Modernity playtest files released.

Modernity CoverThank you! Whether you have been a part of the many playtest teams over the past two years, preordered Modernity on the website or in person at ChimaeraCon, or supported me in your own special way, thank you for believing in me enough to give your valuable input, your money, or most of all your time. Even if you’re just a regular reader of the blog.

Modernity still has a ways to go before I’ll call it complete, but I’m proud to release the first 216 pages of the content as a preview to you. I am targeting 400 pages as the upper limit for the final product, and that means making hard choices about what won’t fit in that 100k-120k word limit. I love all of it and it will all eventually see the light of day (irony intended). The art is coming. Thank you for your patience.

(This was supposed to happen on Sunday, but I failed to take into account the possible delay that the DriveThru crew’s approval process would cause. Fortunately, we won’t have that delay for any subsequent update of the Modernity files, and I’ve learned a valuable self-publishing lesson the hard way. So. Many. Scars.)

If you preordered, you already have an email in your inbox (or spam folder) from DriveThruRPG.com with your complimentary code in it. Everyone who paid for print copies in advance will receive them on or before our Halloween 2014 launch day. If you are sad that you didn’t get one, you can buy your very own early access playtest version right now.

As you read through the preview materials, please share your feedback: general impressions, expectations (met or otherwise), suggested changes, questions, whatever you think will improve Modernity as a product and as a work of art. I’m happy to take it via email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or phone. If there’s some other social medium that you’d prefer, let me know and I’ll sign up for it, if I’m not already there.

The remainder of the production schedule for Modernity is as follows (subject to random acts of the unexpected):

  1. Sunday 01 June 2014 – the first half up to page 216, placeholder art. This version.
  2. Tuesday 01 July 2014 – final draft content complete for rules and setting, placeholder art.
  3. Friday 01 August 2014 – first draft of cover and interior art.
  4. Monday 01 September 2014 – final cover art draft and first half of interior art.
  5. Wednesday 01 October 2014 – final draft of interior art complete, all content locked.
  6. Friday 31 October 2014 – Halloween – official launch along with first stand alone operation, Into the Wolves’ Den. Release PDF and print editions.

I’m still learning how quickly I can produce, and how quickly my editorial team can nitpick, but my experiences so far are informing the decisions for which additional game content and the supporting material that will come next and when they will fall on the remnant of the 2014 calendar and the 2015 calendar. I am fairly certain that the entirety of the Seraphim Conspiracy (all 7 episodes) will be first, beginning with Into the Wolves’ Den.

What I am not ready to commit to is the frequency with which the rest of the Modernity operations (game supplements/scenarios) and companion novels will follow. [I’m reading Rachel Aaron’s process book 2k to 10k to learn how to expedite the conversion of chapter-level plot line into readable game content and fiction, and I’m about to start negotiating with an experienced editor to see if I can get some fulltime help there, too, because I’ve got a metric ton or two of raw material that needs chiseling into shape.]

Of course, there will be a significant amount of expansion material in the following categories to follow the launch: more toys for the toy box, more occult disciplines, denizens/threats, character archetypes, and character concepts/aspect inspirations/stunts. It’s harder than I anticipated going from ~300k words to 120k words or less. I keep having to cut sections and put them on the “roadmap”. Each parking lot item (not counting the 7 parts of the Seraphim Conspiracy) looks like it will grow into a 25k-30k supplement, and there are 22 of them on my “to do” list.

Enough rambling. On to the game! Read fast and don’t be a stranger.

Thank you!