Wolfgang Baur is happy to announce Open Design's 9th project: Halls of the Mountain King!
"Open Design has gone to cities, deserts, the underdark, castles, and more, but we've never done a traditional dungeon. (And we're never going to!)
Instead, Halls of the Mountain King will be a very untraditional dungeon, an homage to Moria and Undermountain that does add a few twists. The maps will be done in the Ruins of Undermountain style (that is, maps drawn in close collaboration with the cartographer).
Plot and story will be worked out collaboratively, though I have a core concept. The dwarves are a hard-working group, whose mining of adamantine lured them ever-deeper and whose pursuit of liftgas ore led them likewise into dangerous territory. The vertical dungeon goes from the depths of the earth through the great halls and works of a vanished clan, up to a snowy mountaintop spire. Possibly topped off by an airship dock, as suggested by Kobold Quarterly magazine's recent article on airships. Much more detail to come in the Forums and as the result of patron discussion.
Despite the emphasis on dwarven halls, I'll be riding herd on the design to avoid cliches. No crypts loaded with undead, no orcs or goblins who rule the halls. Something else has led to the dwarven collapse.
Maps: This dungeon will include roughly 20 tactical maps and a massive overview/cutaway of the vertical dungeon. With a little luck, it may also include a 3D/isometric map, like the ones in I6 Ravenloft. The adventure itself will have 40 encounters total. About half of them will be combat, a quarter traps/hazards, and a quarter skill challenges and roleplaying.
Bonus For 3rd Edition: If Halls is commissioned for 3rd Edition play, this project will also include a 48-page Zobeck Gazetteer focused on the dwarves and gearforged of Zobeck, rituals for how to become a gearforged PC, the cults and devil worshippers of the city, and a section on Kariv life and culture, plus special rules for gypsy PCs and urban kobolds as PCs. And whatever else senior patrons request.
Bonus For 4th Edition: If commissioned for 4th Edition play, this project will also include a 48-page Delver's and Flyer's Gazetteer. We'll create new dwarven rituals, dwarven magical items, and clan lore and PC clan feats, and a LOT of new gear usable by non-dwarves as well. Plus a section of DM hazards for the delvers, adventure seeds for the DM, and a small horde of monsters appropriate to the setting. And whatever else senior patrons request.
I'll be writing the Gazetteer (whichever one it is), possibly with direct contributions from senior patrons. I'll definitely be writing at least one level of the Halls, possibly two or three, but I won't be the only author.
Professional freelancers and senior patrons will be able to pitch their work for the other levels. All patrons can vote on whose pitches are accepted.
For the professional designers, I'll stick my neck out and say that the Tim Connors, Nicolas Logue, and Richard Pett will all be invited to submit a professional pitch for a level of the Halls. Probably also Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood, and Jonathan Tweet, though I expect they may say no. Then again, Grubb said yes to Six Arabian Nights and Ed Greenwood contributed to the recent Tales of Zobeck.
Senior patrons and major donors may also throw their hats in, and traditionally their pitches have done well and have been included in prior projects. We'll have three rounds of pitches, as we did in Six Arabian Nights and Tales of Zobeck. Requested length will be at least 8,000 words, possibly more.
Signing Up as a Patron
It's easy to sign up. For $25 basic membership for OGL/3rd Edition or 4th Edition, you get access to the design essays, design discussion, a copy of the PDF when it ship in late spring (June, at a guess), and the option to pick up a print-on-demand copy at your discretion.
For $50 basic membership for OGL/3rd Edition or 4th Edition you get access to the essays, design discussion, a PDF copy and may contribute complete design material for direct consideration (spells, items, rituals). You'll have access to the playtest draft of the manuscript when it's ready. At your option, you may also pick up a print-on-demand copy of the completed book.
As a $75 senior patron for OGL or 4th Edition, you gain access to the senior patron discussion and the pitching process (you may pitch one idea per round). You also get access to the playtest draft and other drafts, art, maps, and so forth.
For $150 major donors for OGL or 4th Edition, you have access to all the other patron perks, and you will receive a signed, autographed copy of the final book. You may pitch two ideas in any given round."
To sign up, come to: the livejournal page
or visit us at: Kobold Quarterly
Even Monte Cook says Open Design projects are "Awesome!" What are you waiting for? Become a patron today!
Small But Fierce...
Kobold Quarterly's Public Relations Minion.