Friday, May 24, 2013

Liberation of the Demon Slayer - update #2

Not much has happened since I just got back from vacation last night, but there has been progress.  The editing continues... should have a completed manuscript around June 1st, then layout, adding interior artwork (which is starting to filter in - some of it is really great!), a bit more tweaking, and hopefully it will be finished sometime in August.

Faustie has been working on the front cover.  This is his latest version on the right.  I've given him a few notes for changes, but the finished product will look similar to this.  He's going to take a couple days off and then get working on the back cover.

Incidentally, Shane Ward came up with his own layout for Liberation of the Demon Slayer - two different versions.  Email me if you want to check that out, I'll send you the PDF.  Keep in mind that it's not the latest edit of the manuscript, nor will it necessarily resemble the format of the final product.  Enough of the update.  Now, I'm going to write a little about my trip from an old school gamer's perspective.

Disney World is just as fun, fantastical, and occasionally frustrating as it was 30 years ago.  If there was an RPG based on Disney, then there would be three main classes:  princess, pirate, and wizard.  And together these characters would explore the jungles of Africa, the Devil-monkey worshiping mountains of Asia, futuristic mountains of nebula-warping, Carribean coves, and the storybook lands of fairy tales.

Seeing all that stuff again decades later was amazing.  I got to go on most of the rides I remembered from my childhood.  Sure, a few things changed.  Johnny Depp is prominently featured in Pirates of the Carribean.  Mr. Toad's wild ride is simply gone.  And there's a bright and flashy new Little Mermaid ride.  And, of course, many things stayed exactly the same, like it's a small world after all.

This isn't unlike the old school passion, nostalgia, and gaming principles of Dungeons & Dragons and similar roleplaying games.  There are pieces of rules or rulings we fondly remember from years and years ago.  Things we wish wouldn't change.  Maybe it's saving throws or d6 weapon damage despite what is being wielded.  Improvements have been made, fancy expensive improvements.  Some of which actually make the game better... other "improvements" seem to detract from it - based on our own subjective views.  Additionally, there are the elements we remember as cool decades ago, but have since lost their luster.

Anyways, going back to Disney World was a blast from the past.  I got to go on Space Mountain - something I always wanted to do when my parents and I went to the Magic Kingdom, but never did.  On the one hand, it probably didn't have the same effect on me as an adult that it would have had on me as a kid.  On the other, I was totally in touch with the aeons-old vibe.  Like seeing an Erol Otus illustration I've never seen before but still have an old school nostalgic love for because his aesthetic came from a certain place and time.  Indeed, I had a similar timeless enthusiasm for all the neato scifi imagery of the mid 1970's.

Space Mountain is actually the oldest rollercoaster in Florida (I just looked it up).  It was refurbished (including complete replacement of the ride trains in 1989 and 2009). So, even when something looks like age hasn't touched it or retains a retro style, it might still have modernized parts or a contemporary philosophy or paradigm attached to it.  And vice-versa.  Some visions are incredibly old, yet done in a totally contemporary way.

Besides that, I got a lot of ideas brewing inside my head for current adventures and future campaigns, everything from meteor storms that make dinosaurs frenzy to primitive wood-carved leopard stools to king-making swords lodged in stone.


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