Blood for the Khan 5e: An Interview With Alphinius Goo (GooeyCube)

Alphinius Goo and the Gooey Cube are back with a new set of adventure books for their world, Zyathé. I’ve met Alphinius at several conventions and I’ve talked to him about one of his prior projects, so I asked him about his news grimdark adventure and, as a third party 5e publisher, his thoughts on the recent OGL crisis.

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EGG EMBRY (EGG): Alphinius, thanks for talking with me! You’re doing a new 5e project, what is Blood for the Khan?
: Hi Egg! Great to chat with you. So, Blood for the Khan is a fearful tale of intrigue, revenge, and mystery that will take a party of adventurers into the dangerous Mournwood Forest to try to find a rumored ancient artifact on behalf of their patrons. But the path to the end game is not what it appears to be, and many twists and turns will affect the party in their quest. It is also associated with a campaign guidebook that is part of the Kickstarter that covers the fringe area of the Mournwood. Here’s the general description of the story:
Blood for the Khan begins a most terrifying tale of greed and revenge as the party is hired by the noble folk, Aundrea and Donald Aernyld, to investigate the rumored existence of a powerful artifact dating back to the times before the Woe of Ruin. This extremely potent magical object is named the Bloodcrystal, and is said to be sequestered somewhere in the shattered ruins beneath the Mournwood, where many foul and fearful monsters dwell. But the patrons who have engaged the party are not the only ones who know of the Bloodcrystal’s existence. Indeed... a most powerful and secretive personage — known only as “The Khan” — also seeks to gain possession of the artifact. And indeed will stop at nothing to have it in their grasp. Can the party avoid the terrors of the Mournwood and discover the clues that will lead them in the right direction? Or will those who serve The Kahn get there first? And what of the strange druidical circle that abides in the fetid woodland? Though the rewards are substantial, the dangers are also, and more than a few vile individuals stand in the way. As to what will the outcome will be? That remains to be seen. For this is a tale that is still in the telling.”

EGG: This is adventure is for lower level characters, yet you’re offering three books to support it, which is a lot. What can fans expect from these Gooey Cube books?
: So we crafted the Blood for the Khan tale and the associated campaign guide as a bit of a sandbox style adventure with options for the Game Master to add to the tale as they might see fit. There are a lot of things to do in the Mournwood as part of the Blood for the Khan adventure… but there are ancillary things to do as well that really allow the Game Master to make the tale their own. We think GMs are going to love it. We’ve also added a player’s guide to the Mournwood which is filled with tales and rumors that swirl around the Mournwood and dovetail with the adventure and the campaign book. It’s a great package for Game Masters and their players. The best thing is that the Mournwood can be used in pretty much any fantasy world or in our world should a GM choose to play there.

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EGG: For fans that are new to Gooey Cube, what can you share about your world?
: The Gooey Cube ‘world’ it is a marvelous little planet similar to our own in terms of oceans and lands, and is named Zyathé. In terms of how it is crafted, the World of Zyathé is a grimdark fantasy setting that brings a mix of high fantasy, medieval fantasy, and a couples it with a touch of both gothic and eldritch horror along with just a smidgeon of “steampunkyness”— all to make for a unique fantasy roleplaying experience. Zyathé is a rich and deeply mysterious world that is backed with much lore and a great selection of materials to help Game Masters craft enthralling and exciting adventures for the people at their tables.

EGG: I have one of your boxed sets. It’s dense in the best possible way, full of great content that’s easy to use. Why pack the products in?
: Egg, as we’ve talked about some in the past, a key aspect of our mission as a game company is to make Game Masters’ lives easier. All the tools, handouts and other materials that we put in our boxes are specifically designed to cut GM prep time while also providing a more immersive and rich tale. When you open a box you find beautiful NPC Portrait Cards, Full-Color Illustrated Handouts, Magic Item Cards, Full-Color Maps, and so much more. These all add so much to the game. And, as you know, our tales are truly crafted to bring a more engaging experience as well.

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EGG: Beyond being a game designer, you’re a community builder. My experiences with Gooey Cube at cons and online include large groups of engaged gamers. How would you describe the Gooey Cube fanbase and your role in it?
: Well… the Gooey Community is amazing. We are privileged to have the support of a great group of folks who love what we are doing and truly enjoy being a part of it all. I think for me, at least in this aspect, my role is doing my best to facilitate all the relationships and friendships that have been built around this world and to help keep it — at least somewhat — on track in terms of lore and history and such. Plus I get to play this marvelous, goofy wizard in the world of Zyathé!

EGG: You encourage fans to write and add to your world, correct?
: Yes we do. We started out thinking that we would like to have folks be able to contribute to our world “here and there.” But now, some four years later, we have literally had hundreds of our friends and fans add to the world of Zyathé. They’ve submitted locations, monsters, NPCs, and all manner of other “things” that are now in our books and materials. Beyond this, we’ve had well over 300 of our folks actually make character portraits of themselves as NPCs in the world. Those characters are also being put into our adventures and supplements. It’s just a wonderful thing to have a world that has been touched by so many.

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EGG: When I saw you at Gen Con 2022, you had an amazing con exclusive with great artwork. What can you share about that product?
: So we made a very special adventure for Gen Con 2022 entitled Shadows in Genzacon which was both a fabulous mystery tale and a tribute to this amazing convention that has given so much joy over the years to so many. It’s a great tale and was provided in a limited edition at the convention with some special NPC portraits. But it’s still very much available… just not the limited edition… and is a fabulous adventure.

EGG: Let’s talk about the OGL crisis. Your recent work is based in 5e. Will that continue for GooeyCube or will you move to a new system like Project Black Flag or EN Publishing’s Advanced Fifth Edition or something more Gooey?
: At this point we will continue to produce materials for 5e but we are also going to be providing stats and other supporting material from other systems to aid conversion for those who would prefer to play other systems. We are definitely looking at Advanced Fifth Edition, Black Flag, Pathfinder 2e, and Savage Worlds. But that is a project for later in this year and next as it is a considerable amount of work to get it all done well.

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EGG: Beyond Blood for the Khan, what is coming up for Gooey Cube?
: We have the new Darkenhaven and Gloomport city box sets available for pre-order now, we’re working on a number of new adventures, and we’ve got a couple of secret projects that are soon to be revealed! You, sir Egg, will be one of the first to know.

EGG: Thanks for your time, Alphinius. We’ve talked a lot about your community, where can fans find you online? What conventions are you attending in 2023?
: Thank you, Egg! Always a pleasure. Folks can check us out at [our website] and we have a great Facebook and Discord community. We also do our Goo Morning Zyathé twitch livestreams on Saturdays at 10am MT on Twitch.TV/TheGooeyCube. As for conventions, we’ll be at Gary Con, Origins, Games Expo in the UK, and Gen Con for sure. And we’re looking at a few more.

Blood for the Khan 5e Fantasy RPG Adventure & Campaign from GooeyCube
  • END DATE: Sat, March 25 2023 10:13 PM EDT.
  • “Level up your GM'ing with this mysterious & fearful D&D 5E adventure for characters of levels 2-5. AMAZING Stretch Goals!”
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