One of my readers noted in the coments section that he'd like to hear a bit more information on the Barrowmaze. Ask and you shall receive!
The Barrowmaze is an exploration style-megadungeon that emerged from play at Red Box Niagara. The dungeon was designed and written by me. It started out as a curiosity. I never had the opportunity to play a megadungeon in my youth, my entry to D&D in 1982 was all about modules. So I was interested in learning more about the thought-processes behind a megadungeon, and my group needed something to play, and that's effectively where it came from.
Everyone in my D&D group (except for me) started playing D&D in either the early or late 1990s. So, the Barrowmaze was an effort to teach, and develop an appreciation for, the values of old school gaming to a group of really great guys. The Barrowmaze is a little bit of Tomb-Robbing 101, but don't let that comment fool you. As the session reports demonstrate this dungeon is lethal and our PCs and hirelings have made a solid contribution to The Big Book of the Dead.
There are 375 keyed rooms in the Barrowmaze, but many of these have sub-areas such that the actual number of keyed rooms is over 500+. Because this is so large (and I have a family and a profession), I needed to divide it in half to make it manageable. Part I is for levels 1-4ish and Part II will continue with mid and upper-mid level play. This actually works well because anything I generate by way of profit I can put back into getting more art for Part II. The design is set-up such that Part I can be played completely seperate from Part II (or vice versa), but the two together will be a sight to behold!
Speaking of art, I've spend hundreds - literally hundreds - of dollars on new art for Part I of the Barrowmaze. It will feature the art of Stefan Poag, but includes others such as Toren Atkinson, Zhu, and Trevor Hammond. Why spend that much money? There are a couple reasons. Production value is critical. People need to know (that I know) that aesthetics in RPGs are important. The art helps to get DMs all hyped-up and helps them convey what the characters see. Also, I like looking at and reading modules. Who wants to do that if there aren't any sweet illustrations? Finally, I have taken much from the OSR in terms of thinking about games and gaming. This is my humble way of contributing to the community and to a game that has meant a great deal to me in my life.
The Barrowmaze is constructed in the tradition of classic megadungeons. However, there are some interesting twists designed to provide an experience that is both similar to, and yet different from, other megadungeons. I'm not going to give those away yet (Muahahahaha).
In terms of a release date, I'm just waiting on the final art pieces and I should be good to go. Early February appears realistic at this point.