Friday, October 13, 2017

Krevborna: The Book

I've mentioned this on Google+ but not here: I've been working on a campaign setting book for Krevborna

If you don't know what Krevborna is, it's a Gothic Fantasy setting for roleplaying games inspired by Bloodborne, Hammer Horror, and Eastern European folklore. I've been building the setting on this blog; you can read about the setting here and read actual play reports from games set in Krevborna here.

Take a look to the left; that's the Table of Contents as it stands right now.

Current state of the book: 
- I'm fairly confident that the manuscript is done.
- The manuscript has been handed off to an editor.
- I've been talking about potential ideas with the cover artist and she is at work on an initial sketch. I might be able to preview the cover image at some point, but we're at an early stage with the art.

Below is an example of what the page layout looks like in general. Each major location in the setting gets four pages in this two-page spread format; here is the section on Hemlock, a town of witches and apostates:

It's interesting that Hemlock won the poll of which area I was going to preview in this post as it's also a location that my players steadfastly avoided going to when they had the opportunity.

Aside from location detail on five major locations and four other dangerous locales, here's what else is in the book:
- Brief general notes on the setting, its people, its secrets, and its general aesthetics and themes.
- A map of the setting by Michael Gibbons, so you know that's good.
- People who have played in my Krevborna games will definitely recognize some of the NPCs, monsters, and locations described therein. Don't be surprised if you even run across some easter eggs related to your characters!
- Stuff for players, including advice on character archetypes that fit the setting, dark secrets that lurk in characters' pasts, and details on otherworldly beings that characters might make pacts with.
- Information on the setting's factions and important NPCs, and advice on how to use them in your games.
- Background on the world of Krevborna and its cosmology.
- My best advice for running "Gothic Fantasy" games.
- An expanded adventurer generator, a bestiary of sample monsters in the setting, and a list of inspirations that gives credit where credit is due.
- The book is fully indexed. There's even a separate index for all the random tables in the book for ease of use. Here are the unedited draft of the indices:

Some names are placeholders; some names still need to be added.

Why I'm proud of this project:
- I've put a lot of effort into making this book support the principles of setting presentation I talked about here and here
- The book is designed to deliver adventure-oriented detail instead of big honking paragraphs of frustrated novelist writing; expect setting info to be deployed via bullet points and terse description you can use in play.
- I've got a great cover artist lined up and am super excited to see where her inspiration takes her on this project. Hopefully I'll be able to preview some art in the near-ish future.

Additional details:
- Right now, the book is 100% system neutral.
- The book's dimensions will be 6x9, and it will probably be between 110-120 pages long.
- The book will have a color interior.

Things that still need to get done:
- I need to make some decisions about the interior art.
- I am planning on releasing the pdf and print hardcopy through DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, so I will have to figure out how that works.
- Release date tba.