So, last year all kinds of fantastic work was accomplished by a variety of us, all beavering away on our own to write material for November.
I'd like to suggest we try and do a co-operative piece this time.
Anyone interested? Any thoughts? We can't start writing before NaNoWriMo, but we can do research, prep, build wikis, whatever, so: let's talk abou8t what sort of project we could write that would be segmented enough that we wouldn't need to read each other's work every night, but joined enough to be a large coherent piece at the end.
Things I would love to see that might not get done in the published line:
A source book for the time before the Order - telling stories without Hermetic magic, what traditions held power and influence, what were the rules on engaging with mundanes?
A source book for the founding of the Order - major characters of the time, early Hermetic magic, a chance to reshape what was included and what was lost
A source book of four completely NEW Houses - Just pretend we had four brand new Houses to play with, what would they look like?
A source book for House Diedne and three Houses we could have had - if only Trianoma had looked further afield
A source book for the Schism War - flashback stories, magical devices/weapons, lost rituals, faeries emulating the war, battlefields of the war, lineages and prestige, infamous magi and their lineages
A source book for the fourteenth century - how mundane politics, institutions, and philosophical understanding develops
A source book for the new world - voyages of discovery, rules on colonisation, new beasts and supernatural traditions, the coming of the Dominion and the fight against the Infernal
A port to D&D 4 or Pathfinder - just because
Je pense que c'est la responsabilité de l'auteur d'écrire un texte de manière compréhensible.
spoiler (highlight to read): I think it is an author's responsibility to write a text that can be understood.
Woher soll ich wissen, dass es um ein Gratis-Angebot geht, wenn ich den Text nicht verstehe? Ironisch, wenn das ein Aufruf zum Schaffen von Text sein soll.
spoiler (highlight to read): How am I supposed to know that this is about a freebie when I don't understand the text? Quite ironic, if this is supposed to be an invitation to create some text.
Your tone seems rather unfriendly. I was just trying to help. I may not be the only one who doesn't understand the acronym you have used. In fact, I'm the only one (apart from you) who has posted in this thread so far, thereby raising awareness for your cause. You might help your readers (and your cause) by clarifying what you are suggesting.
EDIT: cross post - someone else has posted while I was typing this.
Yes, I am. Emphasis on co-operative rather than collaborative, however. The point of the November writing-puke is to gush forth unedited volume. Even my simple "A Faerie a Day" would have suffered if I'd had to cross-reference points with another author to see if the critter was legit or fit into a joint framework. So I'd love to work on a theme, with several of us contributing to a broad topic. that said, the pieces of this project have to be a lot less connected than the pieces of a published book.
My first thought is that a faerie creature is much easier to create than a magic creature. I'd have ripped my eyeballs out if I'd proposed doing "A Magic Creature a Day." It took me four days to stat up the Tubermen, http://wp.me/p1RlRL-8W. I actually could research, find, and create a faerie creature in a single day. I don't think this is the kind of feedback you are looking for, however.
Maybe I'll reply to Mr. Lawford's suggestions, as he has a fair number of good ones.
I'd like to see us do something wild as well, something well out of the bounds of published material. All of Mark's ideas are grand. I'm only going to comment on a couple:
This is my recent favorite only because I just finished Gore Vidal's Julian and am thinking of the late Roman Empire. What would it be like to play in 4th century Mythic Europe, well before the Order?
I think this has the most room to move, actually, for each individual author. "Do anything you want but imaging it during the Schism War." Fluff stuff could include a history, battles, and heroes, while crunch could be characters, spells, and magic items of war.
I've always toyed with the idea of Ars Magica set in Greyhawk.
Can I propose Mythic India? It's geographically closer and there are surprising cultural and social connections to pagan Europe.
Of these, the first one is perhaps the easiest, in the sense that the authors don't need to check each other's work. I think Hibernia is likely off the table...it was sort of hinted at in the publishing sequence DAvid put up a while back (as being in the next two Tribunals after Transylvania, which isn't a stretch, but it means it may be in active drafting right now.)
And i say that as a person whose houserules includes a total of 20 Hermetic houses:
Trianoma became its own house.
Myanar didn´t go kamikaze against the faerie-Merinita, instead splintered off and reformed into a nature-focused new house based on the original Merinita knowledge.
Diedne was severely cut down but not obliterated.
Lyasa, the Vis providers of the order, focused on Vim, Creo and Vis, alchemy, manipulating magic, hiding magic and hiding from magic, and above all else, sheer raw power, this is the place you find the nutjobs that will actually try to get 50+ in multiple arts, even if they dont have any spells making use of such big numbers, it´s also the place where you find a lot of those addicted to magic.
Trisana, weather and elemental magic as well as research and anything "booknerdy" is their focus.
Althena, heavy focus on Corpus, less on Mentem, big on healing, LRs and fertility magic with ghosts and necromancy a lesser common interest.
Kyriakos, a scholar whose magic was beset by a horde of crippling flaws, he tried to overcome it by breaking down magic into its smallest parts to figure out a way to bypass the flaws, lots of bonus to casting and lab, but casts slowly, normal casting is done at 1/2 total. Extremely open house, accepts anyone who has a score in their house skill Academic Magic, regardless if they use the house casting style.
Gemini ( barely playtested at all and not finished ), item makers and users, can use the 2 house lore skills to add to lab total for making items, by using twice the Vis in the process. Can make their own pseudo-familiars out of normal animals and give them limited ability with spellcasting, makes special talismans that allows a user to become a powerhouse caster or fighter(following in either of the founders footsteps) and make semi-sentient self-active items that can physically join the caster to boost them(or act as a lab assistant). All those special "items" being hideously expensive in Vis, the house that uses Vis as if it was water.
Might be interesting.
Very good idea.
Another with major potential.
You may be teasing, but it´s still a very interesting prospect, no matter how troublesome it might be.
Yes yes! Mythic India sounds dreamy! Even more bizarre would be some sort of India governed by a Euro-centric perception of the East. In my mind I think of Eco's Baudolino and Johanne's realm of pre-heaven, if you will.
A actually dealing with India proper would be interesting though cumbersome.
Perhaps a "Valleys and Peaks, Deserts and Oceans" a book on small cut off cultures that have little contact even in the 13th century. The magic traditions there would be miniscule in practice but numerous and unique. I am sure that Europe still maintained interesting places that most of both the political realm and the Hermetic society both ignored.
Of course the biggest drawback to this idea is that they were ignored because they were uninteresting.
Good question. I don't know. I barked out a response to "Mythic Cathay" before thinking it through. Large sections of politics, culture, society, geography, and myth would need to be shaved off and hand out, I imagine. One person does history, another culture, something like that. There would be holes, but it would be better than stepping on each other's toes.
I don't think Mythic India is the best suggestion, of the many others that have been made.
Finding a theme that many potential author's (and reader's) will find interesting doesn't seem to be a problem. Lots of great ideas for themes already, that I'd be happy to contribute to/read about. However, finding the right setup for this undertaking seems to be the big issue IMO. As Timothy pointed out in some of his previous posts, one needs to be able to work independent of the posts of the coauthor's. If we nail that part, creating an overall theme that creates a thematic connection between the posts, rather than a physical one - we could make this work. So we're looking for the right theme, sure - but also for a platform to inspire, share information and set the 'rules' for the pooled posts. Maybe someone should write an introduction post the day before launching the 'event', in order to create the feeling of 'adding to a bigger work' and to catch the interest of any would-be readers.
Well, the "easy" approach is to take something that can be broken into scores of individual contributions, like a bestiary. That way, the contributors can work on their pieces without too much impact on the others. With more involved pieces, I think a degree of coordination is needed.
I'm not sure a top-down approach is viable, nor is a free-for-all. I'll use Mythic India without any assumptions on whether that gets picked or not... What might work is breaking the work down into sections and sub-sections, and then having a team of volunteer contributors work on each of those. That smaller team works through what they need to work through and then rolls up their content to the next level. So if India gets broken down into Geography and Realms, one team gets the Infernal, and some of that team get to design a particularly Indian demon, others get to work on Infernal auras, etc. And all that while other teams are working on regions and places within the larger geography element.