Jun 30, 2021

A Princess of the Red Planet Design Diary #23

On my schedule Gunslinger was to be finished earlier this year. Schedule schmedule. Gunslinger is Chapter 0 of Princess of the Red Planet, and beginnings are a very delicate time.

You see, the name of the adventure has changed to Princess of the Red Planet. This aligns it with the name of the roleplaying game, and further differentiates it from the source material. No worries, it is still a faithful adaptation, but it is also a whole lot more. It has to be in order to provide enough variety for an adventuring party to have a campaign in. Possibly lasting years worth of gaming.

To get back to Gunslinger, here is a rough checklist of what remains to be done:

Strange Science chapter. It's about 50% done.

Maps. This is the tentative list of maps:

  1. Graham County - Done
  2. Fort Grant
  3. Bonita
  4. Bonita tavern
  5. Cave of Gold - Done
  6. Bandit Camp
  7. Apache Camp
  8. Mines
  9. Small town
  10. Spanish Mission

Art. I've been keeping a sketchbook open as I watch westerns and doodling cowboys, natives, towns, and scenes in it. The style is intentionally very sketchy for two reasons, mainly that it conveys action and also it takes less time to draw. As this is sort of a prelude I don't want to get hung up on art (like I did with the original WotRP).

Introductory adventures: as you can see by the map list I have a few ideas for some basic adventures to include. They may not all be necessary. We really only need the Cave and maybe a town and an Apache camp.

Gunslinger is currently 26,379 words. Way more than I was expecting to write.

This is the first time I've written a full RPG from scratch in quite a while. I could have taken the easy route and used Matt Finch's excellent free S&W doc like so many retroclones do. But I wanted a specific flavor and to borrow a few things I've been using in my own games since 5th edition came out.

The Princess of the Red Planet adventure itself is coming together as a multifarious book with cities, dungeons, ships, NPC's, creatures and a host of other parts. The outline is done, the foundation is laid, each chapter is being fleshed out a little at a time.  More on that in the next Design Diary.

Some pages from my Gunslinger sketchbook: