The Freedom to Design
Over the past few years, I've been refining how Storm Bunny Studios operates, evaluating its in-house standards, looking for ways to make better games, and further defining precisely what I want to do with it as a company. Along the way, I've learned a lot. That learning has given birth to a whole bunch of new ideas, new projects, and new dreams, all which has slowly been crystalizing into something resembling a singular, evolving path forward.
And at nearly each exchange, I've been able to jettison something that doesn't serve me, my vision, or the company I'm trying to build, replacing those outdated and frustrated ideas with completely new ones.
I've known it for a while now; I don't want Storm Bunny Studios to follow the standard model for a lot of "X-compatible products." While I certainly love the innovation and fun that comes with mechanically tweaking things, that's not how I want to define SBS. Don't get me wrong, I still want to give gamers all those cool, new options - I just don't want those new options to be our only offering to this awesome community.
Instead, I want to build worlds. Whole, entirely new worlds. Why would I want to do something like that? Well, that's simple. Building and developing worlds has always been a joy, and when I look back at the games that influenced me the most as a teen or young adult, it was always those settings that really stood out. When I look back at the worlds I loved the most (places like Dark Sun, Plancescape, Ravenloft, Dragonlance, or even Birthright), I can't help but find a small measure of solace; visiting these places reminds me of the joy of having a cup of coffee with an old friend.
Mind you, I loved each of these worlds each for their own reasons. I didn't love Rifts because I liked the needlessly complicated combat rules, or because I thought Mega-Damage was awesome; I loved Rifts because it had Glitter Boys, the Coalition States, the Federation of Magic, and the Splugorth. I loved Mage: The Ascension for the same reason I loved Vampire: The Masquerade - they were worlds I could immerse myself in. It was also this love of full immersion that let me discover other, less known worlds. It's one of the reasons that when you look at the gaming books in my tiny little office area, you'll see a wide selection of personal favorites (like Hollowfaust: City of Necromancers or The Iron Kingdoms).
So, why all this talk about worlds?
As Storm Bunny Studios moves through the rest of 2017 and into 2018, we're going to be expanding and adding two new, exciting campaign settings to our library.
Our first "stormpunk" friendly campaign setting, Raenor: The Bloodlands is a world locked in endless war. A land of shattered kingdoms, soul-driven war machines, psionics, broken dreams, and wounded warriors, Raenor is a world that has been struggling under the weight of its endless wars, its political intrigues, and the corruption of its politicians for ages. And that was long before the Skyfires came...
With the discovery of power, however, things have slowly begun to change. Whether or not that will be for the better, however, remains to be seen.
We'll be designing Raenor to be compatible with both 5th edition D&D, as well as the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
Currently scheduled for early 2018, the World of Alessia is one that can be described one part space opera (think Star Wars meets Firefly), one part Wuxia (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers), and one part high-tech fantasy (think Spelljammer meets Eberron).
The World of Alessia is a campaign setting built around atop some truly amazing concepts. With over twenty three playable races, many of which are entirely new to the world, Alessia will be turning a lot of your standard fantasy assumptions on their heads.
We'll be designing Alessia to be compatible with both 5th edition D&D, as well as the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
With the release of these two worlds, Storm Bunny Studios will actively be producing five campaign settings for your gaming needs, including: Bloodlines & Black Magic, The Mists of Akuma, Raenor: The Bloodlands, Rhune: Dawn of Twilight, and The World of Alessia. And in a way, I'll be officially making Storm Bunny Studios the company I've been building all along - a place where new worlds and new ideas can grow into fully functioning campaign settings.