Now that it is getting closer to the Kickstarter, I can start talking about the most amazing project of my RPG writing career so far. Back in 2016, I was contacted by the team at Ulisses Spiele, specifically Deanna Gilbert, to see if I would be interested in contributing a chapter or two to an upcoming adventure tied to their release of the Nile Empire sourcebook for the Torg Eternity line.
I’ve been a fan of Torg since it came out in 1990. What I loved so much about it as a tabletop RPG was the way it brought multiple genres into play all at the same time, and in a way that made both system-sense and setting-sense. In other words, it worked on both a game level and a game fiction level. Rather than being limited to, say, fantasy tropes alone (as you are when you play something like Dungeons & Dragons), you can create characters from many different genres and have them work together as a team and have them balanced in power against one another. Even if you wanted to play a spear-wielding shaman traveling with a fantasy wizard, a cyborg, and a werewolf, nobody would be outclassed by the others, due to the way Torg balances the game.
Of all the “realities” (Torg’s term for the different worlds invading our Earth and carving out areas where the world works as it does on their homeworld), my favorite was always the Nile Empire. This was a gonzo world of 1930s pulp action serials – gangsters, masked crusaders, tomb-robbing archaeologists, rocket rangers, weird scientists – set in a version of Egypt ruled by the fascistic and clinically insane Pharaoh Mobius, also that world’s most accomplished supervillain. It’s really as amazing as it sounds. Nowhere else in the Torg universe could you have such amped-up adventure: Trap-filled tombs, fistfights atop burning locomotives, strange gadget belts that let you fly, ancient curses that bring mummies to life… It was basically a supermix of Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Mummy, The Rocketeer, Dick Tracy, and The Shadow, with a healthy dose of Stargate tossed in there for Egyptian spice.
So when Deanna contacted me and asked if I would be interested, I didn’t even have to think about it. YES!
We scrapped an earlier draft, ending up with something even stronger. Then, as the project changed, my share of the writing grew from a couple of chapters (we call them “acts”) to four, not to mention the introductory material at the front and a supplement detailing a lesser-known location in the Nile Empire. In the end we settled on a title: Fires of Ra. Perfect, considering the dramatic battle at the climax of this adventure.
This project was my passion, and I’m incredibly proud in how it turned out. On November 20th, the Kickstarter will begin. After it ends the first digital copies of all the content will go out to backers, including this adventure.And next year the adventure should be available in gaming stores! I’ll be able to offer more details as we inch closer to that time.