Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Through Ultan's Door Does ZineQuest 3!

 


I will be launching Through Ultan's Door Issue 3 on Kickstarter for ZineQuest 3. 

I know this has been a long time coming. This new issue is more ambitious than the previous issues. I hope it's worth the wait. Through Ultan's Door 3 presents a pointcrawl along the Great Sewer River that winds its way beneath Zyan, flying city of the dreamlands. The pointcrawl connects the dungeons from issues 1 & 2 with 7 other locations. 

It introduces an entire settlement, the Sanitarium of the Benefactors, and numerous factions including the the sewer wyrm Cephaia, Prophetess of the Muddled Waters; her rival the Cranemay, melancholy fey witch; the Regulators of the Black Hand, dread sewer pirates; the Sons and Daughters of the Vigilant Watchers, ancient sewer mercenaries; and, best of all, the Lurid Toads, ominously polite cannibalistic parasites. It has a big sewer encounter table that brings the otherworldly sewer-of-the-dreamlands vibe hard. It even has rules for playing an opium dreaming wizard. 


Through Ultan's Door 3 was just too much Zyan to contain in one zine. So it's a double issue, with a Part I and a Part II. Each of these parts is its own 28 page zine, with a detachable cover with a map printed on its interior like an old school module, and a separate encounter card, so you can have the map, key, and encounters all open simultaneously at the table without any extra printing when you run. 

This extra room has also allowed me to commission more exquisite art for the zine than ever before. Through Ultan's Door 1 had two artists, Huargo and Gus. Through Ultan's Door 2, had five artists, Russ Nicholson, Huargo, Gus, Jeremy Duncan, and Orphicss. Through Ultan's Door 3 has no less than seven artists (!) who are creating the best art the zine has ever had. I'll introduce them in another post, but suffice it to say that Nicholson, Huargo, Gus, and Orphicss are back along with 3 amazing artists new to the zine. 

As if all this weren't enough, Gus has written an entire companion adventure to Through Ultan's Door 3, titled Beneath the Moss Courts. It picks up one of the hidden locations from the sewer point crawl, the wreck of the Verdant Purveyor, the base of operations for the Regulators of the Black Circle, dread sewer pirates, and expands it into an entire siege adventures that also reaches up into the law offices of Zyan Above. It contains the first published glimpse of the city that sits atop the dungeons and sewers of issues 1-3. This adventure is also being printed as a 40 page zine, with its own detachable cover, encounter card, and a second map insert with notes on running a siege adventure. So that's three separate zines with a total of 96 pages of the dreamlands. 


I will also be reprinting Through Ultan's Door 1 & 2 for the Kickstarter. So if you missed physical copies the first time around you'll have the chance to get them. Together, the first three issues are enough to launch your own campaign in the dreamlands and sustain maybe the first 30 sessions of lucid dreaming sandbox play.

The good news is that layout on Through Ultan's Door 3 Beneath the Moss Courts is done. All the remaining art pieces have been commissioned, and all should be in hand by the end of February. What the Kickstarter will allow me to do is scale up the printing, so that I can print large quantities of all three issues of the zine, including the first two back issues, and Gus' companion adventure. I'm also going to pay to have the local printer I work with assemble the zines this time around. 

Don't worry about the physical quality of the zine. I'll still be using my fancy French Paper Co. paper, a full pallet of which arrive not long ago. The printing technique and quality of the images will be the same as previous issues. The only difference will be that they are folded, stapled, and trimmed by professionals with the proper tools to do it at scale. In other words, each issue will just contain a little bit less of my sweat and tears. I don't think they make the zine taste any sweeter.    

In case you are wondering, this is what a pallet of paper looks like

I will be shipping the zines worldwide, bagged, and in cardboard boxes as USPS first class packages, hopefully with tracking. (Given the zine specs I can't use media mail, or mail them as letters, or even flats.) Shipping prices being what they are at the moment, shipping won't be cheap, which I hate. I also understand there may be some of you who would like to buy the zine but are unable to do so on Kickstarter. Don't fret. Right after I ship out the zines to backers, I will put it on sale on my normal big cartel webstore, and upload the PDFs to DriveThruRPG and itch.io. 

So anyway, look for a Through Ultan's Door Kickstarter on ZineQuest 3 in the first week of February! Although I will admit to having had a couple of stress dreams about running my first Kickstarter, I'm getting excited.


8 comments:

  1. !!!

    *Very* hyped to see this, and eager to back! :D

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  2. Congratulations!! The anticipation will be .... nigh unbearable (not that I really have a choice) to see the results of all the hard work.

    This sounds like it will be another fantastic production, raising the already high bar of its predecessors.

    Keep up the great work!

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  3. And here I was just thinking "Whatever happened to TUD #3? Did I miss it?"

    Good luck with the kickstarter, really looking forward to this!

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  4. This is pretty much at the top of my list!

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  5. Fantastic news! Gorgeous cover images there, I am looking forward to grabbing a copy.

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