The Rise of the Drow Kickstarter project: Why you should get on board before it ends

The Rise of the Drow Kickstarter by Adventureaweek.com is ending very soon with just hours to go.  Jonathan G. Nelson, co-author of the Rise of the Drow trilogy and founder of Adventure-A-Week is here to tell us why you should get on board this Kickstarter before the doors close for good!

New Cover Art!

RISE OF THE DROW by adventure-a-weekWith your help we have crushed numerous stretch goals (with more to go), but the most gorgeous of these unlocked stretch goals is the cover art.

This art by Kerem Beyit will be gracing the exclusive Kickstarter version of the Rise of the Drow Trilogy hardbound book.
Kerem’s art has appeared in numerous RPG products including Paizo’s Pathfinder RPG, Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, and WotC’s Magic: The Gathering, and Dungeons & Dragons products.
Check out more of Kerem’s work:
http://www.theartofkerembeyit.com/

 

Since the beginning of time mankind has lived with a terrible fear of darkness, it is time to remind your players why.


An epic story arc, the Rise of the Drow details an intricate adventure involving the ambitions of a drow matron, the puppeteers controlling her, and the resulting dangers for all life caught between.

Originally presented in three separate volumes spanning 500 pages, the Rise of the Drow is being compiled in a new hardback format , with all new sections and material written by guest authors, as well as a complete revision and expansion of the original material.

Guest authors include:

Brian Berg of Total Party Kill Games
Robert Gruver of Skirmisher Games and D-Infinity
Jason Stoffa of Fat Goblin Games
Owen K.C. Stephens of Super Genius Games
Christina Stiles co-author and project lead of Green Ronin’s Dezzavold: Fortress of the Drow
Kevin Mickelson “Mask of Death” by ZOE and AaW BASIC-Series, Pathfinder Beginner Box
Thilo “Endzeitgeist” Graf master reviewer and beloved voice of the RPG community

A new artistic direction, re-imagining the original story through the eyes of a new stable of artists.

New artists include:

Rick Hershey of Fat Goblin Games/Empty Studio
Jacob Blackmon a freelancer known for his incredible work with Purple Duck Games
Satine Phoenix from the popular series YouTube Monster Maidens
Tim Tyler , the man who started it all for Adventureaweek returns to bring back his unique style
Jen Page proves once again that her talents are far reaching as she takes up pencil and pen
Kerem Beyit , a master in the field, Beyit’s work will be gracing the cover of the the Kickstarter hardbound edition.
All told we are expecting to release a final product spanning over 700 pages , bound in one hardcover edition, supported with material such as a Player’s Guide, Prequel Adventure and Hero Lab files.  Several cool additional items are also available including drow plushies, custom dice and t-shirts.

Incredible Stretch Goals already Unlocked!

UNLOCKED $5,000: Hero Lab files of all monsters and NPCs.

Corrupted Dwarf by Rick HersheyUNLOCKED $6,000: Endzeitgeist, Paizo community reviewer extraordinaire (over 1000 reviews!), to author a section – The ecology of the Vidre, the primary adversaries in Usurper of Souls.

UNLOCKED $7,000: New Interior Art featuring the talented Mr. Rick Hershey of Fat Goblin Games and the always impressive Mr. Jacob “ProdigyDuck” Blackmon.

Robert Gruver of Skirmisher Publishing
UNLOCKED $8,000: Robert Gruver, of D-Infinity and Skirmisher Publishing to author a section – A new batlike race exclusive to the underworld, and mechanics for echolocation in combat. Robert Gruver is a writer, father, and husband from Houston, Texas. He has numerous credits to his name including articles for “d-Infinity Magazine”, and has story in Skirmisher Publishing LLC’s “Swords of Kos: Hekaton” anthology. He is the host of the weekly gaming Youtube show “d-Infinity Live!”

UNLOCKED $9,000: New Interior Art by Tim Tyler.  The man behind so much of the look and feel of Adventureaweek has returned to offer his distinct style to several of the interior pieces.

UNLOCKED $10,000: Jason Stoffa, co-founder of Fat Goblin Games to author a new section – on the Undersea and a new subrace of corrupted dwarves.

“Know that all which rests beneath the sun decays. All things made by mortal hands and in into this world brought,with the rise of shadow all shall return to naught…”  
Book of the Black Earth

Imprisoned deep within the dark earth, the last living shard of an immortal being once again stirs to life. Its newly awakened essence spreads as a pollution across the light-less waves of a sprawling underground sea, threatening a twisted reign of madness among those unfortunate enough to be touched by the corruption of its gathered power. Already counted among its unwilling servants are a colony of lost Dweorg. Once part of a clan that fell to a victim to a long forgotten calamity, these dwarves have built a massive kingdom upon the toiling of slaves. Widespread rumors of a dark cult, strange creatures, and of the Dweorg’s obsession with unearthing an unknown relic lead adventurers into a cursed place that even their hated enemies, the drow, would fear to tread.

Brian Berg of TPK Games

UNLOCKED $11,000: Brian “Necroblivion” Berg to author “House Invidious” – The sick mind behind Total Party Kill Games will be bringing us a new drow house for use within the environs of the Rise of the Drow adventures. He will breathe life into House Invidious, a fallen incestuous drow house crushed by its peers and left to rot. Fester they did, and out of sight is out of mind. Generations later they hunger for revenge, willing to use and manipulate anyone and anything they can in order to reclaim their former status and wreak their everlasting vengeance.

Satine Phoenix

UNLOCKED $12,000: Interior art piece by Satine Phoenix. Truly an original in both her art and her style, the one and only Satine Phoenix will be looking to add a particular blind drider to her art portfolio.  Check out her series on YouTube Monster Maidens.

Owen KC Stephens of Super Genius Games

UNLOCKED $13,000: Owen K.C. Stephens to author new source material on a deep dragon’s machinations – The Lead Developer for Super Genius Games and contributing author to the Star Wars, Everquest, Black Company and Wheel of Time RPGs plus innumerable Pathfinder sourcebooks will bring us the details of a deep dragon’s lair. This source material will bring a new level of terror to these deep realms and possibly turn your players into crunchy bits.

Jen Page (need we say more?)

UNLOCKED $14,000: Jen Page – Interior art of the Book Golem done by none other than Jen Page, yes, that Jen Page. Need I say more? Gallery link to tempt the appetites.

Christina Stiles of Kobold Press

UNLOCKED $15,000: Christina Stiles will take on the city of Holoth, detailing many of its important factions, city leaders and important sites.  Christina is no stranger to the Drow, as she was co-author and project lead of Green Ronin’s Dezzavold: Fortress of the Drow.  In addition her writing has appeared in numerous issues of Kobold Quarterly, various books for Zobeck, Rogue Mage, Midgard Legends, and SpirosBlaak, just to name a few.

NEW COVER ART by Kerem Beyit!
NEW COVER ART by Kerem Beyit!

UNLOCKED $17,700: An exclusive full-color cover featuring the art of the amazingly talented Kerem Beyit!  Considered by many to be one of the top names in fantasy illustration, Kerem’s style marries perfectly with the feel of this mega-adventure, bringing the perfect complement to the expanded edition cover image.This cover will only be available through this Kickstarter, and only on the Hardbound edition of the Rise of the Drow Expanded Edition.

Kevin Mickelson author of "Mask of Death"

UNLOCKED $19,000: Kevin Mickelson

Author for the Pathfinder-compatible paper version of the “Mask of Death” adventure based on The Gamers: Dorkness Rising will join the guest authors in adding another section of material to the final product.

Don't just throw your players to the underwolves!  Give them a fighting chance in the claustrophobic underworld with the official Players Guide!

UNLOCKED $20,000: Player’s Guide

For all backer’s at $45 and up, a PDF of an exclusive Player’s Guide will be added.  A perfect introduction to the underworld for players better preparing them for the world into which they will be venturing.

Spanning levels 1-6, this prelude is a perfect introduction to the Rise of the Drow trilogy.

UNLOCKED $21,500: Prequel – “The Darkness Arrives”

We make it to $21,500 and Stephen Yeardley will take on the task of filling in the details for this story for the first six levels.  That’s right, a prequel adventure covering levels 1-6 and opening the Rise of the Drow story line.  Released in PDF format, available to all backers at $45 and up.

UNLOCKED $24,000: Player’s Guide in Print

A print version of the Rise of the Drow Player’s Guide will become available as an add-on. A perfect introduction to the underworld for players, better preparing them for a foray into the darkness below. Note that all backers at the $45 pledge level and above will get a PDF copy, but if you wish for a print copy, you may simply add $15 to your pledge total.

UNLOCKED $26,000: Prequel in Print

A print version of “The Darkness Arrives”, the Rise of the Drow Prequel will become available as an add-on. This adventure by Stephen Yeardley contains five chapters which take the PCs from levels 1 to 6 and sets the stage for the Rise of the Drow trilogy. Note that all backers at the $45 pledge level and above will get a PDF copy, but if you wish for a print copy, you may simply add $15 to your pledge total.

UNLOCKED 27,500: Adventures! Three for Free!  (shown above)

Three free PDF adventures to whet your appetite whilst waiting for the Rise of the Drow hardback to be completed. Note that all backers at the $45 pledge level and above receive these bonus adventures!

UNLOCKED 28,500: Adventures! Three for Free!  (shown above)

Three free PDF adventures to whet your appetite whilst waiting for the Rise of the Drow hardback to be completed. Note that all backers at the $45 pledge level and above receive these bonus adventures!

UNLOCKED 29,500: Adventures! Three for Free!  (shown above)

Three free PDF adventures to whet your appetite whilst waiting for the Rise of the Drow hardback to be completed. Note that all backers at the $45 pledge level and above receive these bonus adventures!

UNLOCKED 30,500: Underworld Encounter Maps printed by GAMING PAPER!

Traveling through the Underworld, the players will encounter weird and wonderful caverns, challenging passageways, and many more strange natural phenomenon. These tiles allow you, as GM, to plan and position interesting and exciting random events for your PCs; their geomorph nature grants many different possibilities, giving many hours of action and excitement for the PCs.

These underworld encounter maps will be created by 3x ENnie award winning cartographer Todd Gamble (WotC, Green Ronin, Privateer Press) and include maps from:

  • Underworld Caverns (numerous & varied)
  • Dwarven City of Embla
  • Drow City of Holoth

http://www.gamingpaper.com/

Note that all backers at the $45 pledge level and above will get a free Underworld Encounter Maps PDF Pack, but if you wish for a print copy, you may simply add $10 to your pledge total.

$31,500: Underworld Encounter Cards

Even in times of war, life goes on for those that live in the Underworld. As the PCs travel from the surface to Embla, from Embla to the outskirts of Holoth, and then even into the city itself, they will encounter the citizens of this subterranean realm as they go about their business, whether that is a problem with a previously unseen ooze, a deep gnome hermit in the middle of a 100 year retreat or a government-sanctioned assassin returning, injured, from a kill, with an angry mob on her tail.

This pack will be made up of over 100 encounters that can be dropped into Embla, Holoth or any of the caverns and tunnels that run from the surface to the drow city. Prepare for the unexpected, for your players are quite likely to encounter it!

Note that all backers at the $45 pledge level and above will get a Underworld Encounter Cards PDF, but if you wish for a print copy, you may simply add $5 to your pledge total.

$32,500: Full Faction Integration

Get your NPC into the hardbound book with a lucky few seeing their NPCs written into the main story alongside the PCs!

The concept for Faction Designation is for each pledger to come up with a human, a dwarf, or drow they would like to see appear as an NPC in the appropriate section of the trilogy.

The factions include:

Humans from Rybalka, and elsewhere, which include troops sent to help the PCs, slaves held in Holoth or even agents of Yul and his undead cult.

Drow within Holoth, but maybe who are spies elsewhere. They could be members of House Gullion, House Invidious, or perhaps just renegades.

Dwarves within Embla, or perhaps returning traders, or even allies from Stoneholme who have decided to help Embla despite Stoneholme’s lockdown!

All that is needed is a name, a class or activity (Profession/Craft), and a two line description. The NPC will then appear as someone the party can meet and interact with. We are intending to use them as clear encounters for the PCs, so we’ll be including chances for Diplomacy, Intimidation, a question or two, or perhaps a purchase from your character.

In addition, if this stretch goal is reached, we will be producing a special supplement with more than 100 detailed “random encounters” suitable for all the main settings. We will be looking to add the best of the NPCs sent to us as the focus of these encounters.

Finally, Stephen Yeardley will be taking the five most interesting NPCs, as decided by the Adventure-a-Week team, and write them up as an alternative party for the GM to use from the very outset of the adventure. Players will encounter this party early in the prequel, and there will be encounters with them throughout the entire Rise of the Drow trilogy. They will grow in stature, and feature as allies or enemies, as the PCs decide. If chosen, Stephen will be in touch with you to get your thoughts on how you would like to see your NPC grow into an important part of the Rise of the Drow!

Taking the PCs from levels 18-20, this epilogue closes the curtain on the Rise of the Drow trilogy once and for all.

35,500: Epilogue

A PDF version of the Rise of the Drow Epilogue “The Commander of Shadows” will become available as an add-on. This adventure by Jonathan G. Nelson & Stephen Yeardley contains an exciting alternative ending to the trilogy which takes the PCs from levels 18 to 20 with epic encounters that will blow your mind and close the curtain on the Rise of the Drow trilogy once and for all.

Note that all backers at the $45 pledge level and above will get a PDF copy.

Epilogue Teaser:  “As the darkness flickered around the long-dormant body, the soul of the Matron Mother fled Holoth and rushed headlong to the waiting clone. Alone in its deep-buried chamber, resting on a permanently chilled bier, the rush of spirit into it caused it to react as if electricity had passed through it, and the gasp that escaped its lips would’ve frozen the bones of the most hard-bitten of adventurers.

Moments later, the dead body of the old Matron Mother arrived next to the now-activated clone of Maelora. The woman looked down at the broken body, still clad in its martial finery ,gave a wry smile, and said to herself “,My vanity blinded me, clouded my judgement, but it won’t happen again.” She striped the body, her former self, and quickly dressed in the equipment. Now the clone still feels weak, but her new strength is rapidly flowing through it, and soon she will be ready. 

Now Maelora glances around the chamber, a 10 feet-per-side cube, and spots what she is looking for. Touching five of the six sides of the chamber, other similar cells appear, each with a body on a sarcophagus – loyal troops, from decades ago, waiting for such a moment as this. Then the Matron Mother touches the final wall, directly in front of her, and door appears. Beyond is a chamber, colossal in size. Within rests the body of a spider, a fully developed, fiendish, monstrous creature that was gifted to Maelora for when revenge was required. The body looks tired, damaged, but Maelora knows it is from beyond the gates of the Abyss, and will fulfill its obligations. 

Maelora reaches for a amulet that is pinned to the doorframe. It burns with venomous cold fire, as gifts from her goddess always do. The Matron Mother steps forward, loudly chanting the liturgy that will activate the amulet. As the words reverberate around the massive hall with all the power they contain, the acid-green gem at the center of the amulet gets brighter, blindingly so; but Maelora continues. As the final phrase passes her lips, she thrusts the goddess’s token deep into the spider’s body, the passion flowing from her every pore. Then, imperceptibly at first, the corpse stirs; a twitch, a flex of a leg, and then the zombie spider rises. Maelora laughs, uncontrollably, and turns away, her arms raised; “No, it won’t happen again. No more mistakes!” From back in the cell where her broken previous body lies, the sound of bones and flesh rending can be heard. “To me!” Maelora snaps the command, and the feeding stops. From the room steps one, two, three, four, five drow-shaped nightwalkers. “My real children, let us take back what is truly ours.”

$37,500: Epilogue in Print

A print version of the Rise of the Drow Epilogue “The Commander of Shadows” will become available as an add-on.

Note that all backers at the $45 pledge level and above will get a PDF copy, but if you wish for a print copy, you may simply add $15 to your pledge total.

$40,000: Free 3 month subscription to Adventureaweek.com!

Existing AaW subscribers will have these bonus months added to their current subscription.

Eligible to all pledge levels $45 and above!

 

Why a Kickstarter?

Adventureaweek.com releases a new 3.5 and Pathfinder RPG compatible adventure every single week.  All told, the Rise of the Drow trilogy was the most ambitious adventure arc Adventureaweek.com had ever released.  But even they knew, within a few days of its completion that they would be going back into the dark at some point.  There were more tales to tell.  There were things that fell to the editor, material excluded due to time, and things once combined, demanded the story be revisited with the chance to present it as we truly wanted to.  Kickstarter gave us the unique forum to approach this project from the point of view of “what would we do if we could do anything we wanted to?”  It opened the project to potential in ways we could not before.  And it was that potential that brought us to where we currently are.  Almost 600% funded, with just DAYS left to go in the campaign.   There’s just enough time left for you to get involved and become a part of this great experience with us.

Don’t wait lest you miss your chance!  Pledge your support now before it’s all over, and obtain your very own exclusive hardbound copy of the Rise of the Drow!

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About greekfire

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to it's old dimensions.