Skip to main content

Surviving Strangehollow is a 5E+ setting and supplement coming to Kickstarter in early 2024. Numerous A-list fantasy authors and designers have come together to bring the beautiful and intricate watercolors of Emily Hare to life as an immersive addition to 5E+. The campaign will feature a high-quality print book, pdf, custom dice, and several other art-centric pieces. For fans of Emily's work, there will also be several new, never-before-seen pieces of art added to the Strangehollow universe!

What's in the Book?

Riveting new fiction & setting materials

Become engrossed in the stories of struggle, survival, and supremacy in Strangehollow, written by some of the biggest names in the TTRPG industry. Use the content modularly in an existing campaign, or base a whole new campaign on Strangehollow content.

60+ unique, hand-painted creatures

Each creature will be fully developed with ecology, statistics, behaviors and mannerisms, and quirks that help them jump out of the stat block and into an immersive story.

8+ new subclasses

New character options that embrace the wildness and chaos of Strangehollow while allowing for interesting implementations of tried and true concepts.

Numerous new feats, backgrounds, and spells

From the Lost Cub background to the Scavenger feat, the new content brings greater depth and breadth to character development.

A new approach to challenges and hazards

New environmental encounters meant to challenge players in interesting ways.

Meet the Design Team

Emily Hare

Artist / Art Director

I'm Emily, an independent artist based in the UK. I grew up in a haunted house on top of a hill, near to an ancient neolithic barrow called 'The Fairy's Toote' which has a history of strange happenings. It is perhaps no surprise then, that I ended up completely enamoured with all things folklore!

I am trying to capture that feeling that I had as a child when I truly believed in fairies and magic, and when monsters really did live under my bed. My favourite medium is watercolour and I am returning to an old love of sculpture too.

I want to continue to create worlds that don’t exist that will hopefully inspire adults and children alike. The nostalgia of that magical place that only existed in my imagination is what I want to capture and share with the world.

My other loves include growing fruits and veggies, cooking, designing and sewing my own clothes.

Shawn Merwin

Lead Designer

Shawn Merwin is a full-time RPG freelance writer, designer, editor, and producer. His early published credits for Wizards of the Coast include Designer in the WotC book Dungeon Delve and the co-Designer (with Bruce Cordell) on Assault on Nightwyrm Fortress. He also co-designed Halls of Undermountain with Matt Sernett. For 5e, he was credited as a co-Lead Designer for the D&D Acquisitions Incorporated hardcover, as well as a Designer for Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus.
Shawn also regularly worked on 5e projects for Kobold Press, Alligator Alley Entertainment, and other publishers in the D&D arena. In 2021, he became Executive Lead Designer for Ghostfire Gaming and oversaw the design on Grim Hollow: The Player's Guide, Grim Hollow: The Monster Grimoire, and Arora: Age of Desolation. He is a co-host on the Eldritch Lorecast podcast and stream.
Outside of D&D, Shawn also contributed to projects as diverse as Star Trek Adventures and the Dracula Dossier. He also designs and edits projects for Encoded Designs, which include such products for many different game systems. Shawn has written game-design articles for D&D Beyond, and he hosts a weekly podcast called Mastering Dungeons. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has taught creative writing at the undergraduate and post-graduate level. He also teaches a course on Writing for RPGs at Fredonia State University.

Ed Greenwood

Author / Designer

ED GREENWOOD is a Canadian writer, game designer, actor, scriptwriter, and librarian best known for creating the Forgotten Realms fantasy setting. Ed’s 450-plus books have sold over 60 million copies worldwide in over 40 languages.

Ed also created or co-created Stormtalons, Mornmist, and dozens of other settings, and worked in Amber, Oz, and Middle Earth. He has scripted comic books for three companies and is likely the only Canadian to have appeared as himself in the panels of comic books from three other publishers. Ed has been elected to the Academy of Adventure Gaming Art & Design Hall of Fame and the Canadian Fantasy and Science Fiction Hall of Fame and won multiple ENnie, Origins, and other awards. He has a Patreon, a YouTube channel, and “Greenwood’s Grotto” on Discord.

Erin Roberts

Author / Designer

I am a Black speculative fiction and game writer and a Provost’s Early Career Fellow in the English Department at UT-Austin. I primarily write about worlds that don’t yet (quite) exist – visions of the almost future, sideways glimpses into magic realms, quick trips into the land of the horrifyingly possible. I am also fascinated by people who embody one of my favorite Sondheim lyrics: nice is different than good.

On the gaming and interactive side of things, I build worlds, develop lore, and write adventures for tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPGs) across systems. My recent credits include contributions to the Nebula Award finalist Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel (D&D), including an adventure and a new location created as an homage/love letter to the Black experience in the US South, Pathfinder: Lost Omens Travel Guide, which takes readers on an in-depth exploration of the world of Golarion through the eyes of in-world NPCs, and Hunter: The Reckoning, which places players in a world full of supernatural threats that they have only recently become aware of and decided to fight back against. I’ve also been part of the script writing team for several seasons of the long-form audio narrative exergame Zombies, Run!, and created/coded two interactive fiction pieces.

Dael Kingsmill

Author / Designer

Dael Kingsmill is a creator and storyteller who can’t help but push her vague and evocative approach to game design and narrative genre wherever she goes. As co-host of The Eldritch Lorecast, she discusses design philosophy and the latest TTRPG news on a weekly basis, and she can be found on YouTube (MonarchsFactory) talking literature and mythology along with plenty of other geek-niche subjects.

Bryan CP Steele

Author / Designer

Forty-six-year-old husband, father, producer, author, designer, and painter; if it has anything to do with the gaming industry, Bryan has made it his goal to try his hand at it. He has been a gamer for thirty-plus years, an industry professional for over two decades, with over two million published words across numerous companies and brands: Iron Kingdoms, Babylon 5, Conan, Starship Troopers, Pacific Rim, Total Recall, Power Rangers, Transformers, and more. Currently the Producer/Developer of Sci-Fi games at Evil Genius Games, Bryan calls himself “the professional nerd”, and firmly stands by his motto – leave every room at least a little happier than when you got there.

Elisa Teague

Author / Designer

For the past 17 years, I have worked in all facets of the Tabletop Game and Toy Industry and had a hand in the creation of over 100 games, from design and development to art direction and graphic/packaging design to production management, as well as numerous puzzle projects, events, and books.

I am currently in the process of creating tabletop games for three different game companies, and I have several game companies and independent game designers who contract my consulting services. I regularly give panels about game design, manufacturing, and intersectional inclusivity at game conventions and private events nationwide, including the GAMA Trade Show and Gamehole Con as an invited guest and as one of the alumni Industry Insider Featured Presenters at Gen Con. In addition to constantly designing new games and working on various game and puzzle projects with some of the biggest game companies in the industry, I currently consult for game companies and inventors alike, while taking on other geeky endeavors to feed my never-ending desire to do “everything”.

James Haeck

Author / Designer

James is an experienced Game Designer with a demonstrated history of working in the publishing industry. Skilled in Adobe Photoshop, Social Media, Group Leadership, Directing Teams, and Editing. Strong arts and design professional with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) focused in Theatre Studies from Chapman University.

James is a co-writer of the Exandria campaign and adventure modules. They wrote many materials related to Dungeons & Dragons, including adventure modules such as Descent into Avernus and Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. They were the lead writer at D&D Beyond until January 2021. They also have numerous writing credits on projects for Critical Role.

What is Strangehollow?

Strangehollow is a vast and ancient wilderness. It encompasses dense forests, dreary marshes, craggy hills and mountains, and hundreds of miles of coastline. The wilderness is inhabited by numerous magical creatures, many of which are unique to Strangehollow. Some may be familiar to explorers, adventurers, and tale-tellers, at least in name, but even those tropes are likely to have their own surprises.

Veteran explorers and minstrels tell stories of the cursed monsters that thrive in forests and swamps of the hollow. Many such creatures are wily and clever, using the inherent dangers of Strangehollow to their advantage. Some are truly mighty, capable of felling any mortal who offends them with but a flick of their talons or tails. Some creatures are so malicious that they take the time to toy with humanoid prey before devouring it. Anyone who lives within a hundred miles of the vast wilderness knows someone who knows someone who went missing in Strangehollow. And while most of the stories of man-eating creatures are merely fiction, the handful that are true are enough to keep the wise and the meek away. 

The land is wholly untamed, and outsiders visit rarely and at immense risk to their lives. Most travelers brave enough to venture into the hollow make it only a few days before retreating or disappearing. Those who tell of going deeper are either truly legendary or exemplary liars. There are tales of powerful mage-folk or shamans who call Strangehollow’s depths home, but these are certainly exceptions if they exist at all. 

Travelers in the hollow are as likely to run afoul of physical and environmental hazards as they are to be mauled or eaten. The landscape seems to twist and shift in ways that make wayfinding nearly impossible. Flora grows rapidly, empowered by the strange magic of the place. Rivers and canyons make certain routes impassable, while bogs and swamps threaten the weak with poisons and diseases. Perhaps the most menacing natural defense of Strangehollow is the mists. These banks of dense fog move willy-nilly through the landscape, enveloping the unwary. Such mists have been known to peel flesh from bones, rot wood and metal, or cause hallucinations, among other things. 

Needless to say, such a place is a magnet for the brave and the foolish. Strangehollow has many rare and unique resources in abundance, from the skins of strange creatures to the extracts of rare plants. The wood of certain trees is prized by artisans, as are the fruits and flowers that don’t grow anywhere else. Often, would-be heroes defy reason and chase after loved ones who have been lost in Strangehollow, or at the behest of others who have lost kin to it. On rare occasions, the adventurous travel into Strangehollow because they are called to do so. Something in this wilderness summons them to claim power or wealth, or something less tangible.

Explore Strangehollow

Get the Art that Started it All!

Strangehollow began as a book focused on the mystical creatures and monsters that inhabit an enchanted forest. It has expanded over the years to include more than 100 creatures and pieces of artwork in three books.

You can purchase copies of Strangehollow, Secrets of Strangehollow, and Seas of Strangehollow at Emily Hare’s website.

Get The Books