2016 Year in Review: Peter Woodworth
Most fun project: Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition. While I was a World of Darkness fan before Changeling came out, when I picked up that book I fell in love with its beautiful stained glass heart almost immediately. It was bright, it was fun, it was joyous and engaging … but under the colorful surface it was darker and more tragic than most any game I’d played. I also loved how it not only captured what it is to be an artist but also a gamer’s life too, both seeing a different world layered on top of this one, struggling harder every year to balance passion and imagination with responsibilities and obligations. It’s been more than two decades and two Worlds of Darkness, with a lot of amazing stories in many different games, but I still come home to the Dreaming every time. I simply love it, purely and with all my heart.
Most interesting research: I think one of the most important things I’ve done this year was seeing Hamilton on Broadway. I’m not the biggest Broadway guy, so I actually resisted it for a while, but then a friend convinced me to listen to “Wait for It” and I was hooked. Even so, seeing it live was breathtaking. There is such tremendous power in seeing creative individuals who are united behind something they completely and utterly believe in; it’s impossible not to be swept up in their narrative and just transported by it. There was something especially urgent about it in an election year as well, a powerful reminder that so many people argued and debated and raised hopes and made mistakes and bled and died just to start this beautiful, delicate experiment that we’ve inherited more than two centuries later. We’ve been through dark times and hard times before, every generation really — what’s important is what we do about those times when they come.
Favorite passage: From the upcoming C20 Anthology:
Olga’s had been a local institution for years, though it was a hard, bitter sort of institution, like a reform school neither staff nor students found any value in attending. It one of those old diners that was always empty yet never closed, perpetually seeming at the edge of going out of business yet somehow staying open out of sheer spite. The classic chrome look was spoiled by years of tarnish, the windows so weathered and scratched they were nearly opaque. The staff was as old and resentful as their meager clientele and worked at the speed of the condemned marching to the gallows.
To changeling eyes, Olga’s looked much the same, though with a few medieval touches such as actual torches instead of flickering fluorescent lamps and scuffed animal pelts instead of shabby carpeting. A large “NO KITHAIN DISCOUNTS” sign hung next to the door on thick rope, blocky runic lettering angrily chiseled into chipped gray stone. The whole effect of the place could have only been more inhospitable if the staff had placed bear traps on the seats, and from the suspect look of some of the pelts they might have tried it.
It was, in short, precisely how the owner liked it.
Tommy Broadhead was enormous, even by troll standards, and his nickname definitely wasn’t ironic. As a mortal, he had a head that was definitely on the unsettling side of too large; as a troll, it was positively immense, looking like a blue-gray stone block had been dropped onto his shoulders. His thick, gnarled horns only added to the impression, sweeping back from his brow and back along his skull like slicked back hair. If he had a neck, it had long ago given up and retreated into his torso.