Thursday, October 23, 2014

Delving Deeper Week, Day Seven: And In The End, We Look To The Future

Thanks for joining me for this, the last day of Delving Deeper Week. It's been a fun week(-ish), and it's been neat to see so many folks get fired up about DD and OD&D-style gaming itself. There's been a lot of work done so far, and today, we'll be looking at what comes next, because today's the day where I ask +Simon Bull:

What plans do you have for the future of Delving Deeper?
My most basic plan is to continue to enjoy it. Beyond that, I'd love to see some supporting materials for DD (and indirectly for 0e!) so this is where I'll be spending more energy. Hopefully DD can inspire some imaginations and help to spread a bit of the 0e goodness around. 
More specifics? Okay, so here's a rundown of what I've currently got in progress:
Firstly, I want to finish up the Ref Rules V4 individual PDFs and get those out there.

Jesse Rothacher is helping me overhaul my neglected Immersive Ink website. Ideally it will become an "easy as pie" DD portal/DD News site so there is a single go to place on the web for consolidated DD resources/news, and a bit of a central place for me to "promote" DD action. More on that as it happens. 
Meanwhile I've been working on a couple of dungeon scenarios for DD. Well, four of them. The first two are short ones derived from my winning one page dungeon entries. They've been revised for DD and somewhat extended, with professionally re-drawn maps by Tim Hartin (of Paratime Design). The next one I wrote toward the end of 2011 for the "Darkness Beneath" series to appear in Fight On! magazine but, after two or three issues slipped by without my scenario, I decided to pull it from FO in order to revise it and publish it specifically for DD. The last one is a collaborative effort which is just a draft right now, but it's off to a good start. 
I'm also collaborating with David Sullivan on a semi-historical DD supplement set in the Crusader States, circa AD 1100 (David's a real Crusades buff). This effort may well turn out the first "proper" DD supplement (in the Blackmoor or Greyhawk sense) and will likely include some alternate player classes, setting specific rules and relics, a wilderness map, a town map, encounters, and of course a detailed dungeon setting. It's a ways off yet, but I've got really high hopes for it. 
In my idle time I've been working on an illusionist class for DD with an all new (well, almost) repertoire of spells. My interpretation of the illusionist is quite different to Peter Aronson's (and thereafter EGG's), and it's basically ready for action. However, I want to bundle it with a scenario that showcases the new class and do some proper play-testing before I publish it. 
Of course there's still the hardback DD edition (Reliquary) in the pipe. So much work has already gone into this! Reliquary was really the driving force behind updating the Ref Rules to V3 and then to V4, not to mention the artwork, and all the layout effort. As of today I'm pretty confident that Reliquary would sell around 50 copies, but to break even it needs to sell around 150 copies (or more). So while I still really want to do a proper hardback it's on the shelf for now, pending that "trigger" level of confidence. I'm still hopeful DD will get there. 
As well as things already in progress, there's a whole lot more things I'd like to do that are itches just waiting to be scratched. Here's some of them... 
* Ref Rules V4 Volume 1 (Heroes & Magic) as a standalone POD booklet.
* A media pack to assist folks wanting to put together material for DD.
* A referee's screen with some nice art, all the ref's tables on one side and the players' tables on the other.
* A "new to 0e" starter's guide on How to Play DD. I've already written a player's guide, but the ref's guide is still to do. It will likely contain a lot of crunch including some large combat scenarios played out in detail.
* A collection of online tools for generating things like PCs/NPCs, magic swords, treasure troves, stronghold forces, and so on.
And then I have my own personal campaign games to share.

My "The Deep in the Hinterlands" game is becoming a sprawling epic. It was begun as a tribute to B2 The Keep on the Borderlands on the anniversary of EGG's passing but, four and a half years on, the players haven't yet touched the goblin caves I originally planned out. Instead, they've explored the setting and driven the invention of a trove of great material in, under, and around the central town of the campaign. It has been a great ride and I have a growing sense that it all needs to be written down. It's something I really want to do but it is going to take some serious doing -- most of the dungeon maps are scrawled on the backs of envelopes and scraps of paper, with notes jotted here there and everywhere on pages I might never find. The good news is that the player side of it, at least, is all documented online so there's hope I can reconstruct whatever might be missing. 
Then there's my Moria game, and my Eyre Tor game before that; so it's a good thing I have to work for a living else I might have time to get overly ambitious! All told I reckon there's a boatload of potentially good stuff yet to come, and that's just me! Everyone else is welcome to publish their DD/0e material too; that's a big part of what DD is for. With that in mind the future looks pretty good for DD fans.
Enjoy!
Now that Delving Deeper is in print (with regularity), it's time to strike while the iron is hot. The media pack that Simon suggests would be a great way for would-be Delving Deeper publishers to jump into that deep end and put out some content. I'm not going to wait for that (honestly, though, I've got to finish up Metal Gods #3 before Hyperbarbaria enters the planning stage in earnest), and I think you shouldn't, either. A lot of Simon's stuff seems to be aimed at getting new folks into OD&D-style gaming. I think that's cool, but I'm already into it. The idea of a hardcover is cool, too, but I'm not over-excited by it; it'll be nice to have when it's available (you know I'll buy one... or two, depending on price), but I'm much more excited to see what Simon comes up with next. 

On that topic, I think Simon's idea of supporting DD with supplements in the style of the OD&D ones is a great idea. I want it published in the same format (half-letter, so-called "digest" sized), I want it to look consistent with the existing volumes of DD and I want Immersive Ink to not be the only company putting them out. I'm a sucker for adventures, and knowing how good DD is, I'm interested to see what Simon's adventure-writing style is. I think it's reasonable to expect that adventures will be the next thing out from Immersive Ink, and that's a good thing; they keep the brand front-and-center and let the reader/gamers know what to expect from that particular publishing house. 

And so, on a note of excitement for what the future will bring, Delving Deeper Week comes to a close. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have.