Playing with Cover Design
 
Only tangentially Bloodwood related, a faux book cover I have been playing with the design of for my role-playing game, At the Dawn, which was written as an homage to JRR Tolkien's the Silmarillion. The minimalist description is that it is about elves fighting a war against darkness at the birth of a world they are not meant to inhabit.

If you have not looked at the funding goals of this project lately, one of them mentions hacking that game's system for use with this Patreon's material, and of late I have been thinking more about that particular side project and how one might go about meshing the two. That, however, is going to remain a casual, intermittent thought until there is actually enough interest to do so, as if you have read or played AtD before, you will understand why it would not work out-of-the-box: the elves of Rose, Thorn, and Mist are very different creatures from the elves of At the Dawn, and the system is designed for the story and nature of the latter.

In other words, it is not "Dungeons & Dragons but just with elves." The game is built using a system of Virtues and Qualities, character design, and events that do not mesh with playing the kind of deadly, fickle fae being explored in this project.

For Rose, Thorn, and Mist, I have been fighting my way through the design of a pair of double-page spreads. The usual artistic cycle: poke around with a design until you find something that looks neat; eventually realize you hate that design; redesign it, and hate it even more; redesign it again and give up in disgust; poke dejectedly at it until suddenly it does not look so bad; realize that with a few tweaks it would look incredible; try to figure out what those tweaks are; repeat the above cycle for each tweak; eventually, the heavens open and celestial voices sing triumphantly.

I have not reached the last bit yet. But I have been writing more material for the project and polishing up/streamlining older written material -- the usual artistic process: write one page and erase two. Part of this is because there has been a rising tendency for page-bloat in the recent designs: full double-columns of text on every page. But when we look back at the first pages, we find smatterings of text, or single columns, packed with information despite their short length. Much more open page designs unconstrained by excessive text.

So, progress is being made behind the scenes, and I am also carefully considering if any of the culled material would be suitable for posting as part of the Patron-only benefits--not project cast-offs that didn't make the cut in terms of quality or cohesion; the ones I am considering are merely those parts not specifically about the Bloodwood or the elves, and which therefore do not belong in the project proper.

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By the by, if anyone would like to try At the Dawn, I am currently looking for a couple of players for weekly game sessions on-line, probably via G+ video chat. Comment or message me if you are interested and we will work out a time to meet and play.