The Lay of the Land

I have had a bit of progress with Spark of late and I thought I would explain where I am at in a bit more detail.   My master plan is to produce a single printed book which will be 8 chapters in length.  The first four chapters would contain everything you need to play or run a game, from character creation to funky powers to the intricacies of narrative arcs.   These four chapters would be freely available in PDF form on my site as soon as they are completed.

Chapter 1: Character Creation

Chapter 2: Mechanics

Chapter 3: Powers

Chapter 4: Fate

The last four chapters would contain some of the useful tools for running a game.  This would only be found in the dead-tree versions, or in the PDF version which I will have up for sale.  This is the full toolbox to help a GM tinker under the hood, build their own settings and would present three new settings to play in.

Chapter 5: Setting Design

Chapter 6: Hacks

Chapter 7: Stock

Chapter 8: Three Unique Settings

Since I have stated this publicly, I suspect that some of the above information will be forced to change.  Still, at this point, that is how the book is organized.

I have written first drafts of the first four chapters already.  I have done substantial revisions to Chapters 1 and 2 thus far, based on my early playtest feedback.  Chapter 3 revision is proceeding apace and I have a decent plan of attack for Chapter 4 when I reach that point.  I hope to have this (chapters 1-4) out to external playtesters in a few months and with luck I will be able to complete all of my editing by end of 2010.   I have a lovely line editor who will be helping me polish and clean up the countless residual errors when I am ready.  If all things go as planned, I should have chapters 1-4 complete in time for GenCon and on sale in a printed AshCan format.

So that is the current status of the Spark RPG.  I haven’t leaked that much content thus far, chiefly because at this early stage in development things are likely to change.  I just hacked off a significant sub-system the other day for example.    Still, I will try to give a few more trinkets as the editing progresses.

Anyone have any thoughts, comments, questions or concerns on my so-called master plan?

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  • Ian Williams says:

    What sources helped you when you decided to develop your own RPG? For instance, did your time playing with World of Darkness help? Did you find good advice at the Forge?

  • Jagash says:

    My sources and inspirations were certainly varied. I certainly got a very good taste of game design during my time in the World of Darkness where I helped work on “The Sundered Heavens” project. The reimagining of “Demon: The Fallen” to match a set evocative history was an eye-opener and I found that I enjoyed some of the experience. It got me hooked.

    As for more current and purpose-built sources, I would have to say that podcasts have been a boon. I listened to “The Voice of the Revolution”, “That’s How we Roll”, “2D6 Feet in a Random Direction” and have started listening to “Master Plan”. I certainly supplemented my knowledge with The Forge and StoryGames, but I have only scraped the surface of those design communities.

    *Shrug* Those were the key sources at least for my particular journey, though your mileage may vary.