Most people would get their first shot at writing by contributing something small to a larger compilation. Not me.
In 2011, I answered an open call for Dreamscarred Press, and pitched them a sprawling adventure path. Six adventures, eighteen levels, 120,000 words.
They bought it, and nine months later, I delivered the last piece. Sadly, they never finished publishing it – they’re a small company who people visit for their psionics rules, far more than for their campaign setting, and when they started running into problems with needing more editors and not having a cartographer, they eventually dropped development of it. As far as I know, at least.
But, to their major credit, they did pay me on approval of the final work, so it’s entirely their prerogative to not publish it if it wasn’t working for their business model.
The three published adventures were:
From the Deeps: Uncertain Futures
(rated 4/5 stars)
This adventure begins the campaign in a small city governed by divination, but in a startling turn (unless you’re a player reading that first line), something has suddenly disrupted the ability for the city to view the future! The party has one last premonition to go on, that the nearby kobold has stopped delivering goods… and it turns out that in their mine, not far below the city, a band of mind-controlling slugs called puppeteers has unearthed a relic of an ancient and terrible age.
From The Deeps: Ruling Three
(rated 4/5 stars)
This adventure has the players traipsing across the countryside, making allies or enemies of the more indiginous people of the land. First, the city is attacked by orcs! And then, once the party either kills them or calms them down, they party discovers they are being driven out of their homeland my lizardmen immigrating from the islands offshore! And then, once there, the party finds that the lizardmen are being goaded by a trio of aboleths who have just recently escaped an undersea war and are looking for a new place to rule. But, in amongst their ancient tools and weapons, the party finds another relic akin to that found beneath the kobold mine.
From the Deeps: A Dragon’s Orders
(rated 4/5 stars)
This adventure begins with thousands of refugees arriving on the city’s doorstep. A nearby city, run by the mayor’s ex-wife, was suddenly overrun by an army that materialized from nowhere. And worse, it appeared to be immune to psionics! The survivors fled here, but it’s up to the PCs to learn that the approaching army was lead by a dragon (note, in this setting most dragons are mindless beasts, not the all-powerful creatures of typical fantasy) and stop it! While they do, the party discovers the army is ultimately under the control of the same puppeteers that had disrupted the kobold mine, and they had been slowly abducting hundreds -then thousands- of people from the countryside, and magically brainwashing them to create an army of mind-controlled drones.
The three adventures that haven’t yet been published were:
Dead Captain’s Chest – a bit of a sidebar adventure that I used to hit two major points: getting the party out of the city for a while, and getting the party up in levels for a while. It also allowed me to introduce another few of the world’s factions, the Maquoran Fleet, and was a great chance to work with pirates.
It Came From Below – the undersea war the party heard of earlier has boiled over, and a terrible Scyllia has decided to come and use a man-made catastrophe to bury her aboleth opponents. In a twist of fate, the PCs have a chance to ally with aboleths to stop her from dumping the coastline, including the PC’s home, into the sea!
Nightmares of Steel – All the conflicts brewing over the past adventures come to a head at once, and the relationships the PCs have been building with NPC factions are tested. The puppeteers and their master are revealed, and the expanding city falls under siege. The party has to fight off a titanic metal monster, a ressurected weapon from the age before this, and fight off the madman behind all of this – only to learn that while he may have taken things to a dangerous extreme, his anger has real justification.