Coldforged: Progress Update

I continue to rush headlong into the second year of writing Coldforged Material, with the hope that I cover enough topics to get to print. I hope we’re in the home stretch. This week we’re going to cover my progress on that front! Let’s dive into it.

Progression

At the start of this project, I had a huge list of tasks to perform in order to properly prepare the book for publishing. I started with a very, very rough table of contents, based on the pacing and ideas of the Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica:

  • Introduction
  • 1: Character Creation
    • Races
    • Classes
    • New Subclasses
  • 2: Kingdoms
    • Kingdoms and Territories
    • backgrounds
  • 3: Cosmology
    • Planes
    • Deities (Paltonarchs)
    • Accursed
  • 4: Atlas:
    • History
    • Regions
  • 5: Allies and Adversaries
    • Monsters
    • Legendary Persona
  • 6: Adventure Creation
    • Adjusting the Game and flavor

Many of these chapters have come to fruition, with others being expanded or eliminated. I think that this is the standard creative process, pushing forward with creating content, and fixing all the alignment issues and editing everything after the actual product is on paper.

Character Creation is pretty much complete. I have decided and written down where each of the main handbook races exists, as well as deciding where a few of the outlying races like Magespawn and Giantkin exist. I was originally going to include god-touched in their own section, but at this time it’s very unlikely. I will likely go back and explain the existence of these elemental beings in a different section. I simply don’t think that their existence is commonplace enough to deserve special recognition.

Classes by region feel out of place here, but I think it makes sense, as, at this point in character creation, most people are looking at their class and trying to figure out where they may have originated.

The new classpaths are coming along swimmingly, and I feel that they strongly represent what I want them to feel on the table. It’s going to take solid playtesting and information regarding specific wording and problems to feel them out.

Regions, combined with Kingdoms, are proving elusive to properly catalog. There are kingdoms that contain whole regions, regions dissected by numerous kingdoms, and regions that don’t have any kingdoms, and every situation between. I definitely want there to be a curated experience that allows a player who chooses one of the many different types of an individual within the continent to be able to follow that character’s path through the book. Thraxians and Drimmen are both people within a region and those same people outside their region, and sometimes separate groups within both regions and kingdoms. Worldbuilding is a messy process!

A Larger and expanded atlas is likely the key here, with regions described first, followed by the kingdoms that occupy the lands defined in the regions, but even as I write this, it’s not satisfying.

The Kingdoms and territories, along with the regions, are, as I mentioned, proving problematic. I have written extensively about these regions, kingdoms, peoples, and territories, and I don’t want the information to be confusingly organized or badly representative. The ordering and layers of these sections are incredibly important, to me, to guiding the player’s journey through the book and creating their character.

The backgrounds feel solid, I’m not going to lie. I love how they tie in the character to the particular region/kingdom and bring out the character.

The cosmology could use a bit more work, but mostly on describing the Elemental planes. It’s tough to describe something that others have used for decades in a new and inventive light. The Iron Marches feel correct, though, and I like how it’s played out.

The Deities are something I need to take care of. Though I’ve organized and set up most of the information pertaining to them and their reflections: The Accursed, there is a lot to be done here in terms of uniformity and organization. Additionally, I need to put a detailed look at the tiers of Piety, which will be enjoyable and hopefully easy but will take a significant chunk of time. This is one of the larger parts of my project that’s undone, and it’s currently in the “fix it in post” bucket. I hope this one, specifically, doesn’t derail me.

The atlas is the next large project after I get the Civilizations power structures all sorted out. It’s going to be tough because I still have the problems with the Regions, Kingdoms, and Territories, but I think that getting my hands deep into the process is going to prove useful it could, as it focuses my mind and brings the challenges to the front. This will also be an extremely enjoyable time, as I will be making a thousand maps (appx), which is something I really enjoy doing.

After the atlas, comes the Allies and adversaries section, and there is a significant part of me that believes that this should be a separate tome. The other part of me, though, really enjoys the idea of trying to put together NPCs and creatures that are unique to my world and build the setting further with monsters that I enjoy and need for my setting.

Adventure creation is something that I am, also, hemming and hawing over, as is including some adventures or even a single adventure to play through. It’s tough to get adventures right, and I’ve never completed a premade adventure nor have I ever run the same adventure twice. This is particularly intimidating, but I also think that it makes the book complete, and without it’ll feel a bit empty.

So, there it is, my feelings about all the sections I’ve done and what I am working on. After this current series: Coldforged Civilizations, which will finish up the Killbaran Colleges, I’ll be moving into the atlas and, following that, monsters and allies, and finishing up with Adventure Creation. I expect that takes me well into July, and at that time I begin moving into editing, layout, and format. To put no surprises out there, it is very likely that I take a month or two of vacation from writing my blog posts to focus on finishing up the content, because at that point anyone looking at the blog will have seen everything, and I’d be repeating myself by posting the edited information. However, it’s important that I focus on the final aspects in order to complete the whole project.

Thanks for sticking with me, thanks for reading, and until next time,