[This article was originally authored in Oct 2010, but only recently published.]
Today is actually the first entry of the author’s log, but I’m actually going to be putting in some of the historical issues before I got here for posterity. I’d actually started writing the module back in 2004, after Matt Murdock and I started getting inspired by the Oak Island mystery. We wrote a very brief outline for the module (much different from what it looks like today, but you can still recognize its ancestry) in 1ED rules.
The module as of last night, is currently at 16,000 words (15,912 to be exact). For the last 2 weeks I’ve been saying, “It’s almost done!” but the more I write the more cleanup I feel needs to be done. Almost all of the encounters are finished, with the exception of the finale encounter itself with the “Mattor Remnant”. The latest setback has occurred as I made the decision to update all the monster blocks to the new Monster Manual 3 version of the stat block. Up until this point, I’d been using an online tool to help create the custom monsters, and then cutting & pasting the screenshots into Word for formatting later. I’m now converting all those to text in Word.
As of now, the module has 14 encounters, several “Areas” – places with role-playing elements but no monsters – and several random encounters. I have not yet fleshed out all the random encounters yet, and that section may get greatly simplified.
I’ll probably expand more on the origin of the module in a later adventure, but I will say: the writing to convert to a 4ED module in earnest started in June 2009. I worked with Matt on updating some of the story line (almost all of those trap elements were dropped as I continued to refine for the 4ED ruleset). I wrote the outlines for most of the encounters last year. Then, due to life/work/family events, I had to put the project aside for several months. I didn’t want to force the writing if it wasn’t flowing naturally, so I would go in every now and then and make a brief update, but generally didn’t work on it. Once summer came around again in 2010, I started writing again in June.
Work left to do just in terms of writing:
- finish writing the encounters (all are written except for Mattor’s, but they need fleshing out)
- finish converting the rest of the monster stat blocks
- finish the random encounters
- distribute treasure
I honestly believe that can be completed with 3 weeks if I can focus like I did this weekend (I wrote for approximately 12 hours this weekend!) The monster blocks take a lot of time, but they look great.