I’ve been working on getting more material together for the community content programs of various tabletop RPG publishers. While it rarely causes a vast sum to fall into my hands, it does involve a steady — if modest — stream of income to roll my way.
The newest project is an adventure for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition: It’s titled “Consumed,” and takes place in the Scarred Lands setting. Here’s a look at the cover:
The idea for this adventure was born out of necessity: I was asked to run an impromptu adventure for three people late on the last day of GameHole Con in Madison, Wisconsin in November of 2018, and this is the idea I came up with. The main concept is that it be a short adventure: playable in two hours or less. It was meant to be an adventure that would work well at future conventions: there’s a clear goal, a limited amount of time to investigate and tackle the problem, and also a limited number of elements to deal with. After running it from some bare-bones notes I made on the fly, I sat down at home afterward and put my notes in order. I ran this same adventure — now from a full write-up, rather than just notes — twice at Midwinter in Milwaukee in January of 2019, and it worked well. The few tweaks I’d made helped keep things moving, and the pre-generated characters I cooked up were well-suited to the adventure. All three times I ran this adventure — with a completely different group each time — the players were able to finish the job in under two hours without much coaching from me.
One of the advantages of submitting material to community content sites is the vast amount of art assets they have available for one to use free of charge. I’m a strong proponent of paying artists for their work, but unfortunately, the rate of return on community content work is not always lucrative: I learned this the hard way when I commissioned a map for my first community content effort, Madison By Night for Vampire: the Masquerade and their Storyteller’s Vault. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/218710/Madison-by-Night?term=Madison+By+Night&manufacturers_id=1&affiliate_id=234579
While I’m very happy with the map, it took months — almost a year — for the project to “earn out” and cover my expenses. Vampire: the Masquerade is a popular line: I knew I would have a much lower rate of return from the Scarred Lands community content site, the Slarecian Vault: unfortunately, despite being a setting that uses the Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons rules, without that official branding most gamers take no notice of it. My own efforts aside, there’s a a great deal of remarkably good content in the Slarecian Vault and for Scarred Lands in general. Because of all this, I don’t really have the money to commission artwork and also to offer a decent rate, so I have to make do with what’s available. Thanks to the existing art archives, what’s available is usually quite good and highly varied.
As an eight-page adventure, Consumed just wouldn’t sell if I priced it too high. At a mere $1.99, it’s a pretty good value if I do say so myself. I’ve only sold a handful of copies so far, but have hopes that it will pay off in the long-term. To obtain a digital copy, click this link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/271587/Consumed&affiliate_id=234579
I don’t think I’m done producing products for community content sites just yet: theDM’s Guild community content site for Dungeons and Dragons calls to me: maybe I’ll take a stab at that in the near future…