In developing new ideas, I naturally create lists or tables so that I can roll for potential outcomes. Once I had my island palette ready to design new destinations, I had a moment where I realized that this may be a more useful tool for other DMs in its current state than a series of completed island locations.
And so, the Island Creator had begun to take shape. Whilst planning this out I expanded the idea to cities and how the same set of tables could help inform the type of ruler it had, the population and the types of magical or intriguing locations that could be visited.
It was definitely a passion project, and many more weeks followed in which I refined the tables and added additional tables that could bring a little extra detail, if required. They are definitely fun, thought-provoking and descriptive tools for any DM, a way of bringing either random selection into the locations the party visit, or just as likely inspiring ideas that the DM can adapt to their grand design.
Here’s what’s included in the Island Creator:
- Category. What kind of Island it is.
- Reputation. Is it well known or a complete mystery?
- Population. How many creatures live there.
- Size. The shape and area of the island.
- Creature Types. What type of creatures call this their island.
- Magic. Just how wild and magical is it?
- Secrets. Every island has something mysterious yet to be discovered.
- Threat. What is the main threat to the party.
- Quests. Combines two tables to form suggestive titles to kickstart the party’s next adventure.
Here’s what’s included in the City Creator:
- Attitude – How the city is being run.
- Boom & Bust – The ruler’s strength and weakness.
- Population Size – The number of inhabitants.
- Population Make Up – How expansive or monocultural the society is.
- Creature Types – What kinds of creatures live and work in the city.
- City Size & Shape – The amount of land the city occupies and why it grew in the way it did.
- Population – What creatures reside here and how hospitable they are to outsiders.
- City Origin and Heritage – Why a settlement was established and how it influences the city today.
- Unique Traits – What makes the city worth visiting.
- Main Trade Imports and Exports – The main goods and services that the city needs or generates itself.
- Places of Interest – Some of the city’s most unique sights.
- NPCs – A way to quickly build interactions with some of the city’s more intriguing characters, including their race, class, personality type, personal objective, strengths, and weaknesses.
The Hybrid series (The original Hybrid Creatures and the Halloween Edition) has been a delight to create! Not only is it a novel way to introduce new creatures, but it is also a fun way to recycle existing content! Why have a plain Illithid, Witch or Centaur when you can have all three! It even has a simple naming table to accompany it.
The Festive Edition goes one step further than the previous two in the series. I sourced and created the creatures externally from the Monster Manual. This means that each creature has been given 5e stats and abilities. All twenty creatures are well known figures that represent Christmas or Winter, and it was a joy to decide what skills and powers they might have.
You could battle Jack Skellington, Scrooge, or Santa Clause himself. Jack Frost is the personification of Winter and very powerful, while Krampus is a feared demonic figure whose aim is to frighten children.
That’s stage one. Stage two, is combining these legendary entities. How about Santa’s magic, with Krampus’ strength and Rudolph’s speed and ability to fly?!
It was enormous fun to create and I love the idea of new mythical creatures being created in home encounters!
Each module in the Danger Series didn’t just come with five adventures, it also came with twenty minor magic items and twenty non-magical treasures, which the DM could add to any adventure as they saw fit.
Now that I have published five separate parts in the Dangers series I have 200 magical and non-magical items, so it felt like the perfect time to focus on these treasured items and give them the spotlight, and I am delighted to have published a separate module for each! Within these products I wanted to add further instructive and descriptive content, as well as tables that order the objects alphabetically and by category. Most importantly, I created a table that ranks the magic items by power, and the non-magical items by value. This means that a player can get that sense of excitement when rolling a d100.
Finally, I was able to do what the one-pager adventures didn’t allow, illustrations. It was fantastic fun finding and choosing graphics to complement the items. It gives the modules much more flavour. The cover and most of the item art come from digital AI sources. I know this is a contentious topic, but as a writer and hobbyist I feel it is my best and most viable option at the moment.
Minor Magic Items is very specific, as I know there are many powerful items already out there. This isn’t what this module is about. The idea in adding additional items to the Dangers Series was always to create items that were unique, strange and useful rather than game breaking. Each items still needs the player to use their ingenuity and cunning.
Treasures: 100 Non-Magical Items aims to add more flavour to the trinkets and jewellery that players find. Rather then depending on the DMs Guidebook and avoiding finding the same purse of gp and ammo on each enemy, there are plenty of useful items here, that are interesting in appearance, application or value.
Above all, these modules are another useful item in the DM’s toolkit. If you include these 200 items, I hope you enjoy sprinkling them into your games!
What started off as an idea for creatures being scattered in a magical storm (in the Magical Core module) has become a novel product of its own. I love taking elements from different creatures and placing them together for a unique encounter.
Imagine if a Medusa was tiny and flew, or if an Illithid could breath fire. The first of the series, called Hybrid Creatures, took twenty of the best known and beloved creatures in D&D campaigns and split them into three sections, both in terms of body parts and corresponding abilities.
- The head, aside from physical appearance, defines the creature’s attitude and alignment. It provides the creature with its mental statistics, magical attacks, as well as the number of attacks the creature will have.
- The torso gives the creature its physical abilities and attacks as well as body makeup such as height, girth, armour class (AC) and hit points.
- The legs define the creature’s movement, and the physicality that this requires, such as wings or hooves.
The final section of the module became the first part. If you split the creatures into three parts, then why not do the same for naming these creature-combos? For example, combing a Dwarf, a troll and a Lizardfolk would create ‘Dwal Folk’.
The second module in the series is the Halloween Edition. With so many horror-themed creatures, it seemed the perfect series to explore the possibilities. Combining a Banshee with a Werewolf and a Green Hag would create a Bare Hag, with horrifying visage, cursed claws and green legs that move 30ft. per turn. It’s such fun!
I’m excited to be creating a new adventure series for DnD 5e called the Danger Series. The idea came earlier this year after I created the ‘Deck of Foes‘ book. I wanted to give each of these creations an adventure where players could discover them.
The second challenge I set myself with this series was to keep the adventures on a single page. I am a big fan of the One Page Mage having seen some of their adventures on social media. By designing my own products I had come up with my own series of short-cuts and designs to summarize NPCs and plot, so I was excited to put this into practice.
The Danger Series takes both the Deck of Foes creatures and the One-Page adventure principle to create environment-themed books. I started by creating the ‘Dangers in the Jungle’ and the ‘Dangers in the City’ books, but I have ten such books being planned. Each book contains five adventures. The Deck of Foes creature that inspired it is just one of the encounters to feature. There are also new hazards and NPCs to interact with.
Finally, each book has an Appendix with twenty magical, and twenty non-magical treasures to find. This extra resource gives DMs more flexibility when running the modules. So, if you fancy creating one-shots or side quests with your players, give the Danger Series a look.
This month I’ve been busy compiling my various books on DMsGuild into bundles. This is a way of getting more value from the products, and for me it’s an opportunity to spread the love between some of my well known and some of my lesser-known titles.
The Magic Items Collection combines my my magical gear into one bundle. It includes 101 magic items (Treasures of the Desert), 370+ boxes (Boxes of the Magi) and 35 potions and floral amulets (Glitzz’s Guide to Potions and Floral Amulets).
The NPC Collection includes twelve characters I created that were unusual in some way and either have oceanic or fiendish origins. The other part of the collection if NPC Builder, a series of tables that allows the DM to choose or roll up a ready-to-play NPC.
Tales Untamed focusses on different environments as the inspiration for encounters. Crossing the Great Archipelago contains many different water and island scenarios. Camp Fire Tales includes twenty different encounters that occur once the party settle down to rest. Finally, War of the Wilds provides the tools to explore unexplored territory where different factions want to claim the land for themselves.
Tales Below is a set of three quests that take the party underground. Expect intrigue, mystery, and plenty of loot. The Crystal Spires Mine is undertaking a dangerous mission for the local baron. Token’s Rock sees the party pursue a dangerous character called Baden to a desolate group of islands. The Hidden Sanctuary is the opportunity to discover the temple’s dark secret.
Tales Beyond is a set of three quests that take the party the realms of the material plane. The Tower of the Silken Brotherhood is the chance to steal a magical staff from within a mysterious group’s stronghold. The Trials of Sir Surlamund takes the party within the mind of a senior paladin in order to try and save his life. Journey into Twilight is a trip to the Fey Realm in the hope of reversing a curse bestowed on the village of Hemelchuk.
What stared off as a choose-your-own-adventure story about managing a football team (Football: A Town’s Tale) has now blossomed into a football management system, where the player can manage a team through an entire football season.
Football: A Town’s Tale is the origins story that started it all. The chance to challenge the town’s best side was too tempting, and began a new chapter in your character’s life.
Football Town League includes twelve opponents with unique team abilities, new event tables and a plenty of options each turn to improve your team. It will take a lot to make the play-offs and even more to win it outright. Can your team win promotion?
Football Town Cup gives your local team the chance to play in the FA Cup. Twelve rounds stand between you and the FA Cup trophy. Your decisions and rolls will determine how far they go.
All three of the series are now also available in one bundle:
Football Town Manager.
April of 2022 saw the completion of Agora Core; the six-year rpg campaign that I ran with a group of friendly players. Magical Core is the concluding chapter. The party of six players went from Level 11 to Level 14 during this time so it is suitable for high to epic level groups.
In Magical Core, the world is at stake from a very ambitious and powerful monk called Ilistria. The core is a series of planar levels testing the player’s resolve. It relies on teamwork but also on sacrificing magical possessions in order to gain gifts to survive the core’s magical environment. It could be a way of concluding a home game, an exciting one-shot or an unexpected way of opening up a dungeon-crawl. Expect challenging encounters and a final level that could go in any direction!
Magical Core is available from the DMsGuild.
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…
(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.
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.
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!