Wormskin vs the In-Development Dolmenwood Hardcover Books

Gavin Norman

I often get asked about Wormskin (the zine exploring the Dolmenwood setting, which Necrotic Gnome published from 2015 to 2018), especially regarding how it relates to the Dolmenwood hardcover books which are in development. A few questions are particularly common, so I thought it was worth writing a quick blog post on the topic.

Will Everything in Wormskin be Included in the Hardcovers?

These two previous blog posts go into some detail on this topic, but the TL;DR version is as follows:

  • In general, the Dolmenwood hardcover books will contain way more content than was presented in the pages of Wormskin. More hexes, more monsters, more weird treasures, more settlement descriptions, more character classes, more everything! These books will be a comprehensive resource for running or playing games set in Dolmenwood.
  • However, not all of the content from Wormskin is going to be included in the hardcovers. For example, the mini-adventures will not be featured. (Though these may be republished in a revised form in the future.)

Is it Worth Buying Wormskin Now or Should I Wait for the Hardcovers?

My basic recommendation at this stage, for people who haven't read Wormskin, is to wait for the hardcover books. They'll be much, much better than the zine, in every way. They'll be way better physical quality (deluxe quality hardcovers vs print-on-demand softcovers), vastly easier to reference, and contain a much greater volume of content.

There are a couple of reasons someone might want to buy Wormskin now, though:

  1. If you're a collector, go get em. They won't be around forever (see below).
  2. If you especially love the piecemeal / scattershot nature of the zine format, it's probably worth diving into Wormskin.
  3. If you want to get into Dolmenwood now, Wormskin (plus the Winter's Daughter adventure) is currently your only option.

Otherwise, I'd say wait. There's no concrete publication date for the Dolmenwood hardcover books yet (they'll be ready when they're ready), but if you've lived this far without Dolmenwood, you can probably wait a while longer.

(For those who do wish to buy Wormskin now, all issues are available at DriveThruRPG.)

Will There Be More Issues of Wormskin?

There's no definite answer to this. It's possible that Wormskin may be revived in the future, as a way of publishing small chunks of content to support the Dolmenwood setting. It's equally possible that supplementary content will be published in a different form (e.g. adventure modules, rules supplements, etc.) and that a Dolmenwood zine won't reappear.

Will Wormskin Continue to Be Sold?

Once the Dolmenwood hardcover books are published, no, Wormskin will no longer be available.


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  • Gavin Norman on

    >If I understand correctly, in Dolmenwood/Brackenwold the start of each month always begins on Colly, regardless of whatever day of the week it was the day before?

    Correct. The names of the days are listed on the calendar, by the way.

  • Christopher Kubasik on

    Following up with an odd question: I’ll be printing the Dolmenwood Calendar later today to help us all track the events of the campaign.

    If I understand correctly, in Dolmenwood/Brackenwold the start of each month always begins on Colly, regardless of whatever day of the week it was the day before?

  • Gavin Norman on

    >I’m glad I already picked up Wormskin, it’s a true gem – I used the Abbey of St Clwyd in a recent session, but transposed to the universe of the old Robin of Sherwood tv series and run with Tunnels & Trolls.

    Nice concept!

    >While I love the homemade aesthetic of the zines I’m also looking forward to the books – is there a mailing list so that I can make sure I don’t miss the kickstarter?

    We do have a mailing list — there’s a sign up at the bottom of the front page (necroticgnome.com). It’s rarely used, though. You’re better of following our social media accounts (see the Follow Us links at the bottom of the page), as we post updates to those regularly.

  • Alex Woodrow on

    I’m glad I already picked up Wormskin, it’s a true gem – I used the Abbey of St Clwyd in a recent session, but transposed to the universe of the old Robin of Sherwood tv series and run with Tunnels & Trolls. While I love the homemade aesthetic of the zines I’m also looking forward to the books – is there a mailing list so that I can make sure I don’t miss the kickstarter?

  • Christopher Kubasik on

    Hi Gavin,

    I got the Zines a while back, did a lot of digging online, grabbed a copy of Barrowmaze, and set up an online game a couple of months ago.

    The players are having a great time.

    I wish I had the campaign setting RIGHT NOW, but I wanted to thank you for all the great material you have already provided. It is terrific stuff.



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