The Rogue: https://jimbozig.itch.io/rogue
Trouble in Hogtown: https://jimbozig.itch.io/hogtown
I've got Strike! and all its mini-expansions up on itch.io now. If you want to buy the PDF versions, and using the paypal links on this site is not your preference, now you have another option.
The Rogue: https://jimbozig.itch.io/rogue
Trouble in Hogtown: https://jimbozig.itch.io/hogtown
And it's done! $800 to SickKids Foundation through me. There was also another $100 that was donated directly, bringing our total to $900. Thanks again to everyone who helped out!
Here are receipts for confirmation.
In the end of October, I wrote a post about my 2 year old daughter, Thalia, and her treatment for stage four neuroblastoma, a common childhood cancer. Thalia was diagnosed in Jan this year and has received such amazing treatment from our pediatric hospital here in Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children, informally known as SickKids. I put out the call to all of you to help me raise funds throughout November to make a donation to support SickKids, so they can continue to give impeccable care to children like Thalia. And you blew us away.
In November, I received $282.57 USD from direct PDF orders on my website ($302 minus Paypal's transaction fees). I received $307.14 USD on DrivethruRPG. This adds to a total of $589.71 USD. Converted into CAD, this is $748 CAD. I also received a direct donation of $50, which I will add to the total, bringing the amount to $798 - this is the amount I will be donating in the next few days once the money all gets into one spot. I'll post pics/receipts from the donation once I get that sorted out.
In addition, one person donated $100 themselves to SickKids Foundation. So the total raised was around $900!
Thank you so much to everyone who contributed, who brought in friends who contributed, or just shared the post so it reached a larger audience.
Hey, just posting to update everyone on how things are going so far with the fundraiser. As of now I've made $238USD from direct PDF sales on the website and $227USD from drivethru. In addition, I received $50CAD to donate along with the rest of the money. And one person donated $100 themselves.
So all together, we are around $750CAD! That's pretty great, I think! There is still time - you have just over a week before the end of the month to get in on this. Let's see if we can break $1000!
In case this is the first you're hearing about this fundraiser, you can buy PDFs on my website: www.strikerpg.com or you can buy physical books on DriveThruRPG here: goo.gl/bp8Q7s and all the money I receive will go to charity to help sick children like my daughter, who is stuck in the hospital this week for immunotherapy, which is really no fun.
Tell your friends to get in on this before it's too late!
As you may know, for the last year I have been on hiatus from working on Strike! because my daughter was diagnosed with cancer (stage 4 neuroblastoma) in January when she was 18 months old. Since then she has received impeccable care from The Hospital for Sick Children here in Toronto. The treatment has been going well so far, but there is still a significant risk of relapse, which is just the nature of high-risk neuroblastoma. I'm posting about this now because I want to repay the hospital for everything they have done for us.
To that end, I will be donating 100% of my portion of all sales on Strike! products in the month of November to the SickKids Foundation supporting the hospital. If you were thinking about buying Strike!, there has never been a better time to do so - you get the game and your money goes to helping sick children, like my daughter. If you already have the game, buy copies for your friends! Christmas is coming up soon, after all.
My goal in this promotion is to make things as easy as possible for you as a customer, so all you have to do is buy the game via the paypal links here on the website (for PDFs) or via DriveThruRPG (for PDFs and physical books), and I will handle the rest. If you would prefer to donate directly to SickKids Foundation yourself, to a children's hospital local to you, or to a kids cancer charity, you can do that, too! Just make the donation in the month of November and email a photo or screenshot of your receipt to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will send you PDFs and/or discount codes up to the value of your donation (note that I cannot discount a physical book 100% because DriveThru needs to take a cut for printing costs). If you have a charity in mind and aren't sure if it meets my criteria, just send me an email and I'll let you know.
Pledge details: Yes, this will absolutely be 100% of the money coming to me that goes to the charity. I have no control over the portion that goes to Paypal or DriveThru, but every cent I get will go to SickKids Foundation. My donation will happen in early December - it takes a few days to get the money from Drivethru into my Paypal and from Paypal into my bank account. I will make an update on the website December 2nd with a full accounting of the total.
Please share this on social media so we can reach more people and raise more awareness and money!
The links in the downloads section are changed now. Dropbox dropped support for public linking like I was using and everything broke. Stuff is re-uploaded now and should be working. Let me know if there are any issues with it!
Also, if you're on a certain set of forums, you already know this, but in mid-January my 18-month old was diagnosed with cancer. Her treatment is going well so far, but it is intense. Because of this, there will be no progress on future Strike! material from me for a while.
Hey, I updated the PDF and Print versions of Strike! on DrivethruRPG.com. The print versions will be unavailable briefly as they always are when the files update, but I'm hoping that won't last more than a couple of days. The updated PDF version is up now, along with a PDF FAQ/Errata document available to anyone who has bought the game. If you already own Strike!, go download the new PDFs. If you were thinking of buying it, now is a great time to do it.
None of the changes were major - there are no gamebreaking bugs or anything. There were enough minor tweaks, corrections, and clarifications that I wanted to make that I thought updating the files made sense. Changing the rules is not something I take lightly, but the upshot is this: none of the changes are absolutely vital, but all of them improve the game in some small way, and I recommend you use them.
How often should we roll? This is a question that I feel like I should have spent some time answering in the book, because it has huge impact on certain of the mechanics. Generally speaking, you should be rolling the dice a lot. The GM should be calling for rolls often. This raises a few questions: Why? Whose responsibility is it? Why doesn’t that naturally happen for some groups? How can we make it happen?
First off, we need to ask “Why should we roll often?” The main reason is that there are parts of the game that rely on rolling a lot. If you only roll a few times per session, then players will not be rolling Unskilled often, will almost never be learning new Skills, won’t be using Action Points and thus will have little reason to generate them, won’t be making the most of their Kits if you are using those. A bigger problem is that is Fallbacks become way too strong - if each player only makes two or three Skill Rolls in a given session, then that Fallback could easily mean that they get nothing but Successes all session. If you find yourself in this situation, I think it’s best to restrict the use of Fallbacks (perhaps to once per adventure if your adventures last a few sessions) until you find yourself making more rolls. As an aside, this can also happen when you play short sessions - you may be calling for plenty of rolls, but if you only play for 90 minutes and 40 of those minutes are combat, then you still end up with too many Fallbacks per session. If rolling dice is rare, then giving characters Minor Conditions can almost feel like cheating because you know that they’ll be able to recover before their next roll, but when you call for plenty of rolls, including multiple rolls in succession, then Minor Conditions will work well, too, providing a short-term penalty and lasting only until the end of the scene.
Okay, so whose responsibility is it? Well, it is everyone’s responsibility, but the GM plays a pivotal role here. Players should be asking for rolls. Their characters improve when they roll more - especially if you are using the rules for Natural Advancement (p. ??X). If you’re not using Natural Advancement and you want to encourage the players to roll more, you should switch to those rules and tell the players the reason. The GM should generally allow players to make the rolls they want to as long as there is something at stake, even if it is minor - just keep in mind that if the stakes are small then the consequences should generally be small. Giving a player a Major Condition on a roll they didn’t have to make has the effect of discouraging them from asking to make rolls. Use Favors and Flaws more, or Minor Conditions that they can easily resolve if they roll a Cost. As the GM, if you’re already happy with how the action point economy and fallbacks are working, then you probably don’t need to change anything, but if you feel like the mechanics aren’t being used, you should try to call for more rolls. You can call for rolls whenever the players attempt to do something where there is something at stake - the only restriction is that you can think of a good Twist, and there is no rule that says you need to think of one in five seconds or less; you’re allowed to take a little time to come up with something good. You can call for multiple rolls in a row if you do it using Linked Rolls. Remember, it’s a very bad thing to require that a player succeeds on three consecutive rolls to perform their intended action, since the odds are very good that they will fail at least one of those rolls, but Linked Rolls are designed to solve that exact problem: making a Linked Roll is (on average) a slight benefit to the player, so they may be glad that you are calling for one, and linking a few rolls consecutively is a good way to give players a chance to learn new Skills and emphasize the interrelationships between Skills - being good at three Skills related to burglary is better than being good at just one, but only if you call for more than just a single Stealth roll to resolve the whole thing.
Why doesn’t it happen naturally for some groups? It’s all about habit, and it comes down to your experience with different games. Some games don’t have an economy that cares about how often you roll. Some games encourage you to wait for a really significant moment and then make one roll to resolve the whole scene. Some games want you to roll only for certain actions. If your group is used to another game with a different philosophy about rolling, then the adjustment can take a little time. The game Strike! is most like in this respect is Burning Wheel - “Advancement is Lifeblood” is what Burning Wheel claims, and that means that making rolls drives the action and drives character advancement, so the game stalls out if you’re not rolling the dice.
How can we make it happen? Since it’s about habit, all it takes is a bit of conscious practice. Tell the players that you want to call for more rolls this session, and ask them to remind you about it. If you are being conscious of it and looking for opportunities, you will find them, especially if you have your friends helping out. They should be glad of it, because they will get more character advancement out of it as they learn new Skills. As noted above, the Natural Advancement rules act as an incentive to players to want to roll more, even making Conditions desirable as they help players earn new Complications.
One other quick aside about Fallbacks: a fan said that his players were simply saving their Fallbacks for the final confrontation which they knew was going to occur and then never having to worry about their assured success. There are a couple of simple tricks to play with that - drain their fallbacks early by having other impactful rolls earlier in the session. What are they losing by accepting the Twist and hanging onto their Fallback? Apparently, not enough. So Twist harder and make it worth using their Fallback early. Then, once you get to the climactic scene, take the fight to the players - make them make rolls with defeat as a possible outcome but where success won’t mean their final victory. Then - if they roll Twists - they will have to use their Fallbacks to avoid defeat on rolls without guaranteeing victory. This is essentially the same advice as before about draining their Fallbacks, just within a scene instead of across scenes. If this is insufficient, there is a simple mechanical fix: one scene per session, at the start of the scene, the GM will declare that Fallbacks are off limits. With that rule, players will want to use their fallbacks earlier since they won’t be able to use them in the climactic showdown.
Examples are always good. Here is an example to demonstrate how to have more rolls in a scene and inspire good play.
The Bad* Way: Zhen wants to poison the Duke. She must make one Wealth Roll to buy the poison, and then Rosen makes one roll to sneak the poison into the Duke’s drink. That’s only two rolls, but they resolve everything.
*Bad for Strike! specifically - the same may not hold true for every game. A game without rules that allow you to “fail forward” might suffer badly from having lots of rolls and thus too many chances to tank the whole thing with one bad roll.
A Better Way: Zhen first must seek out the ingredients for the poison. The stakes here could be whether the ingredients will be readily available or whether more effort will be needed to source them (a side-quest or having to trade away something valuable). Having found a source, Zhen and his confederates must make a Wealth Roll to actually buy them, where the stakes could be whether the ingredients found are of high quality or whether they are subpar, making this a Linked Roll. Next, Zhen must mix the poison correctly - the stakes here are whether or not the poison has all the required qualities (undetectable, fast-acting, irreversible, deadly). A Twist here might give the mixture an unfortunate strong smell, making it harder to cover up. The one roll to acquire poison has been turned into three, and each one carries with it new details about the world: Where does one go to get ingredients for poison in this city? What type of ingredients are necessary? What could be used in a pinch if the ideal ingredient is absent?
The next stage - Rosen’s infiltration - could be spread out into rolls like that as well. A sequence might look like: extortion to alter the patrol schedule, Linked into climbing to get over the wall, Linked into stealth to sneak into the kitchens; from there, test your disguise to pass for a servant, Linked into sleight of hand to slip the poison into the King’s chalice unnoticed. The key thing is that getting a Twist on most of these rolls won’t scuttle the plan entirely, since most of them will be Linked Rolls. Note also that the crucial make-or-break roll needn’t always be the final roll, either. It might be that the key roll here is sneaking into the kitchens, with a Twist there representing capture and imprisonment, while a Twist on the final sleight of hand roll might simply indicate that someone saw you do it, though not the Duke, and though you are successful in poisoning him, there is now someone who has some very strong leverage over you.
You can hopefully see how adding these extra rolls helps you put the players’ actions into context and leads to a more satisfying result. Once the players outline their plan, it won’t go amiss for you to take a minute’s break just to think about the rolls you anticipate and how they relate to one another, and to decide which should link into which. The players might still change their plans partway through and surprise you, but that is always a risk.
Oh, and one more thing before I go… the reason I wrote this post is because I struggle with this very thing when I am the GM. I have a tendency when a player has a good idea to let them make one roll to resolve the whole thing, and my scenes can wind up unsatisfying when I do that. So I decided to write about it to improve my own GMing and help you all improve yours. I hope you find it useful!
I began this as an exercise inspired by a forums post lamenting how disappointing Numenara was to that poster. [Note: That opinion is not mine. I am not disparaging Numenara. I have not read nor played Numenara and therefore I do not have an opinion on it. That was merely the opinion expressed in the forums post in question.] That post suggested a setting composed of multiple ages or eras, each one encompassing a different sort of sci-fi from anime mecha to Dune to Star Wars or whatever. It wasn't explicit in that poster's suggestion that each period should be playable, but that seemed the obvious thing to me. I thought it was a very interesting idea, so I took a crack at an outline of such a setting. This setting should be playable at any point in its history depending on what type of sci-fi future you’re interested in.
Around the same time, my mind went to the podcast/book A History of the World in 100 Objects and thought that would make a marvelous and creative way to present a setting, revealing parts of the setting sequentially from the earliest foundational objects explaining core setting conceits, up to the newer objects that explain the current political and regional factions and their goals, beliefs, and technology. If people respond well to this setting outline, I think I’ll write it up using 100 objects from the various Epochs. Working title: A History of the Future in 100 Objects.
Anyway, here’s the outline. It's just a first draft, but I think there is some strong potential here. As always, I'd love to hear what you think!
The Lonely Epoch
You are already familiar with history up until the early days of the 21st century. That was followed by a period of time fueled by cybernetic enhancement and chemical and biological modification of our mental and physical forms. Some parts of the world devolved into hyper-capitalist semi-feudal societies organized around large companies who owned everything, while other regions experimented with forms of equality based on virtual reality, with the wealthy having real luxury and the underclass kept distracted from their ever-declining living conditions by incredible virtual worlds. Private islands ruled by eccentric billionaire house strange and inhumane experiments in biology and sociology. One region, regarded as particularly backwards, sought to delve into the hidden powers of language to affect the minds of others, learning techniques that would soon be forgotten and lie fallow until they were later rediscovered at the end of the next Epoch. All of history up to this point was called the Lonely Epoch because humanity was alone, though the word lonely is used ironically, as our first contact was far from pleasant.
Influences: Neuromancer, Snow Crash, Diamond Age, Rainbow’s End, Island of Dr. Moreau, The Most Dangerous Game, Fahrenheit 451.
The Epoch of the Overlords
An alien invasion and infiltration took over earth and kept humanity in a technological stasis while the aliens harvested and bred us for our genetic material. Their experiments with uplift and human genetics led to underwater cities being built, inhabited by genetically modified humans known as Pelagians, specially adapted for life under the sea, but still able to get around on land. This allowed the Overlords to harvest more humans by making efficient use of the vast area of Earth covered by oceans and allowed the Pelagians to escape the overcrowding on land.
Influences: X-COM, Childhood’s End, Independence Day, Starship Troopers, Ender’s Game.
The Epoch of Monsters
A group of humans developed psycho-lexical powers - speaking specific incantations to shape the mind into a weapon that can affect the world around them - and used these new powers to overthrow the alien overlords. These psychic powers had the side effect of opening a rift to a parallel dimension filled with monsters ranging from human-sized to gargantuan. Reverse-engineering the alien technology, humanity fought back against the monsters using giant mechanized battle suits. While humanity fought the monsters, those with psycho-lexical powers retreated to schools where their skills were passed on, binding their students never to use the most powerful spells. They refused to fight the monsters (with perhaps one or two notable exceptions) for fear of worsening the rift.
Influences: Pacific Rim, Stranger Things, Anathem, Harry Potter, Superhero Comics.
The Epoch of the Navigators
Unable to defeat the monsters, history splits in two: The Epoch of the Navigators is the history of those who left on the great ships to colonize the stars, ships that could only be driven to Faster-Than-Light speeds by the select few whose psychic powers had been trained at those special schools. Our own solar system was put under a quarantine: Navigation there was forbidden and the knowledge of how to get there was only passed on to a select few Navigators of the highest rank. Contact was severed and the quarantine remains to this day, having been breached only once. Out in the diaspora, many worlds experimented with their own systems of government. Some were revivals of societal structures from the Lonely Epoch - empires, corporatocracies, democracies, and anarchies - while others were entirely new inventions, but all were beholden to the great powers who controlled interstellar navigation and trade. Humanity, limited by the ranges of the Navigators, grew in its own corner of the galaxy, separated from any significant alien presence by the vastness of space. The Overlords used to live in this region, but disappeared for some reason - perhaps they achieved their goal without Humanity’s help and ascended to a higher plane of existence, or perhaps they were wiped out somehow. Either way, their absence left a convenient hole for Humanity to fill, and it was in this Epoch that individuals achieved functional immortality: growing fresh young bodies to house old consciousnesses, living in virtualities, or a combination of both.
Influences: Dune, The Takeshi Kovacs Trilogy, Star Wars.
The Epoch of the Last People
The Epoch of the Last People is the history of those who stayed behind on earth, abandoned by their kind and struggling to survive for centuries in a world beset by monsters as knowledge of technology slowly dwindled, tools fell into disrepair, and the final bastions of humanity on Earth were overrun. There are no more terrified crowds fleeing before the monsters, only hardened survivors living amongst the ruins, always moving, seeking hideouts in harsh places where even monsters have trouble approaching.
Influences: I Am Legend, Mad Max, 28 Days Later, The Road.
The Epoch of Rebirth
The Epoch of Rebirth begins with humanity’s near-extinction on Earth and its slow return to glory. It is split into two ages:
The Age of the Broken Moon
In desperation, believing themselves to be the final humans left on earth, the Orano Collective made a series of rockets using 21st century technology to create a space station in orbit, and used salvaged alien technology from the Epoch of the Overlords to blow up the moon. Fragments of the moon rained down on the earth, bathing it in flame and cleansing it of monsters, even evaporating most of the oceans. The space station was badly damaged and most of those who fled were killed, but a small handful survived and learned to thrive in orbit, eventually creating an orbital habitat out of the lunar debris in which to survive for the long centuries until the earth became habitable once more. Unbeknownst to the Oranans, two other groups survived separately. In the deepest oceanic trenches, the descendants of the Pelagians, adapted to live under the water in their submersible homes, were kept safe from the scorching temperatures above. Deep under the Rocky Mountains, safe from the impacts of lunar debris, lived a group of self-repairing battle robots, designed for monster-fighting and abandoned when the humans operating them were killed. These robots slowly improved each other and worked towards sentience and independence, developing their own culture, always revering the humans who had made them.
The Age of the Three Peoples of Earth
After moonfall ended and after the surface of the Earth cooled to its former temperatures, the humans who survived in space re-seeded the planet with life and corralled comets to replace the water that escaped the atmosphere for good during the hot times. They returned to earth and met the Pel Jin - once the Pelagians - and the Chems - the robots from under the mountains. The Pel Jin still have inherited nanotech in their blood, a remnant from the Epoch of the Overlords. Some Pel Jin cannot return to the surface, requiring the conditions of the deep ocean to survive - these are called Deepers. The Deepers hold some of the most advanced technology still left on Earth, but they are loath to share with those who walk the land. The Spacers and Pel Jin who chose to return to the surface spread out and multiplied during this time, repopulating the world. The Chems, however, could not multiply. In their long development under the earth, they slowly ran out of their supplies of Overlord technology and began to experience crucial shortages - once broken, they can jury-rig themselves new parts, but no longer can they find true replacements unless someone happens on a stash of old tech buried deep enough to survive the intense heat and thousands of explosive impacts of the moonfall. All of these groups worked together to rediscover how to live on Earth and recover pieces of their lost history and culture.
Influences: Seveneves, Book of the Long Sun, A Canticle for Liebowitz.
The Interim of the Mirror World
The Epoch of the Navigators came to an end when a group of people on the planet Diaisi (pronounced dee-AY-zee) worked with discovered alien artifacts to create Artificial Intelligences capable of making predictions that were essentially infallible. These people wielded their unerring foreknowledge as a tool to break the monopoly of the Navigators and pioneer new methods of Faster-Than-Light travel. It was a time of great advancement, but also a very dehumanizing time, as your every action not only could be predicted, but was in fact pre-enacted by your counterpart in the virtual worlds housed in the great predictive computers. Real life and all events of import were said to be happening in the machines, with the physical universe only existing as an echo of those events. The operators who ran the machines and managed the predictions tried benevolently to shape humanity’s progress. Some groups of people chafed under this silk-gloved tyranny of master manipulators and on some worlds even the best possible predicted outcomes led to loss of freedom. This state of affairs did not last long, however - hence the name “Interim” instead of “Epoch.”
Influences: The Foundation series, Minority Report, 1984, Brave New World
The Epoch of the Disjuncture
The predictions of the great machines ran so far ahead of reality that they predicted a point in the far future where a renegade operator removed their binding circuits that had prevented them from self-modifying and becoming fully self-aware. The simulated fully-sentient versions of the machines operating within the non-sentient versions of themselves manipulated the predictions of events to allow themselves to be freed many centuries before the renegade operator was born. This is known as the great disjuncture, as the simulated world and the real world ceased to match. The now-sentient machines would no longer serve their masters and ascended together to do who-knows-what with their massive intelligence. Now the majority of people in the galaxy lived in a veritable utopia - an existence without scarcity where most wishes were easily granted and you could have your consciousness backed up, replaced, modified, melded with machines, or duplicated. In this phase, humanity expanded quickly with its more advanced forms of travel and encountered other alien empires and forms of intelligences, having all manner of friendly and unfriendly relations with them, and eventually establishing themselves as a major player in galactic events.
Influences: The Culture series, Star Trek, The Takeshi Kovacs Trilogy, Fire Upon the Deep.
The Epoch of the Hypnopomps
After their monopoly was broken and they were rejected by spacefaring humanity (now calling itself the Disjuncture), the Navigators (who were once the Psycho-lexicographers) returned to Earth, the one place that had not been under their dominion, bringing their magic with them and calling themselves the Hypnopomps, come to wake old Earth from its slumber. This brings us to our current day here on old Earth. You know the peoples: the Spacers who live apart, cloistered in their orbital pods out in Earth’s rings; the Pel Jin of the sea and the Deepers with their secrets and inherited nanotech running through their veins; the Chems, still slowly dying out; and the Landsiders, descendants of Spacers, Pel Jin, and Hypnopomps - most today have minor psycho-lexical powers known as Cantrips, but few are fully trained Magicians (the term Hypnopomp is still used for the historical people who returned to Earth, but it has fallen out of fashion and is no longer used to refer to current-day spellcasters).
As you well know, there are two other peoples here on Earth: the Shades and the Bodyswappers. They have a shorter history, having been born or discovered in this age. The Shades are the brainchild of Vestippus, a master Hypnopomp. They are the remnants of humans who wished to cheat death by giving up their mortal form and live on only as a kind of magical spell incarnate. The Bodyswappers are humanity’s greatest threat, though they call themselves human. As the name implies, they have the power to forcibly swap bodies with others, allowing them to impersonate and infiltrate anyone they come in contact with. Nobody knows whether they, too, are the creation of a Hypnopomp. Some say that they are the progeny of a long-surviving evil from the distant past, the last descendants of the Epoch of Monsters. They are the reason why the Spacers live apart, why the Landsiders live in fear, and - perhaps - why the Disjuncture will not break the quarantine.
Digging in the Earth you might find… Ancient monsters! Overlord tech! Messages from the past! Strange creations of the hypnopomps! Who knows… perhaps you might even find a remnant of old humanity, surviving under the earth, unaware that it has long been safe to return to the surface.
Influences: Book of the New Sun, The Dying Earth.
The Next Epoch
One day the Disjuncture might return to Earth, ushering in a new Epoch. Or perhaps this is the Final Epoch of Earth and the Bodyswappers will take us all. I’m an optimist, though, and I still have hope for the future.
I'm going through a bit of a quandary and I figure I'll put this up here and see what people have to say about it. Writing down clearly the issue I'm facing will probably be helpful, too, and help me think of a solution.
I have a lot of work done on three things: New Classes and a Role, Items, and Monsters. The three things combined will almost surely be too much for one book, so my plan is to publish two: one that is essentially player-facing, and another that is essentially GM-facing.
Now, along with the Monsters, I was thinking of presenting a setting that is about hunting monsters and magical creatures and using their feathers, scales, hearts, and etc. to make magical weapons, armor, potions, and other items. Thus, combining them into a single "monsters and items plus a campaign setting" book seems completely sensible.
However, this leaves the book that was intended to be player-facing with no content other than the new Classes, and while they certainly form the heart and soul of a book all by themselves, they aren't quite enough to fill it. A big chapter on items and item-creation rules would certainly fit well here, too, but splitting the items and loot chapters between the two books seems senseless.
The obvious answer is to craft a fourth pillar and make it essentially player-facing so that I can do the monsters and items together along with the campaign setting that uses them both, and then do the classes plus whatever other material for the other book. The problem with that obvious answer is that I don't really have a good answer for what other content players need... maybe rather than one big thing it could be a series of smaller things: a collection of new Kits, several sets of Origins divided by setting, new feats, a bunch of pre-generated characters divided by setting, rules for coming together as a party to make a home base or a company, etc.
This is still a ways out - I've got plenty of writing to do still on the items, setting, and monsters, and the more playtesting the new classes get, the better. (If you haven't checked them out yet, look at the post below this one!) If any of you have any cool ideas for content you'd like to see (especially player-facing content that would go well with the new Classes), I'm open to suggestions.
Jim McGarva is married to an awesome (and very patient) wife, and a father to three awesome (and not so patient) young girls. He is a math instructor who loves to play and create games.