Autarch and Grognardia Games Partner to Crowdfund Dwimmermount

Those who have been closely reading the latest PDF release of the Adventurer Conqueror King System will have noticed a teaser for a forthcoming product we are very excited about:

This map can be used in your campaign if you need to stock a dungeon or provide a handout for players who have unexpectedly found a map as part of a treasure hoard. Only the wisest – or those who have been visiting the Autarch website at, and following James Maliszewski's updates at — will recognize that this is also a preview of the legendary Dwimmermount, to be published using the Adventurer Conqueror King compatibility license through a partnership between Grognardia Games and Autarch.
Here are answers to some of the questions we expect you might have!

Q: What is Grognardia Games?

A: James Maliszewski’s blog Grognardia began in 2008 as a vehicle for his “musings and memories of a lifetime of roleplaying”, and has become the pre-eminent voice of the old-school renaissance. Grognardia Games is the company James founded to publish projects growing out of his blog’s explorations of gaming past, present, and future.

Q: What is Dwimmermount?

A: Dwimmermount is first and foremost the central mega-dungeon for James' home campaign, inspired by pulp fantasy and science fiction. Since then it's also become a subject of considerable interest among readers of Grognardia, who have enjoyed years of play reports emanating from Dwimmermount's twelve levels and hundreds of locations. Soon it will be available in published form for other referees to use as the tent-pole location for their own campaigns, as an inspiration for designing their own dungeons, or as the source for many unique creatures and weird magical items that can be dropped into any fantasy game.
"Dwimmermount is more than just a very large dungeon; it's a springboard for entire campaigns, from the seeking of fame fortune to epic battles against evil to the exploration of far-off alien realms," James says. "It's a a world unto itself, with enough locations, inhabitants, and secrets to keep players and referees occupied for years if they wish."

Q: What's going on with the partnership between Autarch and Grognardia Games?

A: We are working together to crowdfund the publication of Dwimmermount so that it can be available to fans in the formats they'll find most useful at the gaming table, including PDF and hardcover as well as play aids like a separate map booklet and a wipe-erase overview of the dungeon to track adventurer's progress and resulting changes in the dungeon's factions.

The most fundamental rationale for the partnership is that while Grognardia Games is a Canadian company, the Amazon Payments system used by Kickstarter is only available to US-based companies like Autarch.

Beyond simply providing access to Kickstarter, Autarch is also contributing the crowdfunding expertise developed with the successful Kickstarter campaign for Adventurer Conqueror King (which nearly tripled its goal) and the current effort to fund the Player’s Companion (which met its in just four days). Autarch’s team is helping Grognardia Games design backer rewards, collect feedback from fans, and take advantage of all the other ways that Kickstarter can harness the enthusiasm of a project’s supporters to make the finished product the best that it can be.

For fans, one visible result of this partnership is that the Dwimmermount books will proudly bear the logos of both Grognardia Games and Autarch on the back cover. Another is that Autarch will use its resources to make Dwimmermount available in local game stores after the period of exclusive access to Kickstarter backers ends, and lend its acclaimed customer service to the project throughout.

Q: What does it mean that Dwimmermount will be published using the Adventurer Conqueror King compatibility license?

A: Gaming materials that have the Adventurer Conqueror King compatibility logo, like Dwimmermount, can be played using ACKS with a minimum of conversion. This declaration will come as no surprise to those familiar with the old-school renaissance, who know how easy it is to combine material designed for any system that builds on the tradition of the original fantasy role-playing game.

Autarch created the free compatibility license for Adventurer Conqueror King (seen on page 256) because one of our ambitions is for ACKS to reach new gamers and those just now getting interested in the OSR. One reason we’re excited to be part of Dwimmermount is that Grognardia is read across all realms of gaming and is a point of entry for those seeking to learn about or re-discover roleplaying. We are proud that James chose to use the ACKS compatibility logo to provide the assurance that “yes, Adventurer Conqueror King is one of the many RPG systems you can use to play Dwimmermount.”

What it doesn’t mean is that Dwimmermount will be specifically written for ACKS. In an early email exchange, James wrote:

I use Labyrinth Lord for Dwimmermount, albeit a modified version (whose modifications I'm preparing to sell separately as PDFs and POD books). That's the actual system I've played with and I feel a certain obligation to promote that game, given all the help Dan Proctor has given me over the years.
ACKS lead designer Alexander Macris replied:
I know that James transitioned from S&W to LL over time and has been a LL loyalist since then, and I think Dan Proctor did an enormous service to the OSR by assembling LL and making it OGL. That said, ACKS is obviously The Best OSR Game Ever, so of course everything should switch over to it. :-D
If this world domination proceeds faster than planned, we may offer an ACKS-native version of Dwimmermount in PDF or even print if there is sufficient demand. However, the essential Dwimmermount will be published using the same rules that were originally used in James' home campaign. As fans, we wouldn't want it any other way.

Got other questions?

Feel free to post them in the comments, or watch this space and Grognardia for further news as our partnership proceeds.

I think the product should have conversion note for ACKS or else it’s just misleading.

There will definitely be conversion material for ACKS, the only question is what aspect of the product those will be featured in. James feels that books that present dual sets of stats are ungainly, and that’d be true even if the alternate stats are as little different as between Labyrinth Lord and ACKS. It would be straightforward to make both an ACKS and LL version available in PDF, and even if both versions aren’t in hardback you could then use either one to do a print-on-demand softcover of from the PDF.

Sound idea, that’d be a good solution.

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