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[13 Chapters in 13 Weeks] Chapter 11 — Mundane Threats

July 22, 2009

Week 11. Wow, just typing that has me realize how long I have been at this with this little series of posts. When I started two months ago, it sounded like such an easy thing — write about each chapter of Colonial Gothic telling what was different and what was expanded. Two months ago, the book was in layout, and now it is out and making its’ way to the shelves.

This week I want to talk about one of two chapters filled with material specifically for GMs. Both this chapter and Chapter 12 gives GMs threats, be them mundane and monstrous. I’ll cover Chapter 12 next week, this week I’ll cover Chapter 11 — Mundane Threats.

When I approached the revision of Colonial Gothic last year, the main thing I wanted to do was give GMs more than enough information that they could run the game from the book. I was not worried about a sample adventure, because there was already two ready for free download, and a number in development for release in our $1 line of PDFs. With the need of not needing to cram in a adventure — and as you can see by the page count of the book there is no room — I needed to fill a small gap.

Thinking about the comments I have gotten in person and via email, with the first version of the game, one of the major strikes against it was the lack of stats for monsters. In hindsight this was a bad idea, and this was one of the things I wanted to address. In thinking about monsters, I knew what I wanted to add, but I also realized that GMs, as well as players — because let’s face it players will read the whole book as well — needed examples of the type of mundane threats Heroes face during the course of adventuring. It was this that led to the creation of Chapter 11.

The chapter is broken up into four parts: Colonists, The Mandoag, Native Born and Villains. Each part gives you fully stated out characters ready to be dropped into play, or if pressed, modified for use as a Hero. So what type of characters are found here? A nice mix.

For the Colonist section you get a: agent of the Inquisition, Freemason Agent, Knight Templar Agent, Minuteman, Soldier, a typical Colonial Alchemist, a typical Colonial Mage, and a Woodsmen. The Mandoag section gives you not only the typical warrior but a shaman. While the Native Born section gives you a typical Shaman and Warrior. All three of these sections are illustrated by Jeff Preston, who did a excellent job with the art chores, and the style he used feels like the period. The Villain section is a bit longer, and you will see a few familiar faces in this section.

What I like about Chapter 11 is how these threats capture not only the feel of the game, but the period. Some of these have seen heavy use in my own games, and now others get to use them for themselves. Though this is a small chapter, it is a important chapter and that is due to the chapter giving you examples and tools to run a session or two. Chapter 11 is also a bridging chapter to Chapter 12, which is a big chapter and gives you monsters. That will wait for next week.

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