Happy summer (or at least, to our Northern Hemisphere readers)! Some quick news from me: I have successfully crossed the finish line of my first full-time year of teaching and slid into summer break. I have some teaching workshops I am going to this summer but hopefully I will also squeeze in some more writing. However there probably won’t be any posts for a month or so yet still, for two very important reasons:
1) The section of the game plot we’re entering in now is complex and very tangled, and on top of that there were some lags due to schedule conflicts, DragonCon, etc. There were a couple scenes we ended up basically replaying by accident cause we forgot we had done them, and so forth. What this means is that I have a lot of editing, consolidating, and cross-checking to do. To make this more efficient, I’m basically doing a huge sprint of transcribing with no editing until I can look at the whole arc of the scenes at once. To give you an idea, at this time I have seven sessions transcribed, but there are at least three or four more I want to get down before I start editing. It’s a major section of scenes coming up, as you can imagine, so I want to get it right. Also, minor spoiler alert, Rabenholz and Scout end up going on this…esoteric…side-quest and I am going to try to do something special with it.
2) As I briefly mentioned in the last update, there is something completely separate from our Vampire game that I’ve been quietly working on. Earlier this year, through a series of happenstance and word of mouth, I applied to an open call from Evil Hat Games to be a freelance game developer. One of my proposals ended up being accepted so for the next few months, I am working on developing a stand-alone game module for the Fate Core system. If you’re unfamiliar with the Fate Core system (as I mostly was before I applied) it is a unique, rules-light system that is extremely story-driven. Although the system is different from the World of Darkness Storyteller system, the basic character-driven premises that make for good WoD games also seem to make for good Fate Core games. I’ve been enjoying it a lot, and if you’re interested in checking it out you can download the core book PDF at a pay-what-you-want rate from DriveThruRPG.
So what am I developing for them? Well over the last few years they’ve built up a business model of short, independent modules based on the core system, written by a wide diversity of authors, and funded largely through Patreon donations. My game isn’t based on vampires, sadly (although they do already have an excellent module about vampires attacking the Oregon Trail). Instead, my game–called The Crisp Line–draws inspiration from current real-world CRISPR/Cas9 genetic engineering technology and my own background in biology. The summary is as follows:
In the not too distant future, changing your genes is like changing your name: tricky, but possible for the right reasons, or the right price. What once began as a technology for medical necessities has expanded into private use for the upper classes. High-class transhumanists borrow from the genetic library of the world to subtly modify and enhance themselves and their children in ways that help them climb even further ahead.
But you are not upper class. The desire for a chance at the lives of your betters leads you to the shady underbelly of still-developing genetic technology, where the lack of regulations is painfully obvious. Perhaps you wanted a cheetah’s speed or an eagle’s vision, but you wound up with much more than you bargained for. Strange animal-like transmogrifications are common side effects of gene-modding gone wrong, and a permanent reminder of your less-than-humanity. Society now insists you’re a second-class citizen, but at the same time you also have astonishing abilities the likes of which humans have only dreamed of. How will you survive? What alliances will you form with others of your kind? And how will you define your identity in a world where the meaning of “humanity” is evolving faster than science can comprehend?
My outline has been approved, I am working on the actual draft of the game now, and current projections have it slated for release around the end of the year. Till then I will keep you posted!