So, ultimately and officially my NaGaDeMon 2012 bid failed, by the simplest definition of not making it to the table in November.
I am mildly disappointed by this, but only very mildly indeed. While I didn’t get as far as actually playing Echelon I am in a wonderful position to continue work. I decided that rather than pushing to get a small game out that my better path forward was to gather the research materials I will use to produce a more complete game.
- The core rules are largely formed in my mind, seeing as they are mostly similar to the rules from the Revised System Reference Document.
- I estimate I have some 200-250 (very) draft common talents. Many of them are pretty much usable now, many more would require conversion before application. This might be done at the time they are selected or even during play.
- I have a preliminary process for creating capstone talents from prestige class definitions, and I have a lot of books containing prestige classes. This has been exercised with a few prestige classes (Arcane Archer, Dwarven Defender, and Shadowdancer, and I have seen draft replacement for the Eldritch Knight, the Mage Commando).
- I am devising a process for creating talents (cornerstone, common, and capstone) from racial and monster definitions.
- Not as important since it shouldn’t come up in play for a while, but I even have a good idea how to handle apotheosis. This has generally felt more or less bolted onto previous editions, but I found an approach that should integrate quite nicely with Echelon.
- I have collected material from a bunch of sources, gathering similar and related information into various documents. I probably have most of a thousand pages of reference documents to use for further work. These pages are sparsely populated, true — narrow text width so I have lots of room for my margin notes, and each major entity starts on a new page so there is often lots of white space on the last page of each, I could probably condense them down to half the size just be removing white space — but they wouldn’t be as useful to me.
- I have identified further works to pillage^Wuse for research.
- And I forgot this the first time around, but there are a few sample characters. Note that GreyKnight’s characters include a couple of talents that are not yet fully-defined, but I’m okay with that — the names are evocative and I’d rather see something to be filled in that I can guess at than blank spaces.
I had a couple of opportunities to playtest, but at this point it would be mostly coming from my head rather than “actually designed” material. Unlike a my previous boss at work, I think that just because it exists in someone’s head does not mean it is adequately developed.
I didn’t make it this month, this time around. However, I have a huge (and still growing) amount of material to work with, I have plans for how to tackle various tasks and problems in front of me, and none of it looks particularly hard now. It’ll just be a lot of work, and at that I’ve also got people asking how they can help. Once we figure out some decent procedures and processes for the work, I can even get a hand with that part.
Didn’t playtest, didn’t win NaGaDeMon 2012, but this has been the most productive month I have ever had with Echelon and I’m in a great position to keep working.