Saturday, February 8, 2014

About Ambition

As my notes begin to come together for Saga of the Splintered Realm, I start to see the scope and scale of this project begin to emerge.

If it happens as I see it, this is going to be - by a wide, wide margin - the biggest thing I've ever done. I've already discussed how I see this as three core books, but let me re-iterate:

- Core Rules ('vanilla' game with no default setting; flexible and generic). For this rulebook, I'm continuing with the basic premise of: if I was the designer for the next edition of the world's greatest RPG, what would I do? I'm assuming for now that I have an unlimited budget (which I don't) and unlimited time (which I don't). However, I am in no particular rush to get this thing done.

- Setting Book. This would take the 10-15 page treatments that I have done of the Splintered Realm and explode it by x10. I'd profile major NPCs, outline major regions and communities, and provide a more thorough history of the whole place. This would also have an expanded bestiary and expanded spell lists as well as unique relics and artifacts of the Splintered Realm.

- Megadungeon Book. This would outline the history of the goblins of the Splintered Realm, and discuss their dungeon-building shenanigans. The idea is that there is 'one dungeon to rule them all', and it does (quite literally). This would also be a GM toolkit/dungeon-design guide.

However...

- I also have an unfinished draft of a novel set in the Splintered Realm... and all of a sudden, some of the holes in the book (and primary reasons I never finished it) have filled themselves in. I can see maybe why I never finished it, but now I might just be ready to.

- I have ideas for an immortals expansion (rise of the demigods) that could either become part of the setting book, or could be a book unto itself.

The initial idea is that each of the three books (four including the novel) would be on the order of 128+ pages, with additional pages based on how well the KS for this backs (and this is totally going to be a KS - maybe as early as this summer. We'll have to see how much progress I make over the next few months). I could see these expanding (in fact, I hope that they do!) to 160 pages each (my sweet spot for trade paperbacks).

If I'm going to actually do this thing on the scale I imagine, I might need to enlist some professional artists. My business model has been to only spend money towards my projects that I make from projects - this would mean that artists would have to be included as stretch goals. I need to set some reasonable expectations for how this happens, but it would be fantastic to get some original art by some of my favorite classic OSR artists into the project. I mean, if I'm the lead designer on the next edition of this game, then I'm also hand-picking some of the greatest artists of all time (am I right, or am I right?) I'd have to set an art budget and keep to it, but it would be SO worth it. I'll be generating the vast majority of the art on my own, but I can supplement this with key pieces by notable artists.