Larvik Island: 2011-02-21 Update

Posted by on Feb 21, 2011 in 4ED | 0 comments

The squidopede fight

So, there’s been a good amount of progress on the module in the last couple of weeks, here’s the breakdown for the faithful readers as well as formally introduce some of other module collaborators:

  • Writing: The writing has been done for a while, and all that is happening now is minor tweaks for grammar and clarity that I discover as I go through playtesting
  • Playtesting: Of the 15 encounters in the module, we’ve now finished playtesting 8 of them, and the PCs are now pushing into the final stretch of the adventure. The PCs avoided 2 of the fights (as I tried to write this as a non-linear story) but we may go back and test the fights once they’ve finished “playing” the module just to see if the encounters were balanced as expected.  The module was written with 1st-level PCs with no experience in mind. That said, the PCs were able to go from level 1 to level 2 after the first 7 encounters so I may go beef up the last 3 encounters before the boss monster, or just give instructions on how DM’s can beef up encounters with tossing in a few extra monsters.
  • Artwork: so I’ve been dropping some subtle hints to the artwork here and there (site banner image… my twitter profile photo…), but here’s my first full post of some of the draft art. The shot I’m including here is an early draft of what will become the cover art. The bulk of the module’s artwork is being done by the talented Tony Tira. This weekend he sent in several more images that will be included in the module as well as some updated .png files for the maps. Tony has worked on about 6 original illustrations that will be included in the module as well as some work on some of the map images.
  • Layout: the module layout, as well as some additional module art, is being done by the very talented Ms. Catherine Harkins who runs Three 2 Designs. Over the weekend she showed me how the project is coming along in Adobe InDesign and I have to say it looks amazing. It’s quite a rush for me to see the transformation from what I give Catherine in MS Word and what she is able to produce.
  • The new website layout: there was some also good work being done on the new website layout, which i will speak more about once it goes live, but I should just say now that it too looks very exciting. Once the new website is ready to be launched I’ll also update the product page with more summary information (the final number of new monsters, encounters, player info, cover art, etc.)
  • Writing Redux: In the meantime, I’m busy working on the next module in the series. I’d originally written the outline for a 3-module series, but during the writing process of this first module, I took the adventure in some interesting new directions than I hadn’t originally envisioned, so the campaign arc may morph as I get deeper into the writing of the second module. Either way: I’m thinking the writing of the next adventure will go significantly faster now that I’ve learned more about the writing process, created worksheets, .xls spreadsheets, become familiar with the mapping software, etc.

Where does that leave us? As my kids are currently on winter break, I won’t have a chance to do any playtesting this week. I hope to finish the playtesting by Friday, Mar 11, and then work the next week or two with Catherine to finish any last minute edits that come from that playtesting. I have done some research on printers, but will request the final project quotes at that time for printing the module. Once printed, I will hand over to my game distributor whom I’ve already worked out a distribution agreement with.

I will then probably take over the file from Catherine to do some tweaking to optimize the module as a .pdf file for those who prefer to play that way (creating project bookmarks, links, optimize for color .pdf vs. printing in B&W, etc.) so the adventure as a .pdf should be available shortly (a few weeks? a month or two at most?) after I complete the printing process of the project.

I’d like to thank everyone involved so far, including my new Twitter friends who have been working the project with me and providing feedback.