High Adventure in the Border Kingdoms

This year’s convention offerings were all online, but the modules that were produced for the event are online and available. Click the titles or the Buy Now in each module to purchase from DMsGuild.com.

Assassination in Oeble – Marcello De Velazsquez

The scion of The Drakefang has disappeared! Rumors of assassination quickly sweep over the lands of The Swordpoint Streams. Lady Mezmra Irondrake calls to adventurers to discover her daughter’s fate and bring her home, dead-or-alive! Can they find answers in a violence-ridden town or uncover a truth better kept underground?

A Two-Hour to Four-Hour Adventure for Characters of 1st – 4th Level

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The Girl with the Wet Nose – Greg Marks

Some evils never die. Only the fuzziest heroes have enough lives to end the threat.

A Four-Hour Adventure for Characters of 1st – 4th Level

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Secrets in Storage – Ethan Yen

Every year, the town of Sorndorn auctions off the contents of storage vaults belonging to anonymous owners who have defaulted on their rent. Among this year’s auction is one vault that may hold crucial information regarding the latest threat to the Border Kingdoms, attracting those who wish to obtain this information to further their own agendas. Only the keenest of eyes and shrewdest of skills will be able to discern the valuables from the pile of rubbish.

A Two- to Four-Hour Adventure for Characters of 1st – 4th Level

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A Mural of Arthyn – Justice Arman

The artist Diego Orozco has painted a mural in the town square of Arthyn. Yesterday, a small child threw a rock at the mural. Today, a boulder falls from the sea cliffs, smashing the shipyard! Sensing an opportunity, the townsfolk gather to debate how best to use this magical mural – if at all. But without a leader to guide them, the town’s debate will quickly turn into chaos.

A Four-Hour Adventure for Characters of 5th – 10th Level

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Duskwood Wild Magic Pools – Toni Winslow-Brill

The wild magic pools of the Duskwood are the stuff of legends but these pools lie deep in the hear of the magical forest. Few adventurers travel there and even fewer return.

A Two-Hour to Four-Hour Adventure for Characters of 5st – 10th Level

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Sour in Splondar – Rick O’Donnell

The Splondarren Harvest Festival is about to begin, and the cream of the Border Kingdoms nobility will be on hand to taste the region’s finest ales. But a mysterious illness strikes the festgoers and threatens the lives of even the well-guarded nobles. Can the adventurers discover the source of the affliction in time?

A Four-Hour Adventure for Characters of 5th – 10th Level

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Once Stolen, Twice Deceived – Jeff C. Stevens

Rumors of sightings of the undead Lord High Mages of Adaerglast outside of their castle prison are spreading across the Border Kingdoms, striking fear among the common people and worry among the greatest wizards of the Realms. While attending a nearby celebration, the characters are tasked with apprehending the liches and sealing them away once more.

A Four-Hour Adventure for Characters of 11th – 16th Level

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The Archmage’s New Robes – Joe Alfano

You have been called to the aid of the Mage Rymdyl before, but never to act as her escort to the famed Fashion Week in Blackalblade. Time to put on your finest clothes and prepare for the dangers of high fashion in the back alleys of the Border Kingdom’s cutting edge of fashion.

A Four-Hour Adventure for Characters of 11th – 16th Level

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A Convergence of Gods – Anthony Joyce

The area known as Godswalk Keep has been showing signs of activity. Are the Bloodreavers really working towards bringing back Garagos and restoring him to divine status? Only true heroes of the Border Kingdoms can stop them. This is a Tier 4 adventure optimized for APL 18, and is a stand alone adventure for the Border Kingdoms.

A Four-Hour Adventure for Characters of 17th – 20th Level

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From Hero Camp

Due to the pandemic, Hero Camp was cancelled this past year, but the modules were already complete. To date, they have only been run for a couple of sessions during the Virtual Gamehole Con in 2020.

A Walk Among the Borders – Rick O’Donnell

cover art featuring a spirit rising out of a documentMage Rymdyl’s ominous dreams have foretold a coming storm that will threaten all of the Border Kingdoms. She realizes that in order to protect the Kingdoms from this still murky threat, she must secure allies and identify those who will oppose her. She turns to a brave party of adventures to help in this a game of chess whose board is the Border Kingdoms and the prize could be the fate of Faerûn itself …

Four, One Hour Introductory Mini-adventures Characters of 1st – 4th Level

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The Fire Rekindled – Ethan Yen

cover art featuring a wizard looking out a windowWhispers have arrived of an assassination attempt on the Mage Rymdyl. While the mage has made her presence known by bringing about peace across the Border Kingdoms, as of late she remains unseen, isolated inside her tower. Plagued by ghosts of the past and twisted visions of a land in conflict, Rymdyl will need help to discover the true enemy and protect her newly resurrected life.

A Four-Hour Adventure for Characters of 5th – 10th Level

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A Lute Strung Double – Tim Mangan

cover art featuring a bard with a lute in the back of a cartWord is out that Quint Degallard, the famous Waterdhavian Bard, is planning to retire and auction off her prized lute to fund her retirement. She has returned to her hometown of Gallard for her final performance in the venue where she first began playing. But the auction of such a rare artifact has attracted all sorts of nefarious clientele. Can the adventurers make sure the auction goes off without a hitch? Or will Quint lose her prized possession, her retirement, and maybe even her life?

A Four-Hour Adventure for Characters of 5th – 10th Level

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Lilium Inter Spinas – Joe Alfano

cover art featuring an actor-wizard on stageWith the Border Kingdoms thrown into chaos from recent events, Mage Rymdyl has kept an eye towards the visions she has been receiving. Images of lost tomes, dark phrases and a shadowed meeting direct you towards the Black Markets in the alleys of Blackalblade’s art district. What surprises wait for you in the shadows of the theater?

A Four-Hour Adventure for Characters of 5th – 10th Level

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A Memory, an Announcement, and a Memorial

Memorial Day is about the remembrance of the soldiers that have paid the ultimate price for their service. While it seems a strange time for an announcement, there is a point to it that will become apparent by the end of this post.

With the pandemic opening rules in place, Gamehole Con has made the decision to close. The announcement I am making here is that our Border Kingdoms modules will still be happening. We will see if they make an appearance in Virtual Gamehole Con or if it will go into DMsGuild.com straight away. This leads me in to the Memory…

When we started writing modules in the Border Kingdoms, I introduced an NPC that was a Harper. A spy named Guthryn B Law, who has since become the right hand of Mage Rymdyl after she was raised during the first season. He is one of our recurring NPCs in the Kingdoms, and all of the authors this season were told he was there for their use with a single rule. He remains, no permanent damage is done to him, and he cannot be eliminated. I told them why, but I realized I haven’t shared it with the players in general.

Back during 4E, we had Encounters… it was our store version of AL before there was AL. During these outings at Pegasus Games in Madison, I met a young man that had moved to Madison with his girlfriend after serving in the Army to complete his degree. Playing at a table with him at those events, I could tell that he was a good match to my personality and play style as well as my group. So I offered him a seat at our table.

Blaine was a rather magnetic young man with a rather wicked sense of humor. He was so magnetic, there was even a report that had made the news when his entire unit on maneuvers in basic training were struck by lightning. Everyone was okay at the end of it, but a single strike broke off to connect with all of them. (Some of these stories were provided by his family, but in listening to them I remember him telling me a few of them.)

Blaine in Uniform

During his years in Madison playing with us, there were many awesome stories that spawned from those games. Even as I was working on my remote writing options for NaNoWriMo, he helped me in getting an iPad and all of the accessories I needed to make it a viable option for what I called Public Authorin’ at the time. He was that kind of helpful friend to everyone he knew.

In that time he completed his degree, married his girlfriend, secured a job in his field, and moved to Chicago. A lot went down, but he was still part of our group. My intention (especially once we got our place in Door County) was to schedule a “ZombieMiniCon” where the players from my home game would come together for a weekend to have fun, campfires, and play games. The goal was to bring him back for one of these events.

After returning from a three week cruise we took as part of our 25th Anniversary, we found out that Blaine had passed away. In speaking with his family, we found out he had issues with PTSD from his time in the military that he lost his struggle with. So the military that had caused him to enter into my gaming community and therefore into our lives, took him from all of us (family, friends, gaming community).

That year, we introduced the Hall of Heroes where anyone can add in a player from their table that is no longer there with them. His name was the first added to it. The idea was following the induction speech for Lou Reed to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where his partner said (and I will paraphrase here), “some cultures say a person dies three times: the first is when their heart stops; the second is when they are interred; and the third is the final time someone says their name.”

Along those lines, when I was writing a module in the Border Kingdoms that first year, I was determined that his long-time character name Guthryn would be represented. But that wasn’t enough from what I was feeling. That only spoke the name Blaine Law to those of us that played with him. Thus I extended the character name to Guthryn B Law. And I made him the most recent character with that name, a rogue. It was thus the Harpers assigned a spy named Guthryn B Law to a position watching for unchecked power in the Border Kingdoms.

And to speak to the issue of PTSD and its effect on a person, he is helping Mage Rymdyl to come to terms with hers. He is a source of strength, personality and compassion in the realms. It also means that at least once a year I get to feel like I am playing D&D with him again.

This has also had several effects on me personally as well as our local events. We have added Stack-Up.org to our charity partners for charity events – a foundation that covers trips and gaming care packages for disabled vets. There is a direct correlation between gaming and PTSD recovery that makes this group a fitting memory of him. This is also another motivation to one of our other charity partners Jasper’s Game Day that helps to fund mental health services and suicide help lines in local communities. And finally it has reminded me that if I have a friend I haven’t heard from lately that I should call them to check in. Just a single call saying, “Hey, I was thinking of you. How’s it going?”

Every year when Memorial Day comes around and I am reminded (mostly so that I don’t show up to work when the office is closed), I am also reminded of one of the most outgoing and unique young men I have ever had the pleasure of getting to know.

So this year, when you are running or playing through the Season 3 Border Kingdoms content and you are dealing with Guthryn B Law, you now share the same history and importance of it as I do. And as all of our authors do as well.

Our Event Plans During This Outbreak

Yesterday, as Doc and I were setting up the space for the Charity Epic, we were discussing the playspace with Jess, the manager at Noble Knight. All of our venues came to the same realization that we had – that for the safety of our community we needed to suspend our public play events for now. Misty Mountain Games and Noble Knight Games have both suspended events in their playspace. Pegasus Games is still open, but MadDnD has made the decision to suspend public play events until the threat has past.

This doesn’t mean we will stop having events. There is a schedule for this entire year including Hero Camp and charity events through the year. That includes the Marathon Charity Event at it’s new spot in our summer lineup. Once those venues are open for public play again, we will resume our schedule. And until that point, we will still be doing what we can to encourage your Adventurers League character still tell their tales.

The charity events have been branded under 25th Hour Events, and we started a Discord server for the purposes of grouping the tables together for planning leading up to the Marathon Events. We also used it for coordinating the crew of the Lost Talent, a pirate ship of characters with a similar theme created to play in charity events. We are opening that up for players looking to get together for playing games online. For my Tuesday night show on 20 Sides to Every Story, I run a group of our local players through a game using Discord video chat to pipe into the Twitch stream. Either through voice chat or video chat, anyone can easily set up a game of D&D. It is all theater of the mind without a tool like Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds, but it is something anyone can do.

https://discord.gg/zWXEmjV (edit: made link non-expiring for now)

If you don’t have it yet, DnDBeyond is a great way to create your character sheets online and share them out to the DM, etc. You do need to own the content you are using on that platform, so anything other than the SRD would have to be purchased on DnDBeyond. Without a subscription anyone can make up to 6 characters. Otherwise there are plenty of form-fillable PDFs that can be used with a shared Google Drive.

These measures will help us to keep our games, our characters, their stories, and our community going in the upcoming weeks. It should be of note that yesterday we watched 7-8 tables of players come together (some of them new to our community, and even D&D as a whole) and took an effort to help wipe down tables between games and do the effort to help protect our neighbors in the gaming community as well as our own players. We rolled with the changes in the format to account for safety, and the removing of some of our standard items like Fai Chen’s Fantastical Faire. That tells us that the community is strong and will come through the other side to sit at a table and roll dice together again soon.

Once the playspaces have opened again, we will be sure to plan a proper party to welcome everyone back. Maybe it will be enough of an event that Fai Chen might make an appearance. Or maybe Mahati. Yeah, that wily old cat would definitely show his face.

Suggestions for Our Open Play Events

With our Charity Epic still on the books for March 14th, we wanted to post something in regards to suggestions to keep everyone safe during our Open Play events at public venues. Everyone in this community is important to us, so we want to offer the safest environment we can during this viral outbreak. With that in mind, here are some suggestions we have come up with…

  • If you are sick please stay home. Especially if you are showing symptoms of this current outbreak.
  • Wash your hands frequently and for 20 seconds. Time yourself once at home, it seems longer than you think.
  • Don’t touch your face unless you just washed your hands, especially around your eyes.
  • We are suggesting theater of the mind to avoid many people touching minis and maps.
  • If possible as the DM, print out copies of each player handout in multiples to give one to each player.
  • If you have to cough, do it into your elbow, NOT your hand.
  • Don’t share your dice and/or minis with people.

For our events, we cannot assure players we will have hand sanitizer available. With the current shortage, there is just none to be had. If anyone finds a stockpile and wants to work out getting it to us, contact me. Until we run out of antibacterial kitchen cleaner, we will work to disinfect the tables before each game. My supply of cleaner and paper towels is significant, but finite.

Any events, such as our Fai Chen’s Fantastical Faire, where multiple paper inventory (certs) are being placed out are on hold until the viral threat has passed. We will offer optional instances of these in the future to make up for the lack of them currently.

This situation is updating daily, and will be constantly evolving during the course of this situation. Keep eyes here and on the emails from our Meetup group for evolving plans in the future.