The lead designer of two seminal BioWare video game RPGs has co-authored a Dungeons & Dragons adventure set in the Nine Hells, and he’s donating all proceeds to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals via the ExtraLife charity.
James Ohlen worked at the Canadian studio during the development of Baldur’s Gate and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, both times as lead designer. More recently, he co-founded his own studio called Archetype Entertainment, which is owned by D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast.
Before Ohlen decided to return to the world of video games, he created Arcanum Worlds as an outlet for tabletop RPGs set in dense and complex science fantasy worlds - not unlike the settings that made BioWare famous. Though neither studio has officially announced internal projects, Ohlen and British author Adrian Tchaikovsky are using Arcanum World to publish a high-level tabletop adventure called Chains of Asmodeus.
At 286 pages, Chains of Asmodeus is a hefty adventure tome that sends players into the Forgotten Realms’ Nine Hells to save their own soul. Characters should be at least level 11 before tackling this storyline, which will carry them through all the way to max level. Parties will spend the majority of their time traversing the nine separate layers that compose the Nine Hells, from the frozen seas of Stygia to Maladominia and its most evil export - bureaucracy.
The book contains more than 50 monsters that are designed to challenge even well prepared parties, and the stat block for all major archdevils and even Asmodeus are included. Those with loot on their mind can peruse the nearly two dozen new infernal magical items, but they should be warned off their avarice - Chains of Asmodeus introduces corruption gained from powerful items that might have nasty, lasting effects on player-characters
Artists whose illustrations are featured in the book include Sergei Sarichev, Sergey Musin, Julian Calle, Sebastion Kowoll, Paul Adams, Luis Lasahido and the Aaron Sims Company. Other writers include Ohlen former peer at BioWare, Drew Karpyshyn, as well as Marieke Cross, Andreana Lozano and Brent Knowles.
A digital version of Chains of Asmodeus is currently available on Dungeon Masters Guild for $29.99, and a print-on-demand version is apparently coming soon. All proceeds from the digital adventure will be donated to ExtraLife, a US charity that raises funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the broader goal of providing critically needed medical care for children across the country.