Class Notes: All Hallows Eve

-October 31st, 2012

Howdy and welcome to another edition of Class Notes. Also, HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Ed and I talked about whipping up a Halloween-themed one-sheet for Pinebox, which would have been fun. At this point though, I am 100% committed to finishing Degrees of Horror and didn’t want to divert my attention even to another relatively short Pinebox-related project.

Also, before I forget, THANK YOU you to everyone who came out and chatted with Ed and I last week on the Beautiful Brains Back Room Chat. If you missed it you can follow the link to read the transcripts. We had a lot of fun, and talking about horror never gets old.

Now on to this week’s report. Last week I said that I wasn’t quite done with NPCs. I’m pleased to report that I finished the remaining NPCs, all the Extras, and started in on the Beastiary. So far the creatures have been slow going because I’m trying to get my arms around several different creatures that actually all fall in the same category. For instance, we had three different demons, all of which had been written before the Horror Companion. So step one was to take advantage of the trail blazed by the Demon “monstrous ability” from that book and create a new base level from which to build. Sounds easy, but getting to that point took longer than you’d think.

After finishing off the demons, I took same approach with another creature. Actually, this one makes me a little sad because it brings into focus some fun stuff I’m leaving on the cutting room floor. In the original version of the plot points, I introduced a creature called the Needler. Very recently I realized that I can accomplish everything I need to story-wise using another existing creature– the Chupacabra. So now in the beastiary I’ve created a “chupacabra” monstrous ability which I just finished applying to a handful of variants of the same basic creature. All of that takes time, as I have to figure out what gets cut and what’s genuinely necessary. But hey, you get chupacabras!

Anyhow, as I was flipping through the pages just now to get a sense of how much I’d accomplished and how much I had left to go, guess what I found? Two MORE demons. So I guess I’m not done with those guys after all. Oh, did I mention Ed wrote a really cool “demon generator”? Draw a handful of cards and in only a minute you’ve statted out a unique creature that you can throw against your heroes. The downside is that it’s 645 words long and a creature generator probably better belongs in a toolkit or companion than in a setting book. I’m leaving it in because why not, but if the editors cut it for space then we’ll have to make sure it appears in a supplement or online.

So here were are. October 31. I’d really, really hoped I’d be at the end of the book by now. The good news is that once I get done with these “classes” of creatures, the one-offs ought to go way faster. I feel like the contractor from the movie The Money Pit,┬ábut I’m going to say it all the same: Two weeks!

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