Welcome to Ramen Sandwich Press’ latest campaign! This campaign offers you your only chance to copies of the Limited (Kickstarter Only) Edition of Places by the Way #7: The Beast of Thornbriar Hills and Found by the Way #7: Path to Thornbriar Hills.
Places by the Way and Found by the Way
For those of you who missed our previous campaigns, Places by the Way is a series of short modules that I’m creating for use with Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, and Found by the Way is a parallel series of modules that we launched last year for use with Pathfinder. They work as short stand-alone adventures, but each module is a kit for creating a memorable interlude in a larger campaign. In turn, Places by the Way 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. Both it and its Found by the Way cousin are available through DriveThru RPG, and print versions are 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 Twitter feed, and I have posted some designer's notes to my personal blog, "I Think We've Been Playing It Wrong."
These modules have 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, 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 and Found by the Way is that somewhere in the series, I will create an NPC encounter that has an effect like that. I want 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 and Found 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.
Module #7 describes the village of Thornbriar, which sits at the end of a remote valley and serves the herders whose flocks of sheep roam the overlooking hills. Passing through Thornbriar gives a party the chance to solve the mystery of who — or what — is killing sheep up in the Thornbriar Hills, reconcile the villagers with the eccentrics who live in their midst, and score some cool items that will help them as they pursue adventure in the lands beyond. As they try to solve this cryptozoological puzzle, your party will meet intriguing NPCs such as those that have become our hallmark, including the sheep country equivalent of a cat lady, a band of vegetarian hobgoblins and a hermit cleric who begrudgingly serves the village of Thornbriar. New rules allow your PCs to keep a sheepdog companion and learn to use a wicker basket as a shield.
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 campaigns. Think of it as an inside joke between me and the good folk such as yourself who back us.
If you've read The Odyssey, you'll recognize the Easter Egg for this module right away. And even if you haven't read Homer, you'll still probably get the joke. It also includes a treasure item that helps you see that which cannot normally be seen, an artifact called the Third Eye of Ai. Again: This is a new magic item that will only be included in the Kickstarter Limited Edition.
Starting with this campaign, we plan to use Backerkit to handle the post-campaign surveys. This means that you'll have flexibility in choosing your reward(s) and adding to your pledges after the fact. We'll also make available a wide range of items from the Ramen Sandwich Press backlist, and maybe items from Ramen Sandwich Tees as well. Just in case you're interested. Or you can stick with these basic rewards:
$6 Thornbriar Digital: PDF copy of module #7 Limited Edition. When you get the reward survey, choose D&D 5E or Pathfinder to tell us which version you want.
$10 2x Thornbriar Digital: Why choose between D&D and Pathfinder? Get a PDF of each version of the Limited Edition.
$20 Thornbriar 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!
$35 PDF Catch-up: Each campaign seems to attract people who are just discovering Places/Found by the Way, and I'm always happy to have them on board. This reward includes PDFs of all 7 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.
$60 2x PDF Catch-Up: Yet again, we ask you: Why choose between D&D and Pathfinder? Get all 6 Places by the Way and all 7 Found by the Way modules, 14 Limited Edition PDFs in all.
Risks and challenges
As this campaign launches, The Beast of Thornbriar Hills is close to ready for layout. Path to Thornbriar Hills will follow shortly thereafter. So the work is already well underway and we can keep going without pause as long as this campaign funds. We've been at this a while — if it funds, this will be our 10th successful campaign in two years and change — and our previous campaign, we not only delivered on schedule, but we were almost a little early. Therefore, the risks are limited mostly to unexpected illness in a team member or black swan events like a plane crashing into Ramen Sandwich Press HQ or the Yellowstone super volcano erupting.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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