Gloamhold Status Update: The End of the Beginning

I think it’s time to update you all on my Gloamhold progress. As you’ve no doubt noticed over the last few months I’ve been slowly posting up overviews of each main area within the megadungeon along with insights into my design decisions.



I think I’ve reached the point now where I need to start “serious/proper” design.

Gloamhold Campaign Guide

Gloamhold_CG 220

Last week, I carved out some time to think about what a Gloamhold Campaign Guide would look like. (If you know me, you’ll know I work best to a plan)

I’ve received a fair few messages and inquiries regarding the ruleset I’ll be utilising for Gloamhold. I’ve been a little torn on this, but (surprisingly—at least to me) most messages have been in support of making the initial release systemless. This has surprised me as subconciously I’d simply assumed I’d be using the Pathfinder ruleset (and that most of you reading this play Pathfinder).

The more I thought about it, though, the more the idea intrigued me. It would be marvellous to get Gloamhold into as many people’s hands as possible, and this seems a great way of achieving my goal. Thus, I’ve decided the initial campaign guide will be editionless—at least as far as this is possible. Many things (fighters, elves, dwarves, wizards/magic-users and so on) appear in every edition of the game, and even something doesn’t any halfway decent GM should be able to modify these barebones to suit his own setting and ruleset of choice.


I’ve been in discussions with Tommi Salama (who does most of the maps over at Raging Swan Press) and he’s heroically offered to undertake Gloamhold’s maps. That’s tremendously marvellous as I love Tommi’s hand-drawn style and I think it fits perfectly with the Old School feel which will pervade the whole project. All I have to do is contract Tommi and unleash him. First up, is a large scale area map of the Duchy of Ashlar. After that, overview maps of Gloamhold itself are most definitely in order. I don’t know when Tommi will be able to start—I keep him pretty busy with normal Raging Swan stuff, but hopefully we’ll be able to get going soon.

The Next Step

As I alluded above, I’ve spent quite some time storyboarding the Gloamhold Campaign Guide. I’m not ready to share the results of that process yet—I suspect it will change somewhat before I settle on a final version—but it’s given me a great base from which to work. Part of the book will (obviously) encompass detailed descriptions of each main level or area of the megadungeon. It seems like a good idea, therefore, to actually write-up one such area and see how much material I can cram into six pages. (Ideally, each main area will have a six-page writeup, which translates to around 5,000 words).

Thus, I’ve decided to design the Ruins of Greystone as it’s likely one of the first places the PCs will explore. Once I’ve finished a first draft, I’ll post up a PDF here for discussion and feedback. I’m not sure how long that will take and as I’m able I’ll post additional material to Greystone’s page so you can see how things are coming along.

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Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

7 thoughts on “Gloamhold Status Update: The End of the Beginning”

  1. Going systemless makes a great deal of sense to me.

    I have long maintained that the mechanics, the system, are the least interesting part of adventure design.

    Give me a compelling story, give me interesting relationships to explore (and exploit), and I couldn’t care less about what dice get rolled when.

    (ObLink) When I did my node-based megadungeon I went out of my way to ignore mechanical consideration, at least for the level at which I was working. Mechanics come much, much later. I even fancied the idea of stopping at a middle-point of design, where roughly the relationships and coarse maps were done, and releasing it to the wild at that point to see what people did with it.

    How the fleshed out the smaller bits, what systems they played under, what strange consequences of PC interference came about….

  2. Love this Creighton, cant wait for these and glad you are going editionless and hope it caries over to Gloamhold, or at least Gloamhold caries over to being used with 5th edition.

    Thank you Sir. God Bless

  3. You make great stuff Creighton, I’m glad to see you considering going systemless! A lot of your products translate well to the OSR. It would be good to see more of them like that.

    1. Thanks for the kind words! I can reveal that I have systemless versions of GM’s Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing and Wilderness Dressing in the works! Hopefully you’ll check them out!

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