Update on The Thing

Shortly after I published my D&D adventure I was contacted by Travis Legge and asked if I wanted to include it in a compilation that would be available for print copies (as well as .pdf)?  Heck yeah! I sent a copy of my adventure, and they said, Sure! Looks good. We’ll do it. I am absolutely honored to be included. Many thanks to Travis and M.T. Black.

After much work by folks making sure the various modules were the best they could be (yeah, I had to go through and fix stuff I’d missed. Ooops.) and other get-it-ready-for-print stuff, the book is now available on the Dungeon Masters Guild. (DMsGuild.com)  It includes 7 amazing adventures from 7 talented writers (8 if you count me and mine), suitable for character levels 1 – 9. The .pdf is only $9.95.  Go check it out!

https://www.dmsguild.com/product/249537/Dungeon-Tales-2

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Popplebumps!

I’ve been exploring the swamp and marsh around BrineWater Market, and I’ve found some delightful little frogs that the natives call popplebumps. The have sweet chirps, like song birds, and fill the evening with their songs. I’m told mating season only lasts a few weeks in spring.

Spring? What happened to winter…?

Anyway, popplebumps are bright green, though some species have bright red, orange, or yellow spots – which always means Danger! Those are highly poisonous, like poison-dart frogs back home. I’ve even seen a group with bright blue spots, and I’m intrigued. Even here, blue pigments are rare. I’m going out to investigate them further. In the meantime, click the link to read what I’ve learned about the local popplebumps.


The beautiful photograph is by Chloé Lam on Unsplash

Creative Commons License This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

UpWater Inn

It’s been… two months? Three? More? It feels like forever. I inherited some powers from my family but world-walking without my ship isn’t one of them. I guess my questions and activities attracted some attention because I was taken from by bed at the inn and held prisoner. Although I have more strength than a normal human I could in no way bend those bars, nor break the surrounding stone. Message birds are nearly impossible to stop, traveling even across dimensions, but I could feel them struggling to get out of my cell – and once through the barrier I could no longer feel them at all, which was… new… and disquieting.

I have given my word not to speak of… the meetings… but I suspect I am actually under a geas. Just the thought of writing it down…. I shudder. I don’t want to think of this anymore.

So! I find myself in a town called BrineWater Market, in an interesting inn named UpWater. BrineWater is on the western edge of the great Wobble Grass swamp. I don’t remember coming here… Anyway! I’m going downstairs to enjoy some crane stew. You can read more about the inn here: UpWater Inn.

 


The beautiful photograph is by Chloé Lam on Unsplash

Creative Commons License This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

How Well the Thing is Doing

As of this morning I’ve had 19 sales of my module, “Temple of the Mad Dragon Priestess.” That’s so freaking cool! As a first-showing, I’m pleased with this.
     If you’re one of the 19, Thank You! ❤️ Let me know what you think, what you liked, what you didn’t like, and where you think I could improve.
      If you haven’t already purchased it, and you’re curious, you can grab a copy for only $1.95 here:
     This is an adventure for Dungeons and Dragons, 5th edition, set in the Forgotten Realms.  It’s for a party of 4-6 characters beginning at 1st level.  I tried to write it friendly enough for new dungeon masters and new players.
ToMDPCover

I Did A Thing

It’s been a while since I posted anything, and I’m happy to show you one of the reasons why:

I published my first Dungeons and Dragons module on the DMsGuild @ http://www.dmsguild.com/product/243602/Temple-of-the-Mad-Dragon-Priestess

Blackstone Cave was once a smugglers’ lair, but it was cleared out decades ago. Now there are strange noises coming from the cave, and local authorities are afraid smugglers and bandits have taken up operations again.  What will the adventurers find? More importantly, will they be able to survive the machinations of the Mad Dragon Priestess?

Temple of the Mad Dragon Priestess is a two to six hour adventure for first level characters. It is a straightforward dungeon-crawl with exploration, traps, combat, and opportunities for role-paying. The module includes 15 pages detailing Blackstone Cave and the enemies within, full stat blocks for the boss and her lieutenant, and two maps of the lair and the temple below.

Luiz Prado (https://savedra.deviantart.com/) created this gorgeous cover for me.

ToMDPCover

Character – Grelna

Yesterday I got to play in my very first Adventurer’s League (AL) game, and it was a blast.  I got to meet some new, awesome people, and immerse myself in another world with them.  We had a good DM, a fun module (5 chapters!) and active players.  I love the character that I played; she’d been in the back of my mind for a long time and I never thought I’d get the chance to play her, much less to play her in the AL.

Quick Info, from the AL FAQ, available here: http://dndadventurersleague.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/DDAL-FAQ-v3.0.pdf

The D&D Adventurers League encompasses all organized play for Dungeons & Dragons, and uses the fifth edition rules. The organization is maintained by Wizards of the Coast.

So this is Grelna, in all her nascent glory (minus world-specific details)

Grelna’s parents met during one of her mother’s many adventuring missions. Ingulf was in a spot of trouble, and Ulla rescued him. She convinced her companions to spare Ingulf and instead recruit him to their company. They adventured together for many months. Adventuring, however, is a very dangerous profession and when Ulla discovered she was pregnant they decided they’d had enough.

Two half-orcs alone are vulnerable, especially with a baby. They weren’t particularly welcome in any community, and neither wanted to subject their baby to the violence and cruelty of the orc tribes, so they decided to start their own community. They recruited several like-minded half-orcs, and began a nomadic village. It was a difficult life, and still dangerous, but they were free and had a modicum of safety in their numbers.

Two years after Grelna was born, her little sister Firda was born.  Their baby brother, Gerolt, was born three years after that.  By that time the little tribe had six families, and by the time Grelna was twelve they were eleven families strong.

Grelna has always been fierce and fearless.  She loved weapons training more than hunting, and would spend hours pestering her Poppi for stories, and begging him to show her his great sword, Rosethorn. Neither Ingulf nor Ulla ever let on that the sword actually belonged to Ulla – they didn’t want to encourage Grelna in her adventurous ambitions. It didn’t matter. Grelna eventually bought a great axe, named it Rosebud, and took off to seek glory and fortune.

Grelna wants to explore the world and live life to its fullest. She also wants to fight stuff. Above all, she wants her parents and her clan to be proud of her, and to be worthy of her “father’s” great sword. She has no set plans, and is perfectly happy to go wherever the work takes her. She maintains strong ties with her family and clan, and visits as often as  possible. She believes it is her duty to provide the clan with good strong children – someday (and Firda is happily trying to find her a good strong man to do the job!) She is brash, and sometimes reckless, and generally thinks all problems are nails and she’s a war hammer. She is not rude – Momi would kill her. She is often thoughtless, though, and causes harm through carelessness. Which she apologizes for. Please don’t tell Momi.

Get yer Feets Wet!

While doing research on the mercenary companies I found a record of Phoenix Company that included all of their residence halls.  One of them is located in a place named Feets-Wet Cross-Market.  Well, with a name like that, I had to check it out.  Feets-Wet is in the middle of a place called Wobble-Grass, a swamp covering a large portion of the south-central part of the continent.  Feets-Wet is a big city made of living bridges and buildings, and it was beautiful as well as terrifying.  I also found out that “Market” is the title given to any town large enough to create and sustain trade.  There is only one Cross-Market, where all the trade routes of Wobble-Grass come together.  I found references to only two other Markets: Pantano Water-Market, on the coast of Pantano Bay, and Water Drake Hunt-Market.  A Water-Market is a port.  “Hunt” is the title given to any community that focuses on hunting.  Water drakes are 6-8 feet long reptiles that look like a dragon mated with a crocodile.  These people literally make their living hunting the most dangerous animal in the entire swamp.

Anyway, click this link for a brief description of Feets-Wet Cross-Market.


This beautiful photograph is by Chloé Lam on Unsplash

 

Creative Commons License

This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

 

Processes – a mundane post

So… I’ve been working for two weeks on write-ups of Erde’s mercenary companies and it’s not going well.  It’s like walking into a brick wall and every time I turn there’s another wall.  Usually this means something is wrong in the narrative and my subconscious has picked up on it.  I backed up and looked at it and I started thinking, Damn, that’s a lot of adventurers.  Maybe I’ve made the companies too big?  But Koenigsburg has a population of nearly a million people; a few thousand “adventurers” isn’t much.  Plus, the company totals are spread over several cities/areas, so the total of adventuring types within the city is probably closer to 1,000.  And then it hit me: if there are that many adventuring types in and around Koenigsburg, why are the bandits such a problem?  Well shit – there’s a great big gaping hole in my storyline.  The existence of the mercenary companies is established: they exist.  So why aren’t they taking care of the bandit problem?  And that’s where I am in my world-building.  Until I understand what is keeping the mercs busy, and where, I can’t move forward.  But I know when I get through this I’ll have more of the world’s political structure, current events, and the Big Bad’s machinations in my head.  And then I get to share them with you.  🙂

Until then, may all your road blocks force you down unexpected and fruitful new pathways.

~Jean Nadira, the stumbling World Walker

Mercenaries of Erde

After learning about the Alley Cats I’ve done some research on the adventurers of Erde, and discovered they have a guild all their own: the Mercenaries’ Guild.  Now these people don’t just go exploring wild places looking for old ruins to loot or goblins to slay.  They’re the ones who take on all those random quests that we Terrans think of as “side quests.”  Cities and nations (and in between) contract mercenaries to fill out the ranks of their armies.  Merchants contract them to guard shipments.  There are nautical companies that contract to work on ships, guarding against pirates on the open water and bandits in port.  It’s a fascinating subculture, a sort of cottage industry of violent tendencies.  Kinda like my family.

Click the link to read a little more:  Mercenary Companies


 

Creative Commons License This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.