Spirit of the Season v2.0 & Thoughts
From the product page at Indie Press Revolution:
SPIRIT OF THE SEASON [Print + PDF Preorder]
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions
Authors: Chad Underkoffler, Fred Hicks, Daniel Perez
Format: 72 page digest-sized perfect-bound book PLUS PDF
Ships: By Mid-April
The miserly villain Doctor Scrooge hides behind legal technicalities as he steals from the pockets of the impoverished… explorer-gone-mad Jacques Frost preys upon the peoples of the north with his resurrected prehistoric murder monsters… the immortal Baroness Blackheart quests for the Elixir of Life, threatening to destroy all foundations of happiness for mankind… meanwhile Antiochus the Defiler and his spectral Seleucid Squad attack anything sacred or holy…… and it’s up to Nick Saint—codename: Secret Santa!—the Reindeer Men, their Chanukah allies, and you to save the holidays from their vile clutches!
Spirit of the Season is a holiday treat from the minds of Evil Hat Productions and Atomic Sock Monkey Press. Featuring characters and new rules compatible with both Spirit of the Century and Truth & Justice, Spirit of the Season is your ticket to two-fisted holiday pulp adventure!
Inside you’ll find:
- A bevy of ready-to-roll heroes for holiday-themed one-shots and beyond
- Five dastardly villains you can harry your characters with no matter the time of year
- How to create pulp-style characters using Truth & Justice
- New rules material for Spirit of the Century including Mystic Spellcraft and Companions Reloaded
- Two heaping handfuls of plot ideas for kicking off two-fisted holiday pulp
For those who downloaded the free version during Christmas season 2007, this upgraded version contains over 20 pages of new material, including the aforementioned Mystic Spellcraft rules—as well as Empathy-driven minion stunts for heroes!
Back in December, Evil Hat Productions put out the free version of Spirit of the Season as a cool gift. I immediately downloaded it, since I knew it was coming from having read Fred’s LiveJournal. As I related back then, I loved the supplement, but had an issue with something in it, namely the way Chanukah had been included in the product. Fred eventually got wind of my post and emailed me. We spoke about the reason for my dissapointment, and I made it very clear that I thought they had done a good job, and that the problem I was having was not their fault directly. Fred let me know the product would be revised and expanded into a for-pay version, so there would be the chance to get things right. I told him I would be delighted to provide any help I could, even help write stuff if it was ok with EHP. It was, and Fred invited me in to write the Chanukah section of the expanded Spirit of the Season.
I pitched a couple of ideas I had, and after the new year, we buckled down and hammered (no pun intended) out the expanded Chanukah section, with me doing the initial design and then having that knead like dough, shaped, baked and turned into a showbread by Chad Underkoffler and Fred Hicks. The result was an amazing new section that presented a number of new heroes, new villains and new mechanics, all of which fit the theme perfectly and, in my humble opinion, made the general book an even better product.From that short stint collaborating with Chad and Fred I gained a number of valuable lessons, including how to manage a multi-author collaboration, the flow of a project that needs a quick turnaround, and the fact that Chad Underkoffler is more productive, faster and creative than 99% of designers I know because he is a robot… from the future (seriously). If I gained nothing else from this opportunity, these lessons were more than enough, because they immediately impacted my own business, my own writing, and I stand to reap benefits from that for a long time to come.
Ultimately, the reason why I feel so elated over this book coming out is because I was able to do something good for Judaism. One of my stated goals in creating my company was to be able to spread Torah by the one means I am good at, games (to become, as I put it back then, the Matisyahu of Gaming). I have never been closer to that ideal than with the material I wrote for Spirit of the Season. It’s not overt at all, it’s not dogmatic in the least, and frankly, it’s almost not even an issue in the text. Except that the whole section, each character, each background story, each goal – heck, even the mechanics I sketched and then Chad and Fred created – all of that exudes Torah, it is all permeated with the lessons I have learned in the last 6 years of studying Judaism and then becoming a Jew. That this opportunity was given to me by another party means a lot, that it came from what was originally a misunderstanding, that (to quote Fred in an email to me) we were able to “turn the lemons of my initial disappointment into lemonade,” and that this worked in perfect accordance to the Torah principles that from the lowest shall rise the greatest and that G-d always sends the cure before the malaise, all these things fill me an inner joy that is simply amazing.
So many thanks to Fred Hicks for listening to me, for taking my concerns seriously, for inviting me to become a part of the solution and for giving me the opportunit to work with Evil Hat Productions. Thanks also to Chad Underkoffler for turning what were some ideas and ideals and fleshing them out into fantastic material which in turn inspired me to write more and better than the previous draft; during this project he was Prof. Salomon Mizrahi to my Juddah “The Hammer” Hammerstein, except in a good way, the way that those two kabbalists should work together one day.
Now go and preorder Spirit of the Season, because it truly is a great book, full of action and excitement, and some awesome new rules for your Spirit of the Century and Truth & Justice game. Go play.