A book of ten underground adventures for the fifth edition of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game, set within a ruin-filled mountain torn apart by the mysterious Grendleroot.
For a thousand thousand years, an ancient entity has been trapped in the heart of a mountain formed from rock not of this world. Over eons, creatures both monstrous and intelligent have explored the endless tunnels, caverns, and chambers of Blackclaw, answering the call of the mysterious entity buried within it. Over long centuries, hundreds of lairs, cities, keeps, prisons, and tombs were established within the mountain, but even those centuries of exploration did not uncover all its secrets.
Then, two centuries ago, the entity now known as the Grendleroot awoke.
Indestructible black spires shot through the rock of the mountain like the roots of a deadly weed, shattering civilizations, burying cities, and exposing caverns long lost. Today, adventurers residing in Deepdelver’s Enclave explore these lost ruins once again. They seek fellow adventurers brave enough to answer the call of Blackclaw, and to seek the mysteries of the Grendleroot.
Ruins of the Grendleroot is a book of ten short easy-to-run adventures for the fifth edition of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game. Designed for characters of 1st to 5th level, these adventures take place in the caverns, chambers, tunnels, and ruins of the mountain known as Blackclaw, within which lurks the Grendleroot—a strange and otherworldly sentience.
Across these ten adventures, your characters will
- cure the corruption of an old tower destined to bring daylight to the cavern of Shadowreach;
- rescue a lost child who answers the call of a dying god;
- seek out the source of a plague of gnome zombies;
- travel to the Forest of Iron to stop the priest who would destroy the Grendleroot–and the entire mountain surrounding it;
- protect Deepdelver's Enclave from marauding warbands of orcs and hobgoblins;
- find the beast lurking in abolethic ruins that promises salvation in return for fresh meat;
- seal up a damaged cell in a forgotten monastery, which contains a being so dangerous that even its thoughts can kill;
- save a war hero from the elven assassins who hunt her down;
- discover the secret to quieting the restless Grendleroot from a slumbering vampire archmage; and
- travel to the Black Cathedral, discover the origin of the mysterious Caretakers, and stop a mage attempting to capture the power of the Grendleroot for herself.
Download the free PDF preview–including summaries of all ten adventures and a fully playable 1st-level adventure you can run today!
Ruins of the Grendleroot focuses on the sense of mystery and wonder that comes from exploring ancient ruins. The central hub of these adventures, Deepdelver's Enclave, is a frontier outpost overlooking the ruined city of Shadowreach, set deep within the mountain. In Deepdelver's Enclave, adventurers and explorers recount tales of their explorations, trade treasure and artifacts, and enjoy their shared love of uncovering the mysteries of the mountain.
These ten adventures can be run independently as single-session games of roughly two to four hours each, or they can be tied together as part of a larger campaign. Five of the adventures can be combined together into a five-session mini campaign that focuses on the strange consciousness lying at the center of the mysterious mountain.
Each of these ten adventures is designed to get you up and running quickly and to help you integrate them into your own campaign. If you’re familiar with the format of the book Sly Flourish’s Fantastic Adventures and the concepts in the book Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master, the setup of these adventures will be familiar to you. Even if you aren’t, you’ll find the design of these adventures intuitive and straightforward. In this book, you’ll find inspirational artwork, beautiful maps, fantastic locations, short readable summaries of places and events, evocative keywords to spark your own imagination, flexible read-aloud text, and piles of ideas to fuel your own stories.
All Stretch Goals Complete!
Throughout this campaign, we crossed all of the stretch goals we had planned. These include:
- (Unlocked!) A full digital map pack of all of Elven Tower's awesome maps.
- (Unlocked!) An art book featuring all the maps and art, which you can use at your table to show your players.
- (Unlocked!) More art throughout the whole book and an ePub version for all backers.
- (Unlocked!) Grendleroot-themed character backgrounds designed by James Introcaso
- (Unlocked!) A new chapter of random tables and additional location descriptions you can use to generate your own adventures and campaigns in Blackclaw mountain.
- (Unlocked!) A new chapter describing the history of the underground city of Shadowreach.
- (Unlocked!) A campaign adventure outline based on the return of the archmages of the Black Star that takes characters from sixth to twentieth level and a wallpaper pack with artwork by Jack Kaiser.
About This Kickstarter
Your funding for this Kickstarter will help fund artwork, maps, editing, design, and layout for this book. I have commissioned top creators in the RPG industry to help me bring this vision to reality, including Scott Fitzgerald Gray, Elven Tower, Marc Radle, and Jack Kaiser. Together and with your help, we're going to build one fantastic book of adventures.
This book is being put together by the following team of professional RPG designers, editors, and artists.
- Designer & Product Lead: Mike Shea
- Editor & Layout Artist: Scott Fitzgerald Gray
- Cartographer: Elven Tower
- Artists: Jack Kaiser and Bryan Syme
- Art Director & Designer: Marc Radle
Example Artwork and Maps
Jack Kaiser, artist for Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master, Sly Flourish's Fantastic Adventures, and Shadow of the Demon Lord, will be illustrating many original pieces for this book, including the stunning covers seen above.
The incredibly talented Elven Tower will be doing all of the maps for the book. You can see an example of his work below.
We'll also have internal character art by Bryan Syme. Here are a couple of examples of his outstanding work.
Check out the sample adventure and support the Kickstarter–and together, we'll make a book of truly fantastic adventures!
Print on Demand
For the print-on-demand reward tiers we will use DriveThruRPG's print-on-demand service to print and ship these books. Once the books are ready, you will receive a link to order the books from DriveThruRPG at the cost of printing (usually between $4 and $7 per book) and shipping including US and overseas. This is the fastest and most cost-effective way to get these books into your hands.
Risks and challenges
The text for all ten adventures is written, and much of the artwork is already in hand. This is my fifth Kickstarter and I have delivered on time with all of my previous similar Kickstarters. Our project team is small, and personal issues can delay the project if they come up. We have accounted for possible delays in our schedule and expect a smooth delivery.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)