The Dark of Hot Springs Island - Digital

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Check out a 20 page sample of The Dark of Hot Springs Island.

Hot Springs Island is a high fantasy sandbox adventure setting that can be used with any table top role playing game. It's comprised of two books: One for players and one for the game master.

The Dark of Hot Springs Island is the game master's book. It is a fully illustrated 192 page book. Hot Springs Island is a hexcrawl, and the Dark contains all the details needed to run a sandbox game there. There are 75 locations on the island, and 26 maps ranging from ogre villages to a ruined elven city to the volcanic lair of a vain efreet. Seven factions, 87 interconnected non-player characters and 300 problematic treasures are sure to generate plenty of lingering repercussions each time your players make a decision. Finally, 448 random events and encounter motivations help ensure that every play-through of Hot Springs Island can explode into wildly different outcomes from the same basic parameters.

The setting is system neutral, so there are no stats for monsters or prepackaged treasure parcels. No levels are assumed, and there is no path of advancement through this tropical wilderness. The monsters will likely be tough, and the intelligent factions even tougher, but the motivations for (and thus potential leverage against) everything with a modicum of intelligence has been detailed. Combat is expected to be approached like war, and not a perfectly balanced arena skirmish. Crack the mountains. Flood the dungeons, and burn everything to survive.

In the event that stats are an absolute must, most all monsters found on the island can already be found in the monster books you own for your system (e.g., efreet, salamanders, ogres, nereids, imps, elementals, etc). If they are not found there, the size and diet has been provided so you can sub in the stats of a "medium sized carnivore" or "large herbivore" as necessary. Finally, there are a few creatures of such size, age, and power that they'd likely be considered demi-gods. For these individuals it will be necessary to spend some time prepping their particulars, but there should be plenty of ramp up time before they make an appearance on the island.

A Field Guide to Hot Springs Island is the player oriented companion book to The Dark. It is written "in-character" and can be used by characters in the game world to help identify plants and monsters, translate ancient languages, and as a resource of advice and rumors.


If you'd like to hear what other people have to say about the content of the Dark of Hot Springs Island, check out this review of the Lapis Observatory (one of the dungeons that is a part of this book).


Contains a PDF file and a JPG hex map of Hot Springs Island that can be printed at 18"x24"

13 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    A fantastic setting

    Posted by C S on Feb 20th 2024

    Honestly this book reignited my passion for fantasy roleplay. I plan on running it in Dungeon World (yes! That's a lot more player agency and narrative focus then the average *hack. In my defense, the really interesting threads on HSI are kind of on the high fantasy end for an ostensibly old-school adventure) for players mostly new to tabletop.

  • 5
    The Dark of Hot Springs Island (Digital)

    Posted by Curtis Ricker on Apr 28th 2023

    Great product. Love the options.

  • 5
    Great Product

    Posted by Jason Whisnant on Dec 28th 2022

    Pretty close to the best example of what a hexcrawl should look like. The format given is pretty awesome. I have to agree with The Alexandrian in that this is the best example of what a hexcrawl should look like.

  • 5
    Dark of Hot Springs Island

    Posted by Jake on Jun 29th 2021

    This is a fantastic product - but it is a lot. Luckily the designers embrace tables for all encounters, it just gets to be a lot of rollin'. Works best with OSE or some form of it, though 5e D&D can work too. I do wish they included the trading table from the fieldbook in this one, otherwise it is fantanstic.

  • 5
    Just perfect

    Posted by Anatexis Starmind on Jun 28th 2021

    This is a must have. It's brilliant. Best hex crawl. Lovely detail.

  • 5
    Great for your game

    Posted by Graham on Apr 26th 2021

    I got the book mainly for the plant life that’s in the book easily pushed into any jungle campaign the magic items are also pretty good some useful some funny but all good ads if nothing else I’d recommend for just that if I had one complaint it’s that I’d like the digital field guy to be a bit cheaper or a book that just has the plants listed in it with description

  • 5
    Pure quality

    Posted by Robin on May 21st 2020

    I wanted to check out this book since I'm starting to feel a bit tired of having to prepare *way too much* before every session of Dungeons & Dragons. I've only read through it once really quickly and have not run it yet, but it looks fantastic! I can't wait to start a Hot Springs Island campaign later this year. At $15, I'd say it's worth it just for the inspiration and ideas it brings.

  • 5
    The best OSR module ever

    Posted by Sean P Duffy on Jan 13th 2020

    Honestly, organiziotn, layout, rad heavy metal black and white art. Interesting and weird places to visit. This is the book to get. If you are running a 5e Chult game, snag this.

  • 5

    Posted by Danny Grimes on Nov 25th 2019

    A great tool and setting for creating mood and tone while pinballing across an insane map full of adventure. Killer in every way.