Monday, August 11, 2014

Things I'm Working On

So with my schedule being thrown into chaos these many months this space has taken on a new shape.

Never much of an opinion blog or a provider of destination content, reviews, or commentary, it was more of a public R&D space, a link I could provide to all my players about the games we were playing so they could track more information. Sometimes I'd run ideas up a public flagpole but what that led to was me spamming the same post in about 14 different G+ communities and I can't sustain that self promotion for long without hating myself and irritating people into ignoring me.

The other thing is that most of what I've been able to game for months now has been on the store's behalf. This is great and I love being able to do it but it's not where my heart truly lies and where I have the most fun building things. As various of my players have also changed their lifestyles considerably it has become more difficult to get a group up of my local buds.

I keep working, though, because I like the work. It stresses me out but relaxes me, too, like practicing an instrument or exercising. The problem is that outside of a workshop environment, a specific context, I have a hard time opening up on something until it's finished out of a deep-rooted fear that people will realize I'm not that smart.

But never mind all that. Effectively what this blog has become is a way to track, for me and the 3 interested, how I'm coming with these projects. This is what I'm working on.

BIRDS- This is something of a setting and game to itself, I hope. It seems to me that you see a creep in the history of DNDish games where every animal can also be a person, and thumbing through the Creature Compendium alone has lots of birds and bird people. These tend to be either ways to pad out Familiar shopping/treasure tables/wandering monster lists or fill rolls a human could just as easily. Especially where PCs are concerned, there's no reason to have full rules for different kinds of bird people, to me. Not really. Not unless that's the game: bird people. Unless you're talking about a dungeon crawler where the Z axis is the most important one, and societies that generally see humans the way a traditional DND game looks at neanderthals, where there are no other civilizations because they define what a civilization is. Creatures who journey because it's in their nature. Airborne nomads. Sky queens. Mountain face kingdoms. The ultimate magic in a quasi-mideval world, the ability to ignore space and distance, or to armor yourself in it. The world is your buffet and your toilet and it needs you but if you get tired of it you can fuck off elsewhere. I'm going to even try to do art for this. I'm sorry.

DOGS- I might also try to do art for the dog book I did, and return to it to expand it a bit.

HATH SEPTEMBER: Thirty One-Page Dungeons that make up a mini campaign. You choose the order you use them in. Working title. Early stages.

DOUBLECROSSROADS- A WFRP/SBVD/BX DND/LOTFP/G+ mishmash and I've got to try and remember everything I stole...I want to release this as a kind of setting-and-rules-doc. This is my game, the game I want to run, D&D wild west style, no not Deadlands, Deadlands is its own thing, this is more like if instead of a spaceship under White Plume Mountain there was Boot Hill. Because I'm taking so many ideas for this there may not ever be a way I can actually sell this fucking thing but oh well, again, it can serve as a reference for my players.

UNDER HEAVEN- Jetpunk/sword-and-planet wuxia game setting using Feng Shui. Earliest days, newest project.

A WHOLE GAME- There's a game idea I've toyed with since getting into this hobby and I think I can take some time later this year and finish it off. Art and layout and stuff might be a whole thing and therefore out of my reach but there's always you-know-what to try and raise funds.

TWO WHOLE BOOKS- This may not happen until next year, or until I get a new job, but it's never far from my mind.

SLAVES- I've got an adventure I'm currently researching that would take place during the American revolt against the British. Inspired partly by the civil rights museum downtown, the PCs would be escaped slaves running from some eldritch horror behind them. They can potentially win their lives and even their freedom if they can get to British lines. But slavers, the white man's police, soldiers, and more threaten their crawl towards liberation. And of course they must struggle with whether to leave the white man to his fate but also consigned all their fellow slaves to such a fate, never mind the lives their escape endangered. It'd be an uncomfortable, awkward, stomach-turning thing, ideally, so I'm trying to research it as accurately as I can and be as respectful as possible. I may have a draft of this ready in a couple months though since only +James Raggi would be likely to touch it, if then, it'll probably be something I have to self publish.

DOGS AGAIN- Speaking of Raggi, Thulian Echoes stole my thunder with this idea a little bit but I wanted to capture a bit of that "revenge across centuries" motif Hammer got with its Lee/Cushing Dracula/Van Helsing pictures, where what a party accomplishes in their past era (hopelessly out of their league) sets the stage for a larger adventure that they can actually succeed in if they are careful and smart enough. There's lots of werewolves. Yes its structure also sounds kind of like Monster Squad shut up I should be so lucky you're a jerk fucking great movie fuck you.

CANNIBALS- This deserves maybe space to itself to go into more detail but the problem with the modern zombie isn't over exposure or realism or heavy handed allegory or anything like that. It's that the modern zombie absolutely obliterated *Two* amazing concepts from the face of horror: the traditional zombie, whose loss even Romero laments, their soul and mind dead, their body possessed with only the brutish strength of the will that animates and drives them...and the cannibal, that ultimate taboo and avatar of atavism. I'm still just gathering ideas for this one but I want to do a small island crawl, a trapped-and-desperate deal, centered around a society of cannibals who are opposed and oppressed from within by a madman and his zombified army of juggernauts. So cannibals vs 'real' zombies.

FIASCO- Sue me, I have two ideas I think would make good Fiasco playsets.

THE MUPPETS- Mum on this until I can figure out what the licensing for this would run, because I can repurpose this idea if I have to.