I'm so excited that my new original adventure, Sleeping Giant Mountain, was released earlier this week! The response has been so amazing so far and I can't wait to hear how people explore Kaiva!
This story was really different than anything I've written before. I tend to write very character-driven stories, and there's only ONE character in Sleeping Giant Mountain (to be fair, she is a super rad woman named Silja.) I start each campaign with a question: what kind of adventure do I want to play? I think the best stories begin with our own desires. So, I wanted to write something that was very focused on exploration that still had a very distinct atmosphere. Here's an early moodboard I made for it:
The story is about a race of elemental giants who have been banished to wild abandoned planet called Kaiva and have remained in stasis for centuries, thanks to a lich's curse. An archaeologist named Silja has spent her life studying the giants and wants the giants to be awakened so they can claim Kaiva as their home. To get to Kaiva, characters must step through a portal that has appeared in the Forgotten Realms. I was initially inspired by this portal depicted in this piece of art by Andrei Pintea:
Giants are fascinating to me, and I was inspired by the mountain range in Forgotten Realms called "Spine of the World." What if the spine wasn't a metaphor, but once belonged to an actual giant? From there I came up with some lore for the backstory.
Beyond that, the story is a pretty straightforward quest — go into a mountain and break a curse by defeating the enemies who protect it. Rather than having an elaborate system of traps, I thought it'd be fun to just use the natural challenges of a mountain, such as slippery ice, dark tunnels, and treacherous ledges.
I enjoy writing stories in which mountains play an important role. I live in Northern Nevada and I absolutely love the Sierra Nevada mountains; I see them every single day and they never fail to inspire awe.
My favorite part of this adventure is the unique mechanic I created for it called prismatic flux. At the start of the quest, each character is given a gemstone found around the perimeter of the portal.
The gemstones have magical properties that trigger a "prismatic flux," impacting the story in different ways and aiding the characters through encounters and challenges. Because this is such an elemental story, I thought gemstones were a fun way to capture that and reward players with a unique item. (Clearly I have crystals and gems on the brain, because minerals play a huge role in my upcoming full campaign, The Fractures.)
Sleeping Giant Mountain is the first in a quadrant I'm calling the Giants of Kaiva series. The next installment probably won't be out for a few months since I have some other projects coming out before then, but I am excited to explore all of Kaiva's lore and diverse ecosystems. For now, you can experience Kaiva by downloading the free one-shot or listening to my playlist below!