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ZEITGEIST Returns with Ryan Nock's 'Death of the Author' for D&D 5E

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Fans of the ZEITGEIST campaign setting, and its critically-acclaimed D&D adventure path, The Gears of Revolution, will be pleased to hear that ZEITGEIST creator Ryan Nock has returned to the setting with a brand new adventure called Death of the Author. Fully compatible with core 5E, it's also the first EN Publishing adventure to contain a small glimpse of the Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition rules.

Coming next week on Kickstarter!

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A clandestine sale of military secrets draws your party to a gathering at a remote manor in the Malice Lands, where the thief and their buyer aren’t the only guests with a hidden agenda.

Among the several foreign travelers are a scholar plumbing the manor’s vile history, a too-friendly preacher, two veterans who fought on opposite sides of the last war, and a prophet who foretells a greater war yet to come. But their host is a famous author who has seemingly chosen to surround himself with people who might want him dead.

When a storm rolls in, the tale of the murderous evening will be penned in blood - blood that may well be your own, unless you can figure out whom among the guests you can trust, who is the thief, and who is the killer.

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A diverse cast of NPCs, including assassins, priests, bodyguards, painters, scientists, gunslingers, butlers, and more! Who can you trust? Which among them could be the killer?

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


Siberys

Adventurer
I'm excited!

A few quick questions, though. In the past this adventure has been described as the intro for a setting book.
  • Is that setting book still planned?
  • Is the default time period for that setting book the 500s (for use with the original adventure path) or the 520s?
  • Will the setting book primarily be core 5e, Level Up 5e, or like this one have pieces for both?

Thanks!
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I'm excited!

A few quick questions, though. In the past this adventure has been described as the intro for a setting book.
  • Is that setting book still planned?
  • Is the default time period for that setting book the 500s (for use with the original adventure path) or the 520s?
It's not the intro for a setting book. It's a standalone adventure set 20 years after the Gears of Revolution AP.

However, yep, we also have a big hardcover setting book in the works, which is set in that same time period, and this adventure will indeed give you a glimpse of the world at that time.

Will the setting book primarily be core 5e, Level Up 5e, or like this one have pieces for both?

O5E and A5E are the same game, fundamentally. Any book for one will work with the other. But we'll talk about the setting book nearer the time.
 
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Zaukrie

New Publisher
Wait, the new hardcover is an all new adventure, not the old one updated? Intriguing. Hmmm, looks like I read that wrong....that's a setting book not big adventure?
 


Siberys

Adventurer
It's not the intro for a setting book. It's a standalone adventure set 20 years after the Gears of Revolution AP.
My mistake; I was working off of this thread from Ryan last year. I suppose plans must have changed in the meantime. Either way, I'm looking forward to both! Zeitgeist is easily my favorite AP, so I'm looking forward to more adventures!

However, yep, we also have a big hardcover setting book in the works, which is set in that same time period.
I'm looking forward to hearing how the setting deals with uncertainties from the base AP, as I imagine people would want to see the mark their party made during the AP reflected in the setting. I also hope that the book has advice for using it in tandem with the AP.

O5E and A5E are the same game, fundamentally. Any book for one will work with the other.
That's good to hear, though I have to imagine that's hard to juggle on the design end - even if Level Up is purely additive to 5e, a rule that references something from Level Up might need some additional text for it to parse correctly in O5E. Though maybe in my case this will just be impetus to give Level Up a peek.
 



I'm looking forward to hearing how the setting deals with uncertainties from the base AP, as I imagine people would want to see the mark their party made during the AP reflected in the setting. I also hope that the book has advice for using it in tandem with the AP.
My cowriters and I had to make the decision to prioritize what would make for a good setting for new players, since they'll certainly outnumber the groups that managed to complete the adventure path. Also, there were a few decisions that seemed common among the various groups that reported how their campaigns turned out.

As Russ said, we aren't ready to share details now, but I did write a section on 'how to adjust thing if you played the AP previously.' If nothing else, though, having a 20 year time skip gives you room to have the decisions of your group matter, but say, "After two decades of peace/misery/progress/pastoralism, things are changing."
 
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hirou

Explorer
I'm looking forward to hearing how the setting deals with uncertainties from the base AP, as I imagine people would want to see the mark their party made during the AP reflected in the setting. I also hope that the book has advice for using it in tandem with the AP.
I've played this pre-release with a group of players not finishing the base AP (still in limbo of adventure 8). We made it do with "SOMETHING BIG happened 20 years ago, and the world is still reeling" and no further spoilers. The required context for the DotA in general is a) philosophy-inclined nation has a political crysis brewing, b) there are places in the world with strange magical effects and c) there are various countries and political powers in the world with different interests. These are not strictly tied neither to ZG setting nor to the specific consequences of base AP conclusion. It can serve as an introduction for ZG setting, as a return to it or as a standalone adventure.

For the record, I'm eagerly waiting for the release of finalized adventure and hope that the full setting book is progressing nicely.
 





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