Native American Crusaders was a topic I wanted to cover for GURPS Monster Hunters for a long time. I’m of native descent and got to take things I’d been told about in my childhood (the raven mocker being one) and turn that into GURPS statblocks. That’s pretty heavy stuff. I grew up on the stories of my grandfather and to get to reiterate them – however small a degree – was one of the things that make this job absolutely amazing sometimes.
When I was asked to write a small box for GURPS Monster Hunters 6: Holy Hunters I was also asked to create a longer article (about 2550 words) that would serve as a guide much like had been done in that book. If I had one complaint is that I didn’t have enough word count. There was so much I wanted to do but really couldn’t. Given the tight deadline I was working on (I had about two weeks) I couldn’t afford to do the usual and just write then cut. I further got asked to write 730 words to fill the rest of the page so I included the Big Head monster and a source list of every book I own on native american religions (and two I didn’t).
All in all it took me about 10 hours to write, 10 hours to edit, 15 hours worth of research (double checking everything was a pain, but required), and 20 hours of revision. I spent a further 2ish hours looking over the preliminary PDF for any issues and revising. I still missed things and it was quite embarrassing.
Like many of my other latter-day articles, Native American Crusaders had no real outtakes – learning to write to spec is hard, but once you master it forever will it dominate your destiny.