I’ve started writing the new Shadow of Yesterday book. I know what I’m doing with it, so it’s just a matter of laying tracks and throwing stuff up for playtest now and then to keep things real. Easy and fun, at least if I weren’t harassed by lesser things caused by being a part of society. Christmas, for one – apparently going to cost me some working days.
There are a number of potentially interesting threads that I’ve started on the topic out at my English-language forum on the Forge. My favourite is the open playtest call for anybody interested to go at it with my Qek Colonization campaign. There’s some crunch in there that needs testing, and I want to know if others can use and appreciate the “knotmap” style of mapping that I use to create interesting situations and latch crunch on in the Qek jungles of Near, the fantasy setting of the Shadow of Yesterday.
(More discussion of these maps in that thread, but the short story is that there is all sorts of rules stuff that allows players to manipulate these dots and lines, and most importantly, to move between them. The only real geography of the jungle is the one imposed on it by the human perspective. Fun stuff.)
Campaign frameworks, which is what the Qek Colonization stuff is, are my solution to how a huge fantasy setting like Near (or Glorantha, or Creation, or whatever) can be turned into concrete material for play of the game. Instead of overviews of geography and building styles my book will include suggestions for the sort of overarching situations that one might fruitfully explore in campaigns of TSoY. Ammeni going into Qek and colonizing the heck out of it is one of these. More about campaign frameworks in my other thread.
Finally, I’ve been speculating about the name of my book. I personally have misgivings about naming the new book and product “The Shadow of Yesterday” when it’s pretty different from Clinton’s original and not exactly “same thing, only better” that the rpg culture expects of every new product. I wouldn’t mind switching names if something good came to me, but the majority of other interested folks seem to think that I need to keep the name to help people find the product. Sensible, that. I’ll probably end up doing some sort of subtitle deal just so I can have some other name apart from TSoY to refer to my book. Would make it confusing when we had “the old TSoY”, “Eero’s TSoY” and the actual game of TSoY, which can be and is played with all sorts of materials that are not found in either book.