Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Secret of Actium

The Secret of Actium is close to complete. Well, the first draft is nearly complete. It turned into a very large investigative adventure, basically taking the kind of stuff we've been doing with modules like The Patriot Incident and Operation Hydra to the Servants of Gaius setting. So fans of Terror Network will recognize our investigation format when they read the Secret of Actium.

So far I am impressed with our efforts. We playtested the adventure twice before writing a single word. Now that we have everything on paper we intend to let our advisers take a look and help us reshape it for accuracy before moving into a second playtest phase. After this we will try to gather enough readers to vet for inconsistencies or problems in the text itself (something that is pretty critical with any investigative module).

I don't want to give too much away but I will tell you what I can. The module should be 50,000 to 55,000 words total, which means about 112 pages in 8.5" x 11" format. This is a departure from our previous modules, which have mostly been between 20,000 to 35,000 words and published in 6" x 9" format. So the adventure will be longer and a bit easier to reference due to the page size.

In terms of content there is a lot. We treat adventures of this kind as one part setting and one part adventure. So even if you never run the investigation itself, you can still use the sections on key cities and regions in your campaigns. For me this is critical. I like modules that serve as models and provide setting details. Don't get me wrong, the investigation itself is incredible, I think we have really hit on something exceptional here, but sometimes you just want to leaf through an adventure for ideas and interesting locations, and this will  serve that purpose as well.

Again, I really don't want to give too much away, but I can state the adventure starts with a murder in Rome and grows from there. The players can investigate the city for clues, track leads that could lead them far to the ends of the empire and face dire threats along the way. And like all our other ivestigations, this isn't on a track, the players can investigate however they want.

As of this moment we have just a bit more writing to do before going into the next stage of development. I hope to release some previews along the way.

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