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Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Quick Look at the Guidebook to the City of Dolmvay: Special Edition

For those that don't know, the Guidebook to the City of Dolmvay is an OSR city supplement that is about 90% OGL (the non-OGL content is mostly the regional and world setting material that is touched upon). The Guidebook to the City of Dolmvay is also PWYW in PDF, so you can check it out for free before dropping a dime. There really is no reason for any RPG fan to not have a copy of the PDF.

The Guidebook to the City of Dolmvay: Special Edition is the print / hard cover edition. It includes the low level adventure Oak Grove Whispers, which to the best of my knowledge is available no where else (and is not part of the PWYW PDF). It's a full sized adventure clocking in at 36 pages and makes for an excellent introduction to the City of Dolmvay.

Did I mention the hard cover edition is a mere $19.99? I have no idea how +Pete Spahn was able to reach that price point, but the value for your gaming dollar is excellent, as the whole package clocks in at about 240 pages. (The soft cover of Dolmvay without the adventure clocks in at $13.00 - another amazing value)

That's a thicka booka!
Make sure to stop by Tenkar's Tavern when you visit ;)

From the blurb:

The Guidebook to the City of Dolmvay is a FREE Labyrinth Lord™ supplement that details the people, layout, and government of the City of Dolmvay. The city is presented in broad strokes and is open to customization. It was specifically designed to give Labyrinth Lords a convenient and familiar city setting to place their adventures.

The Guidebook to the City of Dolmvay is largely open content. Small Niche Games would like to encourage professional and amateur publishers to use the Guidebook as a shared city setting and set their commercial adventures within the City of Dolmvay. Labyrinth Lords (and publishers) should feel free to change, add, or remove any of the information in this book to better suit his or her own game.

The Guidebook to the City of Dolmvay contains:

-A breakdown of city-based adventure themes

-History of the City of Dolmvay

-Detailed overview of the City of Dolmvay including government, religion, commerce, and laws and punishment

-Descriptions of over a dozen major festivals

-An overview of the citizens of Dolmvay including a breakdown of social classes, daily life for commoners and nobles, style of dress, arms and armor, rumors and gossip, and common gestures, curses, and phrases

-Layout of the city including details on architecture, street lighting, sanitation, as well as detailed descriptions of the city's wards, districts, quarters, neighborhoods, and businesses

-Descriptions of dozens of factions and stat blocks for hundreds of NPCs

-Descriptions of common shops and businesses, prices for food and lodging, and a dozen sample inns and taverns

-Over 100 unique city encounters

-Over two dozen new plants and monsters

-A detailed description of the religious organization known as the Church of Law and Order including church history and doctrine, major NPCs, and new magic items

-A detailed description of the Dolmvay Adventurer's Guild including training facilities, dungeons, and major NPCs

-A detailed description of the city's magical sewer system including dozens of unique encounters and several sample sewer geomorph maps

-Guidelines for NPC generation including common names, professions, dozens of quirks and traits, and rules for creating unique and interesting 0-level NPCs

-Guidelines for random treasure determination including pick pocket tables and random tables for determining household treasures

This Special Edition Hardcover also contains the full-length adventure Oak Grove Whispers, for 3-6 characters of 1st-3rd level!


  1. Those prices are doable if he doesn't have any plans to sell to distributors or retailers, but just to keep it direct-to-consumers through POD. Looks like he's doubling (or a little less), rather than tripling, the print cost. From what I can see, there's no way he could make any money if he sold to a retailer or distributor for 50% of retail.

  2. That is correct sirs! Full disclosure: The total POD print cost for the GTTCODSE is $13.54. $19.99-13.54 = $6.45. $6.45 - 2.25 (RPGNow's 35% cut) leaves my royalty for each purchase a whopping total of $4.20! My goal is to make a quality product and offer it at an affordable rate. The Kickstarter and some generous PWYW contributions for the PDF allowed me to break even on the map/art/print/ship costs (more or less) so pretty much anything I see from the print editions is pretty much profit. I'm not in this to get rich, obviously. :)

    Tenkar, you forgot to mention this was a Kickstarter "Tavern Pick" that shipped on time! Just trying to lay the groundwork for my future Kickstarters, one of which will be the Guidebook to the Duchy of Valnwall!


  3. Awesome project and a fun setting. Communication done right for this one, imo, as pieces of the draft were sent out to backers at a steady clip. I was reading along as the files arrived to my inbox. Where as I normally wait for completed products and those might get shifted way down the TBR pile since the significant lull between backing and getting a book often means I forget why I backed them sometimes. Good communication and sending out the draft in bits kept me engaged and interested in the material.

  4. Thanks Mr. Spahn for such a nice sourcebook. I just got my kickstarter softcover in the mail yesterday. By far one of the smoothest kickstarters I've ever backed and the book is going to get a pretty good workout too in my next game.

  5. I heartily recommend this, for me it hits the sweet spot of just enough description for me to see angles and hooks to weave in all my random world ideas and adventure ideas, without streightjacketing my thinking. I got the PWYW PDF and will now be picking up the hardcover as I consider this an outstanding source book.

  6. got my softcover in today, what a great Kickstarter experience. can't wait for future SNG products. Between this and the Scarlet Heroes from Kevin Crawford, all Kickstarters need to follow these two in how to complete the deal!

  7. Just out of curiosity, how come this isn't the city outside the megadungeon in our B-Team game?

    1. quite simply i didnt have the book in hand (just PDF) when deciding on the urban area near the Castle of the Mad Archmage.

      if the group wants to go with Dolmvay, I'm in - the group could even hang out at Tenkar's Tavern in the city ;)

    2. Oooooooh. We haven't technically adventured in the city yet, not too late.

  8. I came back with a load of material from Garycon to Mr. Spahn's Dolmvay on my doorstep, it rose to the surface of the reading material, so the timing was great! Also great - The project was delivered on time and as promised, a great first kickstarter that bodes well for future support.