Create and Explore Dangerous Destinations in Your Fantasy Roleplaying Games
Our friends at Nord Games scored another winner with Dangerous Destinations. The latest Kickstarter from one of our favorite tabletop roleplaying game design teams launched on Jan. 12, 2021 and reached their funding goal in 15 minutes. In just one day Dangerous Destinations hit all their stretch goals too.
TTRPG resource for all the players
Lately I’ve been of a mind to blur the line between a Game Master and the other players participating in TTRPGs so looking at Dangerous Destinations through this lens gets me even more jazzed than I typically feel whenever Nord Games produces a new product. The guide book presented through this Kickstarter aims to become the definitive guide to creating engaging locations facilitating great storytelling in fantasy RPGs and I’m already feeling like this can be a phenomenal resources for players on either side of the GM screen.
We often talk about how TTRPGs promote a collaborative experience among all the players involved and I believe a book like this can foster this aspect. Certainly many GMs can discover tremendous value in Dangerous Destinations but it could be just as useful — perhaps moreso — for players and their characters in these games. The book follows the same model as Spectacular Settlements, another Nord Games bestseller, with the builder system.
Creating one of these Dangerous Destinations begins with one of 12 types, which each include variables to personalize the location. Layering in environment, specific dangers and plot hooks builds on the foundation to help players empower their imaginations. Unique and memorable locations can easily become the start of a new campaign, enhance an existing one or provide inspiration for a game session on the fly. I cannot stress enough how this approach to game content results in extremely useful material! As content director here I place high value and priority on producing game content with the same perspective and focus on both practicality during a session and strong emphasis on elements for players to engage with in a scenario.
I started off mentioning how the line between Game Master and the other players blurs and what I mean by this is the kind of thought and consideration put into preparing for a game can easily apply to developing an individual character. In my own games and most of those I play in with other GMs players pretty much have carte blanche to contribute worldbuilding elements through their characters. Likewise I very often tout the great usefulness of random tables and charts to generate character backstory components. Now imagine putting the awesome material in Dangerous Destinations to work for this process. Now you’ve really got something!
Combining the three elements of Dangerous Destinations — place, environment and danger — holds the potential to create hundreds of thousands of unique locations in space and time. These can range from places like burial grounds and fortresses, aquatic to extraplanar environments and limitless monsters and villains posing as dangers. The book even includes sample antagonists and destinations ready to drop right into your games. That’s like our credo by this point, right?
Dangerous Destinations combines three primary elements of storytelling: a place, the environment in which that place exists, and the danger that exists in that place. Different combinations of these elements create unique outcomes with literally hundreds of thousands of possibilities.
Imagine how exciting and intriguing your next fantasy RPG character can become by developing not only ideas about them as an individual but also how the places, environments and dangers existing in their backstory combine. If I were a GM and players created not only their characters but really interesting locations tied to them I’d be thrilled! Not only does this communicate a desire to experience these Dangerous Destinations during the campaign but also tells me these players are a small step away from becoming a GM themselves. They’d already be halfway to the goal.
Can I just say how much I appreciate the modest stretch goals for this Kickstarter too? As cool and exciting as it can be when a Kickstarter includes over the top additional content with lots of bells and whistles I think it’s pretty darn terrific to instead dive even deeper into the project core, which Nord Games has done. Along with all the tools and resources for creating unique Dangerous Destinations of your own the final product contains a ton more material to support and deepen what was already established.
Nord Games did do something different for the final stretch goal of Dangerous Destinations though, which I find really neat. Extra funds raised serve to enhance Dangerous Destinations of course but also to afford Nord Games opportunities to research and develop future products and continue to grow as a company. This may not sound like razzle dazzle to a lot of RPG players interesting solely in adding a fantastic new book to their collection — but it should. When your favorite creators gain a bit of breathing room it allows for more time, energy and thought to put right back into the stuff you love. I think it’s cool to see Nord Games acknowledge this and provide transparency for where funds go above and beyond the project.
Another thing worth mentioning is Nord Games fulfillment. These folks rock! They’ve got fulfillment centers in the US, Canada, the EU and Australia to coordinate shipping and delivery of their products. Their system is so good we switched our own business over to them.
Play 5E D&D with Nord Games
One last thing to mention is Nord Games will host 5E D&D game sessions with up to five players per session. They’ll of course incorporate their own products into these approximately 6 hour game sessions including Dangerous Destinations. I can attest to how useful Nord Games stuff can be for a GM because I’ve created and run whole campaigns inspired by their books. The adventures developed during these sessions are intended to inform future Nord Games products too and players involved in them will be credited as playtesters in those products.
To find out how to participate in these games and to discover the pledge level that works best for you and your TTRPG group check out Dangerous Destinations from Nord Games here.