I’ve been trying to decide what to do here once Dark Horizons reaches it conclusion (coming soon!). I think I know what I’ll do. I can’t promise to reach a conclusion to the next project, because it is more about concepts and ideas than actually producing something.
What the heck am I talking about?
I have decided, yet again, to take a stab at RPG design. Why would I do this? Two words: sword noir. This is all part of my attempt to define the genre for myself. As so much of my creative energies are directed toward RPGs—either for personal or commercial reasons—I figured that it might be useful to get some of the ideas into a concrete form as an RPG system.
My first step is to consider exactly what I am going to design. I need to ask myself some serious questions and try to fashion the answers over time. To do this, I’m going to riff off the Power 19 (links at the end of the post). I’m not going answer them all at once and I might not even answer all 19, but I need a place to start and a place to sharpen my ideas, and question and answer usually helps.
The first three are the big three
1.) What is your game about?
2.) What do the characters do?
3.) What do the players (including the GM if there is one) do?
Next post, I’ll answer those three questions.
You can find the Power 19 questions here.
You can find a discussion of my proposed system here.
Don’t miss a chapter of Dark Horizons!
Continued from Twenty-nine: House Call
Thirty: No Delilah
The wall surrounding the estate did not matter. The many electronic baffles set to inhibit eavesdropping did not matter. The psychic shield so strong it gave pedestrians that passed the structure slight headaches or nausea—not even that mattered. Inside the white delivery van, two men watched and heard everything that happened in the house and on the grounds. Inside the van that looked like a hundred, maybe even a thousand other white delivery vans in Cairo, men had watched the happenings in that place and recorded it.
Nothing moved in the building or on the grounds.
Continued from Twenty-eight: Kitting Up
Twenty-nine: House Call
Willow watched the front of the building over the telescopic sight on her Knight’s Armaments SR-25 sniper rifle. She crouched in an alleyway while Rudi stood behind her. Rudi’s VSS—a Vintorez special sniper rifle—hung at his chest on his tactical rig. A suppressed sniper weapon using heavy, sub-sonic ammunition, the VSS had an automatic fire mode. If he needed to enter the clinic and engage in close quarters battle, he felt confident with the VSS. He had used one in a tight situation previous.
A single-story structure, the target location had double glass doors and two, large windows at the front. Heavy shades covered them. Dark and silent, the building offered Rudi no clues as to its purpose. He knew it held occupants. He had seen five men, dropped off by a non-descript van—not unlike the ones Gurung had acquired—enter the building. How many would they face when the assault came, as it must?
Continued from Twenty-seven: Hitting the Fan
Twenty-eight: Kitting Up
She hadn’t had a cigarette in almost ten years. How come she remembered it so vividly? Heather imagined the feel of it in her mouth, imagined lighting it, inhaling. The calm would spread. It would take her, relax her, get her down.
Heather really wanted a cigarette.
Mads’ chuckle caught her attention. “What the fuck is going through your head?”
So, May was a pretty normal month for SEP. Maybe a teeny bit slow, but compared to the other data I had provided, this will give you an idea of how slow it can get and still have sales. Are you ready for it?
Total Sales for May
Canada’s Combined Security Reconnaissance Section 1
In Her Majesty’s Service 1
Total Sales to Date
Albenistan: Election Day (Modern Dispatch 113) 19
Khorforjan Gambit 77
Qalashar Device 90
Raid On Ashkashem 128
Canada’s Combined Security Reconnaissance Section 71
Covert Forces 97
Covert Forces Redux 101
In Her Majesty’s Service 109
Gunpowder Plots 73
Man-At-Arms Advanced Class 36
Mercenary Advanced Class 39
Spy Advanced Class 34
Roles & Classes
Capable Hero 84
Combat Hero 83
Counter-Terrorism Assaulter 95
Covert Hero 92
Spec Ops Recce 93
Special Operations Marksman 93
Talent Trees Assembled 68
Treasure Chest Unlocked
Cyber-state Avatar Toolkit 21
Line Zero 28
Relief Effort 45
Continued from Twenty-six: Overt Sly
Twenty-seven: Hitting the Fan
Walker watched the exchange through binoculars. He crouched on a rooftop across the street from the alley mouth. He wasn’t happy with the location, but they couldn’t have gotten much closer without alerting the contact.
That contact apparently expected some kind of trouble. That, or he was compensating. Short and squat, with a patchy beard, he spoke with a cigarette held between his teeth like Walker had seen in Hong Kong movies from the 80s. He wore a leather car coat, which spoke to some level of resolve. It had hit 32 degrees, and that didn’t factor in the humidity.
Cross-posted at Sword’s Edge
I can see the end of Dark Horizons on the—dare I say it/write it—horizon. So, what to do next? What to do with SEP? Most blogination happens over at Sword’s Edge, with the occasional personal post over at my tumblr page, so whither SEP?
I’m wondering if serial fiction is the way to go. It keeps me writing. The problem is that it does take up so much of my writing time, I do little else. Also, it works best when there is a large (as in five or six) buffer of chapters/posts, which means I likely wouldn’t be prepared to transit immediately into a new story. Finally, I would have to decide what to write. I have so many ideas and inspirations, and they change so often, it’s a tough question to answer.
If I free up my writing time, maybe I can get some products out there. The Osiris Files have stalled, mostly based on the stalling of the release of Mundus Novit. It is the plan that should the Files go forward, they would no longer be linked to MN. While I remain enthusiastic about MN, the lack of certainty regarding its status—now and in the future—means I would prefer to focus my efforts elsewhere.
So, those of you still visiting, if you feel invested in SEP at all, what would like to see? More serial fiction? More product? Something else entirely? Or should this just become a legacy site and I should focus my efforts elsewhere?
I’d put up a poll or ask for comments, but I would likely be embarrassed by the response. Instead, just email me if you actually have an opinion.