It finally happened. After many months of hard work, I finished writing Pain. Last autumn I took a long break, aiming at getting back to work "when the sunn will shine again". And so I did. But I didn't expected that I will be able to finish everything I have left to do within nine days!
The only thing to do is the intro adventure - although I've included d66 adventure hooks, the setting is so unusual that I feel that without an introductory scenario it may be hard to get accustomed with the game. But that's what the playtests (some with totally fresh players, without any previous TTRPG experience!) will show me.
So, here are some numbers:
- The manuscript has 251 A5-sized pages. There is no final decision about the page format yet - I want the game to be printed on thick, great quality paper. And I'm abit afraid that 300-page long, medium-sized rulebook wouldn't stay open. It has to be decided - but later.
- The manuscript contains just over 58000 words. I've never written that much text in English for one project before. It was a great but very demanding experience. And it taught me alot. Now I must save a lot of money for the editing and proofreading!
- The game contains some random tables. About twenty five. Two of them have 100 entries and one has 216 (d666). Oh, and that's without about 70 tables of Emblems. And without 28 tables of monsters' attitude. And 15 PC background traits (Chris McDowall, thank you for Bastionland - it's a tremendously inspiring piece of work)
- Twenty eight monsters. Nothing generic. I've put much effort to have really unique, interesting and gameable creatures in the book.
- Twenty spells. This is much more science-fantasy than science-fiction. Spell-casting mechanics is neither Vancian nor mana-based. You will see!
And not it's time for some serious playtesting. And making tons of artwork.
If you have any questions - feel free to ask.
The initial progress report for August was posted on World of Ortix blog but it was a long time ago, in terms of things that are already done!
- All 432 Emblems are done. They are divided into 72 different categories, one for most of the setting's descriptions.
- The mockup above is still WIP - but it shows how I want to make the character creation section of the book.
- Manuscript's length oscillates around 200 A5 pages. As most of the entries are divided into separate pages for the sake of readability (for me - I don't want to get lost in my own texts, haha), there is still some room for adding more/better descriptions without further bloating the manuscript.
- Some content was kicked out - some locations were just pretty weak, also I cut off most of the minor deities, as not really important for any aspect of the game.
- I finally finished descriptions of the Cognition Cards - you can view them as the Tarot of Pain.
- The game contains descriptions of 14 Sects (or not-so-secret societies). I've added table with the names of 20 more of them. There is no such thing as too many random tables and lists!
- Random buildings and chambers of the City.
- 100 random trophies!
- Finished descriptions of the most important individuals of the City.
- Finished descriptions of both the Gods of Pain and the Lesser Beings. They are a really important part of the lore, so I'm happy I finally fleshed them out.
- I started working on some maps.
- Relics and Artifacts
- Monsters (5/20 are ready)
- Starting equipment for character classes (6/15 already done)
- Filling the remaining gaps in the descriptions
- Probably something really important that I forgot to mention!
Plus dozens of maps and over 100 illustrations.
Is there only one Abyss, viewed both as a place and as a deity?
There is a huge, dark chasm, opening below the Rift. If you ever dare to delve into that darkness, you will certainly notice something. You will... feel the presence of something much older and much more powerful than anything you witnessed before.
There is no such place as Abyss - all you can see and feel there is just a multi-dimensional void, a gaping wound of the universe, inflicted during the Fall.
The Abyss is the energy opposed to the Vortex.
It is static, while the Corruption warps and destroys everything.
We are the Unliving Ones. Our bodies are
made of flesh and arcane machinery, bound together at cellular level.
In fact, we do not comprehend most of the technology of our organisms.
one knows our exact origin. We do not breed - thus, it seems that our
numbers are finite. But sometimes the Seekers find some of us, sleeping
in some kind of stasis, deep down under the City, in What Lies Below.
Our nutrition requirements are very low and we can exist for decades, even centuries - if nothing kills us.
despite the general sturdiness and longevity, we are empty, dead
inside. Stripped of most emotions, which characterized the long-gone
humans. Yet, we are self-aware and even though most of us remain in
semi-vegetative state, we value our existence - maybe because we are
here for the City, just as the City is here for us.
We do believe
that the phenomenon, which destroyed the world one thousand years ago,
was our beginning. The Fall ended the old order, destroyed the Hollow
Ones - and probably destroyed humans as well. Or at least most of them,
along with their social structures, most of knowledge, namely their