Rise, fell beast! Rise!

So. It’s been a while. The last post I made here was back in mid-November. Holidays and such here in the United States can explain some of the silence from me, but there’s more to it than that.

I was drowning — metaphorically speaking.

It is no secret that the books promised as part of the successful Earthdawn Kickstarter are late. We’ve delivered on some, but there are three more still due. And the pace of releasing one book a year… we need to do better. And I’ve known this. I’ve been beating myself up over it.

Here’s part of the thing. Earthdawn is incredibly important to me (as it is to so may people). Since day one, one of my primary goals has been to improve the game while remaining faithful to its past. Some days, I like to think I’m doing a good job with that.

Other days… not so much. Imposter syndrome? Oh yeah. Couple that with an almost pathological need for approval, a fear that I’m letting down the game’s legacy, and the perfectionism that can result… it’s not a healthy combination.

The Companion was a massive weight on my shoulders. There was so much to it. So much was done, but my need to micro-manage and make sure it was all “perfect”? It was just delaying things more. And I was so focused on that book right in front of me, the other books were just languishing, meaning they were going to be delayed as well.

I needed help. (I have help.) Part of the issue was I didn’t know what kind of help I really needed, and the imposter syndrome and fear… admitting it was crushing me was admitting defeat, you know? I didn’t want it to get the better of me, but it was.

Enter Andi Watson. A few months back she came on board as project manager, because, frankly, it’s clear my project management skills leave something to be desired. Long story short, she was doing her best, but I wasn’t being helpful or communicative. Because, you know, trapped in my own head and all.

I needed an intervention, and she provided it. She smacked me upside the head (metaphorically), and took the Companion off my desk. She got me out of my own way, out of my own head. She’ll be seeing it through the rest of production. My work on it was done, I just couldn’t see it.

Elven Nations is also not in my hands. That’s being led by Tiffany Ragland. I’ve moved on to Questors, the book I’ve most wanted to do since I started this. And I’ve been more productive in the last couple of weeks than I have in many months.

Revision: In the first version of this post, I said some things about our timeline here that I should be quiet about until things are more certain. So… if you’ve seen statements about “such-and-such a book by such-and-such a date”…? That was my eagerness getting the better of me. Sorry. We do want more than one book out a year, though.

Now that the current load is a more manageable, we’ve actually started looking down the road. Mystic Emporium will include a bunch of magical stuff that had to get cut from the Companion for space. There will be a new Creatures book at some point, since Morgan was prolific and produced about 120 pages of creatures and their stat blocks. He’s also going to be heading up a Disciplines book that will give fourth edition versions of the various racial, secondary, and lesser adept traditions.

Then there’s the setting material. Iopos has a writer, and an outline is taking shape. We’re looking at a Urupa book, and exploring other ideas, in Barsaive and beyond. (Among these are a proposal for an Arancia book.) I’m brainstorming ideas for the ongoing story of Barsaive, so that we can develop those and include them in the sourcebooks.

We’ll also see the release of more Legends of Barsaive adventures — currently planned at one per quarter. And this year marks 25 years since Earthdawn’s original 1993 release. I’m working up an anniversary adventure that I’ll be running at this years’s GenCon, and I hope to see that released as well. There is also new fiction on the horizon, and I’ll have more info on that in the future.

Starting next week, I’ll be back to a bit more traditional mix of previews, advice, and such. Join me then!

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