Not content to rest on my laurels – because that tends to crush laurels – I continued to write adventures for Adventure A Week. The next one I sold was one called Midwinter’s Storm, an adventure where a winter storm descends on a small Klavek* city, and the PCs found out that a minotaur sorcerer was attempting to summon forth his master’s ice-castle, the lair of a white dragon called Midwinter.
I loved the demiplane I built for it, though in hindsight would have been better without the final battle where the PCs are teleported to this ice castle and have to fight the dragon rather out of the blue. (it was ultimately rated 3/5 stars) Also, as much as the shot of the castle was cool, it wasn’t the cover I was looking for, because the castle had so little to do with the adventure.
Yet, at the end I hinted that Saatman wasn’t working alone. Jonathan Nelson asked me to expand on it, and before the adventure went to print it became the first in a higher level AP called Saatman’s Throne.
Over the next few months, I expanded on the series.
The second title was Storm’s Wake, an adventure where the PCs come to town to find a hurricane building, and do some island hopping to hunt down a dragon. Only, the dragons they find are old and crippled, or sitting on a nest full of eggs. When the party is returning to port, that’s when Storm hits – a massive and awesome black dragon who picks up the PCs ships and threatens to smash them to bits. It was reviewed at 3/5 stars, pointing out amongst other things that most of the encounters were just fights in big open spaces. I admit, that’s a weakness of mine I still work on. You gotta love that image though.
Also, I did way too much math to determine how strong something needed to be to fly with an entire boat in it’s grasp.
The third adventure here was one of my favorite adventures I’ve ever written: Incandium’s Erruption. It’s a mini-megadungeon with a twist. The party is challenged by a red dragon to come to his volcanic lair and battle him. But rather than the party having to go through the dungeon to fight him, he meets them out front and… well, it’s DnD. The players probably win. But after that set piece, where the hardest fight is in the opening cutscene, the party is faced with this dragon’s lair right in front of them, and a ring of keys they pulled from the dragon’s body.
The dungeon ultimately broke down into a bunch of different sections the PCs had to work their way through to the treasure and figure out what’s going on. I also included a physical papercraft puzzle, too. I was pretty proud of that. It got rated 5+/5 stars – which is the perfect setup for the next adventure that didn’t work nearly as well.
The fourth and final adventure in the series is Saatman’s Throne. It’s big, it’s ambitious, and it didn’t quite live up to the third adventure owing to the complexity. There are a half dozen competing factions (3 or 4 too many), a ton of dragons, a climactic final battle that requires far too much math, a succubus librarian, and a pool of infinite magic.
The 3/5 star rating isn’t the best or the worst I’ve got, but thankfully I’ve improved on this sort of adventure a lot since this.
*The Klavek Kingdom is part of Adventure A Week’s Campaign Setting: Aventyr