Last night, LPJ and I were talking about a number of things: the Obsidian Apocalypse Kickstarter (where I learned I'm one of the "other" writers) and a few extra goodies we could had for that (they are coming and they are pretty exciting). I offer you . But as usual, the core of our argument rested with NeoExodus. We went through parts of the Upcoming Players' Guide to add things our players have asked us to do on the Paizo Forums, and adventures.
Yes... It turns out that I have written a decent adventure to premiere at Tacticon but as I'm looking over what I have... I don't like it. It has everything the adventure needs and fills the goals I have for it.
But I don't like it.
There are many things I don't like about it, but mostly I feel like it contrives the PCs' choices too much and makes the choices they have to make somewhat trivial and that bothers me. It's not bad. I don't like it.
I may be spilling a few beans here... LPJ is working at getting his web comic, Grand Theft Exodus back on track after a few years of hiatus. I'll admit that the short-lived series was one of my first contacts with NeoExodus. I liked the ideas behind it.
Long story short, I'm now the Creative Director for NeoExodus.
One of my little side projects is the upcoming Nations of Exodus: The Arman Protectorate, wherein I have already a fair amount of work done. Well, turns out that the GTE reboot will be set in Mureath, capital of the Protectorate. As LPJ described the place as he envisioned it, it became quickly apparent that we had some different ideas.
Now don't get me wrong, I liked what LPJ had, but I didn't want to have to re-write everything I had done already as my version (I'm not shy to say it) did take into account some research into the history of Exodus. LPJ's was a lot more visually pleasing I must admit.
So after a bout of arguing - it wouldn't be a design meeting at LPJ Design without arguing. LPJ wanted to be able to give an overview of the city. So he envisioned a multilevel city built on the side of a cliff. My writing had Mureath on a hill. He explained the reasons and (for once) they were valid enough.
So then I explained to him that Mureath was on a hill over looking the Tyranius Straight and that it did not - initially have a natural harbor but that the Arman had quarried the local limestone so much that they created a harbor close by. The harbor could be expanded to the multilevel layout he wanted AND keep to what I had. Win-win.
We both resorted to drawing. It wasn't pretty. There are reason why I'm a writer and he's the business guy. Neither are nor should be considered artists by any stretch of the imagination.
Here was my original draft:
Then we argued some more... So I added his comments: