Monday, March 27, 2017

At long last. Work on chapter 6 (the last chapter) finally begins.

I have statted up all the monsters there are to be statted.  Here's the final tally:

33 abominations
172 animals (kill me.)
47 chimeras and magical beasts
42 constructs
29 fae spirits
44 humanoids and giants
27 planars and elementals
24 plants and oozes
16 undead

434 bloody monster entries in total.

Holy fucking shit.

I should just re-title this book "The Steampunk Monster Manual" and be done with it.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Undead: The Finalized List

I've finally begun to work on the last category of monsters to be found in the Engines & Empires Core Rules—the undead.  This doesn't quite finish off Chapter 5; I'll still need to mock up some encounter tables to truly put the last nail in this particular coffin-lid.  But at least I'm nearly done statting up individual monster-entries, at long, long last.

So, without further ado, here's what the last set of monsters to be added to the game will look like:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The finish line is in sight...

Okay, that puts the lid on planar spirits.  Now onto plants, fungi, and oozes.  This should be a nice, short, easy chapter.  (But bo-o-o-ring.)  Hopefully I'll be done with it by sometime tomorrow and onto the undead, at long last.  Undead are awesome.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Only three categories left…

Whew.  I've finally finished statting up all the faes and humanoids for the E&E Core Rules.  This was horrifically time-consuming.  I have to say that, while faeries are certainly interesting in principle, once you get down to the nitty-gritty of statting up individual monster entries, it becomes quite the repetitive slog.  "Oh, hey, look: another mischievous fae that doesn't grasp human morality or mortality, and, big surprise, it lives near water and probably turns into a horse for some reason(?), and it somehow uses that to try and drown people. which supposedly works because reasons; and, oh yeah, it doesn't like iron."

Writing about humanoids was at least fun, because they have cultures and differences—things worth writing about!  And it was pretty fun to suss out which ones would make good player characters and what their stats and classes ought to be.  (It really helps that my revised take on demi-humans is so clean and straightforward.)

So that just leaves Spirits, Plants, and the Undead.  Spirits (angels, demons, and elementals) is the only really long chapter I have left to write; plants and undead will breeze by in a day of writing each. In fact, since it's spring break now, I'm fairly certain that by the end of the week, I'll be done with monsters altogether and well on my way to finishing the last major chapter of the book (chapter 6, DMing rules and all the miscellaneous crap not yet covered—it's actually not that big of a chapter).

Meaning, I could just possibly have this baby ready to publish by sometime next month!  WOO-HOO!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Some Fae on the Way

A couple of days ago, I finally finished my first once-over of the new E&E rule-book's "written-so-far" material.  It's going to need more proofing and editing yet, but in the meanwhile, I've caught back up to where I was before school got super busy last semester, and I've started writing again.

The list of fae creatures populating the next sub-chapter has been finalized.  This is going to be fun, but also time-consuming: fae are complicated, with lots of little details and a quirky variety of abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.


Honestly, I'm looking forward to just being done with this part and moving onto humanoids.  Humanoids have cultures, societies, cool shit to write about.  Humanoids are interesting.

Fae are fascinating, but too otherworldly I think to be truly interesting.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Black Sheep Sequels

Several months ago, I resolved to finally watch all the way through all of Star Trek, in chronological order.  I got through Enterprise (which I dearly love) and the original series (which had its ups and downs, but was mostly pretty awesome) and the animated series and the Motion Picture and Wrath of Khan (as good as everybody says it is) and Search for Spock (maybe my favorite Trek movie)… and just sort of ran out of gas before I could really get into The Voyage Home.

I'm sure I'll pick it up again soon, but in the meanwhile, I decided to break up my Trek time with a pure nostalgia kick: The Super Mario Bros. Super Show.  I was five when this show first aired… and to put into context just how strange it is that I loved this show so very much, my parents didn't allow my siblings and I to even own video games until I was at least twelve.  (If there needs to be some psychoanalytic reason as to why I've decided to collect every video game console ever, this would be it…)  But I really did love the Super Show, the Zelda cartoons on Friday, the live action segments with Captain Lou and Danny Wells—these guys basically were the Mario Brothers to the young me (and to millions of late 80s gamers too, I'm sure).

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Have you ever tried to change the font-size of a half-written book?

Oy vey, what a hassle.

When I'm writing a book, I generally like to draft and format at the same time.  That is to say, I don't just type up all the text and then try to make it pretty on the page; I use a word processor to template out what the printed book is going to look like, and then I draft the text while fitting it into that template.  This allows me to edit on the fly, make word-choices that aid in justifying and kerning the text, and make sure that I can fit paragraphs or illustrations within a given page-count.

But as I've been merrily typing along, drafting the text to the Engines & Empires Core Rules, I've noticed how long the book has been getting, and how large 10-point font (for text) or 9-point font (for spell and monster descriptions) has looked on the page, and thought more than once about shrinking everything down by a point.  Then, once my load of schoolwork lightened up this semester and I took the plunge back into working on E&E 2e, I decided to go for broke and try it—after all, going over the book would be a chance to both proofread and revise everything, and a good memory-refresher.