Fearsome Foes & Fables

It’s finally here! After months of hard work and dedication, I’m delighted to announce that my Pathfinder Second Edition monster supplement, Fearsome Foes & Fables, is now available for purchase!

Bring fresh excitement to your Pathfinder Second Edition adventures with this collection of all-new monsters! Discover these strange and mysterious creatures through the tales of their deeds and weave them into your own story, with treasures and rewards for any adventurers strong and brave enough to survive the encounter.

Fearsome Foes and Fables includes:

  • 32 original creature statblocks, each with lore, roleplaying notes and a short story to set the scene
  • Spells, magic items, feats and more to accompany each creature
  • 2 all-new ancestries – the curious lophii and the secretive serpentaur!

Click here to check it out!


It’s the last week of October, which means I’ve only got 6 more Monstober prompts to complete! I feel like I’ve got a lot out of this month, and I’m really happy with some of the monsters I’ve created for it. I needed a bespoke statline for my regular Pathfinder game, and it took about 2 minutes to hash one together instead of the half-hour it would have taken a month ago, so that gives a nice sense of progression.

Once I’ve created all of the statlines, the real work begins to tie it together into a sellable product. Each one needs enough lore to help it fit into a game setting, advice for a GM on how and when to use it, rewards for PCs who manage to defeat it, and I’m going to try and give each one a little ‘something extra’ as a treat. Maybe a unique magic item, maybe a spell – maybe a few of them will even become playable ancestries or animal companions!

The collection will be published on Pathfinder Infinite when it’s finished. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, you can follow my progress and see the current list of monsters right here.

Plenty of Plates to Spin

Another Month, Another Project

Hard to believe it’s already been a month, and The Haunting of Blackthorn Manor has gone from a vague concept in my head to a fully-formed thing that people can engage with. It’s a hell of a high, but now it’s time to start thinking about the next project.

I had lots of ideas when I started this journey, and for my next piece, I’m going to revisit the one that started it all. I had a vision for my first adventure, which I quickly realised was only strong enough to support a single encounter and not to prop up an entire adventure. In fact, I was about ready to scrap it before I got some great advice that helped me to turn it into something bigger, so now I’m revisiting it with fresh eyes and a much better idea of what I’m doing. The Write Your First Adventure course taught me a lot, and I’m ready to apply those skills again and make something really exciting.

Watch this space for more information!

Publication Day

It’s the 31st of July, which means it’s Publication Day for the Write Your First Adventure course I’ve been following this month. I’ve been anxious about this for a while, but now that it’s here, I’m just excited to get my work out there and share it with the world.

So here it is: The Haunting of Blackthorn Manor is now officially a Thing That Exists. It’s published on itch.io, and it should be on DriveThruRPG by the end of next week (pending manual approval because it’s my first publication there). It’s an adventure module for Pathfinder Second Edition, recommended for a level 4-5 party, and you can check it out here: https://crowlandwrites.itch.io/blackthorn-manor

Cover illustration by Natalie Rowland

Brainstorming is Hard

My usual writing style does not lend itself easily to quick idea generation. Up to this point, my process has been to latch onto a single idea and steadily polish it over the course of 10-15 years until it’s a) virtually unrecognisable, and b) actually good. But with the Write Your First Adventure course, I’ve been presented with a new challenge: to write, package and publish an idea that doesn’t have a decade of previous versions hanging off it, and is concise enough that a total stranger could pick it up and engage with it.

My initial idea was one I was quite excited about, but quickly turned out to be all flash and no substance. Having taken the weekend to reflect on it, I realised that a good adventure needs more than just an intriguing hook and a cool boss monster, and went back to the drawing board to try a new brainstorming method.

What was that method, you ask? I put my Spotify playlist on shuffle, and I wrote an adventure concept for each of the first 10 songs that came on. Not all of them were very good, which is always the way (and also kind of the point) with brainstorming, but I think I’ve got some solid concepts that I’m ready to run with. It’s a lot of work to get there, but satisfying as hell when you finally nail down an idea and see it forming in front of you.

And I’m delighted to announce that I have now started to write what will be my First Published Adventure, tentatively titled: “Dust to Dust”. It’s a little different from what I’m used to, but it’s proving to be an exciting challenge and I’m really looking forward to seeing what people think.

Photo by Lucas Santos on Unsplash

Writing My First Adventure

It’s the 1st of July, and that means the Storytelling Collective’s “Write Your First Adventure” course is now officially underway. I have to say, I’m very excited to be part of this. I’ve been writing adventures for years, but for a very select audience and in what I feel is now a very comfortable style.

Graphic courtesy of the Storytelling Collective.

It had honestly never occurred to me until recently that I could write adventures for purposes other than running them myself, but this could be just what I need to get off the ground. It’ll help me to flesh out my writing style into something a little more more “mass-market” and a little less “tailored specifically to these 3 people”, which is no bad thing, and with any luck, it’ll also give me the tools and the confidence to take that all-important next step and actually publish.

Today has been a day of preparation. Setting up a calendar and a project board has honestly felt a lot like the Old Job, but knowing that it’s for something I’m passionate about makes it more palatable. And now that the initial admin is out of the way, I can start prepping for the fun part. I’ve got a concept in mind that I’m pretty excited to bring to life, and even more excited to share with the world.

First Steps on a New Path

“I’m done with the grind … it’s time to see what I can do for myself.”

I don’t think there’s a single moment in my adult life when I could have correctly answered the question “What will you be doing five years from now?”. I thought I’d step straight out of University and into a career in gamedev, before I realised that was definitely not where my strength lay. I thought my dead-end retail job would be a temporary stepping-stone while I found something more meaningful, and not a comfy place to waste away and slowly lose the will to live. I didn’t think I’d move to Edinburgh, find a temp job that turned into a dream job, and lose it because of mismanagement during a pandemic. I certainly never saw myself doing this.

And yet here we are. Because when my wife and I made the decision to leave Aberdeen and move to Edinburgh, we did so under the guidance of a single defining principle: “We will not settle for jobs that make us miserable.” It was the pursuit of more fulfilling lives that led us here in the first place; it led her to an illustration course, and it led me to what I didn’t yet realise would be the perfect job as a dogsbody-turned-number-cruncher for a chain of charity shops. When COVID-19 turned the whole world on its head, that perfect job changed beyond recognition into something I could no longer take pride in, so I left to seek (what I thought would be) a better opportunity elsewhere. That didn’t work out either, though I spent a while desperately clinging to it in the hope that things would improve. Finally I decided it was time to bring that chapter of my life to a close and concentrate on the future.

I’m done with the grind. I’m done with throwing away the better part of my waking life to appease faceless corporate executives who don’t even know I exist. It’s time to see what I can do for myself.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash