Midnight Kingdoms is more than just a podcast. It’s a look inside of a setting that has been in development for almost 20 years. It has taken on a variety of iterations and evolved significantly since its original inception. As I worked on the world – its history, races, lands, etc. – I was continuously looking for a gaming mechanics system to work within. When I discovered a system that caught my eye I would try to adjust the creation and growing ideas to work within the confines of the system. A few years ago, I realized that process was backwards. As I moved forward I decided to focus purely on the content. Yet, questions of what system I would design it to work with were always in the back of my mind.
Over the years I talked with friends about this creative endeavor with varying degrees of interest and passion on my part. I had many late-night conversations with a close friend and current player who would get me all jazzed up and I’d work on the setting in near manic obsession for several days. But I always burned out from the abrupt and exhaustive pace. Between the distractions and stressors of life and my personal health forward momentum was always sporadic and fleeting.
Then, three years ago I began to talk with Jason about the project and the multitude of ideas I had yet to get on paper. It was this casual conversation that things suddenly evolved more in several months than it had in all the years prior. It was an explosion of creativity. What I began to call a “brain explosion”. I had explosion after explosion over several months when finally, we decided that we needed to really work on this together. His passion and excitement were equal to mine. We worked in tandem and continue to do so. Our ideas feeding off one another with great energy and momentum. We worked on it little by little. Never as fast or as in depth as we would have liked. Once again, life and health would get in the way.
This past January, that friend that would get me jazzed up about working on Midnight Kingdoms told me that he really wanted to play D&D. I hadn’t run a game of D&D in many years much less a full campaign. I’ve spent the vast majority of my gaming life playing and running games from White Wolf’s World of Darkness. He was a player in a Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary campaign I had been running for years and he was really chomping at the bit to play some D&D instead. And then –
BOOM! BRAIN EXPLOSION!
I had yet to play 5th edition. I knew little to nothing about it. But it was then that the Universe aligned, and everything came together. I would run a D&D 5th edition campaign in the Midnight Kingdoms setting. It didn’t matter how well I knew the system. I’m a damn good GM. I can make it work as we figure out the mechanics together. Midnight Kingdoms would finally come to life.
It was at this time that I discovered Tails From the Dark Dragons Inn and DnD RAW (see below). They inspired and helped with the idea that I wanted to make a podcast out of this thing. Jason was on-board with the idea and we went to work getting a good chunk of the essentials together. Again, more work in a few months than the majority of years preceding it.
So, here we are. Nine months later and about to release this podcast thing to the public. The world of Midnight Kingdoms isn’t as complete as we had hoped and the 5th edition mechanic adjustments and add-ons aren’t where we want them to be but it’s a huge step for us. We hope to see this be our launching pad to continue to develop this world and hopefully one day see a campaign guide come to print and begin to work on other projects that have been brewing in the back of our heads.
Thank you for stopping in and we hope you’ll stay on this journey with us.
Jeremy D. Kleinhans
We would like to thank those who have helped in countless ways and continue to do so. First, our friends, our fellow gamers, the players who make heroic efforts to be together at the table every month, those who have helped create and bring life to this world – Randy, Rachel, Matt, Jared, Kyle, and Amy. You are all amazing. We love you.
To everyone in the gaming community. You inspire us. You’ve helped us in countless ways. You’ve welcomed us. You’ve been nothing but warm and kind.
Especially those that we’re able to call friends. Ray from Tails From the Dark Dragons Inn – a “long form, serialized, high-fantasy, improv fiction, audio drama style podcast, driven by tabletop roleplay.” Thank you for inspiring us, helping make this podcast a reality, and for introducing us to the fine folks over at DnD RAW. A group of amazing people that also made this vision come to fruition with their unconditional support and encouragement. Last and certainly not least, the rest of the kickass people in the halls of DnD RAW’s Discord channel.
Thank you all. We hope you enjoy the journey we have in store for you.
Jeremy D. Kleinhans