[7:33 PM]Cass: Hello all, my name is Cass Suwinski and the owner of Tomb Guardians. Currently we have a new Kickstarter going on “Curse of the Usurper”. It is a massive D&D 5e adventure/campaign, over 400+ pages, minis, maps, actor voiceover, campaign music, collectible dice and more. (done)
[7:33 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Thanks, @Cass! The floor is open to questions!
[7:34 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Is this campaigned designed with any particular D&D world in mind?
[7:34 PM]Cass: No we have created our own
[7:35 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Ah! What can you tell us about it?
[7:35 PM]Dan the GMshoe: (brb)
[7:37 PM]Dan the GMshoe: (back)
[7:42 PM]Cass: Well without giving a lot of it away because it is part of the book for the players to learn. What I can tell you is that the party will start there adventure on land in an ancient dwarven port. To the north is the snowy area of Mornhaven the vampires kingdom. To maintain the peace between humans, dwarf, elfs, ect… each year, once a year the different factions transfer all there convicted prisoners to the vampires so that they can have food during the months when the sun is out(6 months of the year). To the south you have the hilly, and fun farmlands of the halflings and Ardhos. As we release additional books more of the world will be released and devolged
[7:44 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Ardhos?
[7:44 PM]Cass: yes
[7:44 PM]Cass: that is the region
[7:45 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Ah, I see. I wasn’t parsing that sentence correctly.
[7:45 PM]Dan the GMshoe: So is this campaign also a setting sourcebook?
[7:45 PM]Cass: yes in a sense
[7:46 PM]derekkage: So this region is entirely new for players?
[7:46 PM]Cass: every region will be
[7:47 PM]Cass: we have 3 regions in this book and we will have 3-4 in the next book
[7:47 PM]derekkage: How many books are you hoping to create?
[7:48 PM]Cass: as many as possible. lol
Hello all, my name is Cass Suwinski and the owner of Tomb Guardians. Currently we have a new Kickstarter going on “Curse of the Usurper”. It is a massive D&D 5e adventure/campaign, over 400+ pages, minis, maps, actor voiceover, campaign music, collectible dice and more. (done)
[7:48 PM]BryanMc: Oooh was there a link? (edited)
[7:48 PM]derekkage: Naturally! But in your vision…how many?
[7:48 PM]Cass: hello Bryan
[7:48 PM]Cass: 5-7
[7:49 PM]Cass: with all the different regions and storylines we have come up with, 5-7 books is realistic
[7:50 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Will all of those books be campaigns?
[7:52 PM]Cass: I can tell you the next one is. Not sure after that. But I like the idea of one off adventures or small adventures.
[7:53 PM]Dan the GMshoe: What makes your world stand out from other D&D settings?
[7:54 PM]derekkage: What were your influences for this world?
[7:58 PM]Cass: Well the main vision I had when going into making this world was that I wanted the old D&D flavor of the game back. I like that style, and that is what took me a long time to find the right writer for our campaign. He is amazing! The other thing I wanted is when people play this campaign and world that they crave to come back for the next 3-6 hours of RPG to discover more. Example Port Havdhir when the adventure starts has over 30 seperate buildings with all specific NPCs to roleplay. The city is huge. Then if the Still Echo Prison stretch goal is opened, there is a whole underground prison world to explore. Lastly, I love horror! And the region of Mornhaven is that place!!! We have made this area to be a place when the PCs hear they have to go there. They all will complain and take a deep breath because they know the horror with Mornhaven and the Vampires
[8:00 PM]Cass: On more thing, I want people to have fun, laugh, joke, cuss and drink too much!
[8:00 PM]Cass: Dwarven Ale!
[8:01 PM]derekkage: I am completely new to the TTRPG world. I only played my fist game a month ago. Will this world be welcoming o those who know nothing or are just learning?
[8:04 PM]Cass: absolutely! you start the campaign at level 1. It is very interactive to help players learn the game, skills, combat, role playing in general
[8:04 PM]Cass: You can go to the section on the Kickstarter under testimonials and you can read and listen to the play tests of the first encounter
[8:07 PM]derekkage: My exposure has been limited to AL so I’ve only experienced official content. Honestly, the 3rd party space is so much more interesting.
[8:10 PM]Dan the GMshoe: You mentioned recorded dialog with this book. How does that work?
[8:11 PM]derekkage: Is this project mainly for players or DMs?
@Dan the GMshoe
You mentioned recorded dialog with this book. How does that work?
[8:12 PM]Cass: We have QR codes at every passage that needs to be read to the players by the DM. There is also QR codes to play campaign music as the campaign progresses
[8:13 PM]Dan the GMshoe: That’s pretty clever!
Is this project mainly for players or DMs?
[8:13 PM]Cass: This is set up for both. DM to run the game and players to play. We do also offer 6 pregenerated characters and matching miniatures for that character. There are also 4 additional stretch goals for more pregens
[8:14 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Are there any races and/or classes that are particularly suited to this campaign, and any that are not?
@Dan the GMshoe
That’s pretty clever!
[8:14 PM]Cass: those voice actors are different for different NPCs also, its not just the same narrator
[8:15 PM]Cass: brb too much dwarven ale
[8:15 PM]derekkage: Was it part of the initial plan to keep technology incorporated now that so much is handled digitally?
[8:21 PM]Cass: ok sorry
[8:21 PM]Cass: no that was always my idea because I love the feel and ease with the story telling
@Dan the GMshoe
Are there any races and/or classes that are particularly suited to this campaign, and any that are not?
[8:22 PM]Cass: The campaign is written so all races and/or classes are suited to play
[8:22 PM]derekkage: As a very new player, I have never created a character without some kind of handholding
As a very new player, I have never created a character without some kind of handholding
[8:23 PM]Cass: Well your in luck because we provide 6 pregenerated characters so you dont have to role one up
[8:23 PM]Cass: and there are 4 additional pregenerated character for stretch goals
[8:24 PM]derekkage: How are you accounting for the potential changes with One vs 5e?
[8:25 PM]Cass: once the new changes come out we have a team currently dedicated to any current changes and making sure all the math/numbering is accurate
[8:26 PM]derekkage: On a personal level, what got you into TTRPG?
[8:29 PM]Cass: ive been playing since 1984 and love it. Fortunately, for me, my loving wife told me to go make a dream into reality. That was 4 years ago when we started the business on the miniatures side. A year and half ago, she once again said go and make your dream into reality. And here we are today! Boy, she shouldnt have said the second one cause she didnt know what she was getting into. Lol
[8:29 PM]Cass: and just fyi my wife hates playing games and will not role play. lol
[8:30 PM]Cass: she will with the kids but not fantasy stuff
[8:30 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Do you offer any interesting twists on the standard fantasy races?
[8:30 PM]derekkage: Despite always having an interest in playing, I was always intimidated by the mechanics
[8:30 PM]Cass: no at this point we are not messing with the races, just one damn Curse!
Despite always having an interest in playing, I was always intimidated by the mechanics
[8:32 PM]Cass: It definately helps to have a good DM. My suggestions just play as a character and have fun and learn. There are some awesome tabletop sits you can play on, such as Shard Tabletop
[8:32 PM]Cass: those sites are always looking for players sometimes you can play for free
[8:33 PM]Cass: our campaign will be on Shard Tabletop, and anyone that pledges gets a free version of the game on there
[8:33 PM]Dan the GMshoe: What can you tell us about the premise of the campaign?
[8:35 PM]derekkage: What lead you to make a version for that platform as opposed to some of the other more ubiquitous platforms? Or even some more independent formats?
@Dan the GMshoe
What can you tell us about the premise of the campaign?
[8:36 PM]Cass: Thats easy, its an ancient curse that has been passed onto each member of a certain clan. When they die their spirits are then transported back to Shjelkel to belong to the Usurper. When the last member of the clan dies and doesnt pass the curse onto someone or someones the doors to the city will open releasing the Usurper. The party has to solve the mystery before the Usurper gets out
What lead you to make a version for that platform as opposed to some of the other more ubiquitous platforms? Or even some more independent formats?
[8:37 PM]Cass: Im old fashion and I want to stay mainline D&D
[8:38 PM]derekkage: How did you form your team of fellow creators?
[8:38 PM]Raj Whitehall: I may have missed it, but since you mention QR codes I’m assuming you’re hosting the media. Do you intend to address the fact that you won’t be hosting forever?
How did you form your team of fellow creators?
[8:40 PM]Cass: Well writer was first, that took a year and half, then editors and formatters. The miniatures side and STL files we had retained from the miniatures side of the business
I may have missed it, but since you mention QR codes I’m assuming you’re hosting the media. Do you intend to address the fact that you won’t be hosting forever?
[8:42 PM]Cass: The servers we use have that material available for life
[8:43 PM]derekkage: I assume that you intend to make this available after KS. Will you be distributing your content independently?
The servers we use have that material available for life
[8:44 PM]Raj Whitehall: And how long is “Life” for the hosting company, the domain registrar, your company, you, the customer? (sorry, Cyber-cynic & Pessimist here) (edited)
I assume that you intend to make this available after KS. Will you be distributing your content independently?
[8:45 PM]Cass: yes all the material will be available after the KS when the products are distributed. Yes we are independent
And how long is “Life” for the hosting company, the domain registrar, your company, you, the customer? (sorry, Cyber-cynic & Pessimist here) (edited)
[8:46 PM]Cass: the contract we signed is as long as that company exists. Once its posted it will be there. We also have a backup for our pledgers, that there will be a google drive with all recordings available for there download
[8:47 PM]derekkage: How much of the content is already “finished?”
[8:48 PM]Cass: There are 3 chapters in the book. Chapter 1 is completed and edited. Chapter 2 is 20% completed. Thats roughly 280 pages. All 3 chapters will be completed by years end
[8:50 PM]derekkage: Is this the only project you have going on? What happens in the unlikely eventuality that funding is not met? (It totally will though) I’d hate to think all that work would be lost to the aether
[8:53 PM]Cass: We currently are fulfilling a prior miniature Kickstarter which was suppose to fulfill next march, 2023 but we got lucky with manufacturing and production. So we got a 9 month jump. If we dont fund, we plan to relaunch in April, 2023 with the entire book finished written and hopefully edited at that time.
[8:55 PM]derekkage: Do you plan to maintain a layout/aesthetic that mirrors official content for consistency?
[8:58 PM]Cass: as close as we can not to violate copywrite and trademarks. However, we are creating a ton of new monsters. Also, all playable NPC and monsters have there own stat cards
[9:01 PM]derekkage: I’m an engineer, and I am astonished by how people can create stat blocks. Is there a crazy amount of math involved?
[9:02 PM]Cass: fortunately, we have an amazing women that is a genious when it comes to math! That is all she does is math
[9:03 PM]derekkage: How do you start monster creation?
[9:04 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Do you have a rough idea of how many hours of play are in this campaign?
How do you start monster creation?
[9:06 PM]Cass: Me and the writer get together and brainstorm the quest and direction the campaign will take. Then he goes back and comes back to me a little time later and give me the idea and details of the quest. At that point we discuss monster placement, traps, puzzles, mazes, Npcs, ect…
[9:07 PM]Cass: when we pick monsters we get creative, example under the port city one of the quests is the party has to go through a maze and face the Sewer Ogres. Sewer Ogres is a new monster
@Dan the GMshoe
Do you have a rough idea of how many hours of play are in this campaign?
[9:09 PM]Cass: roughly 100-150 hours, level 1-15 with stretch goals taking the campaign to level 20
[9:10 PM]derekkage: Do you base your stat blocks on existing creatures or start from scratch?
Do you base your stat blocks on existing creatures or start from scratch?
[9:10 PM]Cass: both
[9:11 PM]Cass: depends on how close the monster represents something
[9:13 PM]derekkage: Do you have a favorite class?
[9:14 PM]Cass: yes paladin
[9:14 PM]Cass: both good and evil
[9:16 PM]derekkage: I’ve never tried a paladin
[9:16 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Are there any classes without whom this campaign will be especially difficult?
[9:18 PM]Cass: well i have to be honest we havent played all the classes but no it should be very even
[9:22 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Does the campaign introduce any new monsters?
[9:22 PM]derekkage: Few things are as frustrating as inflexible party comps
[9:24 PM]Cass: the lack of party comps sucks
[9:25 PM]Cass: but there is a fine line of giving too much treasure then the party has too much money and are gods
[9:26 PM]Dan the GMshoe: In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up, @Cass?
[9:27 PM]Cass: No i think we covered everything. I hope we answered all the great questions. If we can post the link of the Kickstarter that would be great
[9:28 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Yes, please do!
[9:28 PM]Cass: also want to thank everyone for coming
[9:28 PM]Cass: http://www.curse5e.com
[9:29 PM]derekkage: Thank you for the opportunity to learn more about you and your project. I wish you success
[9:29 PM]Dan the GMshoe: Usual reminder: If you’ve enjoyed this Q&A and would like to treat me to a coffee or two, you can do so at https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe. Anything’s appreciated!
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[9:29 PM]Cass: Thanks Dan!
[9:29 PM]Dan the GMshoe: @Cass, @derekkage, I hope you both have enjoyed your visit and will hang out with us in the future!
[9:29 PM]Cass: absolutely
[9:30 PM]Dan the GMshoe: If you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you!
[9:30 PM]derekkage: Definitely
It is always interesting to hear from the creators about what it takes to create the games we play and run. I think folk see these books at their FLGS, and think nothing about the work and creative energies and the team of writers and artists needed to have made it happen. The more I read, the more I’m interested in running this campaign world when it
is set loose. Fun interview, and thank you for the insights.