Dark Eras Progress Report

Still fromMonty Python and the Holy Grail, 1975, dir. Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones.
Still fromMonty Python and the Holy Grail, 1975, dir. Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones.

You get a Dark Eras update if you can answer me these questions three.

No, not really. So, here’s the deal with Dark Eras. It’s progressing more or less on schedule, as is the Dark Eras Companion, but “more or less” is an important distinction.

Dark Eras is a weird project because a) it’s huge and b) rather than having a bunch of authors and a single developer, it has a bunch of authors, a bunch of developers, and me as project coordinator. That basically means I get to take all the chapters when they come in from the developers, assemble them in the proper order, make sure the formatting and the art notes and so on are in the right state, and pass them along to the editor. That’s work enough for a normal book, but when you’re dealing with a bunch of people and their lives and schedules, well, I believe the colloquial term is “herding cats.”

We went into Dark Eras with nine historical eras. That version of the book went to editing and came out the other side stronger and with fewer “very”s. Then we did the Kickstarter and added seven eras, plus 10K bumps to several existing ones. And then we added a whole new book with nine more eras. And then, just because that was all too easy, we added a Beast Era to the Companion for a nice, round 10 eras.

You can see, then, why as project coordinator this was not a project I wanted to rush.

So here’s the state of things. The Monday Meetings blog says that the Dark Eras Companion is in the first draft, writers-are-writing stage. That’s absolutely accurate. First drafts are due soon, so it should be transitioning into redlines over the next few weeks (I can’t remember a time when I didn’t give out at least one extension to a writer on a book, so I can’t imagine that a book with this many writers will be the one to hit the deadline, so I’m hedging my bets a little). That includes the Beast Era, which I’ll talk a little bit more about anon.

The Dark Eras book itself, including “everything we added in the Kickstarter” or, as I’ve come to call it, “Dark Eras Added Content” is in a number of various states. All of the first drafts are in, but there were a couple that ran late, so a small part of the book is in redlines. Most of the book is in revision from writers, with perhaps a slightly smaller chunk in development (meaning final drafts from the authors are in). And then a couple of eras, including the Skinchangers Era, are out of development and waiting to go to editing.

This might seem like a mess, but it’s really to be expected when you have this many moving parts on a project, and it’s why Dark Eras needed a project coordinator to keep all these plates spinning.

One more thing: Our Beast era. We chose the Reconstruction as the Dark Era added to the Companion for Beast: The Primordial. We could have chosen the Civil War itself – brother vs. brother and all that, which plays nicely into the family themes of Beast – but with the Reconstruction we still get that, and we get some awesome notions of territoriality, changing landscapes, and the remnants of war leading to Chambers and shifts in the Primordial Dream. It’s gonna be fun.

Right, I need to get back to work on Promethean. Any questions, hit me up in the comments.


5 thoughts on “Dark Eras Progress Report”

  1. Is it possible to have any teasers from the Eras from the book that are out of development while we wait for it to all be done? 🙂

  2. Will there be updates for the minor splats (skinchangers, thaumaturgists, etc.) for them to be compatible with 2nd Edition rules?

  3. The only question I have is how much longer until we get our next taste of Promethean, because I hunger for it so badly. It was the first WW game I ever bought. So… yeah. I can’t help it, I’m drawn to it like a Pandoran to Azoth.

  4. That Reconstruction Era Beast setting will work nicely at my own table as a companion piece to my Underground Railroad Era Changeling Era (where Hedge Trods not only provide a dangerous path to the North, but also weave Dahomey Africa and Brazil into the puzzle as well.


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