"Oh cool... So you're STILL working on this?" -- A guy at GenCon

"If I see Drah-koo-lah, I will. kick. him. in. the eye!!!" -- My 4 (almost 5) year old daughter. She GETS it!

"Meatpie Forever!" -- A playtester at GenCon 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tales from the Tomb: Humble Beginnings?

It's hard to believe but I started working on Transylvanian Adventures back in 2007. The impetus was a series of threads on a number of role-playing game sites debating the value of a Hammer Horror style of game. It was the conversations in these threads that steeled my resolve to undertake what I'd hoped would be the definitive Hammer Horror RPG.

Back in the early days, the biggest thing with which I struggled was finding a system to use as a base for Transylvanian Adventures. I vacillated between Barbarians of Lemuria and Swords and Wizardry, while devouring hours and hours of much-beloved Hammer films and reading page-after-page of Gothic horror. It was a time-warp back to my youth, when a Slurpee and the latest Tomb of Dracula was all I needed to dull the doldrums. In all honesty, it was probably my favorite slice of the early days of Transylvanian Adventures.

As time went on, I began collecting research on Romania and Transylvania, even briefly interviewing people who had lived in Transylvania and grown up in the region. All the while, I was testing out my ideas on the system and systemic changes that would be needed to create a game I would be proud to add to my own collection. It was around this time I decided the game needed levels. Levels, tried and true, encouraged repeated play. And I found the familiar mechanics of saving throws, hit points, and armor class to be just fine -- even preferable.

Shortly thereafter, Joseph Goodman announced his intention to publish Dungeon Crawl Classics and his approach resonated with me. What he was attempting to accomplish with DCC RPG and Appendix N was exactly what I wanted to do with Hammer Horror and Transylvanian Adventures.

Since then, Joseph, the Goodman Games team, and the community over at the Goodman Games forum have been incredibly supportive of the project. They have validated over and over my decision to marry this labor of love to DCC RPG. Thank you all. And especially Joseph for providing the template and the system upon which Transylvanian Adventures is built.

I also need to thank two more people besides Joseph Goodman. The first is Daniel Bishop who signed on to help with the project in any way possible way back before anyone had heard of it. Daniel was the very first artist to work on Transylvanian Adventures. 

Second, I have to recognize the contributions of Doug Kovacs. Getting the opportunity to work with Doug was one of the greatest privileges I've experienced in my time creating Transylvanian Adventures. Doug came in at a time when the project was stuck in neutral. Without Doug, this book would not be here.

He showed Transylvanian Adventures the way home.

Which brings us nicely to the next topic. Transylvanian Adventures is available now for PDF download. It's 300 pages and is on sale for $12.99.

And here is a look at Doug's outstanding cover art. One of my favorite pieces.

Happy Halloween.


  1. Does it include the Transylvanian Grimoire?

  2. The Transylvanian Grimoire will be a separate book. Transylvanian Adventures is 300 pages. The Grimoire will likely be in that range as well. The next book to be released is the Hanging Judge's Guide to Transylvania. I'd expect it sometime next year, possibly sooner if Transylvanian Adventures does well.

    Transylvanian Adventures does include 3 spells, as well as advice as to which spells from DCC RPG would work with it. Parts of the Transylvanian Grimoire may be released earlier. But the full book is at least a year away.

  3. Just picked up a copy and flipped (or "clicked" i guess) through the first few sections -- looks like a blast! I'm already thinking of a Captain Chronos and Peter Vincent team-up...

  4. Congratulations on your release.I just plucked it off of RPGNow. I first heard about Transylvanian Adventures from you at Gen Con this year and have been excited to dig into it since then. I ran The Winter Home for my regular DCC group and they loved it - so I can't wait to run them through some more Hammer Horror. Thanks for all the hard work!


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