Parefid's Tomb will be a 30 to 40 page d20 adventure module released under the Open Gaming License, meaning that you can play it using the System Reference Document released in conjuction with D&D version 3.5 and available at the Wizards of the Coast website or, if you prefer a hypertext, at the excellent d20srd.org. This module can be played as a stand-alone adventure or woven in to an existing campaign as you please, and for most gaming groups, it should be suitable for characters between levels 7 (if you're playing a horror campaign!) and 12.
The core of the module is a complex dungeon filled with enough challenges to take a party through several levels, but for those among you who require more than a dungeon crawl, there is a rich setting populated by characters devious and brave, complete with a full town and enough secrets to satisfy the most whodoneit-happy adventuring party. The setting not only puts the dungeon in context but also adds role-playing opportunities, material rewards, Oxford commas, and myriad possible side quests. Players, you might want to skip to the next paragraph: Parefid's Tomb features high-level hijinks from a few overcurious wizard researchers, whose interplanar experimentation accidentally allowed an interplanar intrusion that's the source of the region's problems. To deal with the visitors, the party will have to locate their lair in Parefid's Tomb, a location the local wizards seem mysteriously keen on ignoring.
Most of all, I promise you one thing that I find so sorely lacking in too many adventures. I promise you right here and now: this adventure module makes sense. That's right, this module will be completely internally consistent, not only in NPC motivations but even down to the basic ecology. It may take your players some legwork to understand the situation, but should they decide to dig, they will uncover a perfect mesh of plot, entirely free of holes. Never again will you have to hear, "But if she'd just cast Detect Magic, they could have figured this out on their own!" Published adventures (and plenty of homebrew RPG plotlines) are all too often lacking in consistency, and my goal in releasing this module is to combat that the only way I know how.
I'm asking for $450 dollars, even though that won't translate to a decent hourly wage, because I know that the market for adventure modules is small, and I don't want to be greedy. (Keep in mind that Kickstarter and Amazon eat about 10% of pledged funds.) I've run more games than I can recount, so creating the adventure isn't the hard part, although I am putting more effort into this than I would put into a typical home game. Abiding by the restrictions of the Open Gaming License, which allows me to sell a module that's consistent with one of the most popular RPG systems of all time, will substantially change the nature of the module from its original form as a homebrew adventure. I'll be replacing the copyrighted monsters that I'd use in my own sessions with original monsters, which will be awesome but time-consuming. Simply put, if I can cross that threshold of money, this project will become worth my while. If it's successful, you'll be seeing more projects here before long.
I'm offering two nonstandard backer rewards. The first benefits everyone. If you pass the $450 mark, then for each $50 by which you pass it, I'll include an additional illustration in the finished product. You have my word that the excellence of these illustrations will exceed even the finesse and expertise of those featured in the original AD&D publications.
The second is for individual backers, but it grades on a curve. If any pledges fall three standard deviations above the mean pledge (as of completion), each of those pledgers will receive something amazing. Really, it's going to blow your minds. It's so gut-bustingly astounding that the FCC has ruled that I cannot publicly describe it at this time. I'll post the current average & target every week. [I cannot at this time address the rumor that there may be a musical number involved.]
[Image source: Knight, Charles: “Old England: A Pictorial Museum” (1845); from the public domain image archive at http://fromoldbooks.org/r/3/pages/0039-Trevethy-Stone/]
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