Thursday, August 31, 2017

After Cult of Undeath?

Although I'm not done, of course, I'm nevertheless really quite happy with the CULT OF UNDEATH project and how it's turned out.  Much of that was the fact that CULT OF UNDEATH led to FANTASY HACK, so it is the inspiration that I needed to actually create my own version of "D&D" that perfectly meets my D&D needs.  And with the crazy summer coming to a close, maybe I'll actually find time to run this thing for someone in the fall.  So, the whole thing is rather timely, in spite of the many months in which the project sat without any updates at all.

But CULT OF UNDEATH is coming to a close soon.  Oh, sure—I need to do about 5-6 posts where I put some more detail behind the rest of the bullet points in my revised adventure summary.  And I'll probably do more setting development of Timischburg to make it more "hexcrawlable", as well as just for its own sake because setting development is fun.  But, it's largely done.  And it was successful enough for me that I need to think about what I want to do next.  Is there another adventure path that I might want to condense into something that resembles what I've done with CULT OF UNDEATH?  Yeah, probably.

Strange Aeons is probably the one that's most up my alley (honestly, it would probably have been even more up my alley than Carrion Crown if I'd started CULT OF UNDEATH a year later than I did.  Sure; it's got a lot of issues, as near as I can tell, but so did Carrion Crown.  It would have been interesting if CULT OF UNDEATH had been all along CULT OF THE KING IN YELLOW or something.  But it wasn't.  And this is a poor choice as a follow-up to CULT OF UNDEATH for a couple of reasons.  Not least of which is that I don't have the Strange Aeons books.  Plus, it's got too many thematic similarities to CULT OF UNDEATH, and would presumably take place in Timischburg as well, whereas I'd like to develop something a little different.

I gave some thought to the old Dungeon Magazine adventure paths; Shackled City, Age of Worms, etc.—but if the Paizo adventure paths are too long and involved, these are even worse.  They tend to be nearly twice as long as the Paizo ones (although I haven't ever tried to figure out if the page-count of actual adventure in the Paizo modules compares or not) and they also tend to be uber-D&Dish (fighting D&D demon lords and stuff.)

No, the two that are my most likely targets are Legacy of Fire and Serpent's Skull.  Because both of them start veering into strange directions that are not really what I'd want to do, significant pruning will probably be required.  Heck; maybe either of them can be improved by grafting something else into them as well; either elements of some other AP, or some stand-alone module of some source, or just plain old new ideas.

For instance, although Skull & Shackles isn't really one that I'd be interested in doing anytime soon, I've got to admit that this damsel in distress is a compelling character.  Fantasy adventure games could use more scantily clad hot pirate-themed chicks.

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