On Wednesday, September 2nd, GP Adventures’ Kickstarter for The Marmoreal Tomb Campaign Starter will end. This date is doubly important because it is also the birthday of one of its creators – Ernest Gary Gygax Jr. If you don’t know at least PART of that name, you’re probably very new to tabletop gaming. Which is totally fine, because that means you have no better place to start than with this particular Kickstarter. I’ll admit, I’ve been personally excited for The Marmoreal Tomb since a preview of it first appeared in Gygax Magazine, Issue #3 (Is that still even around?). That was almost two years ago! Earlier this month though, the Kickstarter went live and it’s a pretty impressive one.
The core Marmoreal Tomb campaign is designed for old school versions of Dungeons & Dragons, but Ernie, Benoist Poire and their team have been extremely inclusive of other systems. There are conversion documents for Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons, Castles & Crusades (which has a campaign by the Gygax clan entitledThe Lost City of Gaxmoor), Dungeon Crawl Classics, Pathfinder, the World of Darkness line, Chill, Hackmaster and MORE! There are also many other add-ons and unlockables thanks to over 1,000 Kickstarter backers reaching numerous stretch goals. At this point, backers are getting a LOT of stuff and because of the team behind The Marmoreal Tomb you can feel relatively safe that it will come out on time.
Although part of the “Hobby Shop Dungeon,” The Marmoreal Tomb and its expansions are completely self contained. It can be used with the official GP campaign setting of Duinnsmere but will easily work with any published or homebrew world (Yes, even Spelljammer. That’s what the conversion guides are for!). The adventure is meant to look and feel like the classic D&D pieces of the 70s and 80s, while still being able to appeal to gamers that didn’t grow up with that style of RPG. Here’s the campaign description from GP Adventures themselves:
“Nester’s Folly, as the dwarves call it, is the underground maze under Castle Celadon created by the Archmage and “Eurthwright” Nester De Guyx, a personage who, despite some mentions in the Annals of the Duinnsmere, is shrouded in relative mystery. Tales abound about the magic-user and his many eccentricities, but little is known for sure. Nester in fact built the first levels of his dungeons with the help of a group of dwarves who would become the founders of the Stone-Cutter clan. They worked with Nester on the completion of the upper levels for many years, diligently so.
When their work was completed, the dwarves were rewarded by Nester who revealed to them the location of long-abandoned caves they could call home and use to quarry marble for themselves. The dwarves just had to be careful not to dig too deep within the mountain, and it would be alright. The Stone-Cutter clan moved to the mountain, built a settlement, and prospected around the place to find new marble veins to quarry.
The temptation was too much for them: soon enough, they found the sealed tomb of a Stone Giant under the settlement, and their greed got the better of them. They plundered it, and triggered tremors that would be felt by evil giants far away. Young Krassus, a Stone Giant Cambion, roused his brothers to arms, and together they attacked and utterly destroyed the dwarven hold, reclaiming those artifacts that were found in the tomb for themselves. Those few dwarves who survived the attack would ultimately find refuge back within Nester’s Folly. The giants ultimately moved, and abandoned the place once again.
Years have gone by since the attack of Young Krassus. The ruined corridors of the Marmoreal Tomb are home to a variety of monsters who may one day grow and unite to become a threat to the lands south of the river Maeve. Now, the location of the Tomb has been found by a new generation of adventurers, and it is up to them to deal with this state of affairs and explore the Tomb. Unbeknownst to them, there are still burial vaults lying under the settlement, many of them undisturbed. Beyond the vaults, deep under the surface, lies an even greater threat, the Hearth of Chaos, cradle of the giants since time immemorial, a maze imbued by the ever-changing forces once unleashed by the lords of entropy upon the material plane. Will the player characters be able to avoid them entirely, or contain them if need be? That remains to be seen.”
If this sounds at all interesting to you, or you just want to learn more about The Marmoreal Tomb, then head on over to the Kickstarter campaign. There’s a video, a ton of explanatory text and over two dozen updates from the creators explaining their concept and product. I’m very excited for the end release and hope that you’ll join me in support GP Adventures with this awesome endeavor.