Apollyon Noir Update

First, if you’re not familiar with my current game project, check this thread over at The Forge to get up to speed. Basically, Jason Roberts (designer and publisher of FVLMINATA) and I are working up a new game based on an idea that I had put forward in an old RPGnet column–basically Napoleonic Dark Fantasy.

We’re still plugging away, I’m glad to say. Not much further progression on the rules–that sort of refinement usually occurs during the process of playtesting, which hasn’t begun in earnest yet–but we have made progress on other elements, such as the fact that we’ve decided that the character divisions (the so-called “splats” in the above-linked Forge thread, which we’ve decided to call Sects) are going to be purely political/social, rather than indications of similar abilities.

The supernatural abilities of characters are going to be individualized, which gets away from the “all Vampires of this Clan have these abilities” over-codified nonsense that has become too prevalent in games. Jason and I agreed that the occult should always be “throwing curves”, so to speak. The players should *never* know what to expect. There should always be shocks. (This decision also makes it easier to create characters *without* supernatural abilities, which is essential for those players who wish to do straight-historical campaigns, which is one of our stated design goals.)

The past couple of months have also resulted in the unexpected discovery of inspirational material, such as the films Vidocq (mentioned below), or The Saragossa Manuscript. The more research we do, the more strange things we discover from the period, such as the “Incombustible Spaniard”, SeƱor Lionetto, who apparently performed regularly in Paris in 1803-4, inviting people to try to set him on fire…or information about the Dream Hunters of Corsica, who stalk totem animals in the dream-lands, which result in the death of the individual represented. Needless to say, this sort of stuff is definitely going to appear in the book.

A lot of you have sent me emails asking where you can be kept up to date on the development of Apollyon Noir, so I figured that I’ll give updates from time to time on this blog, so keep checking back.


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