(KS) Places by the Way #3: Secrets of Oyster Cove, 5E Adventure
  • (KS) Places by the Way #3: Secrets of Oyster Cove, 5E Adventure

    Secrets of Oyster Cove, by Douglas Sun, is the third in the Places by the Way series of short location modules for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. The modules work well as short stand-alone adventures but have been developed to act as memorable interludes in your larger campaigns. Each book actually comes in two versions, a generic 5th edition one funded on Kickstarter as well as a Forgotten Realms branded one that is made available through the Dungeon Masters Guild.

    Places by the Way has two inspirations. One is the line of mini-adventures that AEG published as part of the D&D 3rd Edition open license boom. I recall that the word count for those modules was only 5,000 words. I wrote a few of them, and they suggested to me that the short form could be made to work in adventure modules as it does in fiction. That is to say, if the typical folio-sized module is the novel, and the hardcover campaign books that WotC is publishing for 5th Edition are epics, there should be also be a place for the module equivalent of short stories.

    The other inspiration is the strangely important role that side quests play in what we now recognize as standard CRPG structure. Side quests are those little tasks that you can find throughout the game world, and while they have no direct bearing on the main story, they allow you to accumulate XP, money and items, and meet memorable NPCs. If they’re done well they can add real flavor to the game experience. Fallout remains one of my very favorite CRPGs. One of the first things that jumps back into my mind is Tandi, the Shady Sands girl voiced so perfectly by Cree Summer. Her wistful musing about what lies beyond her little village convey the fallen melancholy of that world so beautifully that it made me forget all about finding that water filter. My goal for Places by the Way is that somewhere in the series, I will create an NPC encounter that has an effect like that. My disadvantage is that I won’t have a talented voice artist to help. But I’m going to try to create a moment in a campaign that you will find memorable out of proportion to its role as a diversion.

    Places by the Way modules average about 15 numbered locations, each of which offers an encounter, noteworthy items, noteworthy NPCs or an opening into which you can hook your existing campaign. For a rundown on Places by the Way to date, check out the Ramen Sandwich website.

    We’re on to Places by the Way #3: Secrets of Oyster Cove, which describes a remote fishing village with more going on than meets the eye. You can use it as a stand-alone, or as a sequel to Places by the Way #2: A Treasure on the Rocks.

    Secrets of Oyster Cove is almost ready for publication. The manuscript went into layout this past week. But Ramen Sandwich Press could use a little extra funding to make sure we can pay for stuff like layout, art and maps in a timely manner. So we’re turning to the Kickstarter community once again in the hope that you’ll help us keep this series going.

    Dungeons & Dragons 5E Module: Secrets of Oyster Cove is running on Kickstarter until Sunday 1st October 2017.
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