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Welcome to the jungles… of Kalmatta

Eric and I are making great progress with The Treasure Vaults of Zadabad. Most of the content is written and placed into a play-test document, production tests are successful, maps are mostly done, and illustrations are at least planned. I’ll be working on the illustrations as play-testing gets underway.

Early production test of cover and page count.

I wanted to share some stats of the upcoming hex-crawl, but keep in mind that these will probably change by the time we’re done. I imagine we’ll have more!

  • Keyed Encounters: 16
  • Monster stat blocks: 40
  • Maps: 6
  • Rooms to Explore: 40
  • Square miles/kilometers on the island: Approx. 4,898 miles/ 7,882 kilometers
  • Native tribes: 2
  • Plagues: 1
  • Tombs: 3
  • Shrines to dead gods: 3

I was hoping to start play-tests this week, but I’d like a few more days to read through it, finish the last few encounters, and get the maps imported into Roll20.

If you have any questions about the hex crawl, comment below!


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The Snaptrap Jungle Minion

In our upcoming adventure The Treasure Vaults of Zadabad, there will be an opportunity for characters to learn how to create their own jungle minions through various rituals. The kudzu minion, toadstool minion, and orchid minion, which all have different abilities. You might consider them something between hireling and familiar. As a freebie, we’re sharing the snaptrap minion below.

Jungle Minion, Snaptrap

Jungle Minion, Snaptrap:  Init +0, Atk bite melee +1 (1d4); AC 14; HD 1d4+2; MV 20’, Act 1d20; SP spell casting, swarm defense; SV Fort +2; Ref +0, Will +2; AL Special

Created through ancient rituals, jungle minions are completely devoted to their master and acquire the alignment of their creator. They are often created by witch doctors and shamans to guard their villages, temples and shrines. A wizard or elf who acquires the knowledge of these rituals must still invest the time and pay a physical price. A character who already has a familiar may also have a jungle minion, but there will be rivalry between the two.

The snaptrap minion is the only jungle minion capable of speech, and cannot communicate telepathically like the orchid minion. It speaks the primary language of the creator. The snaptrap stands 3’ tall and has a single bulbous, fanged mouth. It can grasp and manipulate only simple objects with its sticky appendages. It prefers to remain in a pot where it pleads with its creator to be fed any small insect or animal, but it can walk about on its roots if necessary.

In combat, the snaptrap minion can bite its opponent, but its greatest feature is that any 1st level spells the creator knows can be cast by the snaptrap minion. Its spellcheck die is 1d20, but it does not gain any bonuses to its roll from the creator’s level, intelligence or otherwise. Acquired corruption affects the minion and cannot be avoided. Patron taint is passed to the creator.

Minion Corruption Table

  1. The snaptrap minion wilts and shrivels. Until given a two gallons of water (or blood), it refuses to cast spells, enter combat or assist the creator.
  2. The minion’s sticky appendages constantly drip a foul-smelling ichor, causing the wizard to suffer a -1 penalty to his Personality score while in its presence.
  3. The minion grows 1d4 additional, smaller fanged mouths which yap incessantly until fed. Anytime the creator is trying to focus, be quiet, engage in meaningful conversation etc., have the creator make a Luck check DC12. If failed, the minion interrupts and wants to be fed. If this result on the table is rolled again, another 1d4 mouths are grown, the minion gains 2 hit points, and the future Luck checks are made with a -1 penalty.
  4. The minion acquires the taste for human and demi-human flesh, and will begin asking for it. If rolled again, it demands this form of sustenance and will take no substitute.
  5. The minion becomes root-bound and refuses to leave its pot.
  6. The minion goes dormant for 1d6 hours and cannot be awakened.

Swarm attacks against the creator or snaptrap minion (insects, rats, bats) have their attack and damage dice reduced by 1. The creator gains a fondness of dining on insects and the flesh of small critters. This may or may not expire with the destruction of the minion.

Snaptrap Minion Ritual Requirements:

  1. A shoot of the giant red snaptrap from the jungles of Kalmatta
  2. 1d6 days to complete the ritual
  3. 1d6 Fort loss, DC 15 INT save for half. Stat loss is recovered after the destruction of the minion.


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Urhatta, a time-travelling, space-warping, energy-breathing patron

For those who played through The Well of Souls, you may have had the opportunity to learn invoke patron from a djinn named Urhatta. Thanks to Eric Hoffman, you now have her patron info in the .pdf below!

Even if you haven’t played through The Well of Souls, Urhatta can be dropped into any campaign.

“Urhatta is an ancient and powerful djinn who has transcended mortality in several ways. She exists in several dimensions and timelines simultaneously, pursuing her vast and unknowable plans. She is a paragon of law and truth, although not necessarily goodness. She requires scrupulous accounting of promises, requests and wishes from her devotees. In return, she grants blessings of the mind, access to rare knowledge, and even the ability to transcend time and space.”

Urhatta, The Worldwalker  (U.S. Letter)

Urhatta, The Worldwalker  (A4)

We hope you enjoy the first of many freebies. Stay tuned for updates on our next adventure, a hex-crawl on the island of Kalmatta!


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Open wide the doors to adventure!


Adventurers take risks. They journey into unknown territory, risking life, limb, and reputation. They brave the challenges of these strange new worlds to earn fame and fortune, the respect of their peers, and the gratitude of those they serve. These brave mortals gladly exchange blood, sweat and tears for merely a glimpse of their dreams.

And because I have a big imagination, that’s how I envisioned the humble beginnings of Stormlord Publishing.


Fortunately, I won’t be risking life and limb, but starting a new endeavor such as this means stepping outside my comfort zone, being open to criticism, and standing tall when the public gives judgment on my creative work. There will be long hours of writing, drawing maps, working on the website, blogging, and promotion, but it’ll be worth it.

While no micro-publisher thinks that fame and fortune are around the corner, there certainly is a reward for all the hard work. It’s knowing that somewhere there could be a group of friends having a blast playing through an adventure I helped create.

Like the adventurers in my mind, not even the bravest of souls should have to make the delve alone, and I’m glad to have Eric Hoffman at my side. He’s full of great ideas and has a passion for gaming that’s infective. Together we hope to forge adventures that turn into memories at the game table. Quality over quantity will be our mantra, and your enjoyment will be our guiding star.

Currently, we’re writing a jungle island hex crawl, which I believe will have twice the content and play time as The Well of Souls. It could be played as a follow-up to The Well of Souls, but will work equally well as a stand-alone adventure for 1st-level characters. Stay tuned for updates from me and Eric as we make progress.

So, open wide the doors to adventure!

We’ll see you on the other side.

-Carl Bussler