The Sword of Air Kickstarter is now at the "30 days to go" mark, and has a bit more than $60,000 in the bank. It hits break-even (and funding) at $75K, which it will almost certainly reach, at this point. This is going to be a pretty cool book, although I wish I could see a bit more of the raw material (which is all in Bill Webb's 3-ring binders, and I think he doesn't know how to -- or doesn't have a printer that can -- process a stack of pages into a scanner). I sympathize: as far as I know, my printer/software combination can't do it either. I have to scan into MS Paint as a graphic file. But enough about my computer-related whining, I'm drifting off topic.
(Pre-posting edit: most of the rest of this post ended up sounding like a fanboy post for Bill. It's not; but since he's the one writing Sword of Air, any sort of commentary on it ends up talking about Bill a lot. I didn't go in and change the post, I just inserted this little side-comment as my defense against the appearance of fanboyism.)
I have always thought it very strange that Bill doesn't list Clark Ashton Smith as a major influence in his adventure writing, although maybe I'm projecting since CAS is a huge influence on me, and Bill and I write a lot alike. I was on the phone with him a couple of nights ago, and his point was that he really doesn't design from the top down at all. He just writes adventures, and doesn't write them into any sort of world at all (except the originally-blank hex map he apparently started with back in the late 70s).
Indeed, he's basically writing Sword of Air by taking his old adventure binders, filling in any existing gaps on the big wilderness map (travel is involved), checking with Greg Vaughn that it doesn't violently contradict something in the Necromancer Games stuff, and then hurling it all into a blender.
I think, when you look at the structure of Bill's material (Rappan Athuk and Stoneheart Valley being the bigger ones), you can see that they were principally designed around the adventures. The backstory developed, to a large degree, from cool magic items and major villains in the dungeons, not vice versa.
So, that's my commentary on Sword of Air, for the day. As far as I know, it's not a project that I'll be working on very much, since I'm charging forward on Cyclopean Deeps now, hitting a thousand words a day on average right now. I've got a lot of catching up to do after the long, dead, dry spell of the imagination.
... and that's what I'm off to work on right now!
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