Update and a 5e Hexcrawl
Hello. Somehow it became the middle of July. Life and work is rushing by in a blur that's only going to get faster because there is a baby on the way. It's that slight edge of terror that makes beauty and wonder what they are and I'm running right along it.
Swordfish Islands is in a place of blackness and despair. It's like an ingrown hair, swollen and warm and red with a touch of fever. Bubbling up the skin, but steadfastly unwilling to pop. Clawing at it just rips the skin around it while leaving it undamaged and itchy. To be slightly less dramatic, I burned up all my energy fighting to get it to the point it is (content done), and the next part (printing/binding) seems like it's going to be an insurmountable task to get it done like I want to get it done. It wouldn't be so bad if the printers I've spoken to so far hadn't been so... delightful. Apparently, because I want to plan my page count based off of available paper sizes and don't want to choose my paper size based off a locked in, laid out page count, I'm an asshole that "wants to change the industry". It's exhausting and I don't think it's ever going to get better 'cause all the surviving printshops have specialized themselves so much into the junk mail trade that they honestly don't know what to do when a person wants a book that'll require signatures.
So, in order to take my mind off things, I picked up the Starter Set for D&D 5e with the intent to run some games. I like a lot about the new stuff (the whole advantage/disadvantage really resonates with me), but I thought the prepackaged adventure "Lost Mine of Phandelver" was kinda lame, so I decided to take all the monsters that came with the adventure and remix them up into hexcrawl I'm calling "Goldmother's Vale".
I wanted to make something light and all mine that I could bootleg off into the wilds of the internet as a weird zine thing without co-writers, side-project contracts, or a desire to make it into a smyth-sewn book. I'll probably start rattling around for an artist shortly and hit up some people in my circles to come up with rumor tables (those just seem to be so much better when a person who didn't do any writing on the world comes up with them, but I mean, since the other person doesn't know what you know, their fresh perspective will lead to different dot connecting and speculation and thus vastly superior rumors).
So yeah... I'm taking all my emoness and excitement and terror and hate and love and wonder and awe, and crumpling it all up into a little world of pine trees and mountains and nature corrupted by necromancy. It's been very cathartic. Have an intro...
Goldmother's Vale is a small sandbox hexcrawl built from the repurposed, reskinned, and remixed monsters of D&D 5e's Lost Mine of Phandelver with a couple maps by Dyson motherfucking Logos. The game centers around the town of Shearing, a place of cool, pine choked valleys and green pastoral mountains ringed by snowcapped peaks. Shearing has a population of about 700, but numerous homesteads place the total human population of the valley at around 1500. The small community is relatively insular and I personally recommend that all players begin the game as human residents of Shearing instead of a drifting menagerie of murderhobos. If characters have direct (yet randomly generated) ties to the town and people of the valley, the ties can serve as situational motivators and complicators as problems begin to emerge over the course of play. That said, the valley is situated on a relatively well traveled trade route and the caravans frequently bring finished metal goods to trade for the valley's renowned woolen goods, wood crafts and syrup. Mendel's Cross , once just a simple inn at the mouth of the valley, has begun to slowly grown into a semi-respectable trader's market, so there are plenty of ways to work in players who want their characters to have more exotic beginnings. Players should start at level one, but no balance has been applied to the random encounter tables. Sometimes negotiation or flight is the best answer.
The Northern Greenlands
The town of Shearing is located in Horned Mountain Valley, in cold, pine covered northern latitudes, and should be good to be plugged into any taiga type geographical region in your world.