Thursday, April 24, 2014

New New Khazan

If you're getting impatient as to when Glow is finally going to be released, as I know Beckett, SSidZ, and TimS are, you're in good company. I am too, but hey I don't quibble with editors. Indeed I bow to them and slay their enemies because they bother to help out bad writers such as myself. It has been rather liberating though with the wait (I say that a lot, don't I?). My zombie movie screenplay Stay Alive, you might've heard the title before, is now three scenes long. Crawlspace's Apogee setting and something I call "Paranormal" has gotten a lot of attention. Not to mention the previously mentioned Spacers re-write from the last entry here.

My fiction though has been boring me severely though.  My prose tends to be space fantasy, also known as "sphere fantasy." For those that don't know, sphere fantasy are works like John Cater Warlord of Mars, the Gor series, and stuff like that. My own take is something I call "Slrog" where I deconstruct themes like "Fish-Outta-Water" and address the metaphors for racism and sexism-- there's a lot of Samuel Delaney in my zap-gun fantasy tales. I suppose I've been doing too much "serious" reading and I keep judging my work here. So after a few pages, I slink back into game writing. This leads me to New Khazan.

Image by Simon Tranter. Used with permission by Peryton Publishing. Don't steal, It's not nice or beneficial,

New Khazan was my T&T space fantasy setting. Kicked around, used and abused since 1999, this work went official about '09- '10. I had written it in like '99, the would-be publisher bottom-drawered it. When it was released, it was released twice with two different distinct takes, though the usurping author and publisher still credited me with "the idea" while copying and pasting 75% of the text written by me in an attempt to take control of it from me. It was a point of pride for me getting the PDF and print versions of my version, the real one, out. The inopportune parties rescinded their claim to my work, though the publisher still offers his oats compared to my wedding cake at his website.

Besides being a consistent seller, with multiple requests to "get it into stores," which I've not followed up on, I received the gracious thanks from T&T's author for expanding his game into space. Mad Dr. Roy "Yorda" Cram helped expand T&T in space with his contributions to the line of scenarios as well.  David Moskowitz has a couple works still in the works as well. I have a couple scenarios for a series of adventures called "The Quest For Trollstar" which I've half-heartedly worked on, and still continue to. But it's been a little neglected by me, mostly because by the time things got rolling with it, I was little tired of it.

I hate to admit it, but the scenarios from "The Quest For Trollworld" are from two and a half pages that I wrote for the neighbors I had in 2000. It was an awesome six episode campaign, more than a few beers and BBQs with me recruiting fellow 30 somethings into Adventure Gaming. They'd end up jumping into World of Warcraft and Axis and Allies. Still, I've promised to complete the publishing of these adventures to the initial backers of the '10 release of New Khazan. A little something called "Gas Giant" is in the works, if I can get the tonne of pages into a single scenario, that is. Heck maybe, it'll be five scenarios-- Maybe I'll run a marathon...? I don't really know, but something is coming.

New Khazan though in my notes is expanding. Sometime after 2015, the whole setting, with a bit more, is going to be worked into a piece called "The 9,000 Worlds." The planetoid of New Khazan will hopefully still figure prominently in the re-working, I'll ask Ken St Andre later if he doesn't mind his trademark city-state being reincorporated into the continuing source-book saga.

One of the criticisms of my New Khazan work has been, "Starfaring (demanded) that one use one's imagination to fill in the blanks... . New Khazan's background has the feeling of having been there and done that. (It is) (derivative) without being interesting..." . I think the criticizer missed the discussion around T&T circles about the pretty awesome game Starfaring not really being a role-playing game. And he kind of missed the point that New Khazan was not Starfaring but "T&T in Space." Some allowances to the reviewer, I was picking on him at the time elsewhere. Even if everything in the book was recycled material in space, it was meant to be. I want to explore space-based fantasy, not re-work a numerical matrix for space exploration format. Hopefully the saga won't be just evident, there are going to be a few saga kernels involved in the work. I am saying this now, if narrative role-playing doesn't interest you, do not buy it when it comes out.

The "9KW," the shorthand that I use for New Khazan, I am working into what is now well-received RuinCrawl species. These are Human, Otgan, Goblin, Elf, Dwarf, and Ape. Of course there are a couple more alien species to work in, this is an expansion after all. The least of which are the Hissers (reptilian-folk) and the Og (differing grades of ogres) re-imagined into the a "Kopfy-scale" of things. Rest assured, somehow I will work in leprechauns and trolls, at least the green ones, into the greater scheme of things.   

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