Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Evolution of a Supplement

NOTE: For people in Kansas, please use the title “Immaculate Changes by the Big Guy.”

When I first started work on my current supplement, it was entitled Pool of Memory and was going to be about five home worlds, weapon modifications, and a set of new abilities called Dark Psi. Early on, however, I decided to move the weapon mods to a different supplement. After going through the proofreading process, however, I also realized that there wasn’t enough content, so I added more information about each home world and added a section of racial abilities (one per race with each home world). I then changed the name from Pool of Memory to Home Worlds, since that seemed to fit better. After adding more content for each home world, I reached the point where the Dark Psi (and the racial abilities) just didn’t fit anymore. I had very nicely painted myself into a corner. After a lot of thought, I came to the conclusion that I needed to pull the abilities out altogether and just focus on the home worlds, including the addition of more content like NPCs and encounters (similar to Chapter 10 of the Basic Rules). For those paying attention, this is NOT the best way to write a game supplement. In fact, it’s quite possibly the WORST way to write a game supplement. On the other hand, this only gives credence to my belief that the world would be a better place if it was run by robots and not people (or at least not people like ME). ;-)

Soooo, instead of publishing Home Worlds this week, it’s going to be a while longer. However, I do have my other product, Cardboard Citizens II, which is just about ready to go, so I’ll probably be publishing that within the next week or two.

On another front, I’ve been taking more notes about The Ovid Incident, my next adventure module. I was doing some brainstorming last week and came up with some more ideas. It’s still only in the planning stages, and hopefully I can plan a little better this time around.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

They Drag Me Back In

As it turned out, I really wasn’t done with the content for Home Worlds. After going through the new sourcebook, I realized that each planet wasn’t fleshed out enough. I spent the last two weeks adding more details for each world, especially the geographical regions. I also added a few more cultural tidbits for some of the races. Now, finally, I think I’m getting close to the end and I’ve given the current draft to the Editor for proofreading.

In the last couple of days I’ve been doing some preliminary renders for the Ovid Incident adventure module. The adventure’s about a runaway retrovirus and the grotesque mutations that occur at the lab where the virus was developed. So, I’ve been messing round with different character shapes and textures in Poser. I’m not sure how good the results are at this point, but there’s lots of time to fiddle with it.

Lately I’ve also been thinking about doing some creative writing (with the Imperium as the background). A while back I wrote the beginning of a short story called Ramus, but never went beyond the first few pages. Over the last week, however, I’ve been putting together an outline and some character ideas. In the original story, Ramus was a human, but my recent work on Home Worlds got me thinking about having him be a Dahl outcast who’s dabbled in Dark Psionics. I’d like to tie the story into an adventure idea revolving around the Dökk (the Dark Dahl). I only hope writer’s block and a lack of time (due to my other projects) won’t keep me from writing the story.