The Sinister Stone of Sakkara Kickstarter Launched!

Hello, everyone! I’m excited to report that we’ve launched our next crowdfunding project - The Sinister Stone of Sakkara.

The Sinister Stone of Sakkara is a ready-to-play adventure scenario presented for use with the Adventurer Conqueror King System. The adventure is intended for six to ten characters of 1st to 3rd level, with a combined total of 8-12 levels of experience in the party. In the tradition of classic TSR adventure scenarios such as The Keep on the Borderlands and The Village of Hommlet, The Sinister Stone of Sakkara features a detailed starting base and small wilderness sandbox in addition to a dungeon.

The dungeon was designed by Matthew " Tywyll" Skail, with additional development from me. The wilderness sandbox and starter fort were designed by me based on my original Auran Empire campaign setting. Cartography is by Autarch’s Chris Hagerty.

Here is the link. I hope you’ll check it out!

We can do a Q&A thread on the product if anyone has questions!

AH MAH GAHD! So excited.

I only backed at conqueror level, but I am contemplating upgrading to king. At this point I don’t know enough about the setting and the adventure to feel comfortable giving an art suggestion. Is there something I can read or look at that might convince me to bump?

Let us share some excerpts so that you get a sense of what it’s like:

Rising from the tor, Türos Tem’s curtain walls stand 10’ in height and thickness, and are surmounted with battlements 5’ tall and 3’ thick. Wall-walks, paved with stone slabs, run along the top of the curtain walls behind the battlements. The wall-walks are accessed by wooden stairs found in the mural towers (buildings 5-8) at the fort’s four corners. The curtain walls were built with local limestone, but have been rendered and white-washed, such that they gleam brightly by day. In this way, the fort symbolically reflects the glory of the Winged Sun.
The curtain walls enclose a five-acre area of packed earth containing the dozen buildings that house the garrison (buildings 9-20). Except where otherwise noted, all of the interior buildings (as well as the inn and bathhouse outside the walls) are constructed of rendered and white-washed limestone and furnished with sloped roofs of red tile. Their interior walls are of plastered and white-washed wattlework, while interior flooring is cement.
A small village nestles around the western edge of the tor. Other than the inn and bath house (buildings 22 and 23), the villages’ buildings are largely of half-timbered construction, using oak frames infilled with wattlework, with earthen floors. Like most villages which spring up around border forts, it is populated by a mix of camp followers, shop keepers, craftsmen, merchants, prostitutes, and retired soldiers. Traders arrive here along the paved road from Siadanos and Türos Luin, typically staying just long enough to sell supplies to the fort, before departing along the northern road for Türos Aster.

11m-p. Meditation Rooms: The outer walls of these room are pierced with large open windows that circulate fresh air. The unwindowed walls are painted with faded mosaics of Mityara engaging in acts of healing and mercy. In the center of each of the meditation rooms, a small three-legged table holds seven white candles in earthenware holders and a scroll written in Classical Auran. Each scroll contains one of the meditations of the philosopher-emperor Gaius Tavus, determined with a roll of 1d8 on the Random Philosophical Meditations table.

In ancient days, the temple was a glorious and profane cathedral to dark and Chthonic gods. As such, nearly every wall sports evidence of once-great carvings, frescoes, and mosaics depicting the majestic darkness of the Zaharans and their deities. While the brick-work is now cracked and damaged with age, and the paintings have faded, the Judge should stress that this was once a center for human activity and it shows in how the temple looks. This place was not built to be a beastman lair; it was a place of worship and religious practice.
Certain rooms make note of particularly large or noteworthy frescoes, mosaics, and carvings. These are described from the point-of-view of the average adventurer. The additional information listed in parenthesis next to each item should only be made available to characters who succeed on a Loremastery, Knowledge (Ancient History), Knowledge (Occult), Theology, or similar proficiency throw. Judges who are not using the Auran Empire campaign setting should, of course, substitute their own setting’s lore for that of the lost kingdom of Zahar.

  1. Entry Way: A great 130’ wide and 30’ high crack has been torn open in the side of the plateau here, giving access to the ruined temple. During daylight hours, light from the outside streams onto the decorated south wall of the temple, where tall columns carved in the shape of serpents flank a pair of massive bronze doors. On either side of the columns, a 10’ wide glazed-brick mosaic depicts a two-headed winged serpent encircling the earth. (The two-headed winged serpent is how the Chthonic goddess Sakkara is depicted in the Canticles of Xisuthros.)

  1. Carnal Chamber: The frescoes on either end of this 20’ wide, 40’ long room suggest it was once dedicated to the most carnal of purposes. The fresco on the north wall depicts a bloody and decadent orgy. (Such orgies are common in the religious rites of Nasga, Mistress of Pain, the Unchaste, Chthonic goddess of seduction, lust, and pain). The fresco on the southern wall depicts various couples engaged in a dozen different erotic acts. (The twelve acts depicted are known as the Twelve Holy Acts of Nasga. They are proscribed by the Temple of Ianna because they are feared to be so pleasurable as to instantly debauch anyone who experiences them.) Both frescoes are painted in lurid colors that remain shockingly vivid despite the passage of years.

$27 to post to the UK! :frowning:

Lol, definitely tempted to request an illo of the Carnal Pleasure chamber. possibly with the characters from my now defunct PbP reacting to it in various states of shock and amusement.

Shipping costs are terrrrrrrrrible. I’m working on an alternative.

  1. Is this the first RPG product ever written to have a Random Philosophical Meditations Table?

  2. Dwimmermount had the super neat system where you got XP for piecing together the dungeon’s backstory bit by bit. Do you have a system like that set up here?

  3. Similarly, are there plans to include rival adventuring parties? Those are the best.

  4. There are a huge number of starter dungeons available today, many of them free of charge. The kickstarter page makes it sound as though this adventure has novel ACKS-y elements relating to Türos Tem and the underlying setting. Which is lovely. But if you were trying to sell someone on why they should start their campaign specifically with this dungeon instead of the Caves of Chaos or the Moathouse or the Tomb of the Iron God or the Tower of the Stargazer or whatever, how would you do that?

  1. I’m not sure. It’s the first RPG product ever published for ACKS that has a Random Philosophical Meditations Table, though!

  2. No. Dwimmermount was a special case in that it assumes the existence of an organized set of groups with vested interests in discovering the secrets of the dungeon.

  3. We have a bonus goal in mind that will include an adventuring party that can be used as either a pre-generated party or a set of rivals. There is also one slightly-hapless adventuring party already included in the adventure… but things haven’t gone well for them.

  4. I would respond that a starting adventure should set the tone of the campaign that is to come. This adventure is specifically crafted to set the tone of an ACKS campaign that will inspire the characters towards conquest and kingship and introduce them to a teetering realm that needs leaders. Should you wish your campaign to have a different tone, there are doubtless better starting adventures, but I do not know of one that is a better starting point for ACKS.

I would also respond that the dungeon uniquely combines beloved elements of the Caves of Chaos (starting fort, small wilderness, dungeon with multiple humanoids in tension) with the eldritch-horror/sword & sorcery vibe that is popular in OSR circles, and it does so in a way that gradually eases the players from “introductory vanilla fantasy” to “weird and twisted”.

I am confident that this is the best adventure published by Autarch since Dwimmermount, and the best starter module ever published for ACKS. :smiley:

backed as CONQUEROR FROM FOREIGN LANDS… if not for the shipping cost I would have gone for Conqueror with vassals

Great, looking forward to it :slight_smile:

In for the PDF! I’m really exited to see what you made.

Thank you :slight_smile:

I note Conqueror from Foreign Lands is also $25. Shouldn’t it be less than this to reflect the fact that we still have to pay (albeit at cost) for the copy of the book whereas it is included in the normal Conqueror level?

Sorry to pick nits.

OK, I fixed this! I had to lock down the reward level and create a new one… Ugh. Once everyone “changes over” I’ll delete the old reward level.


And I’m in.

That being said, it is of course also the worst starter module ever published for ACKS. But you have sold me.

Is the dungeon big enough to have distinct factions that can be interacted with and manipulated?

Yes. The first level has 6 different factions - kobolds, orcs, hobgoblins, goblins, bandits, and “the ziggurat”. The second level has a bundle of smaller factions.

Charisma - still no longer a dump stat.

BONUS GOAL #3 - AURAN EMPIRE PRIMER ($12,500): Based on backer feedback, we have integrated an additional 2,500 words of information drawing on the Auran Empire into The Sinister Stone of Sakkara. This rich information is already in the draft and ready for your enjoyment. But if we hit Bonus Goal #3, we will supplement the material in the adventure with an additional 5-page PDF with top-down information sourced from the upcoming Auran Empire Campaign Setting. This will be a free PDF distributed separately from the adventure with information on the geography, history, culture, and theology of the setting.

I’ve been away for a while. Glad to see this upon return! I’m in at the Conqueror level.

Who will do the illustrations for the King level?
Ryan Browning?

We’re down to 66 hours until the close of The Sinister Stone of Sakkara Kickstarter. We’re $1,350 short of the second bonus goal, the inclusion of the two full-color paintings of the fort and the dungeon.

Based on the results of a Profession (Tabletop RPG Publisher) proficiency throw, we’ve decided to adjust our bonus goals a bit.

If we can get to $9,500 we will include one of the two full-color paintings
If we can get to $10,000 we will include both of the full-color paintings
And if we can get to $11,500 we will include both full-color paintings and the Auran Empire primer.
Please spread the word and help us reach our final goals! Whatever happens, we’re very excited that The Sinister Stone of Sakkara has funded and are looking forward to putting it into your hands.

Thank you for your support!