In the Works, Part 3

For two weeks I've written about the projects being worked on. I've discussed The Poor Wizard's Almanck and Flames of Freedom. This week I want to talk about Shadow, Sword & Spell. Currently, four projects exist in various stages of development. Two are adventures, and the other two are books. The adventures I will talk about next week due to the fact they are part of a much larger plan. Today I want to talk about the books. The first book is titled "Demonology" and deals with, surprisingly, demons. The book will be a small one, and the coverage will be focused on the summoning, binding, dispelling, and interactions with demons. To help ground and provide a framework for all of this the book uses Shadow, Sword & Spell's default setting "The World." So this is a campaign book? No, it is clearly intended to be a stand-alone supplement that you can insert into your own games. "The World" is used to just put the new rules and ideas into context. So when can you expect this book? Next year. With all going on right now writing will not begin for a while. However, it is fully outlined and word count assigned to each chapter. Once work begins, it should move along quickly. As for the second book, this is a big one. For those who pay attention to the blog posts, you might remember seeing a cover that I posted. That cover had the title of RETRO. Some might question the title. Afterall, isn't Shadow, Sword & Spell a retro game already? No. Yes, it takes many of its' cues from old-school fantasy games, as well as, use concepts found in a host of source material to make Shadow, Sword & Spell, well, that game. Yet, the rules and the mindset is very much modern in its' approach. RETRO is a sourcebook. It is not a new game. You will still need the Shadow, Sword & Spell Rulebook to make full use of the book. However, it is a book that gives you a host of choices to use. There is a lot of options in this book by the way. A lot. Besides new spells, there is an entirely new way to view and work magic. Backgrounds are revamped and presented in different ways so that you have a means of quickly choosing a character type you want to play. Fantasy races are talked about. In all, the number of options, rule tweaks, ideas, and the like gives you the power to shape Shadow, Sword & Spell into the game you want. Due to the size and scope of RETRO, it will not be out until next summer. The first draft of the book is done. It exists in all of its' rough and tumble glory. As I do with anything I write the manuscript is going through, what I like to call, Richard's Archaic form of Writing.

  • Write down rough notes and fragments of what I want. Each idea has a index card, and these cards are then are grouped together.

  • With the grouped note cards, I hammer out a rough outline.

  • With the outline done, I write the manuscript in longhand. Yes, longhand. BTW, the draft of RETRO filled 7 Moleskine notebooks.

  • With the rough draft written out, I then type the manuscript in. It is here that I revise, rewrite, and generally hammer out the manuscript into something coherent.

  • With the typed manuscript done I print the whole thing out and edit by hand.

Ok, I know it seems archaic, but the process works for me. There is something about this process that feels as if I am writing. Maybe it is the feel of the paper. Perhaps it is the sense of isolation from the computer. Or, maybe, I really like the feel of a pen writing across a sheet of paper. It is this feeling, the physicality, of writing that gives you a sense of creation. Well, that got out of hand. Anyway, the manuscript is done. Revisions are underway. RETRO is on track for next summer.