It's a new day in America. 2016, with all of it's twists and turns, is finally behind us. It was a tough year for DSL Ironworks on a number of fronts. By far, the thing that caused the most upset was the release of Traveller 2.0 (which dragged on about 5 months too long) and the formation of the Travellers Aid Society on Drivethrurpg.com. As you've probably heard, Mongoose did away with the Traveller Logo License and the Foreven Free License, which was what all of the products produced by the Ironworks were under. All new Traveller material, whether for the OTU or standalone settings, is to be released ONLY under the Travellers Aid Society, with a increase in the royalties paid to Mongoose and Drivethrurpg. This, along with the changes to the licensing regarding IP, made me take a hard look at what I was doing and how to proceed.
In July, Jason "Flynn" Kemp released the Cepheus Engine, a 2d6 OGL retro-clone of classic Traveller. After having a look, I liked what I saw, and decided it was time for a change. With a new rule set, and the OTU looking less palatable, a new setting seemed to be in order. By building the setting from the ground up, and basing it in a true OGL ruleset, I decided we had found a way forward. But, what kind of setting?
My true love in sci-fi has always been near future, gritty, and between 3.5 and 4.2 on the Mohs Scale of Sci-fi hardness. That is, relatively hard science, with a few caveats here and there for flavor. Movies and shows that I feel fit into this include Alien and Aliens, Blade Runner, Soldier, The Expanse series, Space: Above and Beyond, Outland, Pitch Black, and Space: 1999. So that is where I decided to head. The basics are covered in the proposal document, and cover most of what I'm aiming for.
Since late September/early October, I've been putting the pieces in place to get the setting up and running under the title ENIGMATIC. Using the Near Space map from Stellagama Publishing as a base (because it's OGL, incorporates a sector of space surrounding the Earth, and why reinvent the wheel), I put together a database for the 110 or so worlds closest to Earth. In order to help put together a timeline with interesting events, I assembled well over a hundred different events, ranging from natural disasters and civil wars to industrial disasters and missing space ships. I've also put together a way to keep track of groups and foundations, etc There's a ton of information already generated for the setting, and I'm starting to pull it all together into a coherent setting.
This blog is going to follow the development of the ENIGMATIC setting as it grows. I'm aiming for a weekly post on Saturday nights (since I now have Friday and Saturday off from the day job), with other posts during the week as needed. I've also updated my Patreon page, so if you'd like to support me and get some additional goodies, that is an option for you as well. 2017 is going to be a great year, and I hope you'll join me for the ride!
Donavan L., dslironworks at gmail dot com