Thursday, May 21, 2015

Designer's Notes: The Vanishing Sun

"The Vanishing Sun" was one of those articles that I'd been thinking about for a while. Something peculating in the back of my skull for about a year. I'd gotten the idea while working on some private commissions for a fantasy campaign and thought "Man, wouldn't it be cool if this was kind of like Treasure Island?" It's one of my favorite books in the world and I've read it at least a hundred times. After that the idea sort of gelled after my mother was humming a song from Brigadoon and I had a dream about being trapped in Prismo's Box Room from Adventure Time. It was actually one of the harder things I've written with nearly 60 hours of writing time, over 70 hours of editing/revision time, and around 10 hours doing "final checks." Sadly, I didn't have any usable material afterward as it all got used up in the article. This was also one of the rare articles I wrote with little to no crunch and in a topic I rarely dip my toes in: sci-fi. I don't like labels and I don't want to be called "this guy" or "that guy," though I really don't mind being "the RPM/MH guy," because those are two things I really love. Basically, as a writer, I want to do it all - and I think I'm succeeding at that particular goal, at least that's what my body of work tells me. :-)

So a couple of changes from the original that the playtesters, reviewers, or I didn't like/wouldn't fit:

  • The system was originally a binary solar system, but after I made Walter Milliken's head twist off his shoulder, rocket power its way to me from a few states away, and headbutt me, I removed it.
  • The Avaxi were going to receive a full racial write-up, but I discarded this in the early stages because I a) didn't have enough space and b) I felt it was better for GMs to assign stats he or she liked.
  • The Quicksilver Born were almost called the Star-Damned (for obvious reference to the Village of the Damned), but I thought better of it. I like the Quicksilver Born better anyways.
  • The Paragon was going to get a random roll table for what could be discovered in each room, but I realized early on that that was not going to happen for space reasons.
  • I'd also planned to give a spaceship entry for the Rover's cobbled together ships, but again, space requirements said "no."
  • Overall, I'm happy with how it turned out, I just wish I'd had another 1,500 or so words. I would have also included some MH5 stats for the Avaxi if I'd have thought about it. Do note, you could totally play an inhuman Quicksilver Born if you trimmed some stuff down.

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