It's Halloween and what better time to talk about Nocturne!
There has been a huge flurry of activity this last week. Since the previous Nocturne update there has been good news across the board. ASH LAW is back in contact and absolutely cranking out great material for 13th Age, as is the rest of that team. My personal thank you to them all. That has a direct impact on the Savage Worlds version too, since it means we have a really solid core of what we want to achieve, which can now go to the Savage Worlds team for their development.
So, what have we been creating? The focus this week has been on player options, and boy have we knocked this one out of the park, sports fans. Three new character classes, three new gothic races that are sub-races and can be overlaid on top of your regular race, investigative options for characters involved in the “track them to their den of evil, solve the mystery” type of play style, and more besides.
In particular I’d like to mention a bit of the world lore for Nocturne. The setting takes place during a time when two realms, one classic gothic, one dark fantasy, have just collided. It’s an event called the Nightfall. The resulting carnage creates six shattered lands and The Weave which binds them together. If the realms were dark before, they’re a downright terrifying place now!
How does this affect the play experience you’ll have? In a lot of ways, actually, but for today I’d like to focus on the overview of the three new classes. You’re in for a treat....
(slayer of vampires, which we also want as one of our playable race options)
Two realms collided, merging two sets of horrors into even greater nightmares across the shattered lands. A handful of warriors have risen to avenge these horrors' terrible deeds. Werewolves are bad news, vampires even more so, but the new slayers are infused with dark energy which gives them the power to take vengeance against all evil.
Bloodshire slayers live on the razor's edge between good and evil, as true a definition of "antihero" as you'll ever find. Some are even vampires who have turned against their own kind, desperate to retain their humanity by carrying out the right sort of carnage. But beware... in the deepest shadows are the slayers' opposite number, the slayers who would slay slayers.
Shrouded by the darkness of The Nightfall, nothing is black and white.
(creator of stitched-together 'creatures', which we also want as one of our playable race options)
Healing the sick, saving lives and maybe... creating life where life had gone. There have always been students of the ars physica in the realms, those physicians who are willing to push medicine beyond the acceptable bounds of humanity. However, the dark energies released by The Nightfall have given such doctors new arcane power, for good or for evil.
A darkstone arcanist is one part wizard, one part mad scientist, with a dash of evil genius thrown in for good measure. Skilled in anatomy, alchemy and arcane arts, this is a flexible path to power with plenty of applications. Such a hero could go great good in lands full of pain and suffering. At the edges of that power, though, is the skittering, whispering force of madness. The greater the power, the more insistent its voice.
Shrouded by the darkness of The Nightfall, even the greatest good is empowered by a touch of evil.
(binder of ghosts, which we also want as one of our playable race options)
A collision of dark, gothic realms is bound to leave many corpses, the broken vessels of countless souls. Every day the horrors of the new lands add more to their number. There are a few, heroes and villains alike, who bind the shades of the dead as a source of power. For some it is to help ease their passing or to help those they left behind. For others... there are those who care nothing for the suffering of the dead or the living, or worse, who actively delight in it.
Shade binders live in a shadowy half-existence with one foot in the physical world and one in the spirit world. They have power over the shades of the deceased, and when bound these shades in turn become a source of power for the shade binder. How that power is used is what defines the user, but the shades also shape him. An evil soul may want to be bound, to pervert goodness and fuel evil deeds, in the process affecting the shade binder's own soul.
Shrouded by the darkness of The Nightfall, even the best intentions can be obscured by the shade.
Here's the art of the Bloodshire Slayer
What started out as something which was focused upon 13th Age has been through a sea of stormy waters for us all. Nocturne has been a labour of love and a pain in the side in equal measure -- and whilst I'm done on the writing side of the project there's still a ton of work left to do if we're working on 2 versions at the same time.
With the loss of ASH LAW to the team, this has dealt quite a blow. ASH hasn't been in contact with Savage Mojo for weeks and they've had no choice but to press on without him or otherwise we'd be here a year from now twiddling our thumbs (again). So we've lost our major 13th Age mover and shaker regarding the book, Savage Mojo feels and I quote, "Here's the thing - the people we have are very keen, and I think they'll be decent at stats conversion. None of them are people you can work with to craft the full experience from the ground up. Getting someone else at this stage... it's all about time passing without results. I don't really want to be here a year from now, and neither do the fans. Remember, it's not like anyone's getting paid for this (which will also constrain the quality of who we could get of course)."
What does this mean, well, it means the 13th Age version of the rules will have to come after the Savage Worlds version of the book. You still get a book, you'll get a better book than with the old crew I can tell you that much. You only have to look at Set Rising, Clockwork Dreams, Dungeonlands (trilogy) or any of Mojo's Suzerain books to see that.
Shaintar is a prime example of just how amazing Mojo can make an already badass world.
So bear with us, we'll do the Savage Worlds stuff first here at Savage Mojo and then we'll gather some of the previous team to get out a 13th Age version. No one's getting paid for this, so Savage Mojo even offering to do this level of support is still fantastic - no one's getting short-changed, though it might feel a little like it at times.
The book's still coming, I've seen what's being done with the Savage version and it's great.
Working on just one version will mean the book gets done sooner rather than later, then we can do (as I did with Dragon Kings) the 13th Age ruleset to cover Nocturne.
Savage Mojo and Darren W. Pearce
Greetings one and all, Savage Mojo are still hard at work on Nocturne, worry not we/they've not vanished. All's good, and there's some great things in the pipeline - we're working hard on getting a preview setup for you to see some of the changes, new things and great things in this setting.
Hi all, this is the Nocturne logo and cover mockup, nothing's set in stone yet but we thought you might like to see it - seeing it like this, with the 13th Age logo also cements the book a lot more.
Logo created by the excellent Aaron Acevedo, and cover art by Sam Phillips.