"Oh cool... So you're STILL working on this?" -- A guy at GenCon

"If I see Drah-koo-lah, I will. kick. him. in. the eye!!!" -- My 4 (almost 5) year old daughter. She GETS it!

"Meatpie Forever!" -- A playtester at GenCon 2013

Monday, March 24, 2014

Testing... Testing... Is This Thing On?

It's been a while. Usually, that's a good thing when it comes to progress with Transylvanian Adventures. At this point, I can't say it's a good or great thing. It just kind of is. But I felt we were way past due a status update. Here's what I've been up to lately.

  • I finished a Sword & Sorcery Hack for Transylvanian Adventures earlier in the year. It's slated to appear in D.A.M.N. #2. This is a full chapter from the upcoming (third) book, The Transylvanian Grimoire. But it isn't just trading in your tophats for loincloths. It includes a conversion that makes the DCC RPG Wizard a fully playable class in Transylvanian Adventures. It also covers a metric cluckton of ways to twist and mold the Halfbreed, Exotic, and Reaver classes to create demi-humans in a S&S-themed game of Transylvanian Adventures or to spice up your 19th century game with something really, really weird. As an add-on, there's rules to use the S&S hack for a Lasers & Longswords type of game. And rules for freeform, hippy magic akin to Divine Aid for Wizards. There's a lot there and hopefully it's preview in D.A.M.N. will get everyone excited from more from the Grimoire.
  • Transylvanian Adventures officially broke even -- or at least close enough that I can squint and say, "Yeah, it broke even". All right before everything pretty much just plateaued. So nobody's getting rich. But there's a clear path there to at least not lose money and justify continuing the effort on books two and three. So, yay?
  • Monsters are coming along... slowly. Work is... um... busy. And so I've pretty much been running backwards through a stampede of charging unicorns the last, seems like, forever. So progress is being made. One. Line. At. A. Time. Some of the monsters are really, really cool. But translating it all to play may require a rewrite or somewhat. They're mostly in the same vein (muwahahaha) as the Bloodnymphs in The Winter Home. I realize that can be a lot to remember, so I'm trying to get a handle on how to make these monsters fun and exciting while not overloading them so that they become an exercise in existential terror for the wrong reasons.
  • Spells hit a bump. Mechanically, they're on a more solid ground than the Monsters. But I feel the monsters need more love right now. Monsters need work. So I'm focusing there until it just hurts too much.
  • I'm planning to be at NTRPG this year. Happy to run, play, or whatever. I'll probably have another setting hack to inflict on people by that point. I'm hoping a few people are up for some epic awesomeness in Transylvania.
  • Earlier this month I ran a Transylvanian Adventures funnel through the Portal Under the Stars adventure. I think it went over well, although the mortality rate was unlike anything I'd ever seen before. I tried a few Transylvanian Adventures' monsters on for size in place of the monsters in the module. They worked out well. They were just weirder. And slightly less... forgiving. Most of the fatalities were PvP, which was just how that group wanted to be. Final body count: 11 0-level characters and 38 NPCs. That's right, 38 NPCs.
  • Later this week, I'm doing a 1st level S&S hack for Transylvanian Adventures with the local Austin crew. We're going to be using Frozen in Time with only minor modifications. The players built out the setting and gave me a lot of really cool things to work with. Not only are we working with the new demi-humans in Exotic and Half-Breed flavor. But we've also got robots, blood magic, lasers, and a couple of brilliant opportunities to work with some of the new monsters from The Hanging Judge's Guide.
Here's hoping time is on my side over the next few months. Once the Monsters are in good shape, I should be able to offer that up on RPGNow as one of the initial installments from The Hanging Judge's Guide.