Possible Product Pitches

Glimpse of the Abyss is out now. While we're all wondering how to shuffle the juicy tid-bits into our GMCs and Plot-Lines, the folks at Atlas are probably wondering "What's Next?" I figure this is our opportunity to give them some great ideas. I know I'm not going to be a professional writer, but I do know what I would like to see.

Here's my pitch for a product that isn't yet in existence. I look forward to seeing what the other posters are hoping will be put into the production pipeline.

"The Book of Change" - Hardcover ...p
Blurb on the Back - "The Father of the Four Monarchs kept his greatest secrets about Feng Shui hidden from his children in an effort to keep his power. Now long after his death, the book has been found.

"This is that book. Within you will find out how to harness Feng Shui to change your world, learn the eight paths that are the pillars to the Book of Change, and uncover truths in the Secret War that would be better off unknown."

Now if I were to setup the layout, it would be in eight chapters; one for each tri-gram that sets up the I Ching (Chinese Classic of Changes): Heaven, Earth, Water, Thunder, Mountain, Wind, Lake, Fire. Each chapter would contain a new fu path (Path of Thunder, Path of Mountain, Path of Lake...) and would describe 8 Major Feng Shui sites (some with Dao ratings) with the players in the Secret War that defend them and the Cool Things that might happen there. At the end of each chapter would be an example Critical Shift if all eight sites were captured.

I know I'd pay good money for it. It's just a shame I'm not a writer. Anyone else with possible product pitches?


Things to blow up
A 128 page long picture book with cool places where all kinds of fights can occur. There should be tips on what the players and their opponents could use to spice up the fight by using the environment. Some story hooks and simple goals could be useful as well.

The most trouble I'm having is to come up with short story hooks and how to vary the fights and this source book would be a real gold nugget for me.

Critical Shift 1: Dark Magic

A two-faction reversible splat-book.

At one end, it contains information about the Purists- a splinter faction from the Architects of the flesh that wish to practice magic as a mathematical art rather than confine it within arcanowaves. It contains information on the founders of the faction, their paradox cubes and henchman. There is also a chapter full of ways to make magic something unpredictable and sinister rather than the usual whoosh-bang kind. There is also a series of linked adventure seeds that form a campaign where the players play an instrumental role in the formation of the Purists, or scupper it entirely.

Flip to the back and turn it over, and it contains material on the Fourth Reich. This faction can be introduced as an alternative contemporary juncture or a distimed faction working within the Netherworld. The Fourth Reich is a glimpse at what the Nazi regime would have become in the world of Feng Shui. Apart from stats for SS officers, Stormtroopers, Nazi tanks and the V-series of rockets, it contains a great deal of information about Western occultism from the nineteenth century up to the Nazi era. This includes some new monsters and magic shticks, fully compatible with the ritual magic from Thorns of the Lotus. Finally the players get to take on what is often described as the most evil organisation of all time- and maybe even take a crack at the ultimate prize: an undying demon Hitler.

Both sections have chapter-leading fiction that converge in the middle into the same scene told from two different perspectives.

Shift Happens

This book has a host of possible alternate pasts, presents and futures, based on critical shifts that might occur in the campaign. There are six alternate timelines (two each for 1850s, Contemporary and 2050). For each of the Junctures, one chapter focuses on a potential shift TO, while another describes a world that once was, but now is not (including one chapter which describes the world of the Contemporary Juncture under the Four Monarchs). In addition to describing the key events that occured to induce the shift in the highlighted juncture, each chapter outlines how the world looks and who is large and in charge there. They also briefly describe other Junctures affected by the shift. An appendix lists some alternate systems that come out of some of the more dramatic changes, giving rise to 1850s Steampunk, and a post-apocolyptic "magical Fu" (in which the purity of the Hand's Fu powers has been corrupted by Sorcerous dabblings), in a Mad Max-type 2050 setting.

The Book of Junctures

This book contains a number of possible Juncture time-periods. Rather than lock in a specific year, the chapters mostly focus on overall eras, including the Ancient World (virtually everything before AD 69), the Age of Exploration (1400-1700), the Great Wars (1912-1945), the Cold War (1950-1985), the Singularity (an uber-tech future set somewhere after 2100), and First Contact (even more distant in the future, in which the Earth has finally made connection to extra-terrestrials). Again, an appendix introduces a few additional rules (including post-Singularity technology and alien races). In addition, an adventure set entirely in the current Feng Shui set-up centers around the struggle to control and identify a new Juncture opening (which can be to whichever of the new entries the GM wants to introduce into his campaign). Among the crunchy bits are new Netherworld-based templates, including Juncture Hopper (a smuggler who brings people and artifacts to other eras), Displaced Person (someone whose native juncture is no longer open, and whose timeline may not even exist anymore) and Fugitive.

Little Powers
This book goes into some detail about the various smaller groups that serve as pawns in the greater Secret War. Many of them are completely unaware of the truths of the world, even as they believe themselves to be the movers and shakers. Each group is looked at from multiple angles, including how different factions might view them; the format is loose enough to allow a GM to decide which factions are actually behind these folks, or if they are even genuine rogue agents.

Among the listed groups are sorcerous secret societies (both ancient and modern), criminal organizations from all eras, spy agencies, terrorist organizations, fraternal societies, business cartels, religious orders and so on. Of course, there are a number of new templates, including Buccaneer, Occultist, Zealot, Tycoon, Holy Man, and others. Also included is a chapter on running a campaign in which the characters are shielded from the greater truths of the Secret War, or in time-periods with no Junctures.

I vote for Little Powers.
I think this would be the best way to expand the game. I am opposed to opening more junctures on anything but a very limited/one shot basis. I mean the current set up gives you 6 whole planets to play with (underworld, netherworld, 69, 1850, 1996, 2056). Opening more might risk them all looking more bland. A book of minor players though would add to the overall mix.
The book could, for example, detail organizations ranging from the Romans in 69 to Anarchists in 1850, mystic secret societies in '96 to pacifist groups in 2056. One idea would be to trace the history of these minor organizations through all open junctures. These organizations don't know the secret of feng shui or the netherworld but that doesen't mean that they have no power. Besides I think it would be cool to stage a fight in say the hiden temple to Sol Invictus in Roman north africa. Then have the party involved with the 'discovery' of the temple on a dig in 1850, which results in the rebirth of the cult. Finally in 2056 using the cult to support a strike on a prison camp in the sahara. Hmm that would be a good mini campaign. Let me work on that.

Besides we could keep the Hong Kong theme going by calling the book
"Little Brothers".

In your sites could be a book of Feng Shui sites, large and small, spread across the globe (and Nether/Underworld. . . do they has FS sites in the Underworld?) and across the junctures. Create them as 'factionless' and give them various neat unique qualities, so GMs can drop them into their campaign as 'owned by. . .' whomever. Create guardian beings to combat or to win over to guard the site in the PCs absence/features/tricks & traps for them, hidden secrets (it looks rosy after they've attuned but it's built on the site of a battle between demonic forces in a previous juncture and the players should NEVER go into the cellar. . . go back to AD69 to sort it out). If nothing else it will provide a 'Jammer shopping list' to blow stuff up.