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Ghouls by Night, an Outline via Open Development

Posted on September 29, 2013 by Matt-M-McElroy

I’m doing a little freelance RPG development for Onyx Path Publishing in the off hours from my “day job” as Marketing Director for DriveThruComics, DriveThruRPG and related sites. As a developer I get to pitch new ideas for books and focus on the overall concept and design, while bringing on talented freelancers to bring those concepts to the written page.

One of the books I pitched last year was an expanded look at Ghouls and Revenants for Vampire: the Masquerade. The V20 core book had a few pages dedicated to Ghouls, including Character Creation Guidelines for these mostly human servants of the Kindred. Previously White Wolf had published Ghouls: Fatal Addiction as part of the Year of the Ally line of supplements across the various World of Darkness RPGs. Fatal Addiction was a fun read, but definitely shows its age by now, being a 2nd Edition book (and only covering some of the Revenant families).

The V20 line has expanded since the core book with excellent sourcebooks like Children of the Revolution and Hunters Hunted II. I was thinking Ghouls could use an expanded look for the setting as well as an update with regards to the system. I wanted to cover the various roles Ghouls have as servants of vampires. I also wanted to explore some of the passions, fears, and emotional roller-coasters these characters could experience in regards to the Blood Bond. I also was hoping to pull all of the various Revenant families that had appeared in multiple books over the years into a single resource.

Last year at the Atlanta by Night convention Justin Achilli did a live outline session with attendees of the show for the upcoming Anarchs Unbound supplement. It was another element of the ongoing Open Developement process that Onyx Path has been using for V20 and other RPGs. Even more than posting drafts to the White Wolf Blog and getting feedback via comments, this live in-person discussion offered “real time” feedback in a face-to-face conversation between the developer and the fans of the game. I was in the audience for that and tossed out a few ideas of my own. It was an awesome experience.

When I was asked to be guest speaker for this year’s LA by Night event I was asked to pitch a couple of panel ideas. With a V20 book of my own just recently announced and not into writing yet an opportunity for an outline session with fans was too good to pass up. I asked Justin if he was interested in joining me for the panel (Eddy was also invited, but couldn’t make it) and started a basic mindmap of my initial thoughts on the book. I wanted to keep it open so I could fill in more details during the panel in LA.

Well, now the mindmap of the outline with suggestions from the audience is online. You can check it out over on the V20 Open Development Blog or here at Flames Rising:

    Please feel free to offer up some comments on the map, suggestions for the book itself, either here or on the V20 Open Development Blog.

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