The Door of Tireless Pursuit

The fifth Labyrinth of Souls stand-alone novel is out! The Door of Tireless Pursuit by Stephen T. Vessels launched at the World Fantasy convention two weeks ago. It is available now on Amazon and other online retailers in print and ebook formats.

Stephen T. Vessels is a Thriller Award nominated author of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and cross-genre fiction. He wrote his first story when he was six years old, and forty years later wrote one that sold. Among his earliest inspirations were the horror films of Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Vincent Price, SF films like Ib Melchior’s “Journey to the Seventh Planet,” and the legendary Modern Library anthology, “Tales of Terror and the Supernatural,” which he read in the back seat while his parents drove through Texas. In 2012 he received the Best Fiction award from the Santa Barbara Writers Conference. His first story collection, The Mountain & The Vortex and Other Tales was released in 2016 by Muse Harbor Publishing.

The Door of Tireless Pursuit is another wonderful book by Stephen T. Vessels! After reading The Mountain & The Vortex, I was super excited that he decided to contribute to the Labyrinth of Souls project and really looking forward to this book. It exceeded all expectations! Love is one of the greatest themes in literature, and The Door of Tireless Pursuit shows just how far reaching, how profound, and how powerful it can be when placed at the center of a weird and dark fantasy. At once a character-driven romance and an adventure of mind-bending scope and consequence, this story delivers on every level imaginable. It contains one of the strangest, and most badassed other-worldly beings I have ever encountered in a book. There is wild action, with spectacular and cinematic grandeur. There are wide vistas of other realms, and a large cast of lovable and villainous characters. And at the heart of it all is a mystery and a conflict that seems at once contemporary, relevant, and universal.

Here is the copy from the back cover:

Sandy’s comfortable, workaday life is rocked when he meets Lark, a mysterious woman who can manipulate time and teleport across great distances at will. What begins as a romance turns deadly when she is abducted by a sorcerer who seeks to control the metaphysical portals she defends. Determined to rescue her, Sandy is drawn farther and farther from the life he knows, into the wondrous and perilous Labyrinth of Souls. There he meets fantastic allies and adversaries, and learns that the very fabric of reality is threatened by his quest.

ShadowSpinners Press and the Labyrinth of Souls team had a great showing at the World Fantasy convention, where we displayed our wares, sold and signed books, did a reading, and talked to a lot of people about what’s inside the labyrinth. I met a lot of awesome writers and many new friends who I look forward to seeing again at future events. Many thanks to Christina Lay of ShadowSpinners Press for taking the initiative in setting this up, shipping books, and putting together an awesome table for the convention. And many thanks to Stephen for making it clear I had to be there. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

with Stephen T. Vessels and Elizabeth Engstrom at the World Fantasy convention

In other news, I have been hard at work on the next Dungeon Solitaire game, Devil’s Playground, which is now planned to launch with a Kickstarter campaign in February. It’ll be another great game with more mind-blowing artwork by Josephe Vandel. Work on turning The Labyrinth of Souls into a mobile app and computer game continues. Although there is no official timeline for this project yet, it is progressing. We now have a workable Basic game and the focus has started to shift toward fine tuning the aesthetics, the writing, and the game interface.Stay tuned for many exciting developments in 2018, including more Labyrinth of Souls novels!

The End of All Things is Now Available

I’m very excited to announce that the third Labyrinth of Souls novel, The End of All Things by Matthew Lowes (me), has been released and is available now on Amazon and other online book retailers. When I designed Dungeon Solitaire I had no idea it would lead to a series of stand-alone novels, and I am super excited to be in the lineup with so many other writers I admire. The End of All Things is a delve into the mythic underworld of a post-apocalyptic future. There’s plenty of action, adventure, and incredible discoveries to find within the dark depths of the labyrinth.

Here’s the blurb from the back cover …

Rithik is a hunter of artifacts among the ancient cities of a long-gone, advanced civilization. Infected with ghost flesh, a fatal disease caught in the ruins, he is banished from his village and must find his way in the wastelands. With the help of a mutant dog, he ventures into the post-apocalyptic underworld in search of the answers to life and death. In the dark forgotten depths, they discover extraordinary secrets and terrible dangers hidden by the catastrophic downfall of ages past. And in the farthest reaches of the labyrinth, Rithik must face the greatest enigma of all—himself.

In other news, work continues on the third Dungeon Solitaire game and Labyrinth of Souls expansion called Dungeon Solitaire: Devils Playground. I had been hoping to launch a Kickstarter this month. However, I’ve been really focused on getting this novel ready for publication, and I am not quite ready for a Kickstarter launch. Stayed tuned for more details on when Devil’s Playground will launch, and for updates on the Labyrinth of Souls computer game and mobile app, which is also in development.

In the meantime, enjoy The End of All Things, and check out the other Labyrinth of Souls novels, Benediction Denied by Elizabeth Engstrom and Symphony of Ruin by Christina Lay. There will be more coming out in the coming months. Leave a review if you get a chance, and visit ShadowSpinners Press at the World Fantasy Convention this November in San Antonio where all things Labyrinth of Souls will be on display.

*I’ve also consolidated all things Labyrinth of Souls onto a single page where you can learn about the various games, all the novels, and new developments. Here can check it out here.

Symphony of Ruin Released

It’s been a busy summer for Dungeon Solitaire! The second Labyrinth of Souls novel is out and available now through Amazon and other online book retailers in print and ebook editions. Check out Symphony of Ruin by Christina Lay.

This is a wonderful story, full of adventure, humor, magic, mystery, and heart. Remy, the former street urchin and rat-catcher come alchemist’s apprentice, is an absolutely lovable character. His haphazard, not-quite fully educated approach to magic is delightfully funny, and both his high ambitions and his incredible knack for getting in over his head are charming throughout. The City in which he lives is a fantastically realized setting, from its high castle to its teetering slums, from its winding streets to its labyrinthine catacombs.

It’s incredibly awesome to have so many great authors working on this series of stand-alone novels inspired by the Labyrinth of Souls. I hope you’ll have a chance to check them out. The third novel will be out next month: The End of All Things by Matthew Lowes (me). And the fourth book, Little Death by Eric Witchy is schedule to come out in September.

Finally, here’s an update on other Dungeon Solitaire developments:

The new Dungeon Solitaire game will be called Dungeon Solitaire: Devil’s Playground, and will be both a stand-alone game and a Labyrinth of Souls expansion. Game development and artwork by Josephe Vandel is already underway. The cards will feature full-color art this time around and having seen a few pieces already, I can tell you they’re pretty mind-blowing. The date for the Kickstarter is not set, but sometime in the fall is a good bet.

Last but not least, although still in the development stages, we have a Dungeon Solitaire phone and computer app in the works. This is still a teaser since I have no estimates on when it will be released yet, but I’m super excited for this to happen!

Benediction Denied is Available Now

 

The Labyrinth of Souls fiction series just dropped big time with this book, Benediction Denied, by the amazing Elizabeth Engstrom, released by ShadowSpinners Press. This is the first in a series of stand alone novels that will be coming out in the coming months.

How awesome is it that Dungeon Solitaire has its own line of novels? The awesomeness cannot be overstated! Could DS be the only independently designed, Kickstarter funded game with its own fiction series? It very well might be.

Not only that, but the quality of the authors who are contributing to this project is mind blowing. Elizabeth Engstrom is the author of fourteen books and has over 250 short stories, articles, and essays in print. She is a sought-after teacher and keynote speaker at writing conferences, conventions, and seminars around the world.

And these are not generic dungeon stories either. These are original creations of dark fantasy, for the Labyrinth of Souls is more than an ancient ruin filled with monsters, trapped treasure, and the lost tombs of bygone kings. It is a manifestation of a mythic underworld, existing at a crossroads between people and cultures, between time and space, between the physical world and the deepest reaches of the psyche. It is a dark mirror held up to human experience, in which you may find your dreams … or your doom.

Adam Swan is a hydrologist engaged in humanitarian efforts in the Congo when he is kidnapped by rebels and thrown into a makeshift prison. He is left to die — or worse — if his ransom is not paid. In a surprising series of events, Adam escapes the prison into an underground labyrinth where reality and sanity no longer rule. Tested by the gods of the underworld, Adam navigates the consequences of his past actions, which take him to the brink of death — and beyond.

Dare to enter the Labyrinth of Souls …

The book is available now on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format, and can be found on a variety of other ebook formats through Books2Read.

Labyrinth of Souls Rulebooks Available Now

LoS_FCover_LRulebooks for Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls are now available for $12.99 in the US. You can purchase copies direct from Createspace here (I do get a slightly higher royalty for these sales), but if you’re ordering other stuff, you can get it on Amazon with free shipping. You can also order through most Amazon International sites, immediately … or very soon.

In any case, please take a moment to a review the game on Amazon, or on your blog or social media. Reviews are huge help in spreading the word about Dungeon Solitaire and allowing me to continue making expansions and more games. Check out some quotes from previous reviews and Labyrinth of Souls Kickstarter backers below.

REVIEWS FOR THE ORIGINAL DUNGEON SOLITAIRE:

“It’s an amazing game …”
–Tim Snider, The Savage Afterworld

“It is called Dungeon Solitaire … and it is brilliant.”
–John Payne, Sycarion Diversions

LABYRINTH OF SOULS BACKER QUOTES

“An extremely awesome, super fun game.”

“Amazingly detailed and well thought out … Absolutely fantastic.”

“I have been consumed by this game and overjoyed at how much clever thought went into the making of this project.”

“There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of solitaire variants out there, but this is exactly what I’ve been looking for since the dawn of time. It’s amazing something like this hasn’t been created until now.”

“Received my book today and absolutely love it.”

“Arrived and I couldn’t stop playing it … :-)”

The Tombs of the Whispering Worms

Mark L. Chance has written an excellent adventure featuring one of my hand drawn maps. “The Tombs of the Whispering Worms” is a descent into madness for Swords & Wizardry or other old school fantasy games. The adventure was recently featured on TSRs blogsite Multiverse, and is available as a free pdf download.

Here’s an image of page 1 (linked to the pdf) and a high resolution unnumbered image of the original map. Hope you enjoy the whispering worms!

The Tombs of the Whispering Worms

A Descent into Madness

A Perfect Game!

perfect game

Thirteen year old Dungeon Solitaire player August Mericle has played a perfect game of Tomb of Four Kings! That means not just a win, but a 100 point win, with all the treasure in hand as one exits the dungeon. August’s dad said he played several hours a day for about four days before winning the perfect game.

As far as I know, August is the first person ever to win a perfect game. I knew it was possible, and thought it was only a matter of time, so I was super excited to hear about his game. I was also very happy to hear the game had been played by a thirteen year old. My early gaming experiences were one of the inspirations for creating Tomb of Four Kings, so it’s great to be able to share it with the next generation of gamers.

A huge congratulations to August on his game! That’s a photo of the winning layout, with eight turns on the delve, four hit points, and all the treasure. Pretty awesome!

*Tomb of Four Kings is available free here.

Dungeon Solitaire: Tomb of Four Kings, Revised Edition Released!

dungeon solitaire coverThe new Dungeon Solitaire game, Labyrinth of Souls is funded and in production. And as another step to bringing the new game into the world, I am releasing an updated, revised edition of the original Dungeon Solitaire: Tomb of Four Kings! It’s available here as a free download.

There are no changes to the rules, but I clarified a couple rules, corrected typos, improved phrasing, and added suit symbols. Additionally, this new Tomb of Four Kings includes the winning game walkthrough, improved images, and a mention of Labyrinth of Souls in the back.

I will not be deleting the old pdfs, at least not immediately, since other websites may link to them directly. However, if you have links to the Tomb of Four Kings rules, please update those links to the newly revised rules. Or better yet, just link to this post, or to matthewlowes.com/games.

I hope you enjoy the new rules packet. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions about the rules. Send me your high score, especially if you get a perfect game (4/100). As far as I know, nobody has done it yet. It may be highly improbable, but it should be possible.

Free PDF Download

Dungeon Solitaire: Tomb of Four Kings

Revised Edition

Labyrinth of Souls Kickstarter: Funded!

logo cardbackAbsolutely amazing! The Labyrinth of Souls Kickstarter has been a monumental success, with a total of 638 backers from all over the world and $23,363 in funding. And what an incredible result. Every stretch goal was fulfilled, adding a ton of additional content to the game and some extras as well. I am already looking forward to all the creative work to put everything together, and to shipping out rewards.

Thanks so much to all our backers, and to everyone who helped spread the word about Dungeon Solitaire. They really made this project possible. They made this funding campaign a huge success, and made the Labyrinth of Souls a reality!

I’ll be taking a short break for the holiday, and then will be diving into the process of putting the rulebook and card deck together. I have a draft of the core rules written, and Josephe has created a handful of cards already, but there is still a lot of work to do. All backers will get a fulfillment survey in the new year, and I’ll be sending out Kickstarter updates every few weeks to keep backers apprised of the process right up until rewards are shipped out.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding the Labyrinth of Souls. You can reach me through Kickstarter, through the Contact Page on this website, or through social media.

Labyrinth of Souls Kickstarter: 3 Days Left

The Hanged ManThere are only three days left in the Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls Kickstarter! We have cleared nine stretch goals thanks to 350 backers and over $13,000 in funding so far. The latest stretch goal cleared adds an additional fully illustrated card to the custom tarot deck: The Lich! I’m super excited for this card, for the artwork Josephe creates for it, and for developing the rules that will go along with it. The Lich will be a boss monster, on part with The Dragon, with a special role in the Undead Hordes alternate rules for the game.

We’ve had an absolutely incredible campaign thank to all our wonderful backers, and with three days to go, there is still another stretch goal to reach for. At $14,000 we will add a digital Designer’s Notebook, in which I’ll share all my thoughts about the origins and development of Dungeon Solitaire, and about every aspect of the Labyrinth of Souls game.

With all these stretch goals cleared, all our current backers and everyone who pledges now will be getting a lot. Numerous additional game modes and alternate rules have been added to the rulebook, including a major rules expansion with Campaign Mode. A digital Labyrinth of Souls artbook will be included with all reward levels $15 and up. And all reward levels $5 and up will also receive a free pdf copy of Giant, a giant robot skirmish game that works great as print and play.

Many thanks to all our backers for making this project possible and for making this campaign such a great success! In these final days, you can help us reach that $14,000 stretch goal by spreading the word about Dungeon Solitaire and the Labyrinth of Souls! Share a link on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, or the social media of your choice. All your help is greatly appreciated!

Check out the Campaign Here!

stretch goalsExtra Stretch Goals