Saturday, July 6, 2024

Get Yer' Stalwart Updates Here!

I've got two new documents that are both quite rough around the edges...

The World of Stalwart Volume 2 is my first work on expanding the game world that was presented in Volume 1. Volume 1 was largely a collection of the material that I had thus far (revised and re-aligned to fit into this world and this game). However, Volume 2 is largely new ideas and things that I've only hinted at in the past. FYI, I've left the original notes for the appendix in the back, but I'm adding new catalogued Doc comics to a new list (before the old list)... I've just kept the old list in place temporarily so I can refer to it and align new back issue discoveries to the existing list.

The Stalwart Guide to Meridian is already shaping up nicely. I expect it will be relatively brief (maybe 16 pages)? but will have enough to start an ongoing series of your own with this as a base. I am not putting a lot of game information here; that is going into the World of Stalwart Volume 2. So, when I mention a new character, I will talk about their role in Meridian in the Guide to Meridian, but will give their game stats and comics history over in the World of Stalwart Volume 2. While it's tempting to have everything right where you'd want it, I think it's better to keep things organized for later use; if I have some character stat blocks that aren't in the World of Stalwart collections, then things can be harder to find later on. I'm also going to put in a bunch of plot hooks, which may or may not get built upon later as I develop some adventures.

My plan is to finish these two books (at least the Stalwart Guide to Meridian), and then start releasing adventures set in and around the city. I can already see a possible long-term campaign or two here, so those might end up being books as well (but there are only so many hours in the day).

One final thought... I've had several themes emerge as I've been working on Doc stories for the last while here, and some of them have surprised me a bit.

1. I have found that Doc Stalwart is largely a peace maker. So many of his stories end with him figuring out how to call a truce and have people dwell in relative harmony. I like the irony that a guy who can throw a tank and is constantly fighting everyone and anyone wants peace more than anything. I like that conflict in him.

2. One of the emerging core themes of the series is the role of machines in human experience. I guess that AI has me thinking about this more and more, but I've now got two storylines where Doc gets into philosophical debates with robots; he gets Zero to stop killing people by having Zero consider that creating is more powerful than destroying, and to be a truly powerful creature, Zero must find a way to create (since that is the primary role of God... the thing to which Zero aspires). The second debate is with the Stalwart Sentinel (no he's not my take on Vision, why do you keep saying that?) who was created by Project Javelin to be their own 'version' of Doc Stalwart (they were able to use brainwaves they had taken from him in his younger years while he was being studied and trained at the Tomorrow Project).  When they realize that he's missing something, Doc meets with the Sentinel (who he didn't know existed) and ultimately argues that the Sentinel cannot 'be' like Doc until it truly has the ability to think and create, not only to apply algorithms to replicate what Doc would do in situations. Doc is able to craft a program that gives the Sentinel the opportunity to learn and grow, and possibly become human at some point.


  1. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

    1. Thanks! I'm trying to get the Guide to Meridian done in the next week or so... we'll see. I go back and forth between putting some stat blocks in that book or putting them all in the World of Stalwart. Maybe having a self-contained book would be more beneficial.