Though I have played tabletop role-playing games most of my life–and spent more than my fair share of that time as GM–I had never actually written an adventure until I was asked by Matt Goetz of Privateer Press to put together a campaign to cap off the forthcoming Iron Kingdoms Unleashed expansion Wild Adventure. In some ways it was the perfect place for me to start, since I love pretty much everything about Unleashed and this adventure let me throw together some of my favorite things, including a mad gatorman bokor, dark rituals, swampy ruins, and lots more. Wild Adventure is due out in May, and I’ll talk more about the contents of the adventure when the book is closer to release.
Between the time that I wrote “Blood Runs Cold,” the campaign that I contributed to Wild Adventure, and the official announcement of the book’s release, I was actually asked by Matt to write another adventure, the second I ever wrote, though it was actually the first to be published. This was to be an adventure for the Iron Kingdoms RPG themed around the Llaelese Resistance, which they were generous enough to let me call “Once Upon a Time in Khadoran-Occupied Llael.” It was released in No Quarter #65, which hit local gaming shops this month.
When I’m running games, I tend to have very little in the way of story line and even less in the way of specific in-game events planned out in advance. I run games a lot like how I write fiction; I have some idea that I want to hit, and from there I tend to play it by ear, letting the game evolve organically. So it was a definite change of pace for me to write adventures, but I had a lot of fun doing it, and thankfully every time I introduced some element that I thought was going to be too over-the-top, Matt would come back with a note that basically said, “I like it, but can we have more of that over-the-top thing?” And I was like, “Hell yes we can!”
I’ve been doing a lot of writing for Unleashed and the Iron Kingdoms RPG lately, including working with Matt on a five-part series in No Quarters 61-64 (he did the first part in issue 60 on his own) bringing the Legion of Everblight into the Unleashed rule set. As a lifelong fan of role-playing games and a fan of the Iron Kingdoms setting for as long as there has been such a thing, it’s been a real pleasure working in the IK RPG, and I hope that I’m far from done.