August 26, 2008

"Tinglefoot, Tinglefoot, Tinglefoot Cube" Rediscovered...

Many moons ago I submitted an adventure to DUNGEON magazine. I think it was sometime in 2001. It was the only (gaming related) thing I have ever written that I felt was worthy of possibly being published. I was sure that it would get rejected. I was a complete amateur (still am), and had zero experience with creative writing or formal adventure design (still do). But, much to my surprise my proposal was returned with positive reviews from the Editor (Chris Thomasson), only he suggested I rework the ending a bit and then resubmit. I was stoked. My inner-geek was all giddy with nerdrenaline.

There was a 'problem' though. I was in the middle of working on my doctorate at the time and I ended up not being able to find the time to put the new revisions together. The material I had produced ended up buried in some folder on an external firewire drive. After a while, it was a forgotten brick of text. It may have been forgotten forever too, if I hadn't been poking around on said harddrive last weekend.

Here's an excerpt from my DUNGEON proposal:
"... At the adventure’s start the heroes meet Beret Tinglefoot at a roadside tavern while on their way to Enstad. They find him to be a talkative gnomish merchant with a dark sense of humor. He explains that he has traveled far and wide the known realms, selling everything and anything that can be carried on the back of his pack mule, Gordi. On this particular occasion, he suggests that he “quite assuredly” has things of interest to a group of “heroes” such as themselves (which he does, but at slightly inflated prices). During this encounter, the PCs undoubtedly notice an unfinished, yet ornate, wooden cube among his wares. After quickly hiding it from further scrutiny, Beret explains it is absolutely not for sale, being a present for one of his nephews in Tarkenook. The cube, however, serves as an important clue for the upcoming adventure.

Beret has a soft spot for conversation, no matter how trivial. Through role playing, the PCs may discover that he often travels to Enstad and Verbobonc for business. If asked about the trouble in Enstad, they find Beret knows only the common rumors. Inquisitive players find that he resides in Tarkenook, a small gnomish community in the Kron Hills, and that he maintains a shop in nearby Enstad, “The Tinglefoot Tinkerer”. The Adventure Prologue should provide the PC’s with a memorable encounter with a rather unusual gnomish merchant, as well as give them the opportunity to lighten their purses a bit with some new gear ..."

With the rediscovery of "Tinglefoot, Tinglefoot, Tinglefoot Cube", I remembered that I invested a respectable chunk of time with it. Having it "go to waste" would be a shame - so I was thinking that I might solicit the opinions of the few readers I have of this blog to see what I should do with it.

Should I...
  1. Put all the materials together, as suggest by Chris Thomasson in 2001, and submit them to the _new_ DUNGEON magazine (aka DDI)?
  2. Trickle out the materials here at The Core Mechanic, and get feedback from the community at large? This seems viable, I only wonder if this is the wrong venue for it.
  3. Package the materials into a nice and tidy PDF with the help of my sister (she's an illustrator) and then sell it _cheap_ on with a free-preview via the blog?
  4. Submit the adventure to KOBOLD, or some other small-press magazine?
  5. Or something else?
The adventure is basically a 3E adventure that was set in Greyhawk - but it could be easily ported to some any other setting or even a generic setting.



  1. I'd vote for #1- Chris Thomasson (now Youngs) is still in charge of reviewing applications, so he may have fond memories of it. Plus they're definitely looking for articles for Dungeon and Dragon. The money isn't great, but it'd probably do better than selling it yourself through Lulu.

  2. Personally, I think I would post a series of blogs and articles about the methods you went about in creating the adventure, as well as some things that may have changed in the seven years since you originally wrote it. Maybe even set up a new category on the blog for once-a-week posts about the adventure.

    Any way you do it though, it sounds like something I would love to read about, so I hope to see more!

  3. I would opt for #1, too. BUT you'll have to rewrite it probably to D&D 4th Edition since I don't think they'll "print" 3E stuff in the new Dungeon magazine. If you don't want to do that, why not release it via Lulu or for free on your site.

  4. My suggestion is Nick Logue and Sinister Adventures. It is your best option for the adventure. Since it is set in Greyhawk you might even offer it up to The Oerth Journal.


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