View Full Version : Previews for The Breaking of Forstor Nagar

08-24-2011, 12:57 PM
http://fantasticmaps.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/breakingcoverweb.jpg?w=230&h=300 (http://paizo.com/store/byCompany/c/cubicle7/pathfinderRPG/v5748btpy8n0c/discuss)
The Breaking of Forstor Nagar (http://paizo.com/store/byCompany/c/cubicle7/pathfinderRPG/v5748btpy8n0c/discuss) has been marinading for a while and I'm really proud to announce that it will be released tomorrow. The adventure is an 8th level adventure for the Pathfinder game set in a city carved out of the living ice of the Forstorheim glacier. The city is under siege and the adventurers must break through the enemy lines, secure the target and escape. Of course, it's never quite that simple...

You can already preview the pdf over on RPGNow (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=91269&affiliate_id=203141&src=RiteQuickstart) and order print or pdf on Paizo (http://paizo.com/store/byCompany/c/cubicle7/pathfinderRPG/v5748btpy8n0c/discuss) (as well as reading some of the nice things people are saying about it).

The adventure was written by the multi-talented Ben McFarland (Streets of Zobeck, Kobold Quarterly), edited by Mark Moreland (since abducted to Seattle by the Golarion goblins and hard at work in the Paizo mines), beautifully illustrated by Tyler Bartley (http://www.tylerbartley.blogspot.com/) and the token art for the panoply of monsters was done by Devin Night (http://www.immortalnights.com/tokensite/index.html), the original and greatest illustrator of VTT tokens. I put together the maps and sorted out the maptool integration. The adventure is published by Rite Publishing (http://ritepublishing.com/), organised and corralled by Steve Russell and made possible by the involvement of the patrons.

The adventure has 9 encounters - taking the PCs from their first encounter at the mouth of the glacier, right into the heart of the icy city in its final death throes. It's great to see a designer at work. Ben avoided predictable encounters, offering twists and catches throughout the story to really keep players on their toes. Those kind of encounters are fun to make maps for.


But this post is to to show you a little of the maptool (http://www.rptools.net/) nuts and bolts. I put together a minimalistic Pathfinder framework in maptool to run this. The design philosophy was to have a simple, clean interface with attractive UI elements that put everything you need to run the adventure at your finger tips. I've held off from overly automating play. Pathfinder is an exceptions based system. I want my players to wat to throw snow in their enemies eyes or leap from a bridge to slide down a sail. I don't want the GM to say they can't do that because 'there's no button for it'. Here's a video that shows what I mean (best watched full screen):

(be nice - it's my first shot at a screencast)

Here's a few screenshots that show off a bit of the functionality:


All the encounter text in the pdf is already built into the maptool campaign. Each button shows the corresponding section of text for the GM for quick reference - with read aloud sections clearly marked. I love the CSS tools in maptool. They make for some pretty looking dialogs.


The CSS in maptool allows us to style the stat blocks to match the formats that are the industry standard, so all the information is where you expect it. Each stat block can be accessed with a single click from any token, and it not only reflects the standard information, but also the current state of health of the token in question. Mousing over a token gives a short summary of the most useful information.


Spells (and other useful rules) are hyperlinked directly to the Pathfinder Reference Document on the Paizo site for quick reference during game play.


Hit a Full Attack button on a monster and the chat window shows a full breakdown of the attack, with each dice roll if you mouse over the value. This is only shown to the GM, so that you can make any adjustments before telling the players their fate. This makes life easy for the GM, whilst not surrendering any of the control.

This is in addition to all the normal functionality of maptool that makes it great, such as:

Dynamic vision and line of sight with vision blocking topology
Online play
Dice rolling
Initiative management
Cross-platform support - works on Mac, Linux and Windows just as easily

I really wanted to create a commercial adventure that really shows off the power of maptool as a game aid. If I were running a face to face adventure, I'd still have maptool running on my own side of the screen because it makes play so much quicker. The fact that it works as an online tabletop is really just icing on the cake.

Check it out (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=91269&affiliate_id=203141&src=RiteQuickstart). If you have any questions, send me an email (mailto:jonathan@fantasticmaps.com).

Edit: Steve Russell of Rite Publishing has put together a trailer video for Breaking which shows off a few more of the maps and some details of Devin's lovely tokens. Check it out!


The project now has 5 5* reviews and some talk of 'best of 2011'. Couldn't be happier with it :)

08-24-2011, 01:03 PM
Looks awesomely cool.

08-24-2011, 02:14 PM
Wow, great job T! Your work is a constant source of inspiration to me.


08-24-2011, 04:46 PM
I have no idea how you can keep up with all of the stuff you have to make...that, itself, is pretty awesome.

08-24-2011, 09:12 PM
This came together nicely, a lot of that has your stamp on it Jon... nice job, the maps are spectacular.

Steel General
08-25-2011, 11:53 AM

08-25-2011, 12:32 PM
Thanks guys! And Devin's being modest - all the trade dress is his, and has been winning him major plaudits in the reviews ("gorgeous layout", "stunningly beautiful layout for this pdf, which actually surpasses most rpg-books I've seen") The tokens are great too. I particularly like the monkeys but the rhino knights are just fantastic.

Two 5* reviews up on Paizo today (http://paizo.com/store/byCompany/c/cubicle7/pathfinderRPG/v5748btpy8n0c/reviews#tabs) - that's a nice thing to wake up to on a product launch day! Some of my favourite snippets:

"If there ever was a beautiful rpg-book that screamed "I'm a high-quality" premium product when looking at it, this is it." - Thilo Graf (Endzeitgeist)

"Ben McFarland and Jonathan Roberts make a fantastic combination of skilled adventure designers, clear and descriptive prose writers and crafters of clear, colorful and excellently supported maps. Combined with the gorgeous layout and nice little graphic element touches, such as tokens for cardstock whether for Maptool or not, make this a must-buy adventure. This well-crafted adventure scores a full 5 of 5 stars." - Dawn Fischer

"This pdf is Ben McFarland's roaring rampage through an insidiously well-crafted, yet simple plot ... This pdf is a stellar example of peak performance of all the talents that go into crafting a good book ... this adventure will be sure to reemerge in my third party publisher's top ten list of 2011, it's that good." - Thilo Graf

Yep, that'll do nicely :) Huge thanks to Dawn Fischer and Thilo for their thorough reviews.

And congratulations and many thanks to +Ben McFarland +Mark Moreland +Devin Night Tyler Bartley, +Steve Russell and all the patrons for the hard work that made this possible.

08-28-2011, 02:59 AM
Nice vid showing off the features and congrats on tearing it up on the charts :)

Glad to hear this is really moving along now.

08-28-2011, 02:09 PM
Congrats, Devin and Torstan...what an unbeatable combination!!!

08-30-2011, 10:26 AM
New trailer by Steve Russell added to the original post. I love the music he found for it!

08-30-2011, 01:03 PM
looks great torstan, nice work and congrats on the reviews... you're a busy man - do you even have time for your day job? *lol*

01-27-2012, 11:56 AM
I know this is a bit of a thread resurrection, but this adventure just got a phenomenal review on the front page of ENWorld: http://www.enworld.org/forum/en-world-official-reviews/317323-review-breaking-forstor-nagar-rite-publishing.html

Very, very happy with the response this adventure's picking up.

01-27-2012, 12:42 PM
gratz man!