You may indeed find me mad, but I assure you that this unique project has been planned carefully. Years in the planning stages and putting it together slowly, piece by bloody piece since June of this year, In short, what I have planned for you is a fantasy, swords and sorcery adventure campaign with underlying tones based on the macabre writings of Edgar Allan Poe... But make no mistake, this 2-week adventure campaign is not based in the 1880’s, but will fit right in as a horror-filled and deeply haunted fantasy roleplaying game adventure suitable for D&D 5e and Pathfinder.
The adventure starts off with the party receiving a mysterious and unsolicited package containing a book, a letter (not shown here) and... an INVITATION. This invitation is written by the Lord of Ravenscroft Manor himself, LORD RODERICK RAVENSCROFT. This invitation is for the adventurers to attend his masked ball at his castle, and requests that the party attend this gathering as an opportune time to meet all 13 members of The Ravenscroft Family. The party’s quest is in two parts. One, is to act as fantasy ghost hunters to rid the castle and family members of the numerous ghosts, ghouls, ghasts, wraiths and spectres that have been plaguing them. The second part of the adventurer’s quest will be for them to act as investigators regarding a heavily contested LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT. Penned by the now deceased Robaire Ravenscroft, nearly the entire family has vehemently contested this will and testament with the culprit being the twin brother of Robaire, and the new lord of the castle, Roderick Ravenscroft.
Included in the mysterious package that the PCs receive is a page showing The Ravenscroft Family. This image is just to grab your attention as show the party each of the 13 Ravenscroft family members. You can download HIGH-RES images of many of the actual assets for this project at this DROP BOX LINK - https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vnip2j3bn49hhk2/AAALKu53STzLh-bdxz9wfivsa?dl=0
The PREMISE is simple, really. The party stays for a FORTNIGHT (14 days) at Ravenscroft Manor to investigate certain odd happenings and a recent violent ghost infestation. Each night, one of the party members will choose one of 13 random cards presented in a miniature black coffin. The card that is chosen will dictate which of the 13 family members will introduce themselves at dinner that very night. After one of the Ravenscroft family members is chosen, he or she will introduce themselves and state their title and function at Ravenscroft Manor. After that, they will impart a full length GHOST STORY to the party. This ghost story is the chief reason that each of these 13 family members feels they have been haunted. The question is... WHY NOW? Many of the family members bare their soul and tell dark tales that happened many years ago. The party must find out WHY NOW? This ghost story can economically be read aloud by the DM/GM, or with a slightly larger purchase, you can rest your precious voice box and allow each of the 13 family members tell their ghost stories themselves via downloadable audio files in different file formats! After the ghost story is told, that chosen family member will then escort the party throughout the deep and dark depths of Castle Nevermore, to point out the locations that they have been attacked, as well as convey some rather spicy and saucy rumors here and there. By the 14 day, the party is expected to meet with a famous overseer that arrives at the castle just in time to settle this last will and testament mess. Various “things” are set into place to provide a chilling and frightfully fun grand finale. There is a FREE Ghost Story audio download that you can find here, in WAV and MP3 file formats. Read and acted by professional voiceover talent and voice actor Chris Keegan.
GHOST STORY AUDIO SAMPLE - LEFT BEHIND - (9:26) https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bs4cpriqmbzl8kh/AADD1Nt64i-oBM-h5MklVUOUa?dl=0
A tale like this takes place just before that character begins to escort the party throughout the castle, showing the places where he/she has been attacked, etc.
Just some of the many themes that the adventurers will undoubtedly face are PREMATURE BURIALS, TORTURE, OBSESSIONS, GHOSTS, THE UNDEAD, DEMONS, MADNESS, REVENGE, DARK AND ENCLOSED SPACES, PLAGUE, IMPRISONMENT and the darker sides of our “good friend” we refer to as HUMAN NATURE.
I would like to take this time for you to imagine this. In this day and age and with the current, divided political climate, I would like for you to imagine being trapped in a haunted castle during a WICKED SNOW STORM. Nowhere to go, and surrounded with people you have learned to hate, de-friend and block almost overnight! Each of the 13 family members will have very detailed personalities. and each night at dinner, these 13 family members will act as PROMPTS to antagonize, confound and annoy the invited party. Talk about a classic BAIT AND SWITCH! But please try not to worry, not all of the 13 family members are bad. It is just right at around 50/50. Not only that, but there are 3 HIRED HELPERS and 3 of the remaining, surviving professional GHOST SEEKERS.
The adventurers were sent an INVESTIGATOR’S GUIDEBOOK that has been designed by Lord Ravenscroft’s biographer, EDGAR. This guidebook shows portraits of the 13 main Ravenscroft family members along with a synopsis of their character and what Edgar thinks of them. This guidebook also shows artwork representing the 13 UNIQUE MAGIC ITEMS that the 13 family members have (some quite reluctantly) agreed to award the party if they can be rid of these malicious and vengeful apparitions. The players are invited to record their findings each night and present them to Lord Ravenscroft and family at the next night’s late supper. The adventurers will then be rewarded depending on how well the PCs performed the night before. This digital guidebook is well over 130 pages, and has 56+ pages of form fill pages that the players can fill out, save and report to the family. At the very end of the adventure, if these poor fools, er, I mean, brave and noble adventurers survive, they each have a keepsake of this guidebook. Each player will have numerous attempts to add their input and notes on interactions between them and the 13 eccentric Ravenscroft Family members. There will be a 1. FREE version with half the content of the 2. Full PDF version that has everything the adventuring “investigators” will need to help them in their quest to purge the ghostly-infested castle once and for all. Map blueprints, 13+ ghosts that have been spotted throughout the entire castle, as well as their perceived powers, and much more.
For added DRAMA AND INTRIGUE, frosty and alert adventurers will have a chance to find a secret panel in the back of this guidebook. Enclosed is a letter written by Edgar himself, stating that things are not quite what they seem and begs the party for their help. HINT. They “KEY” attached can be used to analyze the CRYPTIC LANGUAGE wherever it may appear! That is all that I am allowed to say for now...
Another optional digital PDF book that can be purchased in this 2-week campaign is the one and only AROGHAST’S SPIRIT SUMMONER’S GRIMOIRE!
Legend has it that a once noble Ranger archer named AROGHAST turned his trade toward ghost hunting. Aroghast has become rather famous quite some time ago for not only having this book made, but for Aroghast himself using it as a potent weapon for revenge on behalf of his deceased family that was slain by a horde of vengeful ghosts. His current whereabouts is completely unknown... Or is it?
Not entirely a necessity, as the DM/GM can merely explain all of this verbally, but if you feel that your players would like a more immersive, hands-on experience, then this grimoire will allow them to figure out things about these UNIQUE GHOSTS, what they want, who they were in the past, what will pacify them, or more realistically, HOW TO KILL THEM PERMANENTLY!
This grimoire has the power to manifest evil spirits against their wills - to manifest - to do battle! This grimoire reveals:
1. KNOWLEDGE - Insight into what kind of ghosts they are facing, their strengths and weaknesses, as well as recommended methods of disposing of - or pacifying - these ghosts. This “ghost summoning book” is very much like a vampire hunters guide would be for hunting and slaying vampires, but for a wide variety of ghosts, spectres, servitors, wraiths and apparitions instead.
2. THE MEANS - Sigils and/or incantations that summon these ghosts against their will, forcing them to do battle. Similar to knowing a demon's true name for you to have it do your bidding, but these encounters will, more often than not, result in very violent battles instead. These make for GREAT PLAYER HANDOUTS!
2A. COMMAND WORDS OF POWER - Summons the ghosts against their will.
2B. MANIFESTATION SIGILS - “Gates in” the ghosts to the areas that the PCs choose to do battle. An interesting strategy indeed… But does it actually work??? Ha Ha Ha!
3. TOOLS - There will be a wide array of ways and tools to use to permanently slay these ghosts. Most of these items can be found in a rather well-stocked castle, I would imagine…
Just ONE of the 20 MAIN CHARACTERS that can be found in this adventure. This one here, Mrs. Butterburr is plagued by 20 PROFOUNDLY ANNOYING traits and characteristics!
One of the most colorful characters of this adventure is the acutely eccentric, PROFOUNDLY ANNOYING but well-meaning MRS. BUTTERBURR. “Chief Chef,” as she likes to be called, along with her other moniker, MISTRESS BUTTERBURR, this ample woman has so many annoying quirks and traits, the PCs may choose to leap from the castle parapets than deal with her for too long. There is, however, something that she could provide for the party, and that is a copy of one of her magnificent cookbooks. Not only does this cookbook have 40 REAL recipes contained within, she has taken it upon herself to transcribe THE 13 ENTERTAINMENTS the party will enjoy each night, as well as THE 13 DEBAUCHERIES that the family aims to enjoy as the players hunt for otherworldly portals to do battle with vicious and unrelenting ghosts! Oh, and did I mention that she keeps a series of ongoing GOSSIP JOURNALS?!?! YES! This is another optional book for the players, DMs/GMs or anyone, for that matter. Highly entertaining and offers several moments of comic relief, as well as real recipes for 1. Breakfast 2. Lunch and 3. Dinner over 13 days, plus dinner for the first night.
How do humanoids submit their culinary artistry to be published? Easy.
1. Submit 3 RECIPES. 1. Breakfast 2. Lunch and 3. Dinner
2. Submit 3 of your BEST PHOTOS of your culinary concoctions! (here is but one example)
3. A Magical Photoshop effect will then occur, imitating a black and white ink engraving technique with crosshatching engraving work as shown.
The MASTER CHEF will also get a copy of the converted photograph upon request.
THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF ROBAIRE RAVENSCROFT is in the form of a book that the players have access to. The will has been heavily contested by almost every single family member and almost every single family member believes that Lord Roderick Ravenscroft, Robaire’s living twin brother, has forged several areas of the entire document book! The players need to make sense of who deserves what - BASED ON DEPARTED ROBAIRE’S STIPULATIONS FOR EACH AND EVERY 13 MEMBERS OF THE RAVENSCROFT FAMILY! This digital book also has many form fields that the DM/GM fills in pertaining to various things like treasure bequeathed, stipulations the family members must follow to earn their money, etc. This book is also optional, but is intended to add depth and flavor to the 14-day campaign. BEHOLD!
9 Dropbox folders have been made for you fans of fright. 3 of these folders will have more content added with updates in the very near future, but for right now, there are 6 folders filled with 100% FREE samples for you to view and listen to. Please take a moment to follow this FREE Dropbox link to see if this KS project is right for you. BEHOLD!! Here is the link to find such interesting free items!
DO NOT BE AFRAID TO DOWNLOAD THESE DROPBOX FILES. The .rtf files or pdfs do NOT show a preview via some dropbox setups. I have no weird forms of “tracking” nor do I have that particular form of madness! I also really want you to see the FULL DETAIL, so you can see the high quality of the art and maps, design, etc.
BY THE WAY, WHAT IS A FORTNIGHT FANTASY CAMPAIGN?
FORTNIGHT FANTASY campaigns are an experimental creation by DARK BY DEZIGN, designed as campaign settings that last for 14 full days. A FF campaign is currently being tested for Pathfinder and D&D 5e fantasy roleplaying game settings. The characteristics of a FF campaign are:
• PCs are invited via player handout(s) to investigate a remote or restricted area over a two week period to uncover information, proof, suspects, enemies of the employer, etc.
• There are 13 short adventures designed to last 5-6 hours each, with a 14th GRAND FINALE at the very end and on the last day of the adventure. This finale usually is in the form of a twist or surprise ending or some potentially cataclysmic disaster that could happen if the PCs do not prevail.
• Many random encounters for added game play.
• The PCs cannot easily escape the scenario once they arrive on location until after the campaign has ended, or all of the PCs die. These restrictions can come in the form of being on a island without a ship, a bodyguard detail that last two weeks, or, like this adventure, a castle surrounded by hundreds of Ghoul-like creatures for two weeks during a raging snow storm!
• The players are forced to interact with a wide variety of savory and UNsavory characters, and must find ways to deal with these problematic characters without killing them, lest they meet with extremely severe punishments. It is kind of like being trapped with in-laws you might very well hate for two weeks! Either that, or HALF of your recently unfriended social media friends! Human nature will be delved into quite deeply here, allowing for great potential for REAL roleplaying, and not just hack n’ slash! Also, the female to male ration is nearly 50/50, so this would be GREAT for out favorite womenfolk to play this adventure!
• There are opportunities for ALL player types to have fun with actual ROLEPLAYING. Every player and character interacts with all of the MAIN CAST OF CHARACTERS and they must formulate their own opinions by transcribing various facts such as the monsters they encounter, what are the results of these battles, the characters they meet and what the PCs think of these characters. At the end of the campaign, the party is asked to file a report on their findings, and in doing so, can also earn (DM/GM Optional) AD HOC experience points.
• PLENTY OF ACTION and ways to visit 13 separate and distinct encounter areas, and with a climax at the end that could happen anywhere.
• 13, 8” x 10” REALM OF THE SUFFERING DEAD “HIDEOUT” MAPS - These will be 13 full-color maps that can be used as VTT or printed from your home computer onto your own home printer. Designed for 25mm fantasy miniatures. STRETCH GOALS reached will transmute these 13 maps from 8” x 10” to 12” x 16”! MUCH BETTER, indeed...
• 13 PROFESSIONAL VOICEOVERS that can optionally be purchased and used so the PLAYERS (and the DM/GM as well) can enjoy hearing the 13 Ravenscroft Family members bare their souls and tell their chilling GHOST STORIES aloud. These will take the form of downloadable audio files that will be in multiple file formats for this to be compatible with your tablets, iPads, smart phones, iPhones, computer, etc.
STRETCH GOALS - The stretch goals that can make this project that much better are the following: Before I list these, please know that if YOU can help this project gain positive exposure, these goals can easily be reached.
STRETCH GOAL #1 - $4,500 - This adds the following benefits to the adventure: • 65 DIGITAL ENCOUNTER CARDS - There are 3 sets of cards that players take turns on choosing throughout the entire campaign. These “digital cards” are optional, and are available as a STRETCH GOAL that can add flavor and an added dynamic to this campaign setting. These 3 categories are as follows:
1. 13 CHARACTER CARDS - Each night, a different PLAYER/PC chooses one of 13 character cards. By choosing a certain member of the Ravenscroft Family, that chosen family member character becomes the guide to the party for that entire night, offering UNIQUE INSIGHTS AND POINTS OF VIEW based on that particular character chosen. There are also a variety of RUMORS. These rumors come in the form of TRUTHS, LIES and the ever-deadly, HALF-TRUTH/HALF-LIE! These 13 digital cards are part of the base adventure.
2. 39 ENCOUNTER CARDS - There are 3 encounter cards pulled for each of the 13 days. For this particular adventure, these 3 encounters vary depending on the level of the castle that the players are on.
3. 13 DAILY MADNESS CARDS - What good is an adventure based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe that is without madness, mania or insanity? Oh my, someone is in for a treat. Each day, a chosen PLAYER/PC chooses a DAILY MADNESS card to see what a single member or multiple members of the party must face! Some form of temporary madness! Madnesses include:
URGE TO KILL
STRETCH GOAL #2 - $5,000 - This adds the following benefits to the adventure:
• 4, 20” x 16” CASTLE MAPS instead of 3.
• 25 pages content added to the adventure itself = 225+ page adventure PDF now.
STRETCH GOAL #3 - $6,700 - This adds the following benefits to the adventure:
• 5, 20” x 16” CASTLE MAPS instead of 3.
• 50 pages content added to the adventure itself = 250+ page adventure PDF now.
STRETCH GOAL #4 - $8,800 - This adds the following benefits to the adventure:
• 13, 12” x 18” REALM OF THE SUFFERING DEAD “HIDEOUT” MAPS instead of 8” x 10” size.
STRETCH GOAL #5 - $11,111 - This adds the following benefits to the adventure:
• Lightly-illustrated prose 13 SHORT STORY PDF GHOST STORIES book added for your reading pleasure. GHOST STORIES OF CASTLE NEVERMORE will take the audio readings and add to that in the form of 13 short stories. Just an extra little thank you, hopefully. Talent still to be determined, and of course will be professionally edited.
Here is a screenshot of some of DARK BY DEZIGN’S publications on DTRPG. If you do a search for DARK BY DEZIGN, you will find some FREE things so you can gauge the content style and see if this adventure is right for thee!
Speaking of which, even though that FOR NOW this is a completely DIGITAL project, it might be a grand and glorious idea to sign up at DTRPG (Drive Thru RPG) which is the universe’s greatest, biggest and best provider for indie and not so indie Fantasy RPG products! It takes just 3 minutes, and when your rewards are complete, I will send you a Complimentary link to download the product(s) which will be posted on DTRPG. Sign up here, but in the meantime, behold this fine logo! : ) https://www.drivethrurpg.com
Risks and challenges
You may find me to be mad, and I have to be entirely honest. This is a dream project. I got slightly obsessed and felt the true NEED to get this out on KS before I could dedicate myself to my other duties... If that is a sin, then by all means, send me to THE PIT as a fitting punishment... It just would not leave my mind, and I had to do it...
Sure, every project I have been a part of is a dream project, but this one goes back from the age of 11 after being introduced to the magnificent tales of EDGAR ALLAN POE. I was already into my second year of playing Dungeons & Dragons and I would daydream about adventures during class. I was in Mrs. Green’s 5th grade English class, and she said something along the lines of:
“OKAY, KIDS, YOU ARE IN FOR A TREAT! I WILL NOW READ A STORY FROM A WRITER NAMED EDGAR ALLEN POE!”
It was THE TELLTALE HEART. I was immediately hooked. Since then, EDGAR ALLEN POE has been my favorite writer of all time. To this day, I seek out illustrated books, graphic novels and even audio excerpts of this grand master’s writings!
That said, this project is BASED on elements of his writings. There are no attempts or insinuations that the creators of this project are writers of the same caliber as Poe! This is not a declaration about who knows more about Poe, either. WE CONCEDE without ponderous egos, and with no damage points inflicted! This is a work of a fictional adventure and in an otherworldly/alternate way set in a fantasy roleplaying game setting.
There are no risks or challenges other than the occasional obstacle that LIFE always throws at everyone. I will always try my best to do a very good job in everything that I can control. No human has EVER pleased everyone. Sadly, it is impossible, but there is nothing wrong with trying.
For this project, I am COMPLETELY ELIMINATING PRINTING AND SHIPPING. This project is entirely, 100% DIGITAL. The reasons are the following.
• This is very painful for me to even prepare the accurate paperwork for accurate TAXES. In short, it is INCREDIBLY PAINFUL and time consuming.
• Also, I am looking to offer optional PRINT OPTIONS in the near future IF this project takes of considerably, and more so than all other projects before. In other words, my pain must have a very good reason for it to occur... ; )
• I MAY send one SURVEY QUESTION to see how many people would like to potentially see this project in print. I DO have a fairly solid idea utilizing a 120 CARD SET that players can have fun with instead of using only dice.
I have said this before, and as wonderful as the following things are, I simply do not have them. I do not have a wife or kids, and I do not have many (almost zero) commitments other than these projects. I have also turned down freelance ops. This is it. I DO still have commitments on other projects, and I must finish them, but I simply HAD TO GET THIS PROJECT OUT. It was calling to me every single day! Thank you in advance for your understanding. Be good to each other and good things will happen to and for YOU. Now after today, I will get back to completing my commitments and duties, AND I WILL. I just HAD TO get this one out, before it was too late... Matt.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)