Tuesday, 16 July 2013

It's Hot

Ah, NYC in July. It's hot. When I was a wee lad, sitting on my grandfather's knee, he would tell me of the days before air conditioning, when people would sleep out on their tenement roofs to escape the stifling heat.... I never really believed him. And now that I'm older, and it's close to 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) at midnight, I totally believe him. Which is a long way of saying the Souljar Games offices don't have AC, and I'm melting. It's actually affecting my laptop....

Anyway, a few thoughts to let you know I haven't forgotten you.

First, I've been working on the enchanters and magic item creation rules. They're done. The problem was that the person writing the enchanter had no idea what those rules would be. Because they weren't written yet. Then, when I tried to write magic item creation rules, I tried to preserve as much of the original enchanter class as possible. This turned out to be a bit of a mistake.... So, three days of writing myself down the wrong path and into dead ends. But we end up with a stronger enchanter class and decent (by which I mean simple) magic item creation rules. So that hole has been plugged. Well, mostly plugged. I still need to figure out the numbers for Harmony. Which means I need to fix Harmony.

The trouble with Harmony has been that it was never described in full. Mike Nystul and I work very differently. Which isn't to say one way is right or wrong. But Mike is a very intuitive writer. He has it all in his head and he writes with those assumptions firmly in place. I, however, am more structured and organized. I make outlines. I make lists. I explain everything in a production bible before the first writer starts writing. So, after all the conversations here, I looked at the rules and realized they needed to be explained better. The whys had to be put in. Why is magic bad? Why is metal bad? What does "bad" mean? Plus, while reorganizing, I discovered a significant hole -- if fighters have to worry about Harmony every time they fight, how come wizards don't worry about Harmony every time they cast spells? That just seemed unfair. So that's been changed.

Talking to Mike has been helpful, and I have a pretty good sense of what he was after. Pretty good. There are still things I'm unsure of. Once I had a firm idea of what he was going for, I was able to go through the entire chapter and harmonize things. So the chapter is better organized and better explained. The book gets stronger. However, the problem is that half the writers thought Harmony worked like hit points, and half thought it worked like Sanity.... So now I have to go through the entire book and make all the rules that depend on Harmony work the same way. Trouble is, I'm not sure if Harmony should work like hit points or like Sanity. Both have benefits. Not sure what to do. And the clock is ticking....

Some housekeeping:

Still missing backer contributions. You have until Sunday, or stuff gets cut if I need to make room. More on that tomorrow.

I'm getting emails from people about the Kickstarter and backer levels and the stuff promised. Some people are asking me about hardcovers. Some are asking about the artwork from Jeff. Some want to know about the Companion. Just to reiterate: I am providing a softcover book. That's all I can provide. I don't promise things I can't deliver. I can't tell you that you'll get your artwork from Jeff because I am not Jeff. I'm not going to promise you Companions if this game disappears down a great black hole and I make no profit and thus can't pay to make a Companion. Then, those would become broken promises. And I don't do those. So, if I can make it happen, I will. If. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it, and we're not there yet.

Lastly, just a personal question. What the heck is up with all of you from Australia?! Almost half the backers who paid to put stuff in Cairn come from Australia. What's up with that? I love Australia, don't get me wrong. When I studied in China, you all were nice enough to throw a party at your consulate every other Thursday and let the Americans drink your beer and swim in your pool. Which was great for Shanghai in the summer.... You are all crazy partying machines, and I love you for it. And, a significant portion of Chaosium's material comes from people in your country (like Mark Morrison and Shannon Appel -- both great people). But still, what's up with Cairn that got all you Aussies excited?

Lastly, I added that subscribe by email widget, so you can get my updates via email.

That's all folks. I'm going to go sit in a tub full of ice and try to figure out how to make the numbers work on Harmony.

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