Announcing: Court of Shadows for Shadowrun

You have seen it. You have felt it. The dream where you are falling, falling, and you cannot see the ground but you know it is there waiting. You may try to brace yourself, you may try to force yourself awake—you do anything to avoid the impact that keeps rushing toward you.

The Seelie Court is the realm of the hidden, the rumored, and the unknown. Fairies, spirits, and enchanted creatures mingle there, building alliances, plotting, scheming, toying with the realm of humans—and with each other. The court has long held a distant attachment to the material plane, influencing it like a dream influences our waking hours. But now a new connection has emerged, allowing humans to infiltrate the courts and influence its proceedings. At a time when magical power is ever in the rise, the mix of human and fae could set both worlds into a calamitous plunge, and no one will want to be awake when they hit bottom.

Today, I am pleased to announce that I co-developed an alternate setting for the Shadowrun RPG with Jason Hardy. And, the first of my design posts for this book just went live! Over the course of the next several weeks, you’ll learn more about what’s in the book, who’s writing it, and how fun this’ll be for runners.

For a sneak peek, check out Court of Shadows Design Files #1: Unearthing Tír na nÓg.

New Release: Dark Eras and Hunter’s “Doubting Souls” set in Salem

Dark Eras

I am pleased to announce that Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras, a book that spans multiple eras for the Chronicles of Darkness game lines, is now available. As the Kickstarter text explained, the Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras starts out presenting a chapter for each of nine historical eras. The sections were written for the currently available edition of the game line, but they are designed to be usable with any edition. Each terrifying time period and location is examined through the supernatural creatures that dwell there, and my section is:

Hunter: The Vigil — Doubting Souls (1690-1695): Immigrants and tribes struggle to co-exist on the eastern seaboard. Violent clashes, supernatural beliefs, and demonic influences spell disaster for Salem Village and its surrounding towns, while other hunters fight werewolves and vampires on the frontier. With so much at risk, only god-fearing men and women are deemed innocent — and those are few indeed. Monica Valentinelli writer & Matt McElroy developer.

“Doubting Souls” is, in many ways, my commentary on the Salem Witch Trials; the chapter primarily focuses on the gut-wrenching decisions hunters have to make and how they are caught up in the hysteria. It also, however, offers possibilities for other styles of play and expands the setting a bit so we’d hit as many notes as possible within the confines of this tightly-woven section. There are opportunities to explore multiple locations, including Boston and Ipswich, and new compacts are offered as well. Since offering the first draft to fans, there have been some additions and expansions to the chapter, and we added additional reference materials to highlight our research, too.

Though this Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras chapter, in no way shape or form, could ever replace a set of modern history books on the time period, I feel very strongly about the necessity of research; I hope that you will notice this effort reflected in how we put together this alternate history perspective. “Doubting Souls” is a depiction of a world in the 1690s that’s slightly different from this reality–but much, much darker…especially for hunters of all types.

I hope that fans will enjoy “Doubting Souls” for Hunter: The Vigil, and I encourage you to check out the other chapters, too! Huzzah!

GenCon Industry Insider Featured Presenter

GenCon 2016

Today, I’m happy to share with you that I’ll be returning to GenCon: Indianapolis to speak on panels. I will be a GenCon Industry Insider, participating in a track of panels to share industry insights with attendees, along with several other storied individuals including Emily Care Boss, Eddy Webb, Kenneth Hite, and several others announced via the website. Huzzah!

Congrats to all of the announced speakers. I can’t wait to see you at GenCon 2016! Heck, I may even wear a suit this time around…IF the weather holds up, that is.

Cortex Plus Creator Studio Now Live!

CCCC logo

Recently, Margaret Weis Productions has announced and launched the Cortex Plus Creator Studio (CPCS) program in conjunction with DriveThruRPG.com. This new program allows fans such as yourself to offer supplemental materials, such as setting hacks, using the Cortex Plus system of rules and its variants. To do so, you’ll need a copy of the Cortex Plus Hacker’s Guide, which currently serves as “the” rules for Cortex Plus Action, Cortex Plus Heroic, Cortex Plus Drama, and Cortex Plus Fantasy Heroic variants. Many fans have been excited to see what the rules can do, because Cortex Plus offers a lot of possibilities due to its simplicity and flexibility. Because gameplay is heavily focused on character interactions, the rules facilitate twists and turns in the plot. Each system variant, then, provides a different flavor, or style of play.

As the developer for the upcoming Cortex Plus Action corebook, I feel that the Cortex Plus Creator Studio program is great for fans–especially since the bulk of MWP’s games, such as the Firefly, Smallville, and Marvel RPGs, have been based off of licensed properties. Now, licensing and contracts isn’t something I normally talk about, because they are fairly similar industry-wide, but I do want to point out another reason why I think this is an interesting development. When a writer or a game designer works on a game, we typically sign what’s known as a “work-for-hire” contract. (In 10+ years, I have never signed a contract in gaming that wasn’t work-for-hire, even on company-owned properties that aren’t licensed from TV/Movie studios.)

Signing a work-for-hire contract means that legally we don’t own the work we do, and once we’re paid for that work the companies take our contribution and use that as they see fit. While every license, freelancer, contract, and company is different, writing under these terms typically means we have less flexibility as creators than if we were to do the work ourselves. The CPCS gives both fans and creators more control, because while the agreement does have some limitations, the work you upload is based on your own settings and design ideas with no oversight. The only requirement is that your work is tied to the stellar Cortex Plus Hacker’s Guide. Thus, while your material is supplemental, you decide what you want to do with it.

If you’ve got a setting hack or a pile of Distinctions/Talents/Powers, etc. you’ve been sitting on, I encourage you to check out the new program. Just remember: licenses such as Star Wars and Firefly aren’t part of this program. The CPCS is strictly meant to be used for your own worlds, your own stories, and your bursts of creativity and brilliance.

I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next for Cortex Plus, and I hope that its future will include you.

My Interview with Dragon+ Magazine

DragonPlus

Recently, I was interviewed for Dragon+ Magazine about Battle for the Undercity, along with Joshua Raynack and industry veteran Jon Leitheusser. Matt Chapman, the editor-in-chief for Dragon+, reached out to me after seeing that my work had been reviewed in a March 2016 Unearthed Arcana article by Mike Mearls and Chris Lindsay. This entire experience has not only been positive, it’s taken me completely by surprise, and I’m happy that folks are enjoying my work. I’ve received a lot of support and cheers for my efforts, and a lot of complements on my Battle for the Undercity 5e design post as well. This entire experience has been stellar, and it’s definitely encouraged me to do more work on D&D 5E as time allows.

Thanks to Mike, Chris, and Matt! I hope you’ll check out this month’s issue of Dragon+ Magazine, and it inspires you to grab your dice. After all, the entire point of being in the gaming industry is to create memorable (and fun) experiences for you. Roll thee well!

Previous Posts Next Posts




Monica Valentinelli > Announcements

Subscribe to Monica’s Newsletter






Subscribe
* indicates required



Back to Top