July 10, 2024
Tortles Alternate Cover

Tortles of the River Valley Now Available on Shard Tabletop

Tortles of the River Valley – a level 5-15 adventure for DnD5E – is now available on Shard Tabletop. The module, designed as an adventure supplement, comes from the creative and crafty mind of Chris Burson – aka the Crafty DM.

Tortles Of The River Valley

Tortles of the River Valley

The adventure is family-fun oriented, taking players through a Tortle Festival with events and challenges. It ends with an epic, if not deadly, encounter with the dreaded necromancer Ethilu.
There, the Great Toademouth and the players, will fight to Protect the Tortles of the River Valley. The adventure is published by Chris Burson – a digital map maker and long time D&D fan. (Images courtesy Chris Burson/Crafty DM)

Tortles, along with other animal races, seem to be popular with much of the newer generations of D&D players. They can be role played with lots of personality. I saw a demand for options to play them and the Dungeon Forge team wanted to expand on the fact there are not many miniatures out there featuring them, let alone adventures that include them.
Chris Burson
Chris Burson
Crafty DM

Tortles Of The River Valley

Tortles in Dungeons & Dragons

Tortles first appeared in D&D lore in 1985. Current versions of this high-fantasy take on a turtle are both strong and wise.

In Burson’s new adventure, Tortles of the River Valley, they tend to lead simple lives. They hold strong communities and become more set in their ways as they age. Most are good natured. Some subraces tend to be selfish and greedy, tending to develop bad habits, but it’s not normal for them to hurt others.

Adventure Summary – Tortles of the River Valley

Once every 10 years, the tortle communities around the world come together and celebrate their strength, wisdom and culture. Fun competitions, delicious food, and the hospitality tortles are known for can be found during the Gathering of Fish and Friends.

Your party was asked to come and experience the amazing culture and to keep an eye out for any danger. Whispers of a necromancer and his horrible creations has spread, causing many to panic. The leaders of Lake Torain have calmed most of the villagers. But tortles have a short life, so making sure this rare gathering is protected is of the utmost importance. 

Introduction to Tortles of the River Valley

What is included …

Burson’s Tortles of the River Valley is packed with content. It includes:

  • Nine racial player options
  • Three random encounter tables
  • 13 Maps, including a regional map of Lake Torain
  • Eight planned and ready-to-run encounters
  • 19 new monster and NPC stats
  • Seven new spells
  • Two new magic items
  • 64 pieces of artwork and tokens
Tortles Of The River Valley

Much of all this content was built by Burson. He explained it was originally developed as a small pocket adventure or set of encounters on Kickstarter. It was created to supplement 3d printed miniatures by the Dungeon Forge Team on a Kickstarter project of the same name.

That team included lead editor Brandon O’Connor, writer Colton “Wizthrift” Iverson, layout designer Brennon Anderson, and Burson himself. There was also a team of 3d sculpting and digital artists who worked collectively to develop the line and the adventure.

Available Digitally on Shard

Tortles of the River Valley is available only on Shard Tabletop – a highly versatile, reliable and intuitive VTT platform designed for D&D only. Burson said he decided to publish it on Shard because it is so easy to use and homebrew-friendly.

“I thought it had a neat storyline and options that should be shared,” Burson said. “It gives people something to work into their own homebrew adventures.”

He said he thought Shard Tabletop would be ideal for homebrewers to make use of this adventure.

Burson also thinks adventurer writer Cotlon ‘Wizthrift’ Iverson does fantastic work and that the two of them work well together when it comes to creating adventures. Iverson’s talents can be seen on his YouTube channel.

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Shard Tabletop Fan

Burson is quick to point out that Shard Tabletop makes it easy for up-and-coming adventure writers to get their work onto the marketplace and into the hands of DMs and players. But this isn’t the only reason he likes Shard.

” I love Shard – it is a great tool for both online and live D&D games,” he said. “It takes much less effort to set up and run a game compared to other VTT platforms I have tried. Almost every player I have introduced to Shard has found the game easier to play than other VTT platforms.”

Next up for the Crafty DM

Burson (the Crafty DM) already has several new adventures in the works. He’s also working on maps, token and stat blocks for ships and sailing vessels for 5e.

All of his “Crafty DM” content is available on Shard Tabletop’s Marketplace. Some of it is free, and all of is highly user friendly. Current content includes:

  1. Woodland Encounter Essentials (free)
  2. Exterminators Wanted adventure for 1st level characters
  3. Crafty DM’s Winter Battle Map pack
  4. Crafty DM’s Desert Encounter Map Pack
  5. Crafty DM’s Hideouts & Lairs map pack
Burson also has many digital maps available on his Ko-fi page.​
Lake Torain
Avatar Of Carla Bumstead

Carla Bumstead

Carla Bumstead serves as Managing Editor/Publisher of Dungeon Cooperative. She has been an editor and community journalist for over 20 years.

View all posts by Carla Bumstead →

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