Category Archives: General

Summer Sanctum Projects

Here’s an update on recent and upcoming projects in the Sanctum of the Archmage Saga!

RP Game Modules for Neverwinter Nights

Sanctum of the Archmage: The Sight and The Quest, EE Version was published on June 6th! This v5.0 release includes a number of new features, including major custom content updates and re-writes to the XP and crafting systems. The beginning in the forests of southern Carlissa has also been re-built using the excellent Wild Woods tileset, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. This release will only work in Beamdog’s Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, although I’m planning an update that should work in NWN 1.69 as well.

A Steam release of the EE Version is also planned for later this year. When that happens will depend on how long it takes me to work out how to re-package the modules for it, and/or to get permission to re-post the required custom content projects on Steam. Some folks at the Neverwinter Vault are developing a one-click install solution that would draw directly from its archives, and if I can make that work from Steam that would be the best and easiest solution. I’ll post updates as I learn more. I’ve had information that players are increasingly checking only the Steam workshop for new EE modules, though, so it’s looking increasingly important for me to get Sanctum on it as well.

After that, I’m planning to resume development of Sanctum of the Archmage 3: The Miracle Worker. How much time I’ll be able to devote to it, though, will depend on the level of interest in the re-release of Sanctum 1 & 2. If they do well and there’s a growth in the player base for NWN:EE, then I’ll definitely try to put more of my (sadly limited) time into that effort. If not, then I may need to switch more of my focus back to resuming work on my novel writing projects. And speaking of that …

The Sanctum of the Archmage Novel Series
Indie publishing, as I’m learning, is really hard work. Being successful at it (especially today) requires mastering a host of cutting edge book marketing skills and practices.

This is a painful lesson that I learned from last year’s launch of my first novel, Dawn of Chaos. Without the right promotional work, you can write and publish a book, but next to no one will notice (let alone buy) it. It’s also easy to fall into the many pitfalls of modern indie publishing, such as the curse of the polluted also-boughts (which, of course, I did).

I’ve been devoting a lot of my spare time in recent months to correcting those oversights by reading and listening to dozens of books, articles, and podcasts on indie book marketing and publishing. A review of my first novel has also helped me recognize some opportunities I have to improve them. So I’ve decided to make a thorough edit of Dawn of Chaos my next writing project before getting back to finishing my next novel, Wrath of the Peregrine King.

Dawn of Chaos: Edit and Re-Release
Dawn of Chaos suffers (especially in the earlier chapters) from the fact that much of it was written while I was still honing my writing skills. It also has an unusually long introduction and denouement relative to the core of the novel’s story. Modern readers, however (and I think with some justification) expect a book to quickly draw them into the story, and have less patience with the level of exposition and “stage setting” that I was used to from many of the classics of the past. In the e-publishing world of readers who use the “look inside” function to decide if they like something enough to buy it, authors really need to put their best, tightest, and most gripping work forward at the outset.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to restructure Dawn of Chaos and to give it a ruthless edit. My current plan is to separate the introduction and denouement into two novella-length works that “sandwich” the main story. The first was easy to do by editing and moving the initial three chapters of the novel into Prologue to Chaos. The revised Prologue still opens with the conflict and action of the saga’s seminal confrontation, but now also includes a much tighter introduction to the novel. Along with a couple of additional scenes, I think it will be a more effective lead-in to the series, especially since I will also be making it available as a free download.
The novel itself (after a short synopsis of Prologue) will lead right into the action with the start of the invasion, ending shortly after the climax in the chapter The Last Stand. I’m currently planning to release it as a new book under a new name and with a new cover, and titled Hellgate. The last several chapters (along with an added scene or two to help further introduce the next novel, Wrath of the Peregrine King) will then be released as another novella, with the working title The Seeds of the Rebellion. After that, all three books will be collected into a single compilation volume and re-published (as both e-book and paperback) under the original title, Dawn of Chaos.
Going Wide
After careful consideration, I’ve also decided to end my participation in Amazon’s KDP Select program. What that means is that although my books will no longer be available in Kindle Unlimited, I will also no longer be required to publish them exclusively on Amazon. That will let me release them on other online bookstores such as iBooks and Kobo, and even sell them from my own website. (In the indie publishing world, we call this “going wide.”) Setting all of that up will take a bit of time, but I’m very excited at the prospect of making Sanctum of the Archmage available in all of those new venues in the coming months.
New Facebook Group

Sadly, thanks to the changes made by Facebook to its algorithms this year, the ability of Facebook pages like mine to reach fans has been steadily (and notably) diminishing. Since a shift to Facebook Groups rather than pages seems to be the becoming the advised way to stay in touch with fans, I’ve gone ahead and created a Sanctum of the Archmage – Facebook Group. If you’re on Facebook, please feel free to visit and join!

That’s all for now. Thanks again for your interest and attention, and stay tuned for upcoming announcements!Sincerely,

Tony Donadio (aka Andarian)

Dawn of Chaos: Free Promotion

Sanctum of the Archmage: Dawn of Chaos will be available as a free download Thursday, February 15th through Sunday, February 18th!

A new constitution prepares the land of Carlissa for an era of enlightenment. The harsh traditions of the past are fading, and a promise of freedom stirs the air.
In the space of one terrifying day, that promise is shattered in a bloodbath of fire and magic.

Thousands of years ago, an epic battle was fought between good and evil. The demon lords had opened a door to the realms of hell itself, and their horde threatened to overrun the earth. But the Kalarans, led by the hero Calindra, destroyed their hellgate and drove them from the world.

The Great War has long since been lost to myth and legend. The Church struggles for relevance as the people forget their covenant with the gods. A renaissance of freedom and learning stirs the air in the modern age of Carlissa, led by the royal family, and the wisdom of the Archmage.

Many breathe deeply of that air. Princess Randia prepares, not for a loveless marriage of state, but for a life of music and theater with her beloved fiancee at her side. And Orion, a young scholar seeking escape from a traditional merchant family, begins a new career as a professor of philosophy.

All of that comes to an end when a dome of shimmering magic appears in the capital city. In the chaos that follows, the people fight desperately for their very survival, and wonder bitterly why the Archmage seems to have abandoned them.

Their only hope lies in reaching him — and with a young princess who never wanted to rule. She must find the strength to set aside her bard’s calling and take up a battle against impossible odds — or surrender her land and people to the Black Magus and his demons.

Dawn of Chaos finally brings the award-winning Sanctum of the Archmage role-playing games to the world of fantasy fiction. Buy it now and don’t miss this exciting first novel in the saga!

Dawn of Chaos: Cover

I’m excited to debut the cover (by Charles Imbro) to my upcoming novel, Dawn of Chaos!

This is a near final draft. Aside from some minor touch-ups that Charles is working on now, this is how the final version will look.

I’m devoting February to doing two passes of final editing to get the manuscript ready for publication. If all goes well I should be ready to upload the e-book to the Amazon store in early March.

Draft Cover

Prologue to Chaos – Free on the First

Until the beginning of next year, Sanctum of the Archmage: Prologue to Chaos can be downloaded for free on the first of every month. The next (and final) “Free on the First” promotion(s) will be:

  • Sunday and Monday, January 1st and 2nd

Amazon also gives me a couple of extra days each quarter to make Prologue to Chaos a free download, in addition to my regular “Free on the First” promotions. The next of these promotions will be on:

  • Sunday, January 8th

If you have an old copy of the prologue, this is a great opportunity to download the new and re-titled third edition. Just go to the “Manage your content and devices” link in Amazon under “Your Account,” and select “Actions… Delete” on your pre-3rd edition copy. (This should have the old title “Dawn of Chaos,” and the book’s old B&W cover with red borders.) Then visit the link below to download the 3rd edition, which features a new title and cover, as well as a full stylistic re-edit. 🙂

Sanctum Mod Remake Out for Beta

I’m happy to announce that the remake of my NWN adventure module, Sanctum of the Archmage 2: The Quest, is now complete and out for beta test. If all goes according to plan I should be able to post it for general release sometime next month.

The update includes version 4.2 of both Sanctum of the Archmage Chapter 1: The Sight, and Chapter 2: The Quest. When released they will both be included on my project page for The Sight, which will be updated to reflect that it now includes both modules.

The updates to Chapter 1 are mostly in the form of gameplay improvements. The changes to Chapter 2, however, constitute a remake that is similar in scope to the version 4 changes to The Sight. They feature new and re-built areas, new and expanded quests, new custom content, and lore changes to bring the story more in line with the novels. They also include a significant revamping of custom content to use the same integrated CEP and Project Q architecture as the first module.

Thanks to everyone for their patience. I hope you enjoy it!

Sanctum 2 Preparing for Beta Test

After a couple of weeks of fairly intensive work, I’ve (tentatively) completed work on the remake of Sanctum of the Archmage 2, now titled The Quest. After a play-test this week to make sure there are no major bugs, I’m going to prepare the module for beta-test and subsequent release. Anyone interested in participating in the beta test, please feel free to comment here, or to PM me on my NeverwinterVault account.

I’m also currently editing and working on production of the now completed and first full-length novel in the series, Sanctum of the Archmage: Dawn of Chaos. If all goes according to plan it should be available on Kindle toward the end of the summer, probably in September.

Dawn of Chaos: Draft Cover

I’m pleased to present the first draft of the cover to my upcoming novel, Dawn of Chaos:

The titling is rough and only notional for now. The final version will be more consistent with the series intro, Prologue to Chaos. My illustrator Charles Imbro is is working on a color version of it for the final cover. I’m also planning to include the black and white illustration in the text in the appropriate scene.