So I’m a bit further into the design of the latest adventure I plan on publishing. The most immediate difference between it and the last product is going to be the tone or genre of it. Main inspirations for it include Witchfinder General, A Field in England, The Psalters, Dracula, Black metal, the story of the fisher king, Kropotkin, Nakazawas short film Comedy, and Oliver Cromwell. Men with handcannons and tall hats wandering through fields torn by mortar shells, on a quest where the backdrop is society’s collapse.
So this is going to be a lot less heroic high fantasy but not necessarily sword and sorcery. A kind of nihilist historical grittiness suffused with ultra-religiosity that melts away towards the gothic as the adventure progresses. Where it gets complicated design wise is the idea of 3 stories in one. There will be three beginnings with very different goals as far as the experience goes. Each of these goals will differ in themes and feel but the events and locations will be shared between all. With the three stories being fully supported using the same location, events, npc’s, etc. it should lead to a thematically rich play experience.
The story of the deserters will be very nihilist, paranoid and with the veneer of civilization removed to show the barbarism beneath. I want the players to feel the role of men in a world where there is no higher idea to believe in except chaos. A kind of hollow world in which religion, the state, laws, values and ideology are called upon by everyone but their presence is only felt by absence. The witch hunters should feel the righteous anger and moral authority in a world gone madly corrupt with sin. The peasants will be a difficult one to write. I want the players to abandon the secular modern view of the world not for the nihilist muderhobo mode(which as a common view of the pre-modern mindset is informed by the amoral profit driven ethos of our own society) instead for a deeply religious worldview with the goal of redeeming the lands from sin on a quest commanded to them by god.
So these are the sort of thoughts I’ve had for this adventure. Gameplay wise, it’s a small wilderness adventure with an exploratory bent that becomes wilderness survival, then a small faction based dungeon that transitions into a reverse dungeon crawl. I’ve committed I feel to a longer development cycle from here on. A goal for this product is all full color art, improved production value and to hit it out of the park with the layout.