HighFell, an ancient keep long abandoned and in decay, now drifts slowly across the landscape.
A millenia ago, black wizards founded the keep as a school of eldritch wizardry atop a remote mountain called the Dwimmerhorn. Only the most gifted students received instruction within its walls.
In time, HighFell was deserted and fell into ruin. Its towers, battlements, citadels, and catacombs became home to all manner of wandering monsters. Adventurers and dungeon explorers began making the dangerous trek up the mountain in search of arcane lore and magical treasures.
In recent months a strange green light was seen emanating from the ruins at midnight. The light slowly intensified until a great explosion rocked the Dwimmerhorn. HighFell pulled away from the mountain and now slowly drifts - and occasionally phases in and out of place - over the Great Steppe of The Northern Reaches.
Are you brave (or foolish) enough to explore the ruins of HighFell - The Drifting Dungeon?
WHAT IS HIGHFELL?
This Kickstarter campaign is designed to support the creation of a new megadungeon adventure called HighFell: The Drifting Dungeon.
HighFell is designed for Labyrinth Lord but can be played with any Old School Role-Playing Game (or their clones) from the 70s and 80s such as B/X, First or Second edition, OSRIC, or Swords and Wizardry. This scenario can also be played with the DCC RPG with conversions.
This new megadungeon adventure is designed to support a medieval fantasy campaign lasting months and years. HighFell will support low-level to high-level play.
I estimate the final draft to be between 180-250 pages and approximately 500-600 encounter areas. If you are familiar with Barrowmaze Complete, that project was 259 pages in a two-column format (cover to cover). Forbidden Caverns, my follow-up project, was 293 pages, PDF poster maps will be done in both black and Old School blue.
HighFell opens with a gazetteer that outlines the region in which the adventure takes place. This includes a cultural history as well as the detailing of several small villages that can provide a base of operations for an extended campaign. Like the mounds in Barrowmaze, or the caves in Forbidden Caverns, HighFell also provides some low hanging fruit above-ground to get (wise) players started. The dungeon proper will be leveled in a traditional style, albeit in a floating dungeon context with twists and surprizes. This approach merges my own particular vision with inspiration drawn from modules like The Village of Hommlet, Dragons of Desolation, and The Ghost Tower of Inverness.
Remember prices are in Canadian Dollars so there's AWESOME SAVINGS for all my peeps in the United States and abroad. If you are unfamiliar, the 2017 average conversion for the year was $1.00 USD = 71 cents CAD. (citation: bankofcanada.ca).
Here are some past layout samples from Barrowmaze Complete with the cover by ex-TSR artist Erol Otus. The cover and page samples represent the style you can expect with HighFell: The Drifting Dungeon
WHO AM I?
My name is Dr. Greg Gillespie. I am an Associate Professor of Popular Culture at a university in Ontario, Canada. I regularly teach a senior undergraduate course entitled The History and Culture of Role-Playing Games (for realz). I am also the author/designer of two very popular Old School megadungeons called Barrowmaze Complete and The Forbidden Caverns of Archaia. You can read widely about Barrowmaze on the internet or on rpgnow.com. Through my professional expertise, I know how to create, manage, and deliver outstanding game projects on time.
ART AND THE OLD SCHOOL
In my opinion, crafting an OSR dungeon is about much more than creating an adventure. It is about celebrating the origins of the hobby, the classic fantasy gaming experience, and understanding that dungeon crawling isn't supposed to be about long exhausting combats but rather an equal mix of exploration, combat, and role-play. These values are very important to me and find expression in my design and aesthetics. Just like Barrowmaze and Forbidden Caverns, HighFell will place a premium on amazing art. I will get the band back together including the talents of Cory Hamel, Stefan Poag, Peter Pagano, Trevor Hammond, Stephen Thompson, and others.
Similar to past projects for Labyringth Lord Rules, every monster in the monster section will have its own illustration. In the past I have worked with former TSR artists Erol Otus, Jim Holloway, and Tim Truman. I hope to work with these and other TSR illustrators again on this project for a colour cover and also interior art. Erol has already agreed to illustrate the cover for HighFell. We will ensure the colors and aesthetic chosen compliment Barrrowmaze and The Forbidden Caverns of Archaia (so they will all look super swank on your shelf).
In terms of mapping, those of you will a close eye will notice my published dungeons are slowly filling in a certain old school wilderness board game map that serves as the basis of my Northern Reaches homegame (we affectionately call it...Greghawk lol). HighFell will continue this tradition as a tip of the cap to Gygax's original homegame.
Cory Hamel and Peter Pagano have created some fantastic preliminary illustrations to give you an idea of the aesthetic we have in mind for a few of the monsters. There's more to come!
THROW-INs and ADD-ONS
Like my other projects HighFell will be detailed, provide depth of engagement, have old school charm, and be super fun for your gaming group. There is no list of stuff to add persay, rather the more funding the campaign receives the more I can invest into and develop the final product. I have an excellent reputation across the interwebs for value-added projects. If you are familiar with Barrowmaze Complete or Forbidden Caverns of Archaia, you already know what to expect.
Risks and challenges
There are always potential challenges to any large project. However, I have an established track record of successful campaigns (Barrowmaze and Forbidden Caverns) that have either shipped early or exactly on schedule. I have afforded myself a manageable writing and play-testing schedule with a shipping date of June 2019.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)