Sunday, July 11, 2021

Dungeon Seeds - Out Now on Itch and Drivethrug

 Oh hey. I did a thing. 

Clicka on da pic to see it.

In His Majesty the Worm, characters adventure through a mythic underworld underneath the city at the center of the Wide World. As a gamemaster, creating a mythic underworld can seem daunting, but it’s really just a series of small, discrete tasks. It’s less making one huge megadungeon and more creating several, smaller dungeons and creating an appropriate flow between them.

Dungeon Seeds contains a procedure for laying out interconnected dungeons, as well as inspirational dungeon seeds to use as prompts. Because His Majesty the Worm is not a premade setting, the descriptions of the seeds are just suggestions—meant to be evocative. For each seed, we’ve included a map from Dyson Logos. You can use this map or make one of your own using the procedures in this book.

This book contains:

  • A procedure for laying out a Jaquaysed megadungeon layout
  • Twenty-one inspirational dungeon ideas with maps
  • Dungeon checklist that encourages meaningful exploration
  • Procedures for making maps, keying rooms, and making random encounter tables
  • Thorough walkthrough of making a dungeon level

You can see the supplement's spiel by clicking on the link. Since this is my blog and you're here reading this, I'll actually take the time to go more into the nitty gritty.

His Majesty the Worm Progress and Itchfunding

As you know, I'm writing an RPG called His Majesty the Worm. Well, actually I wrote it a few years ago. The text is done. It needs an editor. It is sitting in a Word document.

Getting the game out of the Word document and into people's brains and onto their gaming tables feels way harder than writing the game. Writing is easy and fun. Playtesting is fun. (It has play right in the name!) Publishing is hard. 

One big problem is that publishing requires money. You need to hire artists, graphic designers, layout, editors, etc. This is why Kickstarter's exist. 

The idea of doing a Kickstarter gives me anxiety. I still might. But please know that it gives me anxiety.

To even get to a Kickstarter, though, you need enough cool looking stuff to justify someone backing you. My solution to this problem was Itchfunding. Chunk the supplementary material from the game (stuff that you didn't need to understand the rules to benefit from) and publish them as pay-what-you-will. 

My goals are twofold:

  • Find people who would like to play my game and tell them that it exists
  • Get money to pay collaborators
How is it working, you ask? 

So far so good! Dungeon Seeds is my third published His Majesty the Worm supplement. Each one has netted 2-3 pieces of new art. Dungeon Seeds is unique in two ways. First, it has a fixed price instead of being PWYW. Second, if you sign up for my mailing list the game is completely free. 

The mailing list speaks to the first goal above. If I can tell people who actually want to play my game that I've launched a Kickstarter/released a new supplement/whatever, that's gold. It's way different than plugging your own games on Reddit threads/Facebook groups/Twitter.

Dungeon Seeds Development

Honestly, I didn't plan to write this supplement. 

I had already written the GM's chapter for His Majesty the Worm. It has good advice in it.

I have been playtesting His Majesty for about five years now. It is an OSR-adjacent game/post OSR game. I have used the assembled wisdom of the OSR scene and blogosphere to run my playtests. 

But I realized that this is a dungeon crawling game and that this assembled wisdom was a core part of the game experience. It's not enough to just say, "Hey, go and read every blog post I've ever read so you know how to run this game." There were some essential assumptions that need to be communicated to potential GMs.

Dungeon Seeds is my attempt to tell GMs how I make and run dungeons while playing my game. It captures my experience as well as the general good advice of people who have been thinking about dungeons for forty years. 

I hope it is helpful. I hope you like it.