September - The Beginning of the End?

So, if you've kept up with the Main Page, you know that Abyss is going to come out this September. It's been a long awaited book and should answer a lot of questions about how bad-ass my Monsters are going to get. This book brings high expectations after the semi-let-down of Blowing Up HK.

The real question is - is this the end of the Line? A couple of the other threads in this forum have started to point in that direction. "There are no plans for this line in the near future." Gloom, Dungeoneer, Ars 5th, are all doing well, it makes sense for a business to focus on what works and not throw good money after "bad."

I'd still love to see more. There are few resources to what an actual set of Feng Shui sites would provide - a set-by-set description by juncture would be great. Perhaps a long lost notebook from the Dead Emperor describing the root of Feng Shui, and it's secrets. A scientific research paper could reflect the findings of ultra-corporate 2056.

What's next for the line after September? Any ideas - Will the Atlas management whet our appetites for more, or will they count on the un-ending patience of the fan-boys of the line once more?


Really? I quite liked Blowing Up HK, although Friends of the Dragon is probably my favorite.

Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: Last I heard, Feng Shui will most likely go into "hiatus" status. There currently is no product line developer for Feng Shui, nor are there any products in the pipeline for it (that I'm aware of). All of the major factions have been given sourcebook updates, and the Abyss as the "Monster" book will most likely finish off the product line for the foreseeable future.

Given the downturn and current sluggishness of the RPG market, the collapse of the distributor/retail system, and the staggering multitude of alternative media competing for customer attention, you're essentially up against Spengler's Law: "Print is dead."

As a game system, Feng Shui is a niche market in what was already a somewhat narrow niche market. If you want to see any new material, I'd look at pitching some "PDF only" projects and see how that goes. If there's enough demand that the PDFs sell really well, then that could lead to a print compilation or maybe a new sourcebook.

The other option would be to retool the game and launch a new edition. But that'd be a really hard sell without a license, media tie-in, or some kind of marketing campaign beyond "hokay, let's try to avoid bankruptcy". I asked Robin Laws about a new edition a couple years ago at Origins, and while he did say that it might be about the right time for one, he gave me the distinct impression it wasn't on his "To Do" list. Nor would I expect him to write a new edition... he's a bit busy with other projects. (Note: Atlas does not own the rights to Feng Shui. To do a new edition, they'd have to get Robin's "OK".)

The real crux of the "new edition" problem is there aren't really any professional game designers still using or supporting Feng Shui as a system. Robin's busy with dozens of other projects. Jeff Tidball is quite happily overworked at FFG. Greg Stolze moved on to Unknown Armies.

If Feng Shui has any life after Abyss, then my guess would be as a PDF platform.

"I quite liked Blowing Up HK, although Friends of the Dragon is probably my favorite."

[color=darkblue]Ooooooh, Darrin. You and I have way different tastes in supplements. :wink:

While I love me some Feng Shui, of course, I'm hard pressed to think of another source book that I would actually be excited to see from the line. The factions are covered, the time junctures are covered, the Netherworld's covered... we've hit it all. (After Glimpse, that is.)

I would normally like to see occasional adventure modules published for the games I play, but I have to be brutally honest... I've never liked the published Shui adventures. There are a few OK ones, but most are "meh" at best. So, I can't say that I'm looking for any modules from this line, either.

I would be happy with an eventual re-write and new edition of the basic rules, realistically I know that won't happen.

So, I dunno. I guess I've come to grips over the past few years with the line coming to an end. :frowning:

Blowing Up HK helped me quite a bit with the campaign I was working on, so I may be biased. Although I do think it helps a lot that the author was very familiar with the city and loved the culture.

Hence why I liked Friends of the Dragon so much. It was an eye-opening book for me... it struck a chord that I didn't know I really needed to hear, and it's something I wish I'd see more often for RPGs. It was a book about creating a campaign theme, bringing together characters with a reason to be together, and rewards for team-style play. In my mind, it's not really a Feng Shui book, the ideas in there could easily be adapted to any system. I think of it more as a "I want to play a Buffy game", or "I want to play a NYPD Blue game", or "I want to play a Pirates game". As a Feng Shui book, it elevated the system above the one-shot-itis it's become known for and encouraged longer campaigns.