The concept of Nefertiti Overdrive is, in many ways, a continuation of the concept for Kiss My Axe: Thirteen Warriors and an Angel of Death. Kiss My Axe took the historical Viking era and culture, and threw in cinematic action. What I quickly learned is that for me and many others, cinematic action includes many of the mainstays of wuxia cinema – physics defying spectacle and feats of derring-do that could only be explained through magic or some other supernatural phenomenon.
In reading about Sudan, I learned of the Merowe Dynasty, a kingdom that is generally called Kush. For a time, the princes of Merowe ruled Egypt. This is not the only foreign dynasty that ruled Egypt, but it interested me enough to read a few articles about it.
The fall of the Kushite dynasty got me thinking of a scenario that began as an idea for a story and quickly morphed into something more cinematic. I’ve written elsewhere about my ideas for a screenplay based on the evacuation of the Kushite dynasty, centering on a princess, her loyal bodyguard, and a unit of mercenaries caught in the evacuation and threatened by the oncoming Assyrian horde. It became more cinematic when I envisioned the fight scenes, and the specific roles each of the characters could play.
I’m a big fan of niches in both role-playing and fiction. That may be due to the formative nature of D&D in my own maturation as a story-teller, and is reflected in my love of movies like the 13th Warrior or Predator which have teams of specialists rather than an amorphous horde of tough guys. In my imagination, those specialists became distinct through both their specialties and their cultures. The hunter-archer became the Amazon and the hand-to-hand specialist became an eastern monk in the Shaolin Warrior tradition.
That’s when it dawned on me what a lot of fun it would be to play in a pretty a-historical setting (I really know nothing about Egyptian history except in very broad strokes) with crazy cinematic action (which defaults to wuxia in my head). And thus the initial plan for Nefertiti Overdrive came into my head.
And since a lot of people have asked, the title is a nod to William Gibson’s Mona Lisa Overdrive using the name of the most famous female Egyptian that came into my head. Yes, Cleopatra ruled Egypt, but I never really think of the Ptolemys as Egyptian. They’re all Greek to me.
The Kickstarter for Nefertiti Overdrive will be happening in late March, 2014. Start stuffing your piggybank in preparation.