I've finally finished editing the chapter on the Fae. I've striven to respond to good feedback and criticism wherever it's been given, and in this case my editing has focused on two main areas. The first is reorganizing the Fae creatures in Engines & Empires around my revised cosmology and alignment rules, which is basically a minor set of tweaks, just cleaning things up and making everything clearer and more understandable, while also making alignment even less of a deal than it was in the previous edition. (Because, seriously, fuck alignment and the Chaotic horse it rode in on.)
The second is in response to Ynas Midgard's hugely appreciated review of the E&E Core Rules, which has been in large part the only source of constructive criticism I've received. But I've taken the opportunity to whittle away at the full page of linguistics, etymology, and terminology concerning faes and faeries that I had originally placed at the beginning of this chapter, turning it into a much more accessible glossary in a sidebar. All of the same information is still there; it's just off to the side and more digestible now.
But I've noticed something else in the past few days, as I've worked to batter Engines & Empires into the shape that I want it to hold forevermore—to forge it into the gaming equivalent of tempered Damascus steel.
I've noticed that I'm being driven by my hatred.
It's not all-consuming hatred. It's just a quiet simmer of constant annoyance. Perpetual background ire, if you will. I've been catching up on and reconnecting with the old-school gaming scene again, and I find that it still bugs me. It's the usual suspects: the artpunk stuff, the so-called games and settings and adventures that are really just collections of pithy tables with some avant-garde illustrations making the whole book a dubiously-useful eyesore; the so-called hacks and mini-games that claim to distill the old-school experience down to ten pages or less; the more complete games that nevertheless aren't even vaguely compatible with OD&D or AD&D; and above all, the execrable historical revisionism that continues to this day to define the "OSR play-style." That stuff all still bugs the crap out of me, and for whatever reason, it's driving me to actually work on getting my game back out there and being the change I want to see in the world. It's petty and irrational, but it's constructive.
Hey, sometimes you've just got to take some
good advice from a creepy dude named Sheev.
On the bright side of all things old-school, Grognardia is back! Which is great—although for the life of me, I'm still not sure whether the word "grognard" should properly be pronounced like French or corrupted fully into English. On the one hand, I like corrupting my old-timey foreign words into English. I like to say "HAR-kuwh-bus" and "KWEE-ras" for harquebus and cuirass. I like to say (as English readers at the time did) "Don JOO-an" and "Don KWIX-it." But on the other hand… "nards." If you don't pronounce grognard like a grumbling Frenchman (roughly, "gwã-NYAR"), you can't talk about grognards without constantly saying "nards." It's a pickle, and I'm not sure I have a good solution.
EDIT3: Monsters are finally fricking done. And now I have to stop and not work on magic items because society demands that I go be social and interact with people. UGH.
EDIT 6: The MAGIC ITEMS ARE DONE! Working on the back matter now. Then it's just the index (*gag*) and the cover art…
EDIT 9: HOLY CRAP IT'S DONE, and a few minutes before midnight even. I did it; madman that I am, I actually finished revising Engines & Empires. Nothing left to do now but make some PDFs and redo the cover art. Expect a download (and a fresh new blog post) tomorrow!