CoinSides Adventure Sparks

Adventure Sparks are a series of FREE TO DOWNLOAD modules for RPG games which can be inserted into nearly any existing adventure. Some details and characters have been kept intentionally vague so you can plug in the best fitting Adventure Sparks into your home campaign.

By Tomas Gimenez Rioja. Thanks to Nikola Petrov, Bart Wynants, Tomas Gimenez Rioja, Shaun Stika, and the CoinSides Adventure Sparks co-writing team. Art by @pigtrottersalad with Maps by Charles Ward

Breaking The Coin Curse

Port Highwaters, home of merchants and brigands, is ruled by nobles with wealth beyond your imagination who abuse their power with their riches. This is why Highwaters is also the best place to get well-paid jobs, as those from high society never get their hands dirty. But this time, you have been asked to return a treasure, not steal one.

The recommended setting for this Spark is Mid/High Magic, Fantasy.

What was the experience like?

Working for Charlie and EX1ST GAMES has been a great experience for me. As always, you have deadlines, but I never felt rushed nor that I wasn't doing enough. The whole concept of the Adventure Sparks was extremely interesting for me as well, making it much easier to pour my ideas into a system-neutral product. What's more, even though I liked the idea I crafted, Charlie edited and helped make it something to truly be proud of. As if this was not enough, the rates for the work are beyond what I might have expected, and was gifted one of the CoinSides as well. I can't thanks those who are part of the CoinSides Kickstarter enough for all of this!

Tomas Gimenez Rioja
Writer and Game Designer

By Bart Wynants. Thanks to Nikola Petrov, Tomas Gimenez Rioja, Koyomi Kawasumi, and the CoinSides Adventure Sparks co-writing team. Art by @pigtrottersalad.

Silvered Sorrows

The fell coins known as “Silvered Sorrows” have their origins in the seventh circle of inferno. Here, artificer devils ceaselessly work the blazing crucible where tortured souls of unrepentant usurers are melted down into a silvery substance. The serpent-bearded devil, Raum, pours the molten souls into special coin dies, which it then strikes with a hammer. The cooled coins resemble pieces of silver commonly encountered in the mortal realm. A careful examination, however, reveals the coin’s infernal imagery: a slavering minotaur graces the obverse, while the reverse shows a burning river meandering through a blasted waste.

Silvered Sorrows commonly find their way to the mortal realms whenever people magically wish for earthly riches. Summoned devils may also carry a small supply of cursed coins with which to poison treasure hoards.

The recommended setting for this Spark is Low Magic, Fantasy.

By Charles Ward. Thanks to Nikola Petrov, Bart Wynants, Tomas Gimenez Rioja, Koyomi Kawasumi, Shaun Stika, Fletcher Haug, and the CoinSides Adventure Sparks co-writing team. Art by @pigtrottersalad.

The Mysterious Heists
at Blue Well

All around Blue Well, thieves, dark mages, and even ghosts, are suspected to be behind a series of inexplicable robberies of great importance. The truth is that only the culprit knows who has stolen such treasures and only they know how. Great rewards have been offered by rich merchants, nobles, and royals, to the one who returns their possessions and captures the mastermind behind such perfect heists. Even the most careful jeweler, who stores his most valuable items in a small but impregnable safe, protected by magic and guarded by his own two sons, found it completely and inexplicably empty.

The recommended setting for this Spark is Mid/High Magic, Fantasy.

Do you have an Adventure Spark that needs to be set free? Then take part in our first ever game jam on Itch:

CoinSides Adventure Sparks Jam

How to join

To join the CoinSides Adventure Sparks writing team, contact Charles Ward (Charlie), and let's get started!

Our objective is to give everybody, especially CoinSides owners, great RPG content to play, for free. Our goal is to have fun, meet fellow creators, learn from each other, and share in the success of the entire project. The CoinSides Adventures are released as a series of free-to-download PDF files exclusively from the EX1ST GAMES website. The download is free but requires registration which includes email verification.

This project is for fun first, great content second, networking and creating relationships third, and lastly - fun (again). The only mandatory requirement to participate in this project is courtesy. Contributions will be owned by Charles Ward. Why do this? Having one party own the material and the project itself makes decision-making easier, it keeps the project nimble and moving forwards. We pay artists and writers what we can, when we can, only when content gets released. The more complete and final the work is (see writing brief below), the quicker it gets released. So dip into your folder full of ideas and looks for a good adventure that features a coin or amulet of some sort before someone else writes your adventure for you.

What was the experience like?

The Spark writing process was very true to its name - it began in an instant, burned bright, and ignited a fire of creativity. Charles’ enthusiasm is genuinely inspiring and working with him and the rest of the team is always a delight.

The Spark community is built on mutual respect, inspiration, and professionalism. From communication to the feedback loop, and all the way to important details such as the comprehensive style guide, writing Sparks is a streamlined and pleasant process to be a part of.

If you’re an established RPG writer, you’ll like it here. This is a bunch of talented and experienced writers who know their stuff.
If you’re a newcomer, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better “square one”.
If you’re on the fence, just pull the trigger. I don’t imagine you’ll ever regret it.

Nikola R. Petrov
Writer and Game Designer

Adventure Sparks format was devised by Bart Wynants

Adventure Sparks are side-quests which can be inserted into nearly any existing adventure. Some details and characters have been kept intentionally vague so you can plug in the best fitting Adventure Sparks into your home campaign.

The idea behind these “Sparks” is that they provide GMs with a 'spark' of inspiration to expand their own adventures. An Adventure Spark has just enough info in it to allow for a decent zero-prep quest, but also enough for a GM to flesh it out as much as they want.

The core concept is that these aren't full-fledged adventures, but rather side-quests you can easily plug into any existing adventure. People are encouraged to use them right away, in tandem with whatever module or campaign they are currently playing, rather than having to wait until they're out of ideas and start running third-party material.

The structure is deliberately simple, and should include the following sections throughout the series:

· BACKGROUND - Information needed to understand the Adventure Spark.

· SETUP - 3 different, original ways to get the Adventure Spark started.

· SCENES - 2 to 4 suggested scenes the GM can easily weave into their campaign.

· AFTERMATH - A section explaining how things turn out at the Adventure Spark’s conclusion.

· All in 1,500 words, plus or minus 20%.

Some Adventure Sparks may complement each other by expanding on a certain location or lore. When another Adventure Spark is referenced, it is only as a suggestion not a requirement.

How much did you get paid Bart?

The total amount I received for my contribution was 14151 JPY (about 100 USD). This was more than I expected, and a very decent per-word rate, especially for beginning writers! To give you an idea: in my experience, many publishers pay about $0.04 per word, and $0.11 is already a generous standard for experienced ttrpg writers. There are higher amounts in circulation, but those are quite rare, I believe. Your reward boils down to about $0.07 per word, which I find very decent. Add to that the CoinSides themselves, and I should think your contributors must be very happy (and proud). In any event, I am. Thank you again Charles, for your trust, kindness, and professionalism!

Bart Wynants


We are a small, independent, game publisher operating from Japan. Every year, we release one or two small games as a Forever Free Print and Play download only, and sometimes as a professionally printed retail copy also. Our Forever Free policy means that gamers who want to try our games, or can't afford our boxed games, can enjoy them... forever. We like to develop games with the help of volunteers, so please join us. We email our subscribers no more than 4 times a year about:
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Somos un editor de juegos pequeño e independiente que opera desde Japón. Cada año, lanzamos uno o dos juegos pequeños como una descarga de Forever Free Print and Play únicamente y, a veces, también como una copia comercial impresa profesionalmente. Nuestra política Forever Free significa que los jugadores que quieran probar nuestros juegos, o que no puedan pagar nuestros juegos en caja, pueden disfrutarlos ... para siempre. Nos gusta desarrollar juegos con la ayuda de voluntarios, así que únase a nosotros. No enviamos correos electrónicos a nuestros suscriptores más de 4 veces al año sobre:
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