I haven’t been creatively writing at all for the last 5 months for a variety of reasons, mostly psychological. [I’ve been writing at work because that’s my job and profession and I like getting paid.] It’s taken a while, longer than I expected or intended, but I’m getting back into my writing headspace. I know I still owe the last of the Woodchipper Shadowrun adventure log, but that’s not going to happen first. I have some other stuff I’ll be writing about and a goal for the year I want to achieve, then I’ll finish up Woodchipper. Apologies for the delay, but this is the path my muse is taking me through.
So the goal I’ve set myself it to properly write up and publish 5 of my Shadowrun adventures by the end of November 2017. I have a flyspeck of a publishing company that hasn’t released anything since creation that I want to release material under. It’ll be PDF and maybe MOBI files as I don’t have the money for anything fancier, but I know how to write, edit, and publish a document for a client. Now I’m going to be the client. Each adventure is already written as game notes, I just need to put together an adventure template and properly write down the parts I improvised. I’ll post updates here as things progress on that front.
The other thing I want to do is start up a fantasy campaign set in [a version of] early Renaissance Europe. I have an excellent map of the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) circa 1400 that I REALLY like, but it is a .SVG file and in German, so I’m recreating it in English and in Illustrator. This is helping me learn the way things fit together and where things are. I was originally going to use the HRE in 1648, just after the 30 Years War to explain the devastation of the countryside, but that requires me to deal with the Reformation and the Roman Church along with any “Pagan” deities the PCs want to invoke. [The history of Europe plays out very differently when the non-Christian gods have the power to grant miracles through their priests on the spot.] Additionally, the 1400 map has all the little princedoms and complete fragmentation of the HRE, making it a much more interesting map.
The players will start as the low-life friends of a 4th-son [or daughter - it's a fantasy game] noble who unexpectedly inherited title and lands to a tiny graf in the HRE. The PCs are asked to help their friend get things under control and look into things guards just can't handle or shouldn't be seen handling. I'll probably start the PCs at 3rd level or so to justify them being used/trusted to handle/investigate these things. This starts the PCs knowing each other already and with a patron to send them out to do things if they start getting bored. Plus, if they get out of hand, it costs their friend politically and makes life more unpleasant all around. Who'd do that to a good drinking buddy?
I’m not a very religious person by any means and generally ignore the gods when running a fantasy game beyond what is necessary for PC healing and verisimilitude for the setting, so I’d rather avoid the need to re-write European history for 1000+ years just to get to the starting point of the campaign. That said, I need to integrate religion in general and several faiths in particular into the background. By just focusing on the HRE, I can limit the amount of history writing I have to do. In fact, if it weren’t for elves and dwarves being long lived, I could just present things however I wanted with the statement that “it’s always been this way” as far as the characters are concerned. A detailed history of the past was lost by this point in Europe, so who’s to gain-say me? So "No elven or dwarven scholars" will likely be a limit on starting characters.
I’m planning on using the Adventurer Conqueror King System (ACKS) for mass combat [it rocks] and guidelines on early firearms [still need to read them]. I may just use the entire system for the game, assuming my group is willing to try it. If I decide that ACKS is the way I want to go, I’ll just post the game and see who’s willing to give ACKS a try. [If not, I’ll adapt the rules I need to whatever current system we end up playing, either Pathfinder or 5E.]
That’s it for now. I’ll probably gush about my map next [I’m spending most of tomorrow working on it] or what I’ve been reading in ACKS. -Later!