Thirty months after I published the first chapter of an initial eight-chapter Ultraviolet Grasslands on my patreon (the stratometaship), the 32-chapter UVG + 60-page rules appendix is complete.
The wildly successful kickstarter is nearly fulfilled. Sure, sure, we’ve got to do final print-prep on the file. And I’m fixing some … uhh … unfortunate clerical errors (that’s why SEACAT has no clerics! Clerical error!) in the list of initial patreon heroes. And then there’s a bit of layout work left on the UVG map and GM screen and postcards. But overall … the _biggest_ part is finished. Fait. Accompli.
This is what the book looks like. Two hundred pages. 220+ pieces of color art. An index. Cats. A hundred thousand words. Hopefully, also some good reviews.
It’s been exhausting. The last six months or so, I’ve not managed to keep up with the post-G+ scattering of the OSR. I’ve lost touch with a lot of blogs and people, connections I’ll try to rebuild slowly.
The last two months have been particularly grueling. Not to sugarcoat it, it’s been hard. For reasons about 97% unrelated to the kickstarter and the book.
But here we are. At an end, at a beginning. So, what’s coming now?
- Remaining bits of UVG. Fair bit of work there.
- Longwinter’s final, third — Winterwhite’s Bargain — gird yourself to unravel the mystery behind the icy death of a realm and perhaps turn the goddess’s wrath to your advantage.
- Red Sky, Dead City — the doom metal end of a city returns. Get your apocalyptic bent on, as you prepare to destroy a thousand-year civilization in the pursuit of gold, glory, and perhaps a small reduction in your loans with the butcher bankers.
But there is something else. Something I’ve mumbled and muttered about on-and-off since at least December 2018.
With Exalted Funeral we’ve been preparing to put out our deliciously smooth and squiggly roleplaying game, SEACAT, for about six months. We’re a bit late on that, but you can be sure, it’s coming soon.
The Ultraviolet Grasslands already contain a skeleton of SEACAT, plus some skinning for that setting.
Over the next few months I’m going to reassemble that skeleton plus additional skins to release it as a free .pdf in time for the celebrations of Cattus Invictus. There will also be an art-heavier version available for people who want to buy it, and—in time—a print version with EF.
As I go, I’m going to write a series of blogposts, breaking down the system and explaining why each section is the way it is. Roughly:
- Play and Games: high-falutin’ talk about the difference between play and games, which informs a lot of SEACAT’s mechanical structure.
- Heroes and the Cat: the two basic player roles, heroes and game runner, and their shared stake in creating a fun play time.
- Superbasics: the core mechanics. These are familiar to anybody who’s played an rpg before.
- Heroes: the player characters. The protagonists, if you will.
- Creatures: the antagonists and supporting cast. Mostly run by the game runner.
- Stats and Skills: a deeper dig into what these do in a SEACAT game … and most other RPGs.
- Abilities: the para-human abilities that change how heroes interact with the world differently from ordinary gameworld humans.
- Customizing heroes: this is the part that is largely missing in the UVG. How to build different skins for heroes and implement them in your game.
- Conflict: fights between heroes and the shared game world (and often, the antagonists).
- Magitech and Fantascience: spells and magic for everyone.
- Corruption: biomagical, radiation, and other changes to characters.
- Experience: how different experience levers modify the game experience, and why all the players should choose how to handle experience before the game starts … and have a say in changing the agreement as the game progresses.
- Time: using and modifying time to change your game.
- Inventory: using inventory as a resource in your game.
- Misfortune and random events: abstracting the larger environment to help the world seem real.
- Encounters: similar to misfortunes, bringing the environment to play. Also, how to make it “not so annoying”.
- Environmental hazards: more than just starvation and thirst.
- Death and its alternatives: hakaba.
- Skins for the Seacat—Wizards, Thieves, and Fighters: ok, this is sneaky of me, listing this last, since it’s something I’ll pepper around and throughout. It’s essentially classes, backgrounds, abilities, and equipment all rolled together.
I might change the order of posts, and a lot of this content will be straight from the SEACAT text in the UVG … so prepare for a lot of long reads. Plus commentary from your helpful guide, Blue Skull, explaining why I chose to do things in a certain way (and why that might often also be quite silly).
“Sic wratchatt, messamees,” slurred the skull-faced mastey of games.