Monday, December 31, 2012

A Progress Bar

Tantalus by Gioacchio Assereto
The process of going from bullet points, brainstorming, and good ideas to something even remotely resembling a finished product is tantalizing to the point of exhaustion. "Almost there! Oh wait... ok, now! No... ok... just gotta stretch a little bit further!" I imagine that it's similar to the problems a person runs into when spear fishing but mental refraction is probably more tricky.

Since I don't have any children to cook up for the gods to try and speed things along, I guess we'll just have to knuckle down and keep at it.

So, step 1: What in the hell is actually going to be in the Hot Springs book(s)?

  • A cover!
  • A map
  • An Intro/Overview of the Island
  • Stage setting about The Ancients
  • Stage setting about The Elves
  • A Field Guide to the Plants of Hot Springs
  • A Field Guide to the Animals/Monsters of Hot Springs
  • A Field Guide to the Intelligent Factions of Hot Springs
  • A Field Guide to the Known Points of Interest on Hot Springs
  • A section in which we address the GM directly
  • Our Hex Movement System
  • A play example of the Hex Movement system
  • The Hex Key
  • The Dark on the major NPCs of Hot Springs (for the GM)
  • The Dark on the Factions of Hot Springs (for the GM)
  • The Dungeons and Maps
  • Treasure
  • Tables
We're probably too ambitious. But we're gonna take a big old drink of that water by Zeus!

To break down these items even further into their component pieces:
  • 24 Plants
  • 67 Beasts and Monsters
  • 5 Intelligent Factions
  • 75 Points of Interest
  • 7 "major" NPCs
  • 10 Dungeons
  • 2 Village Maps
We still need to plan, as a group, exactly what is going to be included in the Tables and Treasure sections. The plan is to have... 20 small random "dugouts", 20-30 random adventurers, nested encounter tables, and possibly a treasure generator in addition to a list of magical items and pre-generated treasure. Oh, and a natural resource and random shipwreck generator to boot.

It's probably too much. It's probably way too much, but... in the Swordfish Islands, you go big, or you go to hell.

A visual chart of the current progress on Hot Springs

The numbers still aren't super exact ('cause I'm not a super exact person), but it's looking like we need a total 172 written assets and 136 art assets. 76 of the art assets are already at least sketched out, and 115 of the written assets are in at least bullet form.

The written assets number is skewed down because I only counted each hex and not each point of interest (there are three per hex), but the good news is that *ALL* the points of interest are in draft form and are currently in their "cooling off" phase before I go back and review them.

Finally, the art asset number isn't exactly accurate either as I pulled data to answer the question "Is there at least one picture of this thing/creature/plant/etc". In some cases, like the Night Axe ogres there are upwards of 10 drawings of them. This also doesn't count the bonus illustration doodads, or the super fucking badass fight and scenery scenes that Safari has been throwing our way. "Oh.. yeah... I just wanted to draw an Ogre fighting a Salamander, and 5 salamanders fighting 3 ogres, and Boltforagers eating some carrion... and and and...".

The journey is proving longer than expected, and even more narrow in scope than we'd thought, but damn it, we're gonna ship!


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