Over the last year, I’ve dropped some pieces of news here and there about an actual professional tabletop RPG project I was contracted to do for Evil Hat Games, developing a small module in their Fate Worlds of Adventure Line. Well this week I am proud to finally announce its formal release.
And holy shit you guys, just look at that cover art. Holy. Shit.
The basic premise is a near-future world of rampant human genetic engineering as well as the societal upheavals that arise with such transhumanist technology. My basic pitch was “Shadowrun meets GATTACA,” and the interior art by William Tempest adds an extra layer of Akira-style cyberpunk that absolutely blows my mind.
I’m not gonna lie, the whole process was kind of terrifying. I applied to an open call for game designers on a lark and was shocked when they actually took an interest in me, some rando science teacher who mostly only ever talks about vampires. On top of that, I had only ever seen the Fate Core system once and hadn’t even played it when I did. Fortunately, though, all the editors at Evil Hat Games were incredibly easy to work with. They also have a super strong community of other writers and developers who peer review each others’ projects. Fitting, perhaps, that a community built around a hobby of collaborative storytelling would also have such a collaborative creation process as well.
The PDF of the game module is available from DriveThruRPG as PayWhatYouWant. This means you can download it, check it out, and if you like it you can chip in a few bucks later. I should note that I was paid a flat commission fee so I don’t get any royalties or anything, but financially supporting their games does help them get the capital they need to develop more Worlds of Adventure projects which specifically try to bring in new and diverse voices into the gaming industry. You can also support Evil Hat directly through Patreon.
If you actually want to play the game, fantastic! If you’re not familiar with the Fate Core system, don’t worry, neither was I! 😉 For those of us primarily enamored with World of Darkness, Fate is right up our alley. It’s a very light-crunch, story- and character-driven system that moves plot along rapidly. I might do a post in the future offering a “translation guide” helping one understand the Fate system from the background of WoD since that’s literally what I had to do in order to learn it. You can download the Fate corebook from DriveThru (also listed as PayWhatYouWant). Another great resource for questions is /r/FateRPG. Or you can ask me, I’ll do my best to help!
As a final note, thank you everyone here who has hung around with our Vampire project for so many years. I literally never would have considered exploring the world of game development further if not for your continued support and enthusiasm!
(PS: If you do check out the module, keep an eye out for a very subtle shout-out to one of everyone’s favorite NPCs from our game in there 😉 )