Into the Desolation!
In a few weeks, I’m releasing Shadow of the Demon Lord’s first setting expansion: Tombs of the Desolation. To give you the vapors and make you pine for mint juleps, you’ll find tasty, tantalizing morsels here over the the weeks leading up to its release.
So What Is Tombs of the Desolation?
Shadow of the Demon Lord provides a sketch of the setting, but I always intended on zooming in on various regions to reveal more information both in terms of story and mechanics. Tombs of the Desolation is the first of several setting expansions unlocked by punching stretch goals in the face and making them cry. Originally planned as a 16-page expansion, I discovered I had so much to say that I went ahead and expanded the content to 32 pages. As my previous publishers can attest, I have a big problem with delivering too much material, so congrats on your windfall of extra pages!
The Desolation is a great wasteland created by dark magic, poisoned by the wars between the faerie and the trolls in ancient times, made worse by the corrupted human tribes who would eventually become the Men of Gog. The sourcebook provides the GM with tools for setting adventures in the waste, but also describes the lands on the Desolation’s fringes, revealing story details and hooks for the Crusader States and laying bare the Burning Vaults and the strange things that live there.
What’s Inside the Tombs of the Desolation Sourcebook?
Tombs has four chapters, following the same structure as Shadow of the Demon Lord. The first chapter is loaded with new player options such as rules for playing revenants, salamanders, and vampires, new expert and master paths, a minor tradition of magic and new spells for existing traditions.
The second chapter examines the Desolation itself and the surrounding lands. I present the Desolation as something of an adversary and GMs gain a bevy of tools with which to convey its hostile atmosphere. Since people aren’t generally expected to set up shop in the wasteland, I also spilled words describing the Crusaders States, which were established to contain the undead menace, and the Burning Vaults, whose plume of ash and cinders contributes to the land’s toxicity.
After, I give GMs a few new toys to play with, from adventure ideas to new relics, and a mini-Bestiary filled with all kinds of terrible things such as the desiccated ones, lamias, and sand mite swarms.
The final chapter is an adventure that takes master characters into one of the deadly tombs scattered across the wastes. This challenging adventure will test groups as they must contend with the wastes and its denizens and deal with the traps and tricks and horrors the tomb houses.
Development Notes and Credits for Tombs of the Desolation
The writing for this came easy and, thanks to the kick-ass editorial talents of Jennifer Clarke-Wilkes, I even sound like I know what I’m doing. As excited as I am to get the contents into your hands, I’m equally excited to show off the book’s look. Kara Hamilton, who has been handling the smaller PDFs, took over layout duties on this one. I asked her to change the look so that it evokes the subject matter. Add to this the line spot art by local Todd Wilson, the new banners and page background help this product stand on its own. My friend and bartender Cecil Howe designed the map for the adventure, elevating his fantastic hand-made style to a whole new level. Finally, Jack Kaiser handled the art duties for Tombs and he did a damn fine job bringing the Desolation to life in his dark, brooding pieces. This is a sexy beast of a book and it will be in your hands soon!
More Shadow of the Demon Lord!
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