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Behind the Curtain: Sunken Empires Nears Release

Preview Map from Sunken Empires

Sunken Empires releases in mere days. I’m excited!

Why, you ask? There have been other patron projects, you say? That’s true, but they keep getting better. Each new patron project ups the ante. The patrons come back again and again, increasing in both number and talent. The sheer volume of ideas generated this time around could have powered a small moon.

Let’s bask now in the salty waves. In a moment, you’ll hear what three instrumental talents have to say about the project. But first, enjoy the gorgeous preview map created by Jonathan Roberts of a key location described within Sunken Empires. (And there’s some preview pages, too, after the jump.)

I asked Sunken Empires lead designer Brandon Hodge how he felt now that the project that he worked so long and hard on was wrapping up—of course, this was after his much-deserved rest from toiling for so long, chained in the kobold mines without sleep or… um…

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Behind the Curtain: Tales of the Old Margreve

Tales of the Old MargreveOver the river and through the Margreve…

Another patron project very recently got the green light: Tales of the Old Margreve. This anthology-to-be, guided by the capable hands of Tim Connors, features an eerie series of adventures set in a distinctly Old World, fairy tale inspired package right in the city of Zobeck’s backyard.

So how does this kind of collaborative project really work? Right after it got the green light for commission—even before, actually, since everyone was so excited—patrons started brainstorming what they wanted from the project and the set of adventures that would help flesh out the Margreve. The area was given the framework for a personality all its own, and a ton of monsters and magic and people, all heavily inspired from folklore, were designed by patrons.

What we’re currently in the middle of is adventure proposal. We just wrapped up the third of 4 rounds of pitches. From each, 2-3 winning pitches were selected from the 10 or so submitted, and those winners are even now being designed with patron input the whole way.

To learn a bit more about the process, we went to the designers of the first 4 winning adventures pitches and asked them:

  • Your pitch was selected by the patrons to be expanded into an adventure. What is it about?
  • Whether a veteran of Open Design’s patron projects or a newcomer, tell us something about your experience with it?

Be warned, though. Spoilers have been sighted ahead in the woods today. You best stay on the path, or you may be eaten by them…

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Behind the Curtain: Sunken Empires

Sunken EmpiresVery soon, I sense there will be some very wet PCs!

Why? Because hot on the heels of the Open Design/Paizo joint project From Shore to Sea is the sourcebook Sunken Empires. Uncover the secrets of Lost Azlant with the first and tailor your own underwater world and characters with the second.

Well, we want to give you an idea of what’s going on behind the scenes at Open Design, so every week, you’ll hear from one of the Kobolds on the progress of a current project. And this week it’s me and Sunken Empires.

Pushing myself to the front of the line, I can proudly proclaim that I have finished edits on Sunken Empires. Brandon Hodge did an amazing job pulling together the patron content and developing it into a cohesive unit. My job was to take it the next step, taking on the role of editor, and it wasn’t all easy…

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