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ZineMonth24: Robin Fjärem and Shadow Over Gloomshire

Longtime reader of the OSR Roundup will no doubt recognize Robin Fjärem's name. They regularly release interesting projects on itch, and this year he is Kickstarting Shadow Over Gloomshire. The project runs until February 27th.


Question: Easy question first: Give us the elevator pitch of your project. Tell us about it in two sentences or less.


Answer: Shadow over Gloomshire is a gothic horror adventure location that's overflowing with creative and fun areas, NPCs, monsters, and random tables. It leans really hard into the atmosphere, so if you like cozy horror, this will be right up your alley!


Q: Is this your first ZineMonth project or have you done it before? If it's your first, talk a bit about what inspired you to give it a shot this year. If you've done it before, what's something you've learned from previous crowdfunding projects that you may be doing differently this time, or, if you're not doing anything differently, talk a bit about your previous projects.


A: Yes, this is my first ZineMonth project and I'm putting everything into it! I was recently laid off, and instead of jumping straight into finding a new job I grabbed this opportunity to spend a few months creating a cool zine full time. While I have not crowdfunded anything before, I do have a lot of experience in making content like this, with a couple of hits such as The Frozen Temple of Glacier Peak and Salthaven under my belt. Shadow over Gloomshire is no doubt my most ambitious project so far.


I've spent a ton of time trying to prepare the campaign to move along with as few hiccups as possible and have tried to learn from the mistakes of those who came before. As such, most of the writing is already done and art has been commissioned. I have planned the campaign in meticulous detail to get these spooky zines into the hands of backers ASAP. One deliberate decision to achieve this is that there will be no stretch goals, to allow me to focus on turning the zine into something great as quickly as possible.


Q: Finally, tell us something about your current project that really excites you but the average backer may not be aware of. Maybe a twist to an old trope, a new way of presenting something, or maybe just something you've never tried before that you're using this as an opportunity to try out.


A: Okay, so first off, I am incredibly excited about the people who are helping me put this thing together. For example, Anton Vitus (official Dragonbane illustrator) is drawing the cover and Fernando Salvaterra (involved in Hexalege, Lilliputian, Bernpyle, Primal Quest, etc) is drawing the overworld maps. But really, the whole team is amazing and I'm delighted to be able to work with them to make this happen. You will learn more about them as the campaign goes on.


One of the main reasons I picked Dragonbane is because of how hackable it is. The way professions work is just brilliant. So, I'm introducing two new player professions: The Paladin and the Monster Hunter. I feel like both of these need to be present to really set the mood for what's to come.


There will be zombies, but not your run of the mill tortoise speed zombies. They will make the players jump out of their seats in terror when they pounce furiously on to careless adventurers and start chewing on their necks!


Another thing that really excites me about the project are all of the random tables. There are tables for everything you could possibly need during the session such as atmosphere, NPC generators, loot, and tons of random events. My goal is to create an adventure where the GM doesn't have to reference any outside material while running the game. It should be a seamless experience that is easy to prep.


There's so much more to talk about, but I will round it off there. Thank you for having me!

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