New for 2021

After a busy time in the workshop, what started off as two new projects grew into four. This was because the Agora Core roleplay group needed new scenarios to match the intensity of the moment. Let’s walk through them…

Token’s Rock
(available from DMs Guild)
In Agora Core, the group was pursuing a slippery character called Baden, but to find him they would need to leave their comfort zone and enter a strange subterranean environment where ancient secrets are waiting to be revealed. This is a rich and surprising storyline that provides opportunities to gather information as well as some unique combat encounters.

Quarterstaffs of Legend
(available from DrivethruRPG)
After creating the Treasures of the Desert book, which contains 100 magical items, I watched a number of Japanese anime series and felt inspired to create a series of unique quarterstaffs. This was a fun project in which its simplicity allowed me freedom and flow to create interesting items. Quarterstaffs are generally underrepresented but there’s no reason that these honed pieces of wood couldn’t be lethal in combat or useful in traveling.

Tomb of the Witch Queen
(available from DrivethruRPG)
Currently in Agora Core, the party are biding their time, trying to stay in the good books of a tyrant until they can strike a deadly blow. From a range of options, they decided to go on a tomb-raiding mission for their employers. Creating this adventure was fun because it was a blank canvas and unrelated from the main plot thread. As I thought about who Sassaya (the Witch Queen) was, I thought about the history of the tomb, her strong, enduring magical essence, and how it was discovered later on by devotees as well as women who had nothing left to lose.

There is a section called the Witch’s Labyrinth, which is based on an idea that is a story element in the Hilda animated TV series as well as the sweet and sour anime, Magica Madoka. I decided to make traversing the labyrinth a player-driven experience, which is a decision I’m really pleased with.

War of the Wilds
(available from DMs Guild)
Inspired once again by the Agora Core group that I DM. A major plot thread in the campaign is the war over the wild and new landscape of the Da. As the players tried to gain allies and find an opportunity to defeat a dangerous enemy, they needed a backdrop where events and conditions could unfold at any given moment. War of the Wilds has become the setting template that I use for each session when they are traveling through the wilds of the Da.

Thanks for taking this tour of the new books with me. If you decide to give them a try with your group, I hope you enjoy the experience! Please do let me know.

December Visions

As the year comes to a close, I have one wonderfully thematic tale to promote and two exciting new fantasy books on the horizon!

The Low-Elves: A Festive Tale 
Two Low-Elves thought they were unique among their kind, but after their father’s death, his will reveals that he had other siblings. Now, they are desperately looking for adventurers to help fulfil their father’s dying wish; to bring the family together again for the Winter Festival.

Token’s Rock

A story of intrigue and exploration on an island full of mythology and a very ambitious explorer.

Quarterstaffs of Legend
This collection contains 12 remarkable magic quarterstaffs, including their backstory and magical effects.

The Low-Elves is available now on DMs Guild, while the other two books will be out in January 2021. If you have any ideas for topics for an RPG module, or if you have any questions about DMing a roleplaying group, please do let me know.

A very Happy New Year to you all!

Critical Roll Options

Critical hits and misses are the blessing and curse of a roleplayer. They can provide classic moments when a character shines in combat, or fails so atrociously that the scene runs like a slapstick action scene from a silent film.

Often though, the results can be underwhelming, with critical hits still doing less damage than expected or a critical miss that passes by without comment.

I enjoy improvising critical miss effects but the decisions are inconsistent, so I wanted to create a system that the player could roll to determine the outcome. I also read comments online about how critical miss consequences were unfair to fighter classes who are more likely to suffer from these effects.

This set of simple rules using a single d6 die aims to add the possibility of an awesome critical hit as well as provide rollable consequences for a critical miss. By doing both, the combat system remains balanced but adds exciting possibilities to the mix!

Each table has a 50% chance of not adding any effect, meaning the critical hit doubles the dice damage as usual, or the critical miss does not affect the player’s actions beyond missing their opponent. If they roll the other 50% though, things get interesting…!

The tables are available for free from DMs Guild. Why not spice up your criticals in your next session!

Potions, Magic Items and Temples

It has been a busy few months as I hit a creative period. Following that was the inevitable administration; simpler tasks but no less time consuming! I am delighted to share this new set of ideas, that I believe will be a fun addition to any home campaign.

Glitzz’s Guide to Potions and Floral Amulets is a magical, easy-to-use collection that I adapted from a previous product (The Magic of Nature). For all 35 potions and floral amulets mentioned, it describes its effects and its rarity, which will affect its cost and availability. The ingredients used are also mentioned, and there is a table of ingredients with appearance, terrain where it is found and rarity, in case the DM wishes to allow players to literally ‘home brew’ their own potions and floral amulets!

The Hidden Sanctuary

Using the tables in the Dungeon Master’s Guide to create rooms and content was a fascinating process. It gave me the background with which to build up an adventure. The result was not what I expected and I was excited by the scenario.

The Hidden Sanctuary can be applied to any temple scenario and adds extra layers to a distinguished place of worship. What lies beyond the grand outer halls is sensational and could lead to many problems if discovered. The players will need to decide what to do with this information.

Treasures of the Desert

I was excited by the idea of creating a collection of 100 magical items. I created magical items for other modules and enjoyed the process. It soon became clear just how much work creating 100 items in a row was, but it was very rewarding seeing the collection completed.

Having the treasures come from the desert was a way to bring the items together under one theme. I based the desert on The Da; the prominent land mass in my home campaign. In that, it used to be a much different landscape and the Elven kingdom known as Chan’Danis. The idea that the desert dunes hid many lost artefacts from past kingdoms was an attractive one, and that sometimes a fortunate or persistent adventurer would uncover a tomb or ancient settlement containing these treasures. Only the Desert truly chooses when to reveal its secrets.

There are no future products in development at the moment as I will be spending the summer concentrating on other parts of my life, but I hope to create some quick documents if and when inspiration strikes during my home roleplay campaign, Agora Core. In the meantime, have a good summer!

Sea Adventures and Charity

The D&D group I DM are currently crossing the seas and decided to create a module based on their adventures.  It turned out to be a much larger volume than anticipated!  I am very pleased to release this to other groups and DMs who are looking for buccaneering, sea-swept adventures to add to their stories.

This was always going to be a product where the author’s royalties would go to a charity.  It’s a strange time for everyone, and I wanted to help in some way.  In buying this product, you will be helping ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty); their Arts Resilience Fund is designated to bring the arts to those most in need during this time.

Crossing the Great Archipelago is available from DM Guild for $4.99.

The islands of the archipelago are jealously guarded by greedy rulers and powerful, wild creatures. The waters are the hunting grounds for pirates and sharks while corals and storms sink the ships of many a reckless captain.

There are 30 different scenarios and many unique encounters as well as some classic watery foes!  There are also 60 different treasure items, all rated from low to high, depending on the encounter.

Happy adventuring, and stay safe and well out there!

A Time for Collections

Since my last blog entry, a lot has happened in the world. Limitations are very hard in terms of separation from loved ones and social activities that people depend on. Every plan we had this year is out the window and we are indebted to those workers who enable us to continue to live our lives in isolation. One positive is how limitations focus the mind on activities that can be done. With that in mind, I’ve been busy updating and compiling my fantasy RPG publications into comprehensive collections.

Compendium of Fantastical Ideas

It was very satisfying combining all five books into one collection. This was always the plan, as each contains sixty unique ideas, so five books creates a total of three hundred ideas, which seemed a good place to stop the series.

Compendium of Fantastical Ideas is available from DrivethruRPG for $15

Solo Adventures – The Collection

I created these stories in late 2018 and the Covid-19 quarantine gave me a chance to revisit these and update them, which was a lot of fun! Now they are in a collection of their own ready to provide entertaining to someone else looking for a bit of escapism and interactive story-telling.

Solo Adventures is available from DrivethrurRPG for $10

I’ll start working on new projects soon. But in the meantime, I hope you stay safe in these uncertain times. Lots of love, Jon (rollplaysidekick.com).

Fantastical Ideas Series

Over the past year, I have been collecting ideas for quests and characters that could be used in roleplays. The context or system wasn’t so important, just that the idea was original.

I’m now in a position where I can format and publish these ideas in a series. From Urban-based adventures to Rural (mountains, forests and swamps). The latest in the series add an extra layer – they are items and characters, but each comes with its own quest idea as well.

These are all available now on DrivethruRPG and links are in the GM Tools page. I’ve had a lot of fun creating them and I hope that players and GMs get a lot of enjoyment out of playing with these ideas in their campaigns!

Fantastical Ideas for Urban Encounters

My final product of the year is for any RPG system.  This is a project I started last year where I created ideas from random words and allowed the flow to create a scenario.  This is the first of what I hope will be a series of books.  The Urban Environment is always a rich bed of encounters – wherever people mingle, drama will inevitably follow!

This book contains sixty different Urban-themed ideas that can be added to any story-based scenario. Perhaps a Games Master is running a campaign at home for a group of players and needs to give them a mystery to solve or they simply want their town or city to have some added flavour. You can even combine the ideas together to form complex societies or mysteries for the players to investigate.

Fantastical Ideas for Urban Encounters is available on DrivethruRPG for $3.99

Discount
If you would like to give the ideas in this book a try, you can get a $2 discount if it is ordered before 2020.
Here is the discounted price (effective until 1st January).

Happy Holidays!

A New Festive Adventure!

Another busy month in the workshop has resulted in a festive adventure suitable for parties both new and experienced.  I really wanted to work on the format of the adventure and not add too much detail.  I feel that the module should be both accessible for the Dungeon Master and allow both them to add and embellish characters and plot as they wish.  The more comfortable and confident the DM, the better it is for the players. 

So, what is going on in The Low-Elves: A Festive Tale?

Two Low-Elves thought they were unique among their kind, but after their father’s death, his will reveals that he had other siblings.  Now, they are desperately looking for adventurers to help fulfil their father’s dying wish; to bring the family together again for the Winter Festival.

This adventure has been designed specifically to give the Dungeon Master an easy-to-use guide for running the adventure, including travel encounters, locations each with concise details such as information to gather, venues to visit and plots to untangle.  Finally, stat blocks which are clear and easy to understand. 

  • Four locations to explore
  • Random Encounter tables for four different terrains
  • Low-Elf Player Race
  • Encounters for Low-Mid level parties (1-10)
  • Creature Encounters with Challenges ranging from 1/4 to 7.
  • Twenty Festive-themed Magical Items (Uncommon to Legendary)

The stage is set, now it’s up to the Dungeon Master and the players to fill it with magical moments!

The Low-Elves: A Festive Tale is available to purchase from the DM Guild.