Beyond the Borderlands #1

Gnarled Monster

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Swordfish Islands has teamed up with the amazing Alex Damaceno (@gnarledmonster) to bring you physical zine copies of his fantasy wilderness hexcrawl: Beyond the Borderlands (Issue 1).


Adventure awaits in the Wicked Palovalley out beyond the borderlands!

Beyond the Borderlands #1 is a system neutral regional hexcrawl inspired by the classic D&D adventure Keep on the Borderlands (B2). The Stronglaw Keep defends the Western Kingdoms against invasions from the monsterous forces of the Wicked Palovalley. The Palovalley is presented as a 36 hex hexcrawl, divided into 6 different regions, each one with its own list of content, rumors and random encounters.

Brazilian author/illustrator Alex Damaceno has brought the valley to life with evocative details, and still managed to bundle it into a quick 20 pages of content. Like all good "overworld" adventure settings, the area is peppered with holes to the "underworld". Those dungeons are in the process of being written up and illustrated and will be released in the next issue (coming soon!). A third and final zine will fully flesh out the NPCs, monsters and factions of the valley, and present them all as printable paper miniatures (coming later!).

Even though more is on the way, Beyond the Borderlands #1 contains plenty of content for multiple sessions of exploration and factional intrigue!

15 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    Beyond The Borderlands - Issue #1

    Posted by David R Witanowski on Jun 2nd 2021

    A loving tribute to the classic module, B2: The Keep on the Borderlands, complete with evocative hex based maps, quirky details and descriptions, and adventure suggestions that can essentially be plugged into any existing system! There's very little "crunch" to be found, but that's by design. Can't wait for the next installment!

  • 5
    Beyond the Borderlands

    Posted by Travis Bowman on May 23rd 2021

    This is a beautifully designed inspiration generator for anyone looking to run a sandbox campaign.

  • 5

    Posted by Kyle on May 21st 2021

    Beautiful, unique art throughout with concise text explanations. A great tool for anyone looking to run The Keep on the Borderlands!

  • 5
    Easy to go classic hexcrawl

    Posted by Marco on May 3rd 2021

    This actually allow the GM to open up and run it after having read it a little while. A lot of blank space for the GM to fill in with her own stuff and yet a lot of space already mapped and things going on in it. I love the graphics and maps inside. Truly an operative booklet, a game tool, truest sandbox, truly playable with fun for hours!

  • 4
    Beyond the Borderlands

    Posted by Pierre Vagneur-Jones on Mar 26th 2021

    A fantastic supplement to the classic adventure. A consistent art style throughout and overall excellently laid out for ease of use. Original takes on the surrounding areas of the Caves of Chaos and the Keep on the Borderlands. The one thing keeping me from scoring 5* are a few grammatical/spelling mistakes. It would have been useful for it to go through an editor before being published.

  • 5
    A vibrant hexcrawl that brings B2 to life for the modern era

    Posted by Austin on Mar 25th 2021

    A tight, well-designed hex crawl with something interesting to look at in every hex. The use of different zones to divide up the world is interesting, and something I hope more hex crawls take a lesson from. The graphic design is colorful and fun, taking cues from Gameboy Color-era handheld games - a theme that carries through to some of the gameplay elements. Recommended for any group.

  • 5
    Beautiful art - solid content

    Posted by Christopher Newbury on Jan 10th 2021

    Wow - what a beautiful little book! Worth every penny simply for the artwork, but yet still an amazing retelling of the “borderlands” archetype that stands on its own. With two more books on the way, no one will have to twist my arm to pick them up!

  • 5
    Beyond the Borderlands - Issue #1

    Posted by Unknown on Dec 15th 2020

    LOVE this - good construction with clear printing and vibrant colors - nice use of space for maps and tables - charming ideas mixed with author's commentary style explanations do wonders to kickstart your imagination

  • 5
    Terse but golden

    Posted by Benjamin Wenham on Dec 9th 2020

    I like my RPG books wordy. I like rich descriptions, intricate plotting, and detailed back story. This is the exact opposite of that; and it is perfect for it. Not a word is wasted, not even one phrase of waffle. It is stripped down perfection.