Earlier this week, I posted the teaser for the Secret Project X (SPX) product line... It is coming along quite nicely and have been heavily involved with my editors (shout-outs to Chad, Isabelle and Joshua) to tighten up wording, fixing typos, improving syntax and tightening everything with a neat bow. A lot of work to be done, and a big thanks to the team for making this a really nice product. Full of nastiness for a GM to spring upon their players.
"Why come up with a book of villains when the setting is not out yet?" I hear you asking, and rightfully so.
SPX came to life (among a number of of other things) in a collection of half-written books and ideas (remember, I keep telling you never to throw away any piece of written material? SPX cleared out a LOT of my files). As I presented the original, rough, uncleaned, draft to other writers, one of the questions they kept asking me was "Who are the First Ones?" and "How do the First Ones here differ from the ones in NeoExodus?" I felt I had to provide an answer to that question. I did not want them to be a carbon copy of those in NeoExodus, but neither did I want them to be completely different. I envisioned them as being complementary. I knew many of you already own a copy of the Enemies of NeoExodus: The First Ones, a book I really like (I liked writing it and I like using it on players) and just copying everything would be pointless. I wanted NEW material for the First Ones. I wanted them to remain scary and mysterious.
Service is Eternal answers that. It keeps the "what is really the truth" element of the NeoExodus book, but also expands into new SPX-specific territory by presenting them in a different light and situation than the one they "enjoy" in NeoExodus. Here we find them as the rulers and masters of the world...
As it stands right currently (should be a good approximation of the final product)
|The Tyrants||2 pages|
|First Ones Concepts||3 pages|
|First Ones of SPX||8 pages|
|New Class options||1 pages|
|New Feats||5 pages|
|New Items||2 pages|
|New Prestige Classes||6 pages|
|New Spells||6 pages|
|New Monsters||4 pages|
|New Traps||2 pages|
The Concept section is my way to get the GM's imagination going on how to incorporate the First Ones into their game. The First Ones should be scary, but they should not be bland or cookie-cutter. They are creatures of ambition and maddening drive, as such they work towards their goals with utter dedication. To accomplish this, they are willing and able to adapt. Does a First One appears friendly or threatening? Is he working for someone else? There are a number of concepts presented here.
One of the things that I was seriously worried about when writing this: I did not want to copy the text from the NeoExodus book. I wanted it to be all-new stuff. However, a few things did have to be copied from the original: only one race of First Ones made it into this book. Feats related to that race were also ported, but were re-evaluated, their wording cleaned up after four years of playing.
A few spells had to be drawn in: notably the minion mark spell. This spell, acts like an arcane mark but it affects a willing individual, allowing the mark to be read with a simple read magic spell. A few in-game questions were addressed here: what if I dispel the mark and get re-marked later... New spells were created to enhance this master-slave relation.
The Religion section departs massively from the First Ones' faith found in NeoExodus. Here, the First Ones worship not a god, but effectively themselves! There are three aspects of the faith, that evolves as a First One matures. I pondered about personifying them, but it made much more sense here to keep them as a concept rather than a deity.
The First Ones of SPX are every bit as dark, evil, conniving, scheming, deceitful, driven, obsessed, merciless, ruthless, and diabolical as they are in NeoExodus. Service is Eternal provides them with some new toys. It is a GREAT complement to the original, but can be used on its own as a complete supplement.
It should be out "soon". And remember:
Service is Eternal.