I’m back, and I’m bringing Nefertiti Overdrive with me!
Nefertiti Overdrive may be the game I’ve written that I hear about the most. It may be the concept—high octane action in Ancient Egypt. Maybe it’s the mechanics, heavily influenced by Cortex though not a Cortex game. Maybe it’s just the title. For whatever reason, people seem to remember Nefertiti Overdrive.
And I have a fondness for it to. It has generated some pretty amazing memories, with players really getting extravagant with the story-telling because they were not just given licence, but rewarded for doing so.
Why am I bringing up Nefertiti Overdrive? Because I am working on it again. I needed to do a print run, and in conversations with a very smart person, I decided I should crowdfund this and aim for offset printing and even a hardcover version.
If I’m going to crowdfund, I might as well take the chance to revisit the rules. My previous update did not fully satisfy me, and I had a lot of changes that I had noted needed to be made. Now I have a chance to make those changes. I’m in the process of doing that right now.
And since I’m crowdfunding, I can get some help improving the text. Maybe even get some more art—though I am hoping I can use the amazing art by Kieron O’Gormon from the original, which was really iconic.
However this happens and whatever form it takes, there’ll be a new Nefertiti Overdrive and there’ll be a Kickstarter to fund an offset print run.
You’ll see it here—or maybe on Bluesky—when this moves forward at all.
And if you have ideas for podcasts or anything like that you think I should get on, let me know and let them know too!
There’s been some . . . issues with Wizards of the Coast recent handling of the Open Game Licence, the licence that SEP published almost all of its first products–many of them under the d20 sub-licence. I still have a bunch of OGL products out there, some of them very recent, using newer rules’ sets.
But the recent attempt to pull the rug from under creators by WotC, probably to please their corporate masters at Hasbro, has soured me on the OGL entirely. I invested a lot of time into these products, and a bunch of them are not anywhere near paying that off, but I’d rather just be done with them and snip that cord. Get free of it.
Listen, 2022 wasn’t the best, but it was better than 2021! I’m hoping that 2023 will continue the improvements. Part of it is that I’ve been able to publish a few adventures and update a few games, bringing products more in line with my hopes. Nothing’s perfect, but I think the products are better.
So I’m tentatively looking forward to 2023. And so why not offer a sale as 2023 arrives?
Just in case there’s some SEP stuff on your list that you’ve been thinking of buying, I’m running a sale over at itch.io that runs into the first week of 2023.
One note here is on print editions. The main cost for print editions—along with my time—is indexing. It is precise, painstaking work for which I am poorly engineered. If I would like someone else to do it, it comes at a cost—and SEP will only just start turning a profit this month. So, while print editions for Nefertiti Overdrive 2E and later Kiss My Axe may happen, they will be slow in coming.
Kiss My Axe is in the research phase, but this is also leading to some design decisions and evident changes in the mechanics and focus.
As mentioned earlier, I was working on updating Nefertiti Overdrive, tweaking the rules, focusing the characters more on Egypt and Egypt’s environs, and adding historical context. I’ve removed Get Netiqret as its own thing. When I first wrote Nefertiti Overdrive, I was heavily inspired by the design of Lady Blackbird, but what I released was not nearly as elegant or purpose-driven, and so I think it makes more sense to have Get Netiqret out there on its own.
I also removed the quickstart and released its adventure separate—but still for free now called Proof of Death.
It’s been a while since I’ve had any news, any information on new products, and that will likely continue for a while, but I don’t feel right if I’m not working on something, and I’m a little too old to change that.
I have three projects at various stages that I’m working on, two of which will likely see a release.
1) Nefertiti Overdrive 2E: I’m updating Nefertiti Overdrive, both changing the structure of the book, and altering the mechanics. I’m removing the adventure and having the book focused on the game itself. The adventure that was included in the 1E book—Get Netiqret–will be released separately but at the same time as 2E.
Some of you may have noticed that SEP has released a few Sword’s Edge adventures recently, as well as updating two Sword Noiradventures to 2E. I’ve just finished the first draft of a third and original Sword Noir adventure that I hope to have out soon.
Betrayal is part of the game.
The client claims to be a mythical figure of legend, exiled from his body, inhabiting that of another until he can regain his sanctum sanctorum. Whether you believe him or not, he’s got gold and he seems ready to spend it. You know it means trouble, insinuating yourself into the world of the guilds and their wealthy members, but trouble is always part of the bargain. And the client’s story is only the tip of a very cold and very dark iceberg.
Hopefully that gets you in the mood and gets you excited. Another Sword Noir adventure is in the works, though I have done nothing other than write down some conceptual notes. I intend to get that to you as quickly as I can.
I’m sure I’ve made the joke before, but what the heck.
If you have been here in the last few years, you will have noticed something different: nothing directing you to a Patreon. That’s an experiment that has come to a close. I have to admit that having started SEP in 2004, I still haven’t figured out marketing. Unlike Kickstarters, where drive-by traffic can fuel some (for me, it’s most) of the support, Patreon relies on the subject’s ability to pull in people.
Never been really good with that.
For a while, the Patreon proved useful just to push me to create RPG material. The larger one’s catalogue, the more revenue one can expect from Drive-Thru RPG (much like Patreon, itch.io—at least for me—is very dependent on the author/publisher’s ability to draw in customers). So in the end, the Patreon will likely have a longer reach than the revenue which came directly from it.
The sad truth is that, many modern societies and cultures measure a product’s value and impact in revenue. Back in university, I took a course on the social psychology of sport, and in a component about contracts we looked at studies suggesting large contracts are pursued more as a signal of the management’s regard for the athlete than for the money itself. I imagine it’s the same in entertainment as a whole.
All that to say, I’m not immune to this, so I’m afraid I continue to looks at sales and people’s willingness to spend money on me as a measure of my value—at least as an author and RPG designer.
I think I have one or two ‘for pay’ projects I might pursue, but if I write any more adventures, I think I might release them as ‘pay what you will,’ knowing the general perception will be that these are lesser products than those with a fixed price.
I intend to donate SEP’s revenue from November to Feed Nova Scotia. That’s not going to be too much. It’d be nice if everyone did what they could for Feed Nova Scotia, so of if you donate, let me know and I can send you any of my games that might interest you just as a little thank you.
Also, if 2020 has hit you hard, please let me know and I would be happy to send along whatever might help distract you for even a moment. Just email me or DM and let me know what I can do to help.
While there may be hope on the horizon, it has been a really shitty year. I hope I can help in some small way to make it suck a little bit less for some people.
Sword Noir Second Edition is a clarification, update, and tightening of the existing rules rather than a wholesale change. If you own the original Sword Noir and it works great for you, you likely don’t need this version. If you own the current Sword’s Edge, you will see that Sword Noir 2E is very similar—Sword’s Edge was derived from Sword Noir, and with Sword’s Edge having had its update, I wanted to update Sword Noir to bring it back in line with the basic Sword’s Edge rules.