Monday, February 13, 2023

The Black Ballad... A Campaign That Begins Once Your TPK Ends!

Death is the end in most campaigns. Whether you were just starting off your adventuring life, or you stood before the wrath of a great threat and were struck down, if there is no one to call you back from the blackness then that is where your tale ends. But in The Black Ballad, it's where your adventure begins!

This is a project I've been keeping an eye on for a while, but I realized I haven't actually talked about it here on Improved Initiative. And since we're getting pretty close to its release on BackerKit, I figured this would be a good time to give it a shout out!

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What Is The Black Ballad?

The short version is that the Black Ballad is a campaign set in the massive city of Nox Valar in the Sunless Crossing... the world that one finds themselves in after they've died. Where you all go at that point is, at least in part, up to you!

According to the page on Storytellers Forge, there are 10 cinematic chapters to this campaign, and over 30 separate acts, along with multiple side quests. What's even more unique, though, is that unlike other campaigns this one comes with multiple endings and paths as a way to really drive home that the player's have agency to follow the paths they want. Speaking from personal experience, that's something I've never seen before in a campaign book!

This is in addition to presenting the game in a variety of formats for ease of reading, phenomenal work by award-winning artists and writers, and coming with an entire soundtrack to accompany it! Which makes sense when you consider it was inspired by the works of DiAmorte, who has done their part to help bring this project to life.

Speaking of, check out DiAmorte on YouTube to get a taste of their tunes!

Additionally, while The Black Ballad is intended to be compatible with Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, it's also setup in such a way that converting it to any d20 game (such as Pathfinder's 2nd Edition for all the folks who jumped ship during the OGL madness recently) is straightforward and simple. It's even been hinted by Rick Heinz, the writing director on the project, that there may be different editions available depending on what game folks prefer to play.

Now, if you checked out the links for the project, and you think the idea of a game that takes place after everyone has died and finds themselves in that nexus of the dead, make sure you check out The Black Ballad on BackerKit! It's launching on March 7, 2023, so depending on when you read this blog will depend on what you find.

So, here's hoping to see you there when the Ballad begins!

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