Heroes Fall Progress

So I took a bit of a hit on the employment front and got a rejection letter from the company I’d spent six weeks interviewing. They don’t need my services at this time. After a day of self-pity I got my ass in gear and opened up Scrivener again for the first time since August. I decided I wasn’t going to let depression get in the way of my creativity.

Boy, is that hard to do.

Diving into the guts of the game for the first time in months really surprised me. I was excited about what I had written. For the first time ever, coming back to a project revitalized me and got me going again. The notes I made after my GenCon playtests were dug up and put on my desktop as stickies. I’m proud to say that many of those stickies have been deleted because I’ve accomplished the goals they contained. There are still plenty more but I have made a sizable dent in the “Splat Changes” and “Mechanical” columns of my notes of changes. My mechanical list is a single item: “direct the Beastmaster more directly into the drama.” That’s a big task. We’ll see how it plays in upcoming tests. Splat Changes has just two options: “the Wizard needs some NPC love” and “write up the advanced options for patrons, companies, and guilds.”

The list of procedural changes is still pretty lengthy and involves writing a lot of lists. That’s going to take some brute force but it’s necessary to have that in place before I pass it off to anyone else to play the game.

I spoke on The Jank Cast this week about Apocalypse World and its hacks. Joe and Todd talked about how the behind-the-scenes rules can be hacked, tweaked, and altered. It crystallized what I’d been thinking about with Heroes Fall for a while but hadn’t consciously realized. The dark fantasy sword & sorcery genre is very different from post-apocalyptic, even weird post-apocalyptic. One of the best ways to adjust for that is by changing the GM guidelines. Change the agenda, principles, and moves of the GM and the game will play wildly different. That’s what I’ve been working on today. I wrote nearly 4,000 words setting the agendas, principles, GM moves, and guidelines for prep. They’re different from Apocalypse World fairly significantly though still clearly inspired by the original.

The splats themselves are coming along nicely. I only have a few scattered items to fill in across all of them. Most of those items didn’t make the lists since they’re outstanding from before GenCon. The endgame and XP has come a long way in the past few days. It’s actually shaping up to be a game that can stand on its own. Which is good because I’ll be running it again at Gameday Chicago 33 next Saturday. Onward!

About PK

PK Sullivan is a game designer and writer living in Chicago.
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