So I talked about what got me started with Ave Molech, I guess now would be a good time to talk through the primary book…
About the Introduction
From the beginning I always wanted to blend magic and technology in a way similar to Final Fantasy, but in a post apocalyptic way similar to Fallout. Please note I’m probably going to be making both video game and movie references, if you haven’t played or seen them I highly recommend you do so.
Defining this was a challenge to me at the time, and I had started writing out a few introductions that were going in very different writing styles. These would later become the “historical documents” after the main introduction to the game. The timeline following was actually something I added in very last along with the Ramblings section as I wanted to explain what had been going on over the last while with the game and myself.
I feel my ideas in this world were definitely new at the time, to the point that I needed to define terms that would be unique to the game’s citizens as if they were real people struggling through a horrible ordeal I created for them and as a result I wrote up sections defining how things in my world actually worked.
I still feel I could go back and expand more on some of the introduction parts, but I didn’t want to be a stat junky or go all out in defining a world in such detail that it lost its plug and play factor. I always wanted GMs/DMs to be able to pick up my book and plug in parts of my world into theirs or have their players take a stroll along Southern Hus. I’m sure many people are baffled by this idea as why wouldn’t I want someone to play in my world and my world only, and while that is grand and my friends and I could do it, I guess it’s just the open source junky in me that wants people to use my game in the way that works best for them.
About the Races
Races were the easiest part of the game for me. I knew from the beginning I wanted Tieflings and Goblins, but I wanted them to be different than past games had done. My personal love of body art made me think of Tiefling as something sensual and ultimately I chose to make them charismatic. Just as an aside, in early 2005 I posted on the WotC forums asking about peoples thoughts on charismatic Tiefling and got shot down by most, so I thought it very interesting when they announced the 4th edition would have Tiefling as charismatic characters. Just an odd coincidence I’m sure.
Originally I hadn’t planned on having any pure races, like Humans, since in my head with so many races living underground it just made more sense to me that everyone would be some type of mutt, or at least a Half-something. This made for some great campaign ideas using the Savage Species book. Ultimately I gave into peer pressure and added in Humans and Halflings. The Sec’Toda came last as I wanted a race of my own that was unique to the game and I originally thought of them being like a cross between Jadzia Dax and Odo from Deep Space Nine. The name came from a mangling of the word Cestoda (tapeworm).
The Lands and Maps
The lands were written much like the parts on how things worked in the introduction. I wanted to fill in the primary lands types so that fans could build out and create places on the outskirts or in the middle of these areas easily, and I wanted each area to be unique in what would commonly dwell or lurk there. The population and size is something I still don’t feel comfortable with having as again this falls into my I don’t want to see so many stats issue, but again it’s something I added based on peer pressure and feedback.
The maps I drew myself, in Illustrator. I’m the world’s best artist by any means, but I’ve been very happy with them. I’ve actually had some response on them as far as that I put too many maps in the game this time, as opposed to previous responses that I didn’t have any map information last time. The fact is the first game had two maps included, I now include thirteen, if you don’t like them, and there are 158 other pages to look at.
About the Major Players
Since I started writing ideas for this game certain character names had always been used in my writings. Aarden and Rendor were always main characters; Diamondgreyus and Greymond were names I used often for online games and forums. Typically I have used Greymond when on forums or playing a male character and Diamondgreyus (or a variation of) when playing a female character in a game.
The whole Sharess and Talon thing was really where I wanted the main focus of the world to be and I think I’ve accomplished that, though going back to my plug and play theme I needed to make sure there was “more to do” than just chase down dragon slayers or kill off people with black crystals in their chest.
Each person mentioned in Organizations & Important people actually get introduced in Lore: Sharess & Talon, with exception to the Tempered bank, Goblinwerks, Order of the Red & Black and the Valisna – though those appear in the Journal series.