Not the Only Show in Town

While Dungeons and Dragons is the most popular TTRPG, our group enjoys playing a few different games. Over the last couple of years we've had a lot of fun playing Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition. Like a lot of newbies to a system, we started with published adventure material, which eventually morphed to material created by the GM (“Keeper” in Call of Cthulhu parlance). With that, we're proud to present our take on an adventure within the 1920s Call of Cthulhu setting. The brainchild of Maera editor Damien Ennis, “Recipe for Obsession” sends the investigators in search of clues around Arkham to uncover the root of a sinister plot. We had a lot of fun testing this one and have been looking forward to sharing it with other players. “Recipe for Obsession” is available for download at DriveThruRPG here!

-Ben Holsclaw


Take your adventures to an island filled with new options for both players and gamemasters. Players will find new paths and backgrounds related to the people and powers of the area. Gamemasters will find monsters, factions, and environments that bring depth and excitement to each session. Wherever you sit at the table, you have new towns, cultures, politics, powers, and dangers to explore! Within these pages is a wealth of new and exciting opportunities.

  • 4 playable race options
  • 12 class path options (1 for each base class)
  • 2 elite undead classes
  • 6 player backgrounds
  • 11 spells
  • 25 creatures
  • GM tools, Crews and Hordes, for scaling encounters
  • 8 towns
  • Religion, culture, factions, and geographic areas
  • Pointers for writing adventures in the Maera setting including 6 quick-start scenarios

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Closer and Closer

In the middle of 2019 I was asked to write a 5E encounter with a lot of loose ends for potential expansion later. Ultimately, that plan didn't work out, but by the time it fell through completely, I'd added other bits to it and had the seed for something bigger. Story elements led to more ideas while I came to realize the skeleton of a campaign setting was emerging.

Two and a half years later, after adding Daniel Helzer's top-notch artistic talent and Damien Ennis' sage wisdom, Maera is almost a reality. With a setting and an epic adventure (levels 1-10) to accompany it, we expect a 2022 release. We are currently playtesting the variety of player and gamemaster options that will be in the final product.

Borrowing loosely from classical cosmologies of Europe, Maera is an isolated island that will be appropriate as a standalone setting or within the context of any high fantasy setting using 5th edition rules from the world's most popular roleplaying game.

Follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date as we work to release, and stay tuned for free goodies coming soon!

-Ben Holsclaw

Milestones and Experience

For all of the divisiveness social media brings, one of the things I love is seeing the community aspect of roleplaying gamers. Here you can actually see strangers getting along talking about something they are passionate about, and that’s a beautiful thing. Yes, there are still some trolls out there (who seem to be effectively managed by the groups I'm in), but by and large new members are welcomed and there’s support and respect for the differences in how everyone plays their own game no matter how long they’ve been playing.

For whatever reason, the debate over milestones vs. experience seems to be a bit more heated than other RPG topics. Experience points were the standard of level advancement for decades, while milestones have more recently crept their way into increasing popularity. To me, milestones evolved from experience, specifically in the form of “great job saving the town, now everyone gets 2000 XP.” That’s actually a milestone, just not one that automatically levels the players up.

For some context from yours truly, my gaming group is currently rotating campaigns that dip into a variety of character advancement mechanics. We play D&D using milestones, Starfinder using experience, and Call of Cthulhu, which doesn’t use either. Each system has its advantages and drawbacks, but the bottom line is this: you’d have to try really hard to get me to walk away from a game with a bunch of my friends who I would otherwise not see regularly because I dislike the way characters advance. I think for most players that sentiment holds.

Defending your preference is fine. It means you like the way you play. That’s fantastic. For me it is a little situational. I feel lucky that we get to play almost once a week. Milestones tend to move the story along a bit more quickly, and since we’re really only playing each campaign once a month or so (since we have 3 going), it works better and feels like less of a grinder. If we had the luxury of more time I might prefer XP. Does that mean I hate my Starfinder campaign which uses experience? Nope, not at all. It’s just as fun, and our characters still advance at a good pace. The character advancement system has little to do with how much fun I have in a given session. I realize that’s just me talking, but I think a lot of players would agree.

So whether you're a milestoner or an XP hound, keep playing, contribute to your game, and have fun.


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Terra Alterna and its contributors' products are available on DriveThruRPG and DMsGuild!

Maera 5E campaign setting cover

Maera Gazetteer

Start your 5E adventures in Maera here! Add depth to your campaigns as a Gamemaster or as a player with new creatures, class paths, spells, a fully developed set of cultures and locations, and much more!

Maera digital map image

Maera Gazetteer Digital Map Pack

The assets from the Maera Gazetteer are available here in digital format for you to drop into your favorite virtual tabletop. The set includes maps in different resolutions and tokens for creatures found within the setting.

Recipe cover image

Recipe for Obsession

A Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition adventure taking place in the 1920s takes the Investigators on a hunt for clues around the death of seemingly unconnected people in Arkham.

Ancient relic image

The Ancient Relic of Netheril

A DND 5E adventure set in the Forgotten Realms, a meeting in the Anauroch Desert sends them on a hunt for an artifact that lies buried in the deserts sands. A DMs Guild best seller!

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The Scimitar Spires

Following the events of The Ancient Relic of Netheril, the adventures dig deeper in to what now appears to be a plot for the return of the Netherese Empire.

Rise of althia cover image

The Rise of Althia

The final chapter in the arc that started with The Ancient Relic of Netheril, the party must prevent an attack on the city of Evereska.

Orc raiders cover image

The Orc Raiders

A standalone DND 5th Edition adventure, the heroes find the remnants of a caravan along the road. Investigation of the ambush site leads them to an encounter with a band of orcs that may be more than the heroes bargained for.


Griffon Co

A great site for all of your roleplaying miniature needs!

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Terra Alterna is a small group of game designers from Reno, Nevada, USA. We are avid players, most of whose playing dates back to First Edition DnD and has continued through the years playing a variety of TTRPGs, board games, and video games. Each of us is experienced in creating our own content and applying it to roleplaying environments in a wide variety of settings. We are now working on projects including content for 5E and our own gaming system.

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