image from Frobidden Planet

image from Frobidden Planet
Graves of Altair IV

Monday, August 13, 2018

Going forward


 Play A bit of follow up on the last While the be thing is still in editing (slowly because I find editing my own work akin to using a cheese greater on one's own flesh but far less rewarding), the 'scribbling phase' is done.   That being the case, aside from some tweaks as play testing and any landmines from that are revealed (being, you know, the point of play testing....) the content as such is a set thing.   

About that - Sub-ether Zero zero is a MONSTER.  I toyed about with calling it a mega-zine for a bit but I can’t quite bring myself to do that. (ya’ll remember this started out as a 60 page zine idea right?  No? Well it did. But enthusiasm is a powerful thing. Now it’s a doorstop,) so … be aware we are now talking about something more book length. It is a hot mess of space fantasy horror high weirdness.  The tribes of space, citizens and worlds of the imperium, and...
There’s a lot in there. 

 So I can talk a bit about what I want to do next. 
-         Abandon hope ye who do not wish to keep up with bouncy free text ramble -

     First I still want to do the zine! 
     So between stuff written for the zine/ashcan when it was still of reasonable length, and bunches of other stuff, cut content and lots cut from the book above and beyond, I’ve got about … a lot of extra stuff.   Much of which is interesting but I just can’t justify packing into an already overweighed thing.  So if I do these, these are each going to be themed and will kind of drill down deeper into the setting established in Sub-ether Zero zero.  Each should have (at least) several articles, scenario seeds or full adventures, a full class, a worlds of the imperium article, and likely some critters as I do love to make monsters.
AS stands I’ve got two short (one might even say…zine length.  Go ahead, laugh.) maybe issues and by theme, seven clearly sketched out, SHOULD I even decide to go this route.  (This route which, you know, I do keep thinking is going to be easier than is.  All of this aside from the actual writing part is new to me so I am going slowly. But as I do prefer to learn what and how as I go this is preferential if tedious.   Maybe not confidence inspiring but honest – and I’m doing this for me anyway. )

 Poor Nethermancer’s Spellbook
The cursed tome.  Indulgent and so pro’ly something to put on the backburner - esp since I have to start from scratch on these (the 17 or so I had of these were lost in January’s hard drive failure and EVERYTHING was lost in the subsequent two computer fails. 2018 has exacted a rough toll) but the Poor Nethermancer’s Spellbook would be just that, 50 (space or on topic themed) spells for DCC.  Not sure when this would be in the cards, but it’s still something I’m thinking about.

Galaxies Black
Something I’ve mentioned to a few of you individually (Mostly you Chris!)  But want to mention is Galaxy Black - a campaign generator and kind of a follow up Sub-ether Zero zero.    It started (back in the mists of time of mid 2011) as an attempt to do an SF version of the Ready Ref Sheets, so it also has the advantage of being a wholly anachronistic follow up.  As it stands the thing that prevents this from being ready for prime time is my sake of completeness – and in this case that completeness is part of the point of the book.  Ideally the thing, when done, will help, inspire, or aid you in creating a horror themed science fantasy campaign setting, by choice or random roll, from the critters up to worlds, sectors, polities, and gods.  (You might get the impression I have a hard time doing things small.)
It’s being written, has been “being written” since 2011 and will pro’lly take a few more years to finish if we’re honest.  Assuming I don’t die first. 
Which, you know, that heart attack thing has reminded me is a distinct possibility.

Other stuff
I had a thing for the GFA that being internetless for six weeks utterly prevented me from getting in.  I’ll drop that somewhere, at some point, pro’lly with a bit less edited profanity than would have been the case.   It’s a follow up to my hex from last year (2017).  I don’t think anyone but +Jarret Crader has seen the thing (tho the copy I shared out was BLOATED and pre first hard drive crash) – an extended patron write up and a load of magic items and monsters.

Other stuff
But not worth mentioning.  None of this covers things I have done/did for other folk or may be under contractual obligation to do. This is all just my stuff.   
Yeah I know I'm doing this all in the wrong order.  Bite me.  It ought to be my tag line – “Oh no, I run a shoddy, no budget operation.” J
 Stuff is done when it’s done, not before, not later.  Any attempt on my part to say otherwise has gotten smacked down by the universe so I shall do no such thing.   That said, all irons are in the fire right now.  Aside from the process of living life itself, I have no other commitments on my time from here on out, save what entropy, anxiety, and Mr. Death can get out of me.

More Sub-ether blather.
I’ve had but a small number of informal pick up playtests so far; nothing earth shattering but success is not always measured in Epic Amounts.  Honestly being able to run a game without being an anxiety ridden mess is victory enough.  2018 has been rough.  (Living with anxiety as a constant companion makes things like playtests interesting.  The knowledge that any time that any social situation could theoretical go immediately south because of your Own Damn Brain can harsh any mellow under the right circumstances.  Much fun.)

The best thing to come out of it and, if I’m honest, one of the best things anyone’s ever said to me came out of it though.  A play tester said it was like an “EC comics version of Warhammer 40K.”

That’s an IIIIInteresting take.  Wrap it up though, I will happily take it.  

I have a deep and abiding fondness for the original WH40K Rogue Trader and there’s a bit of that love in this book, but if there’s a warhammer comparison I would say the Empire is more like the Old World / Empire of Warhammer Fantasy than it is the Imperium of Man.  THAT I would call an apt comparison.
(That said, could you run a 40K DCC game with it?  Yes. At the least it’d get you started.  Ya’ll are a clever bunch though and can – and do – wing it all the time.  I’m not worried.)

It’s a ‘serious’ toolkit/setting book in that you could pick it up and run some (I think) pretty kick ass DCC space adventures with it in the course of whatever a normal campaign is for you without a massive tonal shift save maybe smudging a bit closer to horror than DCC genuinely hews.  With the proviso that my stuff tends to run to the surreal and horrific anyway….though it is packed with little funny bits (well, I hope) because I like to remind you all not to take this more seriously than we have to.
 It’s a GAME. After all.   A thing we do for fun. I hope it doesn’t take you out of the text too much.
Besides, we could all do with a little more amusement nowadays I think.  

But I apologize for nothing. Ultimately, this is a thing that’s been trying to get out of my head since I was five or six.  Yes, of course it’s self-indulgent but who else is going to indulge me? 
Enjoy your fantastic space horrors