When picking up a new system and starting a new roleplaying campaign, it’s usually the gamemaster’s responsibility to create the setting within the game world, including its important locations, gamemaster characters, and creatures. The players mostly resort to the creation of their own player characters. Opening this process of creation up to the whole group, however, as described in the People & Places chapter in the Equinox Setting Guide, has a great influence on how you, both the gamemaster and the players, experience the game later.
If you haven’t read said chapter yet I highly recommend it, even if you don’t plan on running an equinox campaign. What it describes can easily be adapted and applied to most other roleplaying games out there. Anyway, here’s a quick overview.
Here are some details on the new hardcovers, now available in both standard color and premium color. We only used premium color before, to get the best product. However, that quality comes with a price.
Standard color books are much cheaper, and (thanks to DTRPG) now have an acceptable level of quality in full color. This is how the results compare!
Both guides as standard color hardcover versions. The covers are glossy (we chose matte for thee premium versions).
The premium hardcover (bottom book on each picture) and the standard one (laying on top). The standard cover is glossy, premium has a matte finish. The standard color book is thinner, because the premium version uses thicker paper.
A direct comparison of the print quality in the interior. The premium version (top) is much richer and more vibrant. The standard color version still holds up well, though. At DTRPG, there are some more examples: Premium Color vs. Standard Color.
Here's the Earth Nexus Schematic as presented in the Equinox Setting Guide, an abstract view of the various fold clusters and their relation to Gateway Station and the Earth Belt.
The technical/arcane look was designed by Angus McNicholl. We're thinking about a larger (poster?) version of the schematic, adding all locations of the Earth Belt as well. What do you think?
Here are a couple of excerpts from the sketches for the Equinox Setting Guide. These are only roughs--pencil only at the moment, the final versions will be inked and colored. The artist is David Michael Wright, find his homepage here!
As other games and projects tended to have a higher priority, development on Equinox dragged on for a while. Being excited working on the setting, we also announced it way too early back in the day. However, while we never stopped working on it, we've come to realize we're not coming to an end that soon.
Developing the game mechanics is one of the main things slowing us down. Designing, testing, and fleshing out the mechanics is a time-intensive process and is taking us a while longer to finish. Our time and resources being limited, we don't want to wait that long to actually release something for Equinox. Especially as the setting material has been pretty much ready for a while!
As a result, we decided to change a few things and get Equinox out sooner. The idea is to present just the core setting, its history, and as much background information as possible. You will be able to use the Equinox Setting Guide for a wide variety of things: as a game world for your favorite roleplaying game system, as inspiration for writing stories (or even a novel), for designing your own computer or board games, or just as a good read for spurring your imagination.
Any discourse on mystic energy would be incomplete without discussing mystical materials. Mystical materials are able to interact with and manipulate mystic energy. As a result they are used in constructing nethertech, enchanting, and other mystical purposes. There are a number of different types of such materials, which formally are: telesmic essence, living tissue, biomechanical metal, and various grades of arcanium. Each of these and their properties and unique attributes will be discussed in turn, but all of them can be used for potent mystical effects and can be quite valuable in their mystically refined states.
Before we get into the system proper, some of the process and sources of inspiration might be of interest as well. With Vagrant Workshop’s history with Earthdawn Third Edition, we initially started off using a variant of the Step System. This worked well enough to get us through an initial playtesting round, but showed that some of the tweaks we wanted specifically for Equinox didn’t quite work out. One of the solutions was dropping the idea of using the full range of die types, which eventually led us to a simpler system using only good ‘ol six-sided dice. We designed that one from scratch, focusing on the elements we wanted in the game. However, something was missing.