A Night in Seyvoth Manor is a Halloween-themed "challenge" adventure that was originally designed for Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition (published under the 4th Edition Game System License) and published for free in 2013. It was subsequently nominated for a 2013 ENnie award in the "Best Free Product" category.
This project is to do a complete conversion of A Night in Seyvoth Manor to the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition system and publish it through the 5th Edition Open Gaming License (OGL for short), while giving it the attention it deserves in terms of a proper editing pass and additional artwork.
Few people in the village of Ravenshire spoke of the manor atop the hill to the north, and even fewer dared approach it. After the horrific events that happened there so many years ago many believe the mansion and the estate grounds to be cursed, haunted by the restless dead, and some of the village residents could swear they have seen movement and lights coming from the seemingly abandoned mansion.
Throughout the years the village has had its share of disappearances; most of them had been blamed on the harsh environment of the surrounding forest and the natural dangers of the world we live in, but recent evidence leads to the doorstep of the Seyvoth estate. And when two young women – Jessi and Lyssa Hawthorne, daughters of a village elder – go missing, the village immediately sent out search parties in to the surrounding area. Two separate groups of scouts passed through the iron gate at the entrance to the estate… and have never returned.
Now a local mystic warns of the danger looming in Seyvoth manor, how the daughters will soon be led towards the darkness and turn against the village they once called home. Are you brave enough to step through the gates and seek out the missing scouts and rescue the two women in distress? Are you willing to unravel the mysteries of the Seyvoth estate, even if it means risking your own life?
The adventure is a "challenge" adventure in that it is not intended to be part of a larger campaign; it is designed as a one shot adventure, using throwaway characters that are highly optimized, and for that reason the adventure is designed to be pretty brutal. Expect characters to die, possibly more than once, but if they do they can simply walk right back in to the adventure and try again... there are only two limiting factors: time (it's designed to be between 4 and 6 hours... we'll get to that shortly) and an optional scoring system at the end of the adventure. It is also designed to be replayable: players can take what they have learned in one run through and carry it over to the next one.
I do have to point out something... when I say it is "desgined to be between 4 and 6 hours", that's really depends on the party and how you go about it. But it *can* be done... technically... and was almost done by the guys at The Incomparable Podcast who have done a single run through of Seyvoth Manor, continuing it every Halloween, that has run for the last four years. Granted, they were doing it for fun and not for the challenge, but you get the idea.
A Night in Seyvoth Manor also uses cards for treasure, quest items, rumors, abilities and other items in game. There are a total of 112 cards that can be physically printed through Drive Thru Cards (see backer rewards), and some of these items are pretty over the top...
UPDATED 1/27/18: In order to make the cards a little more legible, we are converting them from their current US Poker size (2.5" x 3.5") to tarot (2.75" x 4.75"). Not only will the text be legible for our more wordy cards, but we feel that tarot cards are more thematically appropriate for the adventure.
Yes, A Night in Seyvoth Manor is also loaded full of pop culture references from literature and movies. Some are pretty obscure, others are pretty obvious to anyone that has ever heard of the origin. And, to be honest, knowing these pop culture references will likely make your adventure a lot less painful and a lot more entertaining.
Finally, A Night in Seyvoth Manor embraces the style of early adventures where taking risks are rewarded. Sure, you might be able to go through the entire adventure without taking any chances, but if you really want a better chance at being successful you're going to have to risk death or severe bodily injury at least more than once. Amazing treasures like the above do exist, but you're going to have to put your neck on the line to have any chance of getting them.
Every part of the adventure - even areas that do not have the possibility of an encounter - has a tactical map so that players can see what's where in the room. It also instills the fear in players that, wherever they go, there *might* be an encounter.
All the existing cartography was done by myself using Adobe Fireworks CS6 (we can just hear designers twitching out there over that one, but yeah) and creative assets from ProFantasy Campaign Cartographer 3.
There are at least two areas that we feel will need to be re-done entirely ("Blood Caves" and "Hall of Mirrors", for those familiar with the old version) and a few that need to be reoriented (Seyvoth's "Inner Sanctum" needs to be rotated 90 degrees to make sense), but all in all it's definitely manageable.
A Night in Seyvoth Manor exists as a published product for Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition and it currently stands at 43 pages, but it's going to need a reasonable amount of work to be converted to 5th Edition. Some areas (like, for example, the entire "bats bats bats bats..." scene) simply would work terribly in 5th Edition so they would have to be reworked. And of course there's the issue of converting all the monsters into something that's not only challenging but surmountable; I mean, let's face it, an 5th Edition vampire straight out of the Monster Manual will eat a 6th level party for lunch, so we'll have to do some adjustments to make it possible - albeit unlikely - for players to not get instantly killed.
The expectation is to get all the mechanics converted by April or May 2018, if not sooner. How long editing and art will take is unclear, but that shouldn't stop this campaign from being ready well in advance of next Halloween. One the mechanics are available, it will be provided to backers for review while the product is edited and the artwork is completed.
We have not decided on who will be doing are art or editing the product; we do have a short list of some really talented people, but a decision has not been made.
$1 Level: Thanks! Every little bit helps! You will get your name listed in the final product's credits.
$8 Level - Digital PDF: You will receive a code to download full color PDFs of the adventure itself as well as all the card sheets directly from Drive Thru RPG, as well as any stretch goals we decide to include at this level.
$15 Level - Digital PDF + POD adventure: In addition to receiving everything listed in the $8 level above, you will also receive a code to order the full color adventure softcover or hardcover through DTRPG's "print on demand" service at the cost or printing and shipping, with no additional markup. You will also receive any stretch goals we decide to include at this level.
$20 Level - Digital PDF + POD adventure + POD cards: You receive everything listed in the $15 level above plus another code to print the cards - the complete deck of 112 tarot-sized cards for treasure, rumors, abilities, and other quest items - at cost through DriveThruCards' "print on demand" service. You will also receive any stretch goals we decide to include at this level
*NOTE*: At the $15 and $20 level you will still need to pay the printing and shipping costs to Drive Thru RPG but there will be no additional markup from us. Since the product isn't complete, we do not know how much it will cost or even if it will be in softcover or hardcover.
Please note that the code we provide does not cover shipping.
$1000 (MET!): For all tiers we will include at least ten complete pregenerated characters (as a digital PDF), all themed in a similar style to the rest of the campaign and complete with relevant backstories, so you can hit the ground running without having to spend time on character creation.
(Depending on licensing restrictions with the OGL, these pregenerated characters may be restricted to what's available in the Basic Rules... Honestly, we don't know yet)
Updated 1/27/18: Becuase we meet and blew this stretch goal away we will be creating more pre-generated characters than we had originally planned. Plus a select batch of pre-gens will include stylized character sheets and portraits drown by our very own Val Hochberg!
David Flor has been a software developer and game designer for over twenty-five years. He have published several products under his own company, Darklight Interactive, including the 2013 ENnie-nominated ("Best Free Product") adventure A Night in Seyvoth Manor for Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition and successfully funded via Kickstarter The Coming Dark, Chapter One: Into the Light for 5th Edition. David currently lives in Miami, Florida - the city farthest from wherever the "gaming capital of the world" is likely to be - with his wife and son. He spends an unhealthy amount of time on Twitter at @BrainClouds and on his blog at rpg.brainclouds.net.
Val Hochberg (@kickgirl on Twitter) of the Mystery Babylon webcomic is going to be our artist. She has done amazing work for us in the past, such as the covers for the 4th Edition adventure Revenge of the Kobolds and the upcoming DM's Guild adventure The Festival of Magic!
Risks and challenges
We've already published the 4th Edition without a cover and, quite honestly, with some really bad editing errors we've already found, and it still got nominated for an ENnie.
One way or another, this product is going to get published... We're already doing the conversion work, but before it's officially released we just want it to be the best that it can be, and with your help we can put the finishing touches on it to make it truly awesome.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)