Interview with Mummy Developer: Part One

Mummy: The Curse, News

Mummy the Curse

Two weeks ago, we invited you to help us interview Mummy: the Curse developer C.A. Suleiman. Today, we’re happy to present you with Part I of a two-part interview. We had so many questions, we had to break up the interview into two parts! Tune in this time next week to find more answers to your burning questions. Thanks for participating!

1. Please tell us about the upcoming sourcebooks.

Sure. Next up on the docket is Guildhalls of the Deathless, which is the big combo “splatbook” on the five guilds. I wanted the articulation of such concepts that core to the game to be voiced with consistency, so we’ve got some returning champions from the corebook material, including Malcolm Sheppard, Greg Stolze, and myself, along with the mighty Lucien Soulban and Adam Tinworth.

After that, we’ve got the first settingbook – Cursed Necropolis: D.C. – which offers the signature American setting for the game. It’s being written by Harry Heckel and Neall Raemonn Price, and (teaser drum roll, please…) it will do something no other World of Darkness settingbook has done. On the heels of that, we’ve got Book of the Deceived, which is the comprehensive Belials Brood-style sourcebook on the Lost Guild. That one is liable to blow some doors off, I think.

2. What are your main sources of inspiration for Mummy: the Curse?

Mostly the original source material – ancient Egyptian aesthetics, mysticism, and funerary practices – with a hefty dash of all things Lovecraftian/Mythos, particularly the writings of Clark Ashton Smith. (I’m also a big Abbott and Costello fan, but that doesn’t qualify as inspiration so much as a relevant aside.)

3. Do you think Mummy is too esoteric for most players?

I certainly hope not. While it’s true that the nWoD has a slightly narrower target audience than, say, the classic WoD or the average superhero RPG, we’ve got enough faith in the intelligence and discernment of its fans to believe this game will strike true.

4. How limited if at all did you feel by the NWoD System? Did you feel like it has aged well enough?

I didn’t feel limited at all, really. I designed the game to work with and for the nWoD Storytelling system, so the material feels pretty well wed to the mechanics to me. As to the overall system, I will say that RPG design is (happily) an evolving thing and that I look forward to flexing additional Storytelling muscles in the books to come.

5. What is the complete story behind the judges/ the Shan’iatu – and in which source book will the whole truth be unfold – what is their plan? 

The best place to start on a question like that is to call out the assumption it makes – that the Judges and the Shan’iatu are one and the same. Nowhere in the game material does it say that, so I think it’s a mistake to frame it that way. As to the “truth,” there will be additional revelations as the line progresses (have no fear there), but with regard to the overall truth of the backstory, it’s all there in the corebook (if maybe ‘between the lines’).

6. What was the connection between Atlantis and the nameless empire?

Officially, none. Atlantis didn’t exist in the continuity of Mummy, remember. If you, as individual Storytellers, want to do a big crossover thing, though, that’s fair game. After all, that’s part of the mission statement of the nWoD as a whole: Little to no first-party crossover narrative, but cooperative design allowing for player-generated crossover.

7. Was Apotheosis and the shadowy role of the Heretic always intended to be such elusive and ambiguous aspects of Mummy: The Curse?

I’m not sure I’d qualify it as ambiguous, really – there’s quite a few pages devoted to it in the corebook, which is more of a presence than the Golconda concept has in Vampire – but yes, without Apotheosis the entire theme of the game is only half manifested in the material (and thus, in game play). There’s a lot working against the Arisen when it comes to their enlightenment, though, so that’s where the elusive part could certainly come into play. Ultimately, it’s about which path a player chooses.

8. Are there any plans for Mummy to maybe take a look at Dark Age (or ancient Egyptian!) mechanical bits that we could graft on for more flavorful period games? 

There’ll be some of that, no doubt, since we have an entire sourcebook on historical roleplaying on the schedule (called Sothis Ascends), but also because there’s been some talk at Onyx Path about the Dark Ages, and Mummy might have a place in that, if it happens.

9. As someone interested in this redemptive aspect of Mummy: the Curse, I was wondering whether future supplements might explore this theme in further detail, such as in the highly anticipated Dreams of Avarice? 

Absolutely, and yep, Dreams of Avarice will be the defining source for the flavor of that theme, but it won’t contain any mechanics or hard game advice. You can expect some discussion of that sort in Sothis Ascends, but most of it will be addressed in a supplement that I’m technically not allowed to discuss, yet. But yes, there are Plans™.

10. In necropoli like D.C. or Rio, where there is enough of an Arisen population to support functioning guilds, is there more “institutional memory (or Memory)” that can help an individual mummy maintain and build their own through resurrections?

A great question, and yes, that’s one of the things that the guys writing the settingbooks are going to address: How does living in a larger nome affect memory? Mechanically, some of it works how it works (and that’s more or less that), but there are things the Arisen of the five guilds can do to feel more connected to one another, and that’s where the really fertile narrative soil lies, I think.

11. Do like motorcycles? If so, do you own one? If so, what kind is it?

Motorcycles?  0.o  But the answers are yes and yes, actually. It’s a Honda Shadow.

  4 comments for “Interview with Mummy Developer: Part One

  1. Joe
    May 8, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Great interview. I didnt get my question asked but maybe someone here could pass this along to the powers that be:

    When will we see the Virtual Scroll of Ages site?

    • Geoffrey
      October 22, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      I realise it’s been a number of months since this question was asked, so perhaps I missed something, but since I 1st read of it in the PDF ‘preview,’ I’ve also been wondering when and where to find the Virtual Scroll of Ages/inspiration & resources.

  2. Jessica
    May 17, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Iiinnnnteresting. Sothis Ascends definitely hit my “must buy” list, and the idea of a Dark Ages NWoD line may make me vibrate out of my chair, that’s exciting to hear you guys are thinking about.

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