The Priest-King of Shade

Back in 2013 I submitted to I.C.E., and they accepted, my manuscript for “Priest-King of Shade”. There was no formal agreement, but at the time, product output was slow, RMU was just getting rolling and Terry was open to third party submissions. Nicholas gave the go-ahead and both he and Terry gave it a few editorial passes early on. Then things slowed down. For years.

Over the ensuing years, I continued to refine and add content, edit my own work and found various artists and others to help with floorplans and layouts. I continued to submit my new updated versions until I was told not to work on it anymore until a complete editorial pass was finished. 

That was several years ago. In a few weeks I’m turning 49 and staring down the barrel of 50! I have 3 more comprehensive modules nearing completion plus all the other RMBlog stuff I’ve been working on. Terry has announced he doesn’t have time to edit my project and I haven’t heard that anyone else will take on editing duties. The product needs artwork, layout, floorplans and probably another 20 pages to really polish things up. While I was really looking forward to having an “official” published ICE/SW module, I have no interest in waiting forever. My brother Matt (Vroomfogle) did all the work on the Shadow World Players Guide and was the lead design on RMU, so I’ll let that be our family’s official testament to our long standing commitment to I.C.E.

With that said, I’m attaching an early version of Priest-King in PDF format. It’s rough, the charts don’t quite fit on the page, these floorplans are shite and it just needs a lot of work. However, I have complete versions of all charts in excel, clarifications and can provide them if you email me. Since I never had a formal contract with ICE and I’m offering this for free I can’t imagine anyone will care.  Let’s call this PK.v.2. My most recent version has several more adventures and is hitting 180 pages. With professional artwork, layouts and newer material there is still a publishable product here. 

If you haven’t followed my blogs here, Priest-King is actually Chapter 2 in the middle of my extended “The Grand Campaign”. Chapter 3, The Empire of the Black Dragon segues into one of the Dragonlords storylines and injects the PC’s into the world spanning battle with the Jerak Ahrenrath and the Eyes. Heady stuff in my campaign!!

So while this is rough, it’s also free. How about this as an idea? If you want to contribute to this, help with one of the floorplans, or insert an idea etc, let me know. We can crowdsource this a bit and make it even better. I’m open to that and can focus on all my other projects!

13 Replies to “The Priest-King of Shade”

  1. I feel your pain! I started working on my stuff back in 2011 and having it just float there is an experience. Good to see you’ve been able to make the leap and get something out there so you can work on other things.

  2. Welcome back!

    Even a quick scan shows there is lots of great stuff in that module! The first map is actually pretty good.

    I’m not graphics/layout person, but if you need any help with content or anything like that, I will endeavour to be useful.

    1. I’m hoping that a few people might want to contribute here and there: a layout, graphic, illustration etc. I can then update the file and republish. I’m going to continue to update it myself, I have a few more adventures in the Sunken City, an encounter with the Chaal-chu reavers I will post up. Maybe over time it can be turned into a fully finished product!

  3. Wow. Simply wow! I am only on page 4, and yes, I read every line of the table of contents and it is amazing. I can’t wait to get deeper into this read.

  4. Boy, does this bring up memories! In the ’90s, I sold my campaign country to ICE. It was similarly detailed, but not quite as far. It’s what you know as Nomads – after I had to really torque it to fit ShadowWorld. But once it was published, getting the royalties was an exercise in shouting into the void. I eventually regained the copyright because they failed to pay me. I’ve been expanding and detailing the country for almost 30 years now, as time permitted, and may someday self-publish it.
    I appreciate that (1) that was a different ICE, and (2) they’ve got other priorities. But failing to respond to contributors or customers isn’t going to build loyalty.

    1. I didn’t know that! I still have my copy of Nomads by the way. You should self-publish your setting, even if you can’t make it RM-compatible – that’s assuming you go the commercial route anyway. I’ve seen a few people publish their original campaign settings.

  5. Wow. Thanks, egdcltd and Hurin! I’ve got a lot of aggregating to do, to put anything out. I guess I also had the impression, generally, from the Forums, that the non-Amthor elements of SW were pretty unpopular. (And I don’t take that personally, to be clear.) If you have specific questions or pieces you’re interested in, feel free to message me on the Forums or start a thread asking about it (probably best in RM2, since that’s where I focus) and I’ll share.

    1. Well, there’s a difference between placing it in Shadow World and creating it as your own setting. Just because something didn’t work, or fit right, in one setting doesn’t mean it can’t work as its own.

      Take a look at Friends of Eldoria on RPGNow (this springs to mind because the publisher recently sent me a free supplement to review) which is a several decades old setting that is being published for Pathfinder. It’s probably been available for other systems over the years; I know there was a D&D 3.5 setting previously and, given the age, it probably started out as even earlier versions.

      The biggest problem you’ll probably have, if you decide to go down the commercial route (which is fun and feeds my supplement buying habit!), is that you’ll most likely need to strip the Rolemaster stuff out. Either go generic, like Harn was (before HarnMatser) and Arcana from Avalon Game Company is, publish for an OGL system or create your own.

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