Yep! Usually the VSS website is kinda quiet, but I'm going to try to do a better job of posting updates. And it helps that I've got more to talk about since the recent announcements.
Machinations (The Nova Praxis GM's Guide)
About 90% of the book is written. The rest exists as bullet points that need to be converted into actual completed thoughts, and then it's off to editing and layout. But we still need a lot of art too, and that can be a pain.
I haven't talked too much about the contents, but I'll tell you about some of my favorite bits:
- Sequences - This is a rules sub-system designed to help the GM run sessions that consist of a complex sequence of events in a complex location. It helps you run things like enemy base infiltration, complex heist jobs, the boarding of an enemy ship, a military skirmish, or similar scenarios without the need for elaborate maps or tons of NPC stats.
- New Factions - Along with introducing some new faces, or expanding on some we've mentioned in passing before, we really got to dig into the meat of the setting by exploring some of the movers and shakers that are out there. Some of my favorites:
- Seraphim - Augmented far beyond what most people consider possible, these techno-angelic beings preside over the hidden utopian enclave of Elysium. From their hidden paradise, these mysterious beings pull strings and set in motion schemes that can be felt throughout the galaxy. They have created a progressive paradise, but what are they up to and what is their connection to the old secret societies of Earth?
- Talons of Freedom - Born from the remnants of the United States military, the Talons are fast becoming a credible threat. Their agents are everywhere, and their plans are coming to fruition. Soon it will be time to strike.
- Progenesis Afflicted - When technology and ambition spin out of control... here there be monsters.
- The Fallen - Fanatically religious Catholics decide to become SIMs in an effort to explore the affects of Apotheosis on the soul and their connection to God; only to go mad and take up the mantles of harbingers of the end times. Rampantly forking, fragmented and mad, the Fallen have become virtual incarnations of Death, Conquest, Famine and War.
- The Unseen Court - The Illuminati? The New World Order? Monsters in the night? The Boogeyman in the Closet? Who or what really controls the Coalition? How and for what purpose? Why did the corporations become Houses? Why the callbacks to Rome and feudal societies? Why does the Shadow War continue, and to what end?
- Scholae Palatinae - One Praetorian can't get the job done? Deploy the Scholae. Outfitted with a cutting edge ship, a crew, specialists, scientists, and the best gear the Coalition can compile; the Scholae are small groups of Praetorians authorized to use their resources to stamp out threats and explore the galaxy.
- Phalanx Formations - Sometimes a more discreet approach is called for. In those times, the Tetragon summons and deploys a Phalanx Formation. The Phalanx are crews of Auxiliaries that step out of the Shadow War to perform covert military ops under the umbrella of the Protectorate. They are sent after violators of the HPA, terrorists, dangerous pirates, lost APEX bombs, rogue scientist attempting to create another Mimir, etc.
Advice is included for GMs who want to run all-Scholae or Phalanx campaigns; encouraging a look at the Nova Praxis setting from a new angle.
The Houses and the Coalition - Each House got more pages dedicated to how they work, how they govern themselves, their ambitions and their troubles. We also spent some time on how the Houses relate to the Coalition as a whole.
Ghosts in Darkness and the Campaign Arcs - We've talked about this before, but I thought I'd mention it again because I really dig it. GiD is an intro scenario designed to get a new campaign started. And there are four campaign arcs, each of which outlines a series of events that can play out over several gaming sessions. GiD fits nicely either before or after the first arc.
"Savage Praxis" (The Savage Worlds version of Nova Praxis)
I met with Sean on Sunday and we talked about schedules and content. We're hoping to have a set of notes put together by the end of this month that we can playtest with. Expect the Kickstarter to go live shortly after, sometime around the first of March.
And yes, it will feature much of what is in Machinations.
I talked to my ink guy. He has a more scratch resistant ink we're going to try.
I also talked to our plastics guys, and it looks like we're going to be able to get the price down some. The original Tact-Tiles were $70 for a set of 12. We're going to try our best to hit that with this new set; but I can't make any promises. That was nearly a decade ago, and prices have done nothing but rise since then.
Right now we're trying to get a sample of the plastic sent to our ink guy so that he can select an ink that works better for us. Hopefully we'll get that sample, and get it sent out in the next few days.
Like I said above, we're planning to Kickstart "Savage Praxis" and hopefully Tact-Tiles soon. And as with any Kickstart campaign, the better it does, the better for all of us. So get out there and start spreading the word! And if you have a cool idea for a stretch goal (for either Tact-Tiles or "Savage Praxis") be sure to let me know.