On the Goblin Drunkery

Man, is it the next day in the week?

Yeah, and we are just stretching our legs.

As part of my ongoing attempt to survive as a guy who draws dungeon maps—asking myself the question, is what I create enough to justify continuing to exist as a citizen? Does it provide enough value?

Part of the nitty-gritty of being an artist, which I actually had a class on for my Bachelor of Arts in Art in college, is finding income streams. We talked about lots of things in that last class "Methods & Materials" I think it was listed as? Matting pictures, communicating with galleries, presenting artwork, and more.

So if I was gonna do this full time, I was gonna have to do everything—and that includes working live and trying to find a way to provide entertainment that enriches people's lives enough that it supports me continuing to drag these hidden realms from the deep vastness and find ways to share them.

I stream on Twitch as Agonarchartist. But here's what I found:

Twitch isn't anything like what I thought it was. It's a streaming service, with people broadcasting videogames mostly.

But it's also kind of a spiritual revelation.

People on twitch are living their lives in a global community. Friends and companions move from activity and activity, from livestreamed home to livestreamed home, friends sharing their worlds when they are a planet apart. Twitch isn't entertainment, it's community that consumes entertainment together.

I also found that there's an entire community on Twitch consisting of artists who produce Dungeons and Dragons content. Much like the Old School Renaissance, it's a community of people, redefining the look and style of Dungeons & Dragons. Journeyman who rocks while producing art for Godkillers and Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Hope of ShegamesHegames who produces character sketches and fantasy emotes, Alyssa Faden producing maps for Tegel Manor and other books coming out soon, Insomnia Doodles who creates beautiful leather cases for role playing games. Spongeyastronuat producing a different mermaid for every day in Mermay. Wacomatrixo who animates Dungeons & Dragons and Mothership actual plays.

All D&D, All Awesome, All the time.

Today I'm here to share.

I did another storefront and character, but gave the Wine Gnome and her Tree Hollow, over to my friend Bodieh for his patreon, and he gave me some of the tremendous digital content he produces in  adventure packs on his his blog slowquest.

We've got to spread the word see?

So if you want my Wine Gnome and Tree Hollow, you'll have to go over to his Patreon to get it. I love my stuff, but I think I traded up, check this out.

This is the goblin bar. Youth's in the local town pass around plain golden keys. You and someone else in the know can climb the local knoll and there in the cliffside sit the narrow doors of the goblin bistro. Used together on the doors the plain golden keys provide access.
Of course, once you get in the drink is great. And you are sure the goblins will never have any problems with what they are using to brew the beer that lives down inside that ancient passageway in the back!
This encounter location and digital files will add an interesting quirk to any small town or village in your current or next game. A small little mystery the players can uncover, furtive townsfolk, mysterious plain golden keys, a bit of subversion, and a good time for all!

Watch @bodieh and support his Patreon for Adventure packs and more!
Catch me @Agonarcharist on twitch for chill conversation and Dungeons & Dragons talk all afternoon, and support me on Patreon for more henchmen, adventure locations and maps in high resolution, storefronts, and more content, theory, and fun, than you can shake a stick at. I mean, you could shake a stick at it, but you'd just look silly.

Come join the community and fun so that you will accidentally give me money!

Hack & Slash 
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On the Storefront

I told you more cool stuff was coming.
One of my Patreons bemoaned the fact that there was a dearth of storefront pictures.
So, I'm going to be illustrating a selection of medieval and archaic storefronts.
High definition, vtt ready version on Patreon. Otherwise enjoy this 150 .dpi web jpg!

This is the Inn of the Welcome Wench, but I've left the sign blank so that you can name it what you want. This is the actual layout of the Inn from Homlett—The town from T1, Temple of Elemental Evil. It has the right number of windows and floors and matches the interior layout.

Like, more cool stuff is coming. All week long. I wasn't posting because I was working furiously. Stay tuned!!


Hack & Slash 
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On Henchmen, Continued

Good morning world.
The Internet can be a hostile place.
It's best not to go alone.

The third henchmen, the alienist, is available on my Patreon. It's only because I want to encourage you, to help me not be homeless.
600 dpi versions on the patreon, and easy to use .pdf collections coming of these intermittently. 

Come on, look at Dan the Candle Bearer. 
Who doesn't want to hire that guy?
More cool stuff coming every day this week. (!)


Hack & Slash 

On the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh Stroll

I've played a lot of adventures. I've never been able to easily find out what happens in an adventure without playing it. I've always wished someone talked about the adventures that they've been through, not so much a review, but a commentary. This. . . is that.

The secret really is sinister.

It's the first Dungeons & Dragons adventure I ever played. My father ran it for me, my mother, and my brother. I've run it a dozen times myself, and found myself again among the halls of the alchemists house in my adult life more than a time or two.

It's one of the great reasons for its ubiquity. It's easy to put a 'haunted' house on a map. Let's take a stroll through the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh.

Sinister!

This module is notable for being from "TSRUK", and contains a personal message from Don Turnbull.
So, American readers—if you find the text too flowery and florid or too plain and stilted, the structure of the language slightly unusual, the use of certain words apparently slightly offbeat, these are the reasons. Perhaps you will take solace in knowing that UK readers of all the other TSRª modules have the same reaction in reverse!
Is it an essential British trait that they would take a game about dungeons, and write an adventure about an old house up on a hill? The United States has no ancient buildings looming for a thousand years.

The Dungeon Master is instructed on personalizing the town, making it a base of operations for the players. Name the council, develop them as individuals, draw a map, design an inn, create local gods.

Then, there's the legend. The decrepit house sits up on the hill, once owned by an old alchemist around which nefarious rumors swirled. Now it's haunted—dilapidated and unwholesome. Ghastly shrieks and eerie lights emanate from within the dismal lesion marring the purview.

Spoilers for a thirty year old module, but hey, right? The house is a base of smugglers, led by an illusionist. It has a remarkable clear description of how to present the module and the core mysteries, without giving away too much.
It is paramount that the players are given no obvious clues, which would lead them to believe the house is not haunted; they must deduce the truth for themselves or simply stumble upon it. They might even wander around the house, finding a little treasure but never discovering what actually takes place there.
This module and the other two in the series are designed for thinking players. Those who tackle the adventures imaginatively and thoughtfully will not only obtain good rewards for their characters but will derive the satisfaction of seeing the various layers of the plot peel away as the real meaning of each clue is discovered. On the other hand, those who regard the House as nothing but monsterslaying territory will not only fail to unravel the secrets but will find their adventure dull and unsatisfactory; they may even lose their characters, for the smugglers, in the hands of a competent DM, should be more than a match for an unwary, careless party.
No munchkin hack & slash here! Only real role-playing.

In all seriousness, This is a well designed module. There are multiple layers to this mystery and it relies on player choice and initiative to assess what is actually going on, instead of just killing stuff because it's there. It's the kind of adventure where combat (should) happen(s) because there's an actual conflict, not just because you see something to kill. It clearly supports all the choices, with outcomes noted in the finale.

But that's not what you're here for.

What you are here for


You show up in town, ready for adventure. After taking lodging and shopping for a bit, you hear a legend about a haunted house up on the hill. If you decide to investigate, then you get introduced to a member of the town council, who has an interest in your decision to 'stamp out a local menace'. The council member makes no specific promises, but mentioned rewards—perhaps, say, something for doing a public service.

When the party sets out, they are accompanied by a slew of townsfolk, urchins, and hangers on. Amusingly, they retire shortly after the house pulls into view.

It sits atop a cliff, behind a 6' high stone wall, with a heavy ornate great. To the east is a well.with a softball pitch of a snake that has sleeping venom.

The house is obviously two stories, although there is a secret third underground "level", leading down to the coast at the bottom of the cliff. The house is laid out in a chunky upside down T. The front door opens into a big central room, with a staircase going up to a balcony you can see, with hallways leading to the west, east, and north wings.  It's a great vertical and non-linear space!

While exploring, you'll find rats, goblins, and other vermin as you would expect in any kind of standing structure. Tracks for observant players show some frequent foot traffic. Let's explore!

The stairs to the second floor hang over a passage to the east. These leads to empty and dilapidated rooms.  To the west lies the library of the alchemist, a study, and a trapdoor leading to the basement trapped with a magic mouth that says:
"Welcome, fools -- welcome to your deaths!" followed by a prolonged burst of insane and fiendish laughter.
The passageway to the north contains two events of note, there's a beat up "withdrawing room" which I assume is british for lounge. In addition to detritus there is a chimney. If examined, you find a loose brick, concealing a small chest, along with a spider that sets down beside you. The default poison causing 'enfeebling' for 1-4 days, rather than any authentic risk.

The other event of note is that when you take the first step to descend into the basement, there's a wicked howl of shrieking pain, triggered by a magic mouth.

The upper floor is unstable, and more than one player character has died by falling to his death through unstable flooring. Another deadly chamber lies to the west, with an unassuming closet, filled with a cloak covered in deadly yellow mold.

Upstairs to the east, lies unstable flooring and a very subtle clue, that I think frequently goes missed until later in the module. This is the room where the smugglers can see the approach of the ship and signal it. More interesting is Ned Shakeshaft, a prisoner who is actually an assassin. He's supposed to mislead them, in the interest of a merchant who profits from the smuggling operation.

You can reach the attic, and get attacked by stirges as your reward.

The Main Event




Eventually the characters man up and brave the depths beyond the magic mouth spells, and head down into the basement.

This leads to a very memorable encounter. There's a corpse on the floor in a suit of FULL PLATE MAIL! This is a great moment for your fighters, immediately before they die from the rot grubs infesting the body.

There's a secret door in the wine cellar, and sooner or later the party will encounter the smugglers, which include their illusionist leader, along with several gnolls. There's a great illustration of the illusionist, hitting a party with the color spray spell.

Having discovered the smuggling operation, the town council conceives of a plan, where you assault the Sea Ghost and end the smuggling operation once and for all.

The party has a number of options for assault, giving them the opportunity to strike in the dark, or engage in open combat aboard the floating vessel. A terse, exciting, and possibly deadly battle occurs on the deck of the sea ghost. Looting the vessel lets them discover a slew of prizes, not the least of which is a pseudo-dragon looking for a Wizard to bond with, and the fighter thief aquatic elf "Oceanus".

Once complete, a few days pass, until the council becomes curious why such primitive creatures as lizard men would seek the arms and armor from the forges of men? Is the town of Saltmarsh at risk of attack?

I guess if you want to find out, you'd have to play Danger at Dunwater, but that is a different tale.

You enjoying these posts? I'm depending on you to keep writing them. Come make some requests and get a ton of free stuff over on my Patreon!

Hack & Slash 
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On the Hateful Campaign

Bryce Lynch wrote a review of my module, Eyrie of the Dread Eye. He tagged it as "The Best" which I am honored and humbled by.

Sadly, wherever I stand to gain some ground so I can continue to produce works, all of which I hope are high quality, there are people who are engaged in a campaign of harassment against me. They show up wherever I am mentioned and spread lies about me, calling me alt-right, implying I'm a racist, and other hateful extremest rhetoric.

I have a million+ words on this blog that anyone who takes the time to check, would find it's not the case. You could check out my inclusive art broadcasts on twitch where I share about my mental illness and decades of service to my country and community.

Below is my reply to the harassment from the review. I'm doing this because there are people engaged in an active campaign of harassment and slander anywhere I attempt to create and share to the community. I would ask that they please stop. This is me publicly asking people to stop harassing and libeling me. It is very important that we do not respond to extremism, hate, and harassment in kind. Please do not—I don't share too much of my personal beliefs and politics on my blog, because that's private. If I believe differently then you, well, I served my country so you could. We don't have to share political views for me to produce great gaming content. I am only sharing here to refute the lies.

The important thing here, is that the toughest reviewer on the internet thinks what I wrote stands among the best work produced. . . and it's only my first. Wait for the next couple of things I have coming out and I'll try and top what I've already done.

Here was my response.

"Hi! I’m the author!

My name is Courtney Campbell. I vote democrat, have donated to both Yang and Warren so far in the coming election. I’m a veteran of the USMC. I’ve spent 20 years doing social work with disadvantaged youth, including 5 years in alaska working with native youth.

I’m an independent creator. I’m sad that people feel the need to harass me and punch down at people who struggle with mental illness (I have a class A personality disorder that causes me significant issues with, well, life). I’ve spent my whole life working at near minimum wage to help disadvantaged youth, mostly of color. When I worked downstates it was mostly adolescents who were victims of family abuse.

I’m horrified there’s people who show up wherever I am being discussed to spread lies about me. I honestly don’t have any idea what to do about it.

I’m shocked and honored brice took the time to review my module and considered it one of the best. I worked very hard on it, and as noted, it isn’t designed to be read, it’s designed to be played.

I am certain if you read my blog or check out my twitch channel or come on to my discord, you’ll find a welcoming inclusive place where we talk about gaming, support other low income people who suffer from mental illness, and share support for each other.

I’m incredibly thankful I can eek out an existence publishing game materials. The fact that someone I respect as much as Bryce likes my work makes me feel like perhaps I can continue to be of service to society.

I don’t have any hate in my heart, and I’m sad people choose to engage in this campaign of hateful attacks.

Bryce, Thank you. To answer your question, I rewrote the 5th edition version of the adventure extensively to fit the style of superheroic play that 5th edition expects. It should work for 5th edition the same way it works for the best version of Basic/Expert in print, Adventure, Conqueror, King."

Stop the hate. Let's do better.


Hack & Slash 
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On Eyrie Delivered!

Why would you wanna fight this guy?
Did you hear about that blogger that talks hot shit about how things should be done?

Well, if he wrote something, you sure could  find out if he's full of crap or not.

But who wants to read a .pdf? No one!

Thankfully this Eyrie of the Dread Eye module is now out, right this second, for ACKS, for 5th edition, and even in Print!

This doesn't look super fun at all!
There's only nine reviews and the are all five star reviews! That can't be right! It can't really be five stars?!

But why would you want to pick up an adventure for mid to high level characters that provides a challenge for them without nullifying their abilities? Why would your group want to fight ancient, minimally verbal, yet terrifying monster bears? Who wants to fight a hill giant clan wearing human leathers?

Who wants to explore an ancient city or deal with ancient giant statues? You see the maps for these things? Would would want to explore these places?

Who's idea was it to make this thing only five dollars! And if you buy print, you get the .pdf free? What kinda cheap outfit does that?

If you don't buy it, how can you give an honest review, instead of reviews like this?
A fantastic adventure, it's full of comfortingly familiar bits and pieces but executed in clever and interesting ways that I love. 
Clearly that dude is some sort of planted agent! What about this nonsense?
I'm definitely in favor of this kind of adventure overall, but it's a little more "gonzo" than some of the previous releases from Autarch, and should be appreciated as a sort of surreal nightmare of Lovecraftian weirdness that stands in contrast to the more mundane orcs and goblins that the default ACKS setting implies
Surreal nightmare of Lovecraftian weirdness? That gets five stars?
It really is the little conveniences that make this adventure a pleasure to read. The author does a masterful job succinctly and conveniently presenting just enough information to get a location right, for immediate presentation to my players without having to translate anything in my head. 
What kind of DM wants to run a game with a resource like that?
 A most excellent tribute to the classic I1: Dwellers of the Forbidden City. Deadly environmental hazards, multiple rival factions to ally with or oppose, weird monsters galore, all done in classic . . . style.
Why would you want this adventure cluttering up the place? It's not like you need a great module full of terrific ideas, beautiful maps and swell encounters to steal, borrow, use or have fun with in your game. It's not like it isn't super popular hitting silver just days after its release.

You probably don't want to be in on all the fun anyway.

Eyrie of the Dread Eye, An adventure for 4-6 characters of 6th to 8th level, for the basic style, super well designed Adventure Conqueror King system; or rewritten for 5e, with care to match the style and expectations of that system.

You gotta see for yourself, right?
As might be inferred from the inspiration, this is a product that should appeal to anyone who loves classic-era TSR modules.-Eyrie Review

Hack & Slash 
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