THE ROAD AHEAD
We'll be sending Tara Zuber's Prism to art direction soon, so we should have a timeline firming up on that. Otherwise, we have a LOT of worlds in development, but they're all less far along than that, so it's entirely possible we're going to see a few "skip" months in 2017 — in part because it gives us space, here at the Hat, to focus on some big-deal releases we have coming up, like the Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game and Dresden Files Accelerated and Blades in the Dark and Karthun and and and... oh my, the plate, it is full! But also because we need to give our authors time to fully develop their Worlds.
Your support remains critical for us to be able to bring these all to life. Thank you so much! During the lulls I'll try to do a better job of sharing sneak previews and such of what we've got in development, when the stuff is in fact share-able. :) (Don't be shy about asking me for this stuff too — reminders do help, and with the plate full as described above, I might lose sight of it, so they're appreciated as well!)
THE NEW ADDITIONS
Almbrecht After Dark (by Catherine Bult): Mysterious, sharp-fingered Jacks haunt the eaves of the city of Almbrecht and threaten its citizens’ dreams. No one knows where they come from. No one knows how to get rid of them. And the countryside is wracked by partisan violence that promises worse to come. Play as a thaumaturge, trying to find a way to protect citizens against the Jacks as trade slows to a crawl. Or as a young veteran who can’t tell if their nightmares come from the Jacks or not. Or as a spy stranded in the city, with no one to trust. No one is safe when the sun goes down and you hear long fingers pattering at the glass of your windows. Nothing like the threat of madness on top of blistering summer heat and a long-simmering civil war to push a city to its breaking point.
Arecibo (by Nicolas Hornyak): Everyone on the island knew that something was amiss when the power went out. It wasn’t that Puerto Ricans never saw their lights and appliances turn back on, but in the municipality of Arecibo, frogs and crickets began to fall quiet and bring stillness to the night. Slowly but surely, children investigated and started to understand that something far worse than mere animals dwelled in their tropical paradise. But when the island is abruptly blockaded by US Armed Forces, it is up to them to determine what has gone wrong when no adult will listen, and perhaps stop the very end of the world. In the far reaches of space, something stirs in response to the Arecibo message. Deep in the giant caverns of the island, another answers. Stranger Things and the eldritch meets Puerto Rico and Arecibo Observatory in its darkest hours.
On the Swing Shift (by Nicole Winchester): During the darkest days of World War II, popular musicians still travel occupied Europe to entertain Nazi officers and bring a little light to the lives of civilian audiences. But some secretly use their fame and relative freedom to serve a greater goal: the victory of the Allied Forces. Players are part of a jazz band on tour in 1942, dealing with the usual issues of touring while being in the middle of the greatest war the world has ever seen, while also coordinating with Allied agents to complete missions. Without getting caught. And you thought the worst you’d face in your career was an empty club.
Carnifex (by Ando Muneno): Afghanistan. Less of a country so much as an arbitrary border carved around collections of tribes in some of the most inaccessible and inhospitable terrain on the planet. It is no mystery why it has become known as the Grave of Empires. Locals, particularly the minority Hazara ethnic group, insist that the mountains are stalked by djinn, dwarves with a taste for flesh and the Al, a race of feminine monsters with teeth like iron and claws of bronze. Invaders have always dismissed this as backwards nonsense at their own peril. Scattered reports of Non-human Hostile Contacts (NHCs) emerged when the first reconnaissance teams inserted into the region on the eve of the War on Terror. These incidents are increasing in frequency and the body count has risen to the point where coalition forces can no longer ignore them. At the same time, rumors of escaped Soviet era bioweapons, child stealing monsters and the literal wrath of God are destroying troop morale and fanning the flames of insurgency. The extent of this threat must be assessed and the cause eliminated lest it spread beyond the borders of Afghanistan, if it hasn’t already. Enter the so-called Carnifex Teams. You are a deniable asset: be that spec ops, local interpreter, scientist or private contractor; charged with the unenviable but very profitable job of covertly hunting monsters amid the chaos of the Long War. Your missions will take you from dusty streets of Kabul, through vast fields of opium, to the wind scoured and frozen peaks of the Hindu Kush. Along the way you must navigate a web of Taliban, warlords, tribal leaders, spooks, terrorists, smugglers and coalition forces with their own agendas. Not to mention survive sniper fire, IEDs, mortars, ambushes and whatever it is out there turning friend and foe alike inside out. Good luck and good hunting.