The end of July and pretty much all of August has turned out to be a very slow spot in our schedule. We wrapped up the D&D campaign that Kurt was running for his podcast, The MFGCast and have not yet started a new one. Cthulhu Invictus is on hold for August as Oscar adjusts to a new work routine and deadlines for Golden Goblin. Jesse’s podcast Monster Hunt has been in a bit of a free fall, it feels like, so we’re waiting for that to right itself. DayTrippers and Aliens have had their own scheduling issues due mostly to personal stuff and one really bad storm. So it’s been quiet.
On one hand I suppose it’s good. It allows everyone to take a step back, get some rest and recharge those creative juices. On the other though……..man I want to play a game! That and the podcast queue is slowly drying up. I mean there’s probably still like 40 weeks worth of shows but it doesn’t look like a lot when opening that folder. Neil is chomping at the bit to get a 2nd ED Traveler game going but I want to wrap up Aliens before we jump into that. There’s 6 of us that form the core of the podcast and we’re all enmeshed in each others various projects. It makes it hard to add another thing.
This has, of course, left me with oodles of time on my hands. A good portion of which has been spent on editing COREthulhu. Now I’ve been extremely lucky to have a great group of people to help not only push me along but to provide invaluable feedback to make COREthulhu as good as it can be. A few days before our last playtest I asked Keeper Chad if he would give COREthulhu a once over and give me some feedback. Chad’s a published author and has been a Cthulhu gamer for quite a while. If anyone could cut to the heart of this thing it would be Chad.
He agreed. We ran our playtest with Kevin at the helm a few days later and then inertia crept in. Sort of. I wrote up another after action report, got with Tod on some of the issues that came up, making sure to post on our CORE Discord. I didn’t dig into the edits though. I added a clarification to the Magic Supplement but that was about it. The following week I would realize why.
You see, Jesse, Tod and I had beaten COREthulhu into a workable shape over the last month or so. It had gone from idea, to outline, to manuscript, to playtest in a pretty short period of time. It seems short to me anyway but I don’t have any practical experience to compare it against. This is all uncharted ground for me.
Now I hadn’t heard back from Chad and I was starting to get antsy. I waited until about the two week mark and reached out to him again on facebook. It had slipped away from him and he forgot but he said he would have something for me the next day. Cool I thought. He’ll give me some general impressions and we could start wrapping things up. Then I got Chad’s feedback. Head explode………..
He hadn’t just given me some vague, yes I liked this or this mechanic is cool, he tore the whole document apart and marked it up. This I found out, was why I hadn’t worked on it during the previous week. This is what I had been unknowingly waiting for.
So this week I made, what I hope, is the final push. I incorporated most of Chad’s changes, rewrote others and had to rewrite an entire profession because it was…..problematic. I also included a GM’s section and a Players section, just to help convey the feel of CORE and COREthulhu in particular. Jesse and I discussed adding those last two sections previously, I just hadn’t written them.
The document is now out for its “last” round of proofreading. Of course creative projects are never really “Done”. You just have to let them be free at some point and hope they that somebody else loves it as much as you do. In the meantime I’m trying to finish up the Magic Supplement. It’s probably more then half done at this point. There’s a lot of little things that need to be done and tons of STAT Blocks. I want it to follow pretty closely on the heals of the main books release. That way players and GMs have more options to play with. I’m also writing my first ever scenario because why not, right? I mean in for a penny, in for a pound.
I’m going to attempt to write it both as a traditional adventure a la Call of Cthulhu (which I may publish on the Miskatonic Repository) and also written up using the PlotFields method. In Tod’s own words, “What we want is a “PlotField” — a fluxxy network of various objects (characters, locations, items and events) that may or may not become vital to the Story, but which are autonomous and may (in theory) be approached in any order, depending on the PCs’ actions & Players’ ideas. They will be trying to do whatever they’re trying to do, their evil plans or whatever, whether the PCs are there or not.”
Can I pull that together? I have no idea but I’m going to give it my best shot and we’ll have to see how it all shakes out.