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Charles Green

Informal Q&A for Homeward

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Since I missed the Q&A (curse my poor grasp of international time zones), I thought I'd chime in and answer any questions about Homeward: Weird Adventures on the Astral Seas, my setting book for Revolution d100.

In Homeward, everyone is from somewhere else. The players are all crew on a dimension-traveling ship. None were born on it, and some may die on it. You might be a sorcerer-king in exile, a wandering philosopher seeking Enlightmentment, an angel of the Higher Worlds fallen to crude matter, or something even stranger. Powerful though you may be, you are, at heart, in exile; estranged from a life of peace and fulfilment. You've seen many ports of call in the Astral Seas, but none speaks to your soul as the thought of Home, wherever or whatever that may be.

And yet, while Home is too easily left, it is not so easily returned to. All who travel the Astral Seas bears a Weird, a destiny that must come to pass before Home can be found. A person's Weird is unique to them, as individual as the soul. One's Weird is two-pronged: pursuing it lends emphasis to your efforts and progress towards Home, but if pushed too far, too fast, Weird can spell one's Doom.

The Astral Seas are like water, sailed upon by the stout of heart, and those with no choice. And like water, the Seas have eddies and currents, bringing things from other worlds into contact, often in ways disastrous for all involved. Whole worlds exist as islands in the Seas, each with its own peculiar gods. So you and your comrades sail, from port to port, job to job, and day to day, seeking that final port, knowing that you may not reach it.

No mortals are native to the Seas, but they host life nonetheless. Things stir in the Underseas; Things terrible in conception, loathsome in aspect. None sail the Astral Seas for long before stories of The Things reach their ears. Most are surely nothing more than old-salt stories. But what of the rest?

 

I'm also having this discussion on just about anywhere else on the Internet where they'll let me yammer.

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Thanks Charles!

  1. What is the tech levels of the worlds touched by the astral seas? All fantasy worlds or are some of them high tech / low magic...
  2. How similar / different is Homeworld to Rogue Mistress from Stormbringer?
  3. Is Homeworld a pure settings book or will it contain rules as well?
  4. Any chance the allegiance rules you originally did for Magic World will make an appearance?
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Thanks Charles!

  1. What is the tech levels of the worlds touched by the astral seas? All fantasy worlds or are some of them high tech / low magic...
  2. How similar / different is Homeworld to Rogue Mistress from Stormbringer?
  3. Is Homeworld a pure settings book or will it contain rules as well?
  4. Any chance the allegiance rules you originally did for Magic World will make an appearance?

1. For simplicity's sake, tech level for each world is a case-by-case basis. Most of the worlds are some form of fantasy, but high tech worlds do exist, and there are methods for accessing the Astral Seas via technological means. Visually, I'm describing Astral ships as sailing vessels, but this is mostly colour, and the whole thing could be done Star Trek style with fancy techno-magick vessels. The specifics of the ship the PCs depend on the group; it comes with some stock features, and each it can get an additional feature for each PC in the group. So, it starts off as a basic ship-of-the-line, with dimensional travel abilities, and it might gain a stock of weapons, the ability to fly, and demonic servants instead of other human crew. Another group might bind spirits into the sails for greater speed, and make the hull sturdier.

2. Rogue Mistress is one of my favourite books from the Stormbringer line. It's a huge influence on Homeward, so the similarities are certainly there. But it isn't the only influence. I've been reading a lot about the nature of people in exile, and kept having this sense that, in many roleplaying campaigns, PCs are rootless wanderers, cut off from their homes, families, and histories. There are countless stories that could come out of such a milieu, and Homeward's Cosmos, with its universes floating like eggs in a vast sea, is a place where that rootlessness could be explored and mined for dramatic tension.

Rogue Mistress was about telling one specific story. With Homeward, I wanted to set up a variety of stories.

3. There will be both setting material and rules material, though much of the setting is designed during play. At the start of the game, most the only things that exist for certain are the Astral Seas, the ship upon which the PCs sail, and the planes from which they come. There are rules in place to create just enough detail about a new dimension so that PCs have a place to go for their first adventures. Some planes do get more attention. Earth, for example, has access to the Seas, so PCs can be drawn from any point in Earth's history. One of the sample PCs is a teenager from modern Earth, lost amongst the Seas, trying to find his or her way home.

Most of the rules material isn't going to be altering how the Revolution d100 rules work. I prefer instead to focus on using the system to convey a specific sort of game, so most of my rules systems are meant to hit themes, metaphors and images.

4. The Philosophical Engine is certainly going to make an appearance. Paolo and I are working out how and when this is going to happen. The initial impetus for Homeward was to create a setting where The Philosophical Engine would form the core of the player experience. What a PC believes, and how they act to make those beliefs a reality, is really what this project is about.

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That sounds awesome! The only suggestion I might make is to try to avoid making the setting too railroady. A lot of people considered that a problem with Rogue Mistress.

When do you think you might publish your book?

Thanks again!

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That sounds awesome! The only suggestion I might make is to try to avoid making the setting too railroady. A lot of people considered that a problem with Rogue Mistress.

When do you think you might publish your book?

Thanks again!

There are no rails in the Astral Sea. Homeward is designed first and foremost to be about player agency; the stories that develop during play are those relating to the PCs and their desire to find Home. The adventures I have are about placing the group in certain situations, or at certain places, rather than being enmeshed in a plot that the GM sets up beforehand.

Which is not to say that all adventures are going to be one-shots. Some are short min-campaigns, about 2 to 3 session each. But even these are set up to be slotted in where applicable. One adventure is "you're marooned on a desolate dimension" while another is "this is the time the job goes south and everyone nearly dies".

The publication date is yet to be determined. Much depends on how the crowdfunding campaign for Revolution d100 goes. Homeward is a stretch goal, after all.

That said, a great deal of the text for Homeward already exists, and once I can turn active attention to it, the work should come pretty swiftly. I believe the anticipated publication date is Spring 2016, but as with all things, this is likely to change.

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This setting concept sounds awesome. If I have the cash available I will update my pledge to try and get this happening. 

If it doesn't get produced with the Revolution D100 kickstarter, then I hope we may see it at a later date perhaps?

It's too cool for vapourware

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I'm with Mankam. I just upped my pledge on the Revolution kickstarter so that I can get Merrie England but Homeward looks like a long shot... Would you guys consider kick starting Homeward by itself if Revolution is funded but doesn't bring in the stretch goals? 

I mean afterall I gotta have it! 

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Would you guys consider kick starting Homeward by itself if Revolution is funded but doesn't bring in the stretch goals? 

I mean afterall I gotta have it! 

Folks, crowdfunding does not work this way :)

In order to get Homeward in you greedy little hands, you do not persuade us to make another kickstarter. You go out there and persuade all of your friends to back this kickstarter.

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