Dolmenwood Campaign Book [Coming 2020]

Gavin Norman dolmenwood

Following the enormously successful launch of Old-School Essentials and the vast amount of work that's been required to bring it to fruition, the next major project here at Necrotic Gnome is something completely different (and yet related) — a complete campaign setting!
Here's the full lowdown...

The Dolmenwood Campaign Book

What is Dolmenwood?

A deep, dark, dank forest dotted with clusters of mouldering standing stones, crisscrossed with ley lines, haunted by all manner of fairies and strange beasts, and infested with fungus. The setting is written as a hex crawl in the classic vein, with a campaign map of 180 six-mile hexes, each with one or more detailed write-ups of encounters, lairs, weird magic, and so on.

What's in the Campaign Book?

The Dolmenwood Campaign Book will provide everything referee's need to run campaigns in this fairy-tale setting. In addition to the detailed hex write-ups, the following are discussed: the characteristics of the different regions of the forest, the history of human (and fairy) habitation of the place, the magic of the various ley lines and standing stones, the sentient races that inhabit the forest, the seven factions that vie for control, the calendar and festivals, and much, much more! The book is topped off with a bestiary of weird new monsters (all statted for Old-School Essentials, naturally) and extensive rumour tables to get PCs going.

How Big is this Thing?

Writing is still under way, so it's not possible to give exact figures. It's looking like the book will come in at around 200-300 pages, though.

What Will it Look Like?

Physically, it's going to be a big, chunky tome printed at the same deluxe quality as the Old-School Essentials books. It'll be a full-size (A4) book. Art-wise, I'm working with a small group of artists to bring the fairy-tale magic of the setting to life (including a few artists whom you already know from Old-School Essentials!). Finnish artist Pauliina Hannuniemi is doing a series of large-scale paintings for the chapter heading pages. (See the example image above.)

When Will it be Available?

I'm planning to bring this book to Kickstarter in the spring next year, along with 3 adventure modules set in Dolmenwood and the usual smorgasbord of tantalising stretch goals and add-ons!

5e Conversion

While the Dolmenwood Campaign Book will initially be published for Old-School Essentials (B/X), there are plans to also publish a version for 5th edition at a later date.

The Wormskin Zine

Those of you who have been following the development of Dolmenwood for some time will probably be familiar with the Wormskin zine, which described, over the course of eight issues, parts of the Dolmenwood setting. Some questions will probably come up about how the content of the Dolmenwood Campaign Book relates to what was published in Wormskin.

Will it Include Content That's Already Appeared in Wormskin?

Some of the content of the Campaign Book has already appeared in Wormskin. For example, about 50 of the 180 hexes have been described in the zine, and detailed articles on two factions have been published. All of this information will be collated in the Campaign Book, where it will be re-edited into a cohesive whole.

What Content Will it Include That's Not Appeared in Wormskin?

Absolutely loads of stuff. Wormskin has just scratched the surface, really. For starters, there'll be over 130-odd new hex descriptions. This will be a complete campaign setting, with a detailed, adventure-packed hex-crawl, and fully fleshed out background information. And it will all be organised in a logical fashion, naturally.

Will It Include All Content From Wormskin?

Anything that doesn't relate to the setting background and the hex descriptions will not be included in the Campaign Book. It will not contain any PC classes or adventures, for example.

Further Dolmenwood Books?

All going well, there are plans for further Dolmenwood books — a player's book (with all the new character classes) and a full monster manual (hopefully fully illustrated!) at least. Those are for much further down the line, though...

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  • Gavin Norman on

    >I’m losing my mind with excitement. Any update on when this is likely to release, even if just “real soon” or “not for a while”?

    I’m afraid to say it’s a long way off still. The Player’s Book is pretty much finished, but there’s still a huge amount of work to do on the Campaign Book. It’s a beast.

  • Vee Xcited on

    I’m losing my mind with excitement. Any update on when this is likely to release, even if just “real soon” or “not for a while”?

  • Justin R McCumber on

    Dolmenwood is one of the most creative settings I have ever read. Absolute Gold. I want this book!

  • Gavin Norman on

    >1.) Do you have an email list to keep people abreast of these wonderful developments (I want in on the kickstarter).

    In principle yes (there’s a signup for it at the bottom of the main page,, but we’ve never sent out any emails to it yet.

    You’re much better off following our social media accounts / joining our communities. See links at the bottom of the page.

    >2.) Do you need any additional art? #Willworkforprotectionfromgoatmen

    Maybe! Feel free to send us a link to your portfolio. (

  • Paul Harrison on

    Can’t wait for this! Two questions: 1.) Do you have an email list to keep people abreast of these wonderful developments (I want in on the kickstarter). 2.) Do you need any additional art? #Willworkforprotectionfromgoatmen

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