Two Old School Adventures Made for Now

Raiding the Obsidian Keep*, a dark fantasy pointcrawl and dungeon climb.

Two Old School Adventures Made for Now
Our first adventure and its two little siblings...
This is a community submitted press release.

tl;dr: Two Old-School Essentials modules for 2nd to 4th level characters, from the makers of KNOCK! and Black Sword Hack. Both 72-page, small format booklets have sleeve covers containing maps and other reference material for a smooth GMing experience. It has no stretch goals and it is on Kickstarter for another two weeks!

Visual learner? Watch this, there's even a song by Loot the Body!

Why adventure games are so cool right now

Old School Revival, New School Renaissance, SWORDDREAM, Retro Roleplaying... our game design movement has many names, and even more undercurrents. Let us make it simple: we adventure gamers base our TTRPGs and campaigns on a few simple principles:

  • Decision making as the core player experience: solutions are in the world and not on the character sheet.
  • Open, dynamic environments leading to interesting situations. Nothing is scripted in advance, ever.
  • The GM as a neutral interface between the world and the players. They're not your enemy, but they won't help you if you take too many risks.
  • Collectively agreed upon rulings over detailed rules for every single edge case.
  • Dice as oracles and generators of unexpected situations, using tools like random tables.
  • No game balance to make the world more believable and dangerous.
  • Quick character creation: beginning PCs are fragile but easily replaced.
Two four-panel covers with maps and tables on each surface
The covers unfold to give you everything you need to keep an eye on
Would you like to know more? Here's the deets:

Raiding the Obsidian Keep, a dark fantasy pointcrawl and dungeon climb

(No, I'm not going to call it a 'dungeon delve' if the point is to reach the top, okay?)
With its dark castle overlooking the bay and its lords and ladies dabbling in dark sorceries, visiting Isla Requia was always a perilous proposition. Now that some self-rigtheous Archbishop sent a fleet to take the island and failed, your stay is looking right nightmarish.

Tasked with finding out why the invasion fleet never came back, your adventurers will point-crawl their way across a bay choked with sinking ships, onto a beach where survivors gather for protection from whatever chaotic horrors were released during the battle, and into the Obsidian Keep itself to unravel what really happened...

This adventure is written and illustrated by the team behind our first published adventure: Joseph R. Lewis and Li-An. Its 72 pages contain 38 outdoors locations, 55 dungeon rooms, guidelines about what happens after the adventure depending on what the players accomplished, appendixes with details about the factions at play, the magical items found in the adventure, and 16 1st level characters to hire as retainers (or to use as replacement PCs if you die in the Keep...).

An illustration of a group of adventurers done in strongly inked comic book style. Standing at the edge of a windy cliff, to the right of the picture is a magic-user with grey braids and red robes, she holds her spellbook against her and a staff casting light; behind her is a dark skinned fighter in a blue tabard over chainmail, she holds a two-handed sword planted in the ground before here, next to her is a man with a red cap (probably a follower); a red-bearded dwarf with a long red cap and green clothes holds a battle axe; crouching in front of this last group,a dodgy looking, hooded thief with dagger in hand. Behind the characters is the dark blue silhouette of a castle with pointed roofs and a broken dome at the top; it is depicted against a purple-blue, stormy sky.
art by Li-An

The Horrendous Hounds of Hendenburgh, a whimsical folk horror hexcrawl

Nested at the heart of the Kryptwood, Hendenburgh is a peaceful town with a long history. Recently however, the woods have been stalked by a pack of ravenous, supernatural hounds. The villagers have stories to tell, fingers to point, and rewards to promise to anyone brave enought to risk a sinister mauling by venturing into the forest.

Whatever they are looking for, these brave souls will find adventure, and a lot of it. 24 locations full of bandits, witches, faeries, mercenaries... Within the woods are three dungeons where they may uncover the truth about the nigh forgotten yet not quite dead Kryptwood Tyrant.

Author Liam Pádraig Ó Cuilleanáin has worked with KNOCK! cover artist Bruno Prosaiko to deliver a stunningly atmospheric book. Inside its 72 pages, we've crammed 48 hexes worth of forest, 24 fully described locations, 4 factions, and 3 fully developped dungeons, along with of course the village of Hendenburgh, its inhabitants, and their secrets. The back of the book contains an NPC cheat sheet, the magic items you might find in the woods, and a host of pre-generated characters just in case you need reinforcements.

Done in an angular comic-book style, a party of adventurers faces a pack of demonic hounds. Behind them are trees in a bright red mist. All around the image are raptor like, red-eyed hounds. A dead body lies between the adventurers, consisting of (left to right) a dwarf with an ancient looking helmet, long flowing hair, and a brandished halberd; in the back, a scared looking pirate thief, to the right, a dark skinned elf in a bright chainmail and holding a sword in two hands; at the centre, a cleric in a Napoleonian looking uniform, holding a hammer and whose holy symbol is casting bright orange lightning. The characters are in blue, black, and white as are the shadows around the hounds.
art by Bruno Prosaiko

The Merry Mushmen, you say?

When we put out the first issue of our chunky magazine KNOCK! back in 2020, us two little Frenchmen were amazed to see the growing adventure gaming scene liked our work, including the three of four adventures we stick at the back of each 200+-page issue. So after a few other successful projects, we tried releasing an Old-School Essentials module last year. Nightmare Over Ragged Hollow was funded by over 2,200 backers and it has been gathering great reviews ever since.

So we're coming back, and this time is double or nothing! Both adventures I pitched above were previously released by their respective authors and already earned tenfootpole's The Best stamp of approval. As we did with Ragged Hollow, we worked with Joe and Liam to expand, flesh out, and/or oldschoolify the content before giving it our signature clear, evocative, and easy to use at the table form.