Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Kickstarter - Advanced Ancient Academy (OSE/OSR)

It's that time of the year at Kickstarter - ZineQuest is here!

For our first ZineQuest entry, we are going to take a look at Advanced Ancient Academy by Stuart Robertson. Mike and I just had Stuart on Talking Crit, our weekly Wednesday Night Youtube Livestream.

Advanced Ancient Academy has its roots in a one-page dungeon submission from a decade or so ago, and via the Advanced Ancient Academy Kickstarter it is growing to full zine size :)

Advanced Ancient Academy is a dungeon adventure zine for Old School Essentials, suitable for a party of low level adventurers. Filled with bandits, cultists, goblins, and skeletons, Advanced Ancient Academy is designed to be an introduction for new players, or the foundation for a new campaign for veteran gamers. As our kickstarter funding progresses there is the potential to unlock more content, turning the zine into a mini mega-dungeon, and even a small campaign setting.

The original Ancient Academy was published a decade ago as part of the One Page Dungeon contest, as an experiment in packing the most dungeon I could onto a single sheet of paper. Most of my original notes for the adventure had to be condensed to the absolute minimum, with many rooms only having 7 or 8 word descriptions. A great deal of the mystery behind the academy could only be hinted at with a few random objects I could squeeze in alongside the functional details of the 39 locations in the adventure.

The adventure has been downloaded thousands of times over the years, and often recommended as a good starting adventure for new campaigns. The one recurring complaint that I see, usually by people unfamiliar with the original contest, is that it's too terse and they would enjoy more details. When I've run this adventure for my own players it's been with those extra details that other games are missing. I'm sure dungeon masters have expanded the game in their own ways, but I've always felt I could have expressed my original intention better without the one-page format.


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