BtMM Volume Two progress

Although I’m still slowed by frequent periods of ill health, steady progress continues to be made on Volume Two of Beyond the Morning Mountains. I’ve currently written just over 122,000 words, and anticipate that this concluding book will likely feature 200k+ words / 1200+ sections when complete.

This is a sizeable increase over Volume One, partly due to my desire to expand the amount of available content for any single playthrough, and partly because the first book ends before the full adventure has reached its halfway point. The city of Balquis was simply a natural stopping point during the journey, as not long after travelling south from there players will have multiple directions to choose from, making it impossible to neatly break the complete adventure anywhere substantially closer to an even divide in travel distance.

The above image shows part of a flowchart for an encounter sequence in Volume Two. I create these diagrams for sections that contain a lot of choices linked to items, prior knowledge or other character-specific conditions. If I don’t sketch such sequences out carefully I can’t ensure that everything is correct once such complexity is involved.

Doing this also helps me to identify where efficiencies can be made regarding the total use of sections, and to note where it’s necessary to detail specific information for players who’ve triggered a situational variation. They look a little like an electrical diagram, as they often flow oddly across the page, especially when sections need to link to others not nearby, so I use either indirect lines or many different symbols.


The books are also offered in two print qualities: ‘Standard’ and ‘Premium’ (superior premium paper with high-quality colour), which will hopefully provide better presentation options and price points for purchasers to choose from. Note that although ‘Premium’ colour is a visibly better product, featuring improved colour depth and vibrancy on better stock, the ‘Standard’ quality is still decent, being equivalent to other Print-on-Demand products such as the original printed version of BtMM.

Additionally, this Second Edition features a few extra pages for the included RARE items, yet the softcover is now cheaper than the original printed book (previously offered elsewhere), which was several dollars more expensive. Along with other small design and content adjustments and enhancements, I think this updated version of Volume One is excellent value for all the adventuring it contains.