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A compendium of 55 adventure locations, settlements, and regions for fantasy role-playing games.
A compendium of 55 adventure locations, settlements, and regions for fantasy role-playing games.
2,248 backers pledged CA$ 96,345 to help bring this project to life.

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CA$ 96,345

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For five years I've been writing and illustrating fantasy adventure locations, including award-winning dungeons like the Sky-Blind Spire, the Lantern of Wyv, and the Mermaids’ Knot. Now, I’m compiling them into a glorious hardcover compendium.

This limited edition hardcover book contains:

  • 55 illustrated adventure locations, settlements and wilderness regions
  • Adventure summaries and a giant table of hooks & rumors 
  • A full-color campaign map that puts the adventures in context
  • An illustrated bestiary with more than 90 monsters
  • A detailed index of people, places, creatures and things
  • Companion Bestiary PDFs add stats for 5e, B/X and Dungeon World 

Each adventure is lovingly illustrated, and fits on a single page or spread, making it easy use as a one-shot, a drop-in location in your home-grown campaign setting, or a source of ideas for your own creations.

"Stop writing adventures and use these"—Ryan Chaddock, Geek and Sundry

The adventures in the book are dungeons, ruined towers, underworld mega-caverns, creepy cult hideouts, treacherous cities, and deadly wilderness regions, all in the same easy-to-reference format. 

My adventures are inspired by the weather-stained heroism of Middle Earth, the grounded, emotional honesty of Earthsea, and the fantastic whimsey of stories like Rupert Bear.

There are classic underground loot grabs, encounters wondrous and weird, terrors from ages past, and apocalyptic showdowns—42 adventure sites, 5 danger-filled settlements, and 8 wilderness regions in all. 

Everything is written as tightly as possible, distilled to get the maximum idea density on the page. I don't put in stats, so they're best for games where you can stat on the fly: early editions of D&D, Dungeon World, Torchbearer, Into the Odd, Maze Rats, or World of Dungeons (to name but a few).

(Update: we have unlocked all four bestiary stretch goals, so backers will now get companion bestiary PDFs with stats for Dungeon World, Basic D&D, and fifth edition D&D!)

From One-Shots to Sandboxes

Each adventure location is designed for ease of use at your table. They're not stories but scenarios spring-loaded with potential. Whether your players arrive as marauders, explorers, diplomats, or thieves, interesting things will happen.

My hope is this book becomes an obvious addition to your emergency GMing kit. When it's an hour before game night and you need a one-shot scenario, pull it the book and send your players into your favorite underground hellhole.

If you're planning a mini-campaign, it's easy to snap together several adventures into a short series, by location type or theme using the two-page Adventure Summaries. Descend from the Unmended Way to save Tealwood from the poisons of the Martoi, or stitch together a desert arc out of the Oracle's Decree, the Roots of Ambition, and Lair of the Lantern Worm.

There's enough material in the book to pack a sandbox knee deep. I've kept them deliberately light on backstory to make them easy to reskin for your own setting. Even so, there are connecting themes and hidden links between the adventures. If we reach the realm map and gazetteer stretch goals, the adventures come together into a premade sandbox you can play directly from the compendium.

 "The guy has thought the whole thing out really, really nicely"—Dean Putney, Boing Boing 


Due to overwhelming success of this campaign, the physical compendium will be a high-quality offset print run. It will NOT be a print-on demand book, despite what the reward tier says. (I can't change that, unfortunately!) I have queried the backers, and the response was almost unanimous: offset printing is worth the additional wait.

Each adventure has been laid out in magnificent landscape, and the whole book is packed with illustrations, start to finish.  

(An early POD test print; not the final cover nor the final print process.)
(An early POD test print; not the final cover nor the final print process.)

The book is 112 pages, without stretch goals, and includes:

  •  48 adventures, reformatted, revised for clarity, and re-edited
  •  Ten of the adventures have been expanded to an extra page 
  • two pages of adventure summaries so you can quickly find the perfect adventure
  • a detailed index of people, places, demigods and monsters that reveals the hidden links between the adventures
  • up to 46 pages of stretch goals are planned, which would bring the book to 160 pages 

Armed with this material, you'll be able to quickly prep for one-shots on a moment's notice, drop fantastic encounter sites into your hex map, or dig into the world behind the words.

As well as compiling previously published adventures, the book includes a special scenario, A Clutch of Shadows, in which a Grinvolt garrison desperately holds a captured Dradkin sun temple against counter-attack from below.

Unfortunately, the garrison is running out of funds—and allies—and treachery is everywhere. Smugglers move underworld contraband past the noses of the Grinvolt axewives, dradkin infiltrators from below move among the camps. Worst of all, Flametender Gathana's foolhardy dabbling will bring ruin to everyone.

Everyone who backs this campaign will immediately receive the two-page Clutch of Shadows PDF. so they know what they're getting into. See the backer-only update.

This campaign has three tiers. If you just want to dip your toe in, pledge $1 CAD and follow along the campaign. You'll get immediate access to the Clutch of Shadows adventure location PDF, and you'll get all the updates as the campaign plunges down into the dradkin fortress (see below).

  • Immediate access to the Clutch of Shadows PDF 
  • Your name in the compilation as a supporter 

This is the all digital rewards pledge tier. For $12 CAD (about $9 USD), you'll get:

  • Immediate access to the Clutch of Shadows PDF 
  • Your name in the compilation as a supporter
  • A copy of the full Compendium PDF via DriveThruRPG when it's done
  • Access to all unlocked stretch goals (see below) in PDF form

This is the limited edition hardcover compendium tier. By pledging $66 CAD (about $49 USD) plus shipping, you'll get:

  • Immediate access to the Clutch of Shadows PDF 
  • Your name in the compilation as a supporter
  • A copy of the full Compendium PDF via DriveThruRPG when it's done
  • A copy of the hardcover Compendium 
  • All of the stretch goals that we unlock throughout the campaign (see below)

If you back at this tier, the hardcover book will be shipped to your address in Canada, the USA, UK, EU countries, Mexico, Brazil, Norway, Malaysia, Australia or New Zealand. 

My plan is to run this campaign lean and mean, with sensible stretch goals that don't add a lot of risk to the project. I'd much rather you get your book quickly, so I can be back at this in a few years with more amazing material for you.

My main goal is paying everyone more. I've worked out a roughly proportional system with my contributors, based on the time and effort we've each put into the content. As the campaign clears its costs, the extra money will be divided up among us venal goblins to be used for good or ill.

Even so, there are some very fun things waiting to be unlocked, my dear backers!

Stretch Goals (EVERYTHING HAS BEEN UNLOCKED!)

  •  UNLOCKED: An entirely new adventure, set in the aftermath of the Kickstarter campaign
  •  UNLOCKED: A campaign map that welds the adventures into a ready-made setting
  •  UNLOCKED x6!!: Two-page regional gazetteers, detailing the world section-by-section
  •  UNLOCKED: A short history of the lands, the underworld, and magic
  •  UNLOCKED: A complete bestiary of the 90+ monsters described in the adventures
  •  UNLOCKED: A separate bestiary PDF with Dungeon World stats 
  •  UNLOCKED: A separate bestiary PDF with OSR stats 
  •  UNLOCKED: A giant table of hooks and rumors for one-shots and campaign clues
  •  UNLOCKED: A separate bestiary PDF with 5e stats! 
  •  UNLOCKED: A map pack PDF, all the maps so you can show them to your players!

For details, read on! 

I did my stretch goals a little differently than some campaigns. Every time a campaign milestone was hit, it unlocked a random stretch goal. That's right, it's random. Every time a milestone is reached, I'll grab my dice and figure out which stretch goal unlocks!

Thing is, we blasted through them all. Only two formerly-random goals remain, two more two-page gazetteer entries. After that, there is one final goal. 

All dollar amounts CAD
All dollar amounts CAD

The funding milestones are hit based on the overall Kickstarter funding level. Each one unlocks a random stretch goal.

There are also two social media milestones, each of which revealed a dread turn of events in the 'Axewives Assemble' scenario (see below) in addition to unlocking random stretch goals. 

As the Kickstarter campaign hits its milestones, I will reveal a new adventure map, unique to this Kickstarter campaign. Not only will it be a location, but we'll actually play it out during the campaign.

The dour warriors of Grinvolt have realized their position in the captured dradkin Sun Temple is untenable. The dradkin are preparing for counter-attack, and if they succeed, every life lost in taking the temple will have been for nothing. Using the last of his clout, Quarter-Lord Counobel sends word for every axewife still loyal to Grinvolt to come forth and join the battle. "We descend!"

Every backer of this campaign represents a soldier in the assault. Once the Kickstarter campaign is underway, I will reveal an illustration of the long stair down to the dradkin fortress, and the first of deadly preparations that await the forces of Grinvolt.

We will play out the battle that follows in the comments and updates

Social Media Milestones

As mentioned above, two of the milestones are social media milestones. As well as unlocking stretch goals, they also have terrible effects on the battle. 

After the campaign, I'm taking the fully revealed map and turning it into one last adventure location for the book, representing the aftermath of the battle. Those of you who fought will have been there during the battle, but what remains afterwards?

Will it be held proudly by Grinvolt, a beacon against the darkness of the underworld and a staging area into the Ur-Menig and beyond? Or will it be a warren of night-dark tunnels, slippery with the blood of fallen warriors? That all depends on the campaign!

For centuries, the Seree were the undisputed masters of the lands. But where did they come from? What did they learn, and where did they go? The Dradkin remember.

A trove of learning has fallen into the hands of the Grinvolt force. The compendium now includes a six-page appendix describing the lands, the rise and fall of the Martoi, the Seree, and their war with the gods. The nature of the heavens and the earth themselves is revealed!


I will be adding a giant table of hooks and rumors to the compendium. There will be six hooks for each adventure in the book, 294 hooks in all!

Planning a one-shot of Stellarium of the Vinteralf, but not sure what to tell your players about why they're there? Roll d6 or just choose among that adventure's hooks.

Did your PCs just find a dusty old map, dusty old tome, or a dusty old tinker with a loose tongue and you need an adventure lead to spill? Roll on the full table and—presto—you have an instant connection to more adventure! 

Even though each adventure in the compendium is independent from the others, and meant for reskinning to homegrown settings, an implied setting has taken shape over the years. I've slowly been adding the adventures to a 'big map' that situates the adventures.

This map welds the adventures into a pre-built, open-world sandbox setting you can play directly from the compendium.

If I roll this stretch goal, the big map goes into the compendium as a full-color, full-page illustration. I'll add two versions to the book—one with the adventure locations called out, and a player-safe version with only the place names, so you can share it with your adventurers.



Each time this goal is rolled it unlocks a gazetteer entry of one of the regions of the land where the adventures are nominally set—places like Strielund, the Border Lands, Claimsun of dead gods, the far blightlands from Curselake to Firevault, and cavernous Ur-Menig below them all.

The gazetteers build on the connecting themes between the adventures: the fractured political landscape of the north coast; lost Tealwood that slumbers under the poisons of the Martoi; the ecological warfare along the Pelaago plateau.

Each regional gazetteer will be done up as a two-page spread, digging into the people, settlements and politics, food, wildlife, and wilderness of the area. Random tables will make it easy to use in play, with just enough text to put the results in context.

If your players just want to know where they can get a hot bowl of river-cabbage soup for their troubles, you'll be ready!

With the Dradkin laboratory breached, the Grinvolt force has won their accumulated lore. There are more than 90 new stocks, beasts, demons, animals, and aliens from the adventures, and the Dradkin Chimeromancers know them all. The compendium now includes a 20-page bestiary appendix that describes each and every one of them.

With this goal unlocked, the inestimable Johnstone Metzger is writing Dungeon World stats for the monsters in the bestiary! These will be issued to backers as a PDF through DriveThruRPG. (If this goal is rolled randomly before the bestiary, the bestiary will be revealed instead.)

Brave warriors have allowed Johnstone Metzger to produce B/X-style stats for the bestiary! This bestiary will be issued to backers as a PDF through DriveThruRPG. (If this goal is rolled randomly before the bestiary, the bestiary will be revealed instead.)

Now that we've hit $65,000 in funding, Jen Adcock is busy at work producing 5e stats for the monsters in the bestiary! The 5e-compatible bestiary will be issued to backers as a PDF through DriveThruRPG!  


Since we've hit $80,000 CAD, all PDF and Hardcover tier backers will get a separate PDF with all the adventure location maps!

I'll give them a once-over in Photoshop so there are no secret doors, people or monsters. This is a PDF of clean, full-size map illustrations that you can print for player hand-outs, share them on your virtual table top, or restock yourself with crazed margin notes!

This book would be much smaller were it not for the timely efforts of a creative bunch of collaborators and co-conspirators!

Michael Prescott (writing, layout, illustration)

I've been publishing Trilemma Adventures for five years, and was fortunate enough to be a winner in the One Page Dungeon Contest in 2015, 2016, and 2017. When I'm not writing or illustrating the ongoing monthly adventure series, I spend my time with my slowly growing mammal collection.

Jen Adcock (system stats)

Jen is a game designer and writer. She writes kid-friendly D&D adventures for the DMs Guild, indie story games about kissing and crying, and nostalgia blasts based on her favorite things from the 90s. She is currently working on Only One Bed, a zine project based on everyone’s favorite fanfiction tropes. Her work is available through her Patreon at patreon.com/jenkatwrites.

Michael Atlin (writing)

Michael Atlin is an actor and playwright who inexplicably finds himself managing software projects and databases all day in exchange for food. He is delighted to be one of Trilemma's first collaborators, and hopes for more adventures to come! 

 Jeff Brown (illustration)

 Jeff Brown is a professional freelance artist from Saskatoon, SK, Canada, living in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Having worked as a professional in this industry for four years, he has worked on many projects including book covers, video games, and board games. His first language is English but he also speaks fluent Spanish.

In the world of book cover design & illustration, he has worked with over 90 authors on more than 250 covers. Many have reached the top 100 paid in the Amazon Store.

In the world of games, he has worked for companies such as Fantasy Flight Games, Pelgrane Press, and Logic Artists as a concept artist & illustrator.

 Stephanie Bryant (writing)

Stephanie Bryant is a scrum master and project manager. For fun, she writes tabletop games (including the creepy stitchpunk Threadbare RPG), plays bass in a band, and makes cool stuff with string. 

Tim Groth (writing)

Tim Groth (rhymes with quoth) spends his time in a rain-battered garrett, penning short stories and role-playing games. He specializes in academic and institutional horror, and is about to embark on an epic, three-game project about parents who realize their children are not what they seem.

 Evey Lockhart (writing)

Evey Lockhart is a mom and a nihilist and an rpg writer person and uh… a good time gal? She's an Ennie Nominee, and a winner of the 2015 One-Page Dungeon Contest. She is currently near some mountains.

Evey may or may not be an ogress and promises Wet Grandpa will actually exist in the reasonably near future.

She sells things beyond this very hyperlinked text…

 Kira Magrann (writing)

Kira is a tabletop role-playing game designer, queer nonbinary cyborg, and snake mom living in Columbus, Ohio. She is known best for her most recent games A Cozy Den (about lesbisnakes in winter time) and Something Is Wrong Here (an uncanny emotional love letter to David Lynch's work).

Kira has a Patreon where she designs experimental games, a YouTube vlog where she talks about game design, and she blogs monthly at Gnome Stew. She is also the creator of #Aprilttrpgmaker, and the newsletter featuring marginalized creators More Seats at the Table. Follow her current projects at @Kiranansi on twitter.

 Johnstone Metzger (system stats)

Johnstone Metzger is a game designer from Vancouver, Canada. You may know him from books like Adventures on Dungeon Planet, The Metamorphica, The Nightmares Underneath, or Space Wurm vs. Moonicorn. His Monthly Monsters project on Patreon produces new monsters for Dungeon World and Labyrinth Lord every month, just like the name says.

 Juan Ochoa (illustration)

Gumshoe whistleblower reporter hero? A narcissistic antagonist out for blood? Fall-guy for a horrifying nanite invasion? Sleeper agent for extraplanar feline intelligence?

Juan is a straight-dealing, smooth-lined, grit-teethed artist, twainsplit mirror-master-magician-carouser-cavorter, and noted wizard, with knowledge bilingual, exotic, and esoteric, who theoretically does most of his thinking in Español. 

Sarah Golden (copy-editing)

Sarah is presently copy-editing for fantasy role-playing books.  In her spare time she enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, looking after two amazing kids while enjoying the occasional tabletop skirmish.  She especially is fond of playing Dungeons & Dragons, namely elves, halflings, dwarves and humans battling anything from the Undead to Dragons.   

Sean Winslow (writing)

Sean Winslow is a scholar currently working at the University of Graz in Austria. A specialist in the manuscript practices of Europe and Ethiopia, he is continuously disappointed that studying old grimoires does not in fact teach one magic, but that doesn't mean he will stop trying.

 Skerples (writing)

Skerples is an alleged human, blogger, and game designer best known for the Coins and Scrolls blog, Tomb of the Serpent Kings, a free tutorial dungeon for new players, and Kidnap the Archpriest, an old-school heist module about stealing the pope. Skerples also has a patreon for sneak previews of upcoming projects. When in doubt, lick things to find out if they are magic. 

Andrew Young (editing)

Andrew J. Young is a professional copy editor who usually edits procedural instructions and marketing documents in a highly regulated industry. But when he's available, he happily does freelance editing for writers, adventure designers, game developers, and anyone else in the tabletop games community. Andrew has also written a number of micro-RPGs himself, including Four Sherlock Holmes and a Vampire (Who Is Also One of the Aforementioned Sherlock Holmes), The Last Day, Space Rock Opera, Tentacular Spectacular, and Tank Robbery (a hack of Honey Heist).

He is also a performer with the Nowsayers group on their weekly Twitch show: Lawful & Orderly (Mondays at 8pm EST). Andrew spends his free time listening to audiobooks and podcasts and making bad puns in increasingly dramatic voices. He has one brilliant wife, two amazing daughters, and three pretty cool dogs.

Risks and challenges

This is my first project on Kickstarter. I've had many people helping me, but at the moment I'm holding all the strings to get this thing shipped. I'm in good health, but if I'm eaten by meebs, that will be hard to overcome.

I've done my best to reduce project risk to a minimum. With the exception of the 'Aftermath' adventure, all of the adventures are written, laid out and assembled, ready for final proof-reading.

The most likely risk is schedule delays arising from hitting all of the stretch goal milestones. To reduce this risk, three of the stretch goals already exist the first draft stage, and are about to go to editing. (You know, optimism.)

There are three remaining contributions required from outside parties: editing (which is required to ship the book), a dozen pieces of layout-supporting art (same), and the system stats stretch goals (which are shipped later as PDFs).

DTRPG shipping can be lengthy, so if print-related errors (bleed, weird colors, etc.) are found in the test print, this could add several weeks to delivery of books to backers.

My editor (Andrew Young) has worked with me for several years; I'm able to produce the necessary art myself, and stretch goal PDF production has already begun. All other contributions are already squared away in the book.

A risk to backers is complications in printing. I've selected the highest-quality option that DTRPG can produce, and I'm completely satisfied with the test prints I've received so far, but since DTRPG fulfills directly to backers, I won't see the actual books as they go out.

Additionally, as DTRPG produces each book at the closest print center to the shipping address, books for some backers will be manufactured at sites whose output I can't directly observe.

A final risk to backers comes from shipping, either from damage in transit, goods never delivered, import duties if DTRRPG prints from somewhere other than where you live, or the wild card complications arising from Brexit.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1 or more About US$ 0.75

    Axe Friend

    Join the Axewives of Grinvolt in the assault into the Dradkin fortress below the Sun Temple. If you fall in battle, your name will be written in blood on the shores of Ur-Menig. (Includes immediate access to the adventure that describes the Sun Temple.)

    Includes:
    • Clutch of Shadows PDF (Now)
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    Pledge CA$ 12 or more About US$ 9

    Moon Seer—All Digital Rewards

    Join the battle with the Axe Friends. As soon as the in-compendium stretch goals are complete, you'll get a PDF copy of the entire book via DriveThruRPG.You'll also get separate bestiary PDFs for each unlocked system.

    Includes:
    • Clutch of Shadows PDF (Now)
    • Complete Compendium PDF (August)
    • Bestiary PDF(s) with System Stats (August)
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  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 66 or more About US$ 49

    Errant Sorcerer

    Compilation hardcover edition + PDF, along with everything from previous tiers.
    This is a premium color, heavyweight-paper hardcover printed and fulfilled by DTRPG. Cover the GM's end of the table in glorious landscape adventure. Because of international shipping strangeness, this ships to Canada, USA, the UK and EU countries.

    Includes:
    • Clutch of Shadows PDF (Now)
    • Complete Compendium PDF (August)
    • Bestiary PDF(s) with System Stats (August)
    • Compendium Hardcover (September)
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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Reward no longer available 352 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 66 or more About US$ 49

    Chimeromancer

    Limited edition HARDCOVER, along with all PDFs. This is a high-quality offset print run of the compendium, made possible by your overwhelming support of this campaign.

    Includes:
    • Clutch of Shadows PDF (Now)
    • Complete Compendium PDF (August)
    • Bestiary PDF(s) with System Stats (August)
    • Compendium Hardcover (OFFSET) (November/December)
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    769 backers
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Funding period

- (29 days)