye of Ai artifact from module #7, you'll get its companion artifacts, The Right Eye of Ai and The Left Eye of Ai. The "Standard Edition" PDF will sell for $0.99, so we're not even charging a premium for the Kickstarter exclusive content.
As a preview, I've posted the introduction on my (largely disused) blog, "I Think We've Been Playing It Wrong."
Our rewards focus on a special, “Limited Edition” of each 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. Think of it as an inside joke between me and the good folk such as yourself who back us.
Once again, we're going to use the Backerkit pledge manager after the campaign; now that we have some experience in using it, we hope that it will go more smoothly this time. All of the rewards will be available as add-ons, so if you want more than one reward, you can pick one now and add the others later. We'll also offer print and PDF copies of individual modules from our backlist, to allow you some flexibility if you're catching up. Just in case you're interested. Or you can stick with these basic rewards:
$1 Tome of the Utility Drawer PDF: Digital copy of Tome of the Utility Drawer. If you prefer paper to electrons, you can upgrade through Backerkit after the campaign; we're still sussing out the cost to print.
$6 Digital Oasis: PDF copy of module #8 Limited Edition. When you get the reward survey, choose D&D 5E or Pathfinder to tell us which version you want.
$10 2x Digital Oasis: Why choose between D&D and Pathfinder? Get a PDF of each version of the Limited Edition.
$20 Oasis Print: For those of you who prefer paper to electrons, we'll print a copy of the Limited Edition and I'll sign it to you. When you get the reward survey, choose D&D 5E or Pathfinder to tell us which version you want.
$35 2x Thornbriar Print: Why choose between D&D and Pathfinder? I'm just as happy to sign two copies of the Limited Edition to you!
$40 PDF Catch-up: Each campaign attracts people who are just discovering Places/Found by the Way, and we're always happy to have them on board. This reward includes PDFs of all 8 Places by the Way or Found by the Way modules, all of them the Kickstarter-only Limited Edition. When you get the reward survey, choose D&D 5E or Pathfinder to tell us which version you want.
$70 2x PDF Catch-Up: Yet again, we ask you: Why choose between D&D and Pathfinder? Get all 8 Places by the Way and all 8 Found by the Way modules, 16 Limited Edition PDFs in all.
Risks and challenges
We've hit a nice rhythm with Places by the Way and Found by the Way. But this campaign is more complicated than our other campaigns this year, on account of Tome of the Utility Drawer and the need to get up to speed on Pathfinder 2E. Those are two bits of extra work involved. Plus, the Pathfinder 2E conversion notes for Found by the Way 1-7 are going to be a high priority item. I'm giving myself about a month of slack to account for these additional projects — projecting delivery of your rewards in November, instead of October — and I hope that will be enough time.
It should work out all right — close enough for government work, at any rate. But you should be aware that there is some risk of delay beyond November. The delivery date is my best estimate at this time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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