Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hammers of the God - Some Hype

It's at the printer, and I can't wait to see what the reaction is to it.

I always have the same fears and expectations. "This is awesome and different! Nobody's going to care, are they?" I mean, I'm the guy that thought Death Frost Doom was this little dungeon crawl thing that I wrote while trying to figure what to do with the No Dignity in Death masterpiece, ya know?

Looking at Hammers of the God now, after three phases of its development (the original two adventures that were run, the for-publication writeup at the end of last year, and the empty-room description update earlier this month), I think it rocks.

One one hand it's got fabulous set pieces. The great chasm, the whirlpool room, the great hall... your players will have to cooperate and plan amongst themselves in order to get anywhere in some of the coolest areas yet seen in print. (yeah, I'm talking up my own stuff. I dare you to not find anything grand and epic in this adventure. That's right. I dare you.)

On the other hand it's got a deep backstory that players will only ever learn if they read the books found in the adventure. Tower of the Stargazer has this feature as well. One one hand (maybe I should be counting fingers instead), the assumption is adventure! Nobody interrupts their adventure to study. That's a between-adventure thing to do! On the other hand, if you're in this place and you find a vast repository of knowledge, completely ignoring it is really, really dumb, you know? By the way, my wife is usually very uninterested in the actual content of my writing when she proofreads, but she was actually excited about the history detailed in the adventure. How that will translate to you guys liking it, I don't know.

No standard monsters. Every monster is a new monster but none are treated as a new monster big deal. They get a description and a stat block where they are encountered, not a "Monster Manual" style entry at the back. OK, I admit it, maybe there's a snake, but the stats weren't taken out of any monster book. :P

Two great artifacts and a gem worth seven figures are present. In an adventure for levels 3 - 5. This is gonna piss some players off. :D Plus a good deal of more standard treasure as well - LotFP modules may be hell, but they reward commensurately.

Plenty of threads that are left hanging so they can be sewn into an individual campaign. Some of the history will be shared with other adventures I release, but there will be no sequel to follow up on this adventure. Modules should be campaign aids, not campaign replacements. (until my megadungeon, anyway ;) )

I think it is magnificent (but I would say that, wouldn't I?) in establishing that "You're not supposed to be here" kind of vibe. Your PCs will feel like they are intruding. You will have plenty of time to sit back and observe while the players discuss things amongst themselves.

... and a few traps so utterly diabolical that your players will hate you if they trigger them. But they are also so incredibly avoidable, and in some cases telegraphed, that they will lynch you if you explain how easy it would have been to avoid them.


  1. (Hammers of the God logo by Matt Johnsen, artwork by Laura Jalo)

  2. I'm very much looking forward to this!

  3. Damn, Jim, you did a fine job with that talk-up. If I weren't already sold, I would be all over again! We'd like you back on RPG Circus soon to talk about some of your newest stuff, btw--just mentioned this on the show the other night.

  4. That illustration of the party in a vast cavern is eerie and evocative. Most of the time illustrations do not get across the absolute inky blackness that is omnipresent in caverns and dungeons. The party's torches and lanterns would emit a feeble circle of light, barely holding back the eternal darkness. This illustration succeeds magnificently.

  5. Your adventures are world-class, and in your sweet spot. The infusion of salesemanship is superior in your prose supporting it above.

    Can't wait!