Back to Some Game Design

My obsession with Tolkien is well documented. There has been a recent lull in editing activity on my other projects, and one of the things that happens at such a time is I dust off an older project and put some more work into it. In this case, that project is Servants of the Secret Fire, my Middle-Earth RPG. It is a cool game, and I hit a point where I had enough new tweaks and ideas that I wanted to put down another draft. So far, so good – about 5,000 words have rolled out in the past few days, partly by way of iPhone while watching a friend play Red Dead Redemption, so clearly my mind is in this space.

I was recently invited to write for my friend Pete Figtree’s blog, and he gave me a blank slate, so of course I wrote about Tolkien. I have also been reading about Tolkien and listening to the Aldasaga podcast, which is about Tolkien and Norse myth. I think these things build up to a critical mass, and one of the main ways I discharge this extra intellectual payload is through gaming. Since I haven’t yet found a group to play The One Ring with, this is what happens.

It’s also a hell of a lot easier than dealing with a new city, new job, toddler, moving and bills.

The One Ring is hands-down the best Middle-Earth RPG out there right now. I love running it and would likely love playing in a game as well. I can still do better. Now I just have to prove it by actually doing better. If I finish SotSF, I will be of course be giving it away. If anyone reading this has any interest in reading or paytesting it, please contact me and let me know. It probably won’t be ready for beta playtesting for a while (I haven’t even had an alpha playtest yet, honestly), but obviously that’ll need to happen.

Maybe other people have fewer of these, but this is one of those projects that I work on simply because I enjoy thinking about it and working on it. I don’t make it a priority over actual work – Never Pray Again and writing for my new job come first, no question, as do the couple of editing gigs that I have. But there is still time when I can squeeze in even more writing and thinking, and this is it. My fantasy heartbreaker.

I don’t know whether it is better or worse that I realize that and still work on it.

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