Colin Le Sueur

Mysteries of the Mists for Zine Quest 3 – Launching 01 February 2021

Mysteries of the Mists

Mysteries of the Mists is a collection of the new monstersspells, and magic items created for The Howling Caverns and Colossus Wake, packaged in one compact zine.

10 new monsters to challenge your players with, 4 new spells to encourage greater creativity in play, and 16 new magic items to get out of difficult situations.

The PDF version is fulfilled by DriveThruRPG or The physical book will be A5 paperback format, and professionally printed to a high standard.

3 horrifying monsters from my first 5e horror module The Howling Caverns:

  • The Gharblest (CR 3): A terrifying mix of the ruthless ferocity of a goblin and the raw power of a Barghest
  • Qalupalik (CR 3): Slinking from the frozen sea to drag unsuspecting prey into the endless abyss
  • Wereowl (CR 1): Swift and merciless but easily distracted by shiny things

And 7 monsters appearing in the follow-up Colossus Wake:

  • Chittering mimic (CR 4): A terrifyingly nimble mimic variant that unleashes a stream of disorienting gibberish
  • Gelatinous pond (CR 4): Rarer and deadlier than their cuboid relations, able to hide in plain sight for years before striking
  • The Scarlet Jack (CR 21): The manifestation of a broken vow, heartless and unstoppable
  • Sendrak (CR 10): Nightmare made flesh in the twisted form of a dragon
  • Silvertongue (CR 5): Charming half-devil specialising in intrigue and subterfuge
  • Traitor’s Heart (CR 4): A black heart twisted by betrayal refuses to die; the heartbeat of death approaches
  • Violet pudding (CR 4): Magical corruption taken physical form, spreads chaos and death

4 versatile new spells:

  • Song of Steel (2nd)
  • Speak with Stone (1st)
  • Temper Weapon (2nd)
  • Words Take Flight (1st)

16 remarkable magic items:

  • Blade of the NornsA sickle with the power to snip the threads of fate
  • Coronal of InsightCrown of an eldritch being of nightmare bringing with it the curse of knowledge
  • Egil’s FuryEnchanted longbow imbued with frost, fire, and lightning
  • The Elder HornSummon an ally or broadcast your intentions to the world
  • The Eye of DawnA morning star forged by the Sun god, destined to burn the undead
  • Formless ClayShape a small ally to fight by your side
  • Hardened HeartOnce-living heart twisted and corrupted by hatred hardens your own in turn
  • Indomitable GreataxeConquer the demon fear and overcome all odds
  • Mirror ShieldDeflect a magical force and reflect it upon your foe
  • Radiant SphereDispel the darkness in a crash of brilliance
  • Raven DirkVanish in a flurry of black feathers and reappear to deliver a fatal strike
  • The Scarlet JackA cursed coin and manifestation of the cost of a broken vow
  • The Scintillating WrenSummon an enchanted bird to act as guide and familiar
  • Truemetal CircletBestows ancient magical knowledge and power long thought lost
  • Volundr’s ChainGod-forged iron chain said to summon a soldier of flame
  • Wings of SteelGlide on the winds with these exquisite dwarven bracers

Launching on 01 February and running for 2 weeks. Back at higher levels to get copies of The Howling Caverns and Colossus Wake.

Stretch goals include a deluxe hardcover edition with new art from fantasy legend Ralph Horsley!

Colossus Wake (5e)

A Lost Valley Warded by Powerful Magic. An Ancient Defender Awoken and Turned Destroyer.

Colossus Wake A5 Cover New

An epic fantasy adventure for the 5th Edition of the world's greatest roleplaying game, for 3-5 3rd level characters

The last bastion of light and hope in a mist-covered accursed land, the Occluded Valley is threatened by an ancient colossus.

Can a stalwart group of adventurers traverse the divided valley and scale the Colossus before it leaves annihilation in its wake?

  • Journey deeper into Boroz, a dread and mist-cursed land of adventure
  • Perfect for new players and dungeon masters
  • Designed to easily pick up and play at the table
  • Key information all on the page
  • 116 pages
  • Evocative new spells and 8 terrifying new monsters
  • Powerful magic items forged by gods and chaos
  • A new elven subrace and cleric domain: Nightmare

Gather around the table with hearty companions and enter a thrilling world of adventure!

Available now:

DriveThruRPG (PDF): (PDF):

Coming soon:

By Odin's Beard (Print, UK):

The Ticking Clock: Time-based RPG objectives

I've started planning my next adventure module and I'm thinking of including a ticking clock scenario. Essentially, the players will have a limited amount of in-game time to complete an objective. If they take too much time or ignore the task, there will be an irrevocable change to the game setting. However, unlike video games, there's no hard fail state in tabletop RPGs, short of a total party kill. If the characters fail the task, the world keeps going.

I've discovered there's a fine balance in planning ticking clock scenarios. Make it too difficult and the players won't engage. Too easy and the players get bored. I also don't want to over-complicate things for the dungeon master or players by having loads of calculations to track. I'm happy to do the heavy lifting when it comes to calculations but the DM should be able to pick it up and say "in the amount of time you have, you can do this or this but not both."

I'm also thinking about when to trigger the ticking clock. Do I let the players get a feel for the new area first or drop them in it right away? Does it happen before or after the dungeon? At the moment I have it in my head that they'll need to get through the dungeon before the deadline but this limits the amount of exploration and interaction.

As with my previous adventure, I'll playtest the new module to get a better feel of what works best, both for the DM and the players.

Do you have any experience designing or running an RPG ticking clock? Any pitfalls I should look out for?

The Howling Caverns (5e)

A horror fantasy adventure for 3-5 1st level characters

The hunched beast prowls the forest, sniffing at the still air. The roiling sky flashes and thunder breaks the silence. The time is near and the beast senses it. The monstrous form bounds toward the darkened village, a demonic howl in its throat...

Shipwrecked on a perilous shore, a group of adventurers stumble into a blighted land and come face to face with a great black beast with a terrible curse.

Can they unravel the mystery and solve the Barghest's curse before it’s too late?

  • 54 pages, 10 locations, 10 dungeon rooms
  • Over 20 original illustrations
  • Inspired by English folklore
  • Emphasis on exploration, interaction, and usability
  • Compatible with other 5e dark fantasy horror campaigns

"Impressive effort for a first offering and can easily trump a lot of WOTC/Paizo offerings." - Bryce Lynch,

Available now:

By Odin's Beard RPG (Print, UK):

Exalted Funeral (Print, US):

DriveThruRPG (PDF): (PDF):