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[13 Chapters in 13 Weeks] Chapter 8 — Colonies & Natives

June 30, 2009

So here we are, Week 8 of the 13 week discussion of Colonial Gothic Revised. This week, the week of June 29, 2009, a holiday happens. That holiday? The Fourth of July.

Though I tried like hell to get the books out on this date, the eBook/PDF will be available at RPGNow.com, Drivethrurpg.com, and Yourgamesnow.com on July 3. In addition, the Kindle edition will be available that day as well. Physical copies are on their way to Indie Press Revolution and Studio 2, and this means that books will be shipped throughout the month. It is hard trying to keep all the various balls in the air, but the game is due out in July and will be out in July. With that out of the way, let’s turn the discussion to this week’s chapter, Chapter 8.

Chapter 8 is another chapter dealing with background, and the background found here deals with the colonies as well as the Native American tribes. This chapter is big. It gives you a very good survey of both topics. Like the whole book, this chapter is written with both the GM and player in mind. The topics found here aid the player in building the background of their Heroes. This chapter is also important for the GM in that a lot of needed world background is presented that aids in the creation of adventures and ongoing campaigns.

The first half of this chapter covers the Thirteen Colonies, and as was done in the original version; they are organized in three groups: New England, Middle Colonies and Southern Colonies. The information found here follows what has come before, namely background, major settlements and adventure seeds. Those who have pre-ordered the Rulebook, and have read the PDF version, have mentioned in their emails that the major settlements have some surprises. The most often asked question about this is a simple one: “Is this on purpose?” Yes. There are a lot of subtle touches like this found in the game, and the reason for this is simple – to ignore him would do a disservice to his creations.

Ok, I realize this is vague and obtuse, so let me clear this up. There are subtle touches and mentions to some of Lovecraft’s creations. This is done purposely, and for me, to not mention them, or even acknowledge them, would do a disservice to the game. Lovecraft lived and breathed New England, and his writings mention the period a lot. I decided to acknowledge this, and that is why you see mentioned some of Lovecraft’s most famous New England settlements. Does this mean Colonial Gothic is a Mythos game? No. It means I am honoring the past.

Due to space, as well as focus of the Rulebook, only the 13 Colonies are mentioned. This is not done to short change New France, or the holdings of Spain, it was done to save space, as well as keep the rulebook clearly focused on the 13 Colonies. Those looking for a little more coverage of other areas are advised to check out Colonial Gothic: Secrets. In addition there are projects in the works which will deal with the other areas of North America.

With that out of the way the second half of the chapter deals with the Native American tribes found in the game. Just like the original version of the game, the same tribes are available for play out of the book. This was done not to slight the other tribes, but to keep things manageable. There are many tribes, great or small, which had an impact on the period. To keep things manageable, as well as to give room for the tribes, I limited the list. As many know I want to do a sourcebook covering the Native Born in depth. The Rulebook is not a place for this.

In all, Chapter 8 is a packed chapter. Everything found here is geared to making the period as accessible as possible. I also did not include any rules in this chapter, or the previous chapter. The reason for this was simple: I did not need to. The game has enough rules already, and when assembling the chapters and thinking what I wanted to provide, I really wanted the background chapters to be as filled as they could be. Rules tend to take up too much space, and since the game is really rules light in many ways, I want to keep the focus on background at the forefront.

I am very happy with how Chapter 8 and Chapter 7 turned out. There is a lot found here, and a lot that both players and GMs can use and run with.

Next week I talk about Chapter 9 which is titled Game Master Advice.

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