(Posted 11:58PM PST 2012/11/12)
So, I mentioned the origins of the idea. I came across this because I was looking at a game book in which the author mentioned he’d been working on the content of the book for 35 years, basically developing something he’d been working on since he started gaming. I can’t claim anything as extreme as this kind of history, but as I’ve commented before, I’ve had a lot of these ideas for a long time.
As I mentioned before, the names of the nobles are being pulled from some of my first D&D characters. I had three different families of characters, as well as a few characters that I had a fondness for that I pulled names from at a different point.
In 1990, I returned to college to complete my BFA. Around that time, TSR released XXVc, the Buck Rogers RPG. I was pretty fascinated by the game, playing the SSI computer games and buying every supplement (eventually), and while I have the first three novels, I never read them. As well, Spelljammer had come out, and the two games had some obvious thematic similarities, as well as mechanical, as they were both based on the D&D 2e rules. So I began tinkering with a setting which expanded beyond the Solar System. Eventually, I discarded Earth (if I recall correctly) and made it a more phantasy setting. I also included some elements of the Dark Space setting from Iron Crown and Monte Cook (as I mentioned a week or so ago), and added new systems, including starting to mix in magic. That setting was called “The Twenty Spheres” and included my first mention of the StarSea. By the time I graduated in 1994, I’d run out of steam, and found the DragonLance Fifth Age Saga Edition (another game for which I’ve collected every supplement), and set the setting aside.
Around about 2000, my Mage the Ascension game had fallen apart, Wizards published a new version of Chainmail, based on D&D 3e. I again picked up every supplement for the game, as well as quite a few minis, and again, I began tinkering, eventually beginning work on a sci-fi version I called “Armormesh.” Armormesh was a selection of factions, but little else. I don’t remember why I lost interest, but it was likely the cancellation of the Chainmail system for the plastic minis and the new rules for the Wizards mini games, as well as the store I was buying at imploding over miscellaneous inter-partner issues. Whatever it was, I lost interest and set the notes aside. I was running a D&D 3.0 game at that time, and that game (which eventually became a play-by-post online game that fell apart a few months later) probably also contributed.
Shortly after, I was reading something for Warhammer Fantasy Battles campaigns, and their use of Warmaster figures for campaign markers. I ended up buying the rules, as well as two complete armies, for Warmaster before I was done. I sold the armies eventually, but kept the rules. At the time, no one I knew played Warmaster, but I tinkered with the rules, and started building, you guessed it, a sci-fi setting for Warmaster, which was largely a rip-off of the Warhammer 40,000 setting. But this is the setting in which some of my ideas from Armormesh gelled into the knightly orders that I’m working with now, heavily based on the Space Marines and their counterparts, the Chaos Space Marines. I dropped the Chapters and combined the Marines and Imperial Guard into a single army called the Quantum Knights, adding Marauders to the Chaos Marines as counterparts to the IG, and started developing other factions. Many of those, including a conversion of the home-grown Chaos Marines I had made, will appear in this new StarSea setting, but changed significantly.
In about 2004, I was contacted by an old gaming friend who had left town just before this trek began in 1990. He was coming back to town for what was supposed to be a short visit and wanted to get a game together. So I took my ideas and turned them into a pure fantasy (now calling the Quantum Knights the “Knights Arcane”), which I ran as a 3.5 setting for about three or four sessions. When it turned out that my friend was going to be staying a while, we decided to continue playing, but I had burned out on failed games, and took a back seat for a few years, as that friend ran his game, then another took up the reins to run another campaign.
By the time those two campaigns has run their course, 4e came out, and I fell in love with the system. Both of the aforementioned campaigns had left me feeling useless in my character concepts. The 3.x rules had failed, in my opinion. And I forgot about the space setting.
Until recently. A couple of years ago, while I was still employed, I got to reading the Knights of the Old Republic comic by Dark Horse. I had picked up the Star Wars Saga Edition RPG, and liked what I saw, and thought about running it. I picked up a few of the setting books, but felt that, having read the KotOR comics, that would be best for me. However, I found the supplement uninspiring. But there was an idea I had been rumbling around my head for a while based on the 4e rules: What if you had a setting in which different power sources were in conflict? Somewhere, as I read more of the KotOR trades, I got inspired to dig up those old ideas for the Knights Arcane and the StarSea, and coming to the conclusion I could combine them into a cohesive whole.
So, there you go. My 20 year trek to create a fantasy space setting.
Now, what to discuss tomorrow…?