Tuesday, January 3, 2012

LPJ Design Business Judo: Doing the Clockworker right for NeoExodus


 A few weeks ago, we at LPJ Design were also discussing about adding a steampunk influenced class to the NeoExodus setting since the Arman Protectorate with their golems and warmachines seemed having it only logical.  While in the middle of our discussion, Headless Hyrda Games came up with the product the Clockworker.  This was a class they were looking to use in their Mor Aldenn setting to add the genre of steampunk to their setting.  This was perfect for us.  This would give us a chance to see what the Pathfinder fanbase wanted to so, compare some good ideas based on what they did and what worked and what didn’t. Initially it got some 4 and 5 star reviews that got me very interested, but then there were some comments on the Paizoboard that got me little worried about this actual quality of the product.  But then the one name in reviews that I always trust, Thilo Graf, commented on the product giving it a 2 star review

Now I have been on the receiving end of Thilo Graf 2 starreview many times (hard but honest and fair reviewing) so that was enough to interest me to purchase the product.  Now while there were issues, I did find enough quality material to see where the designer was going and what they wanted to do.  So based on the work that was done, the reviews and commentary, I decided that we would use the Clockworker as our guide to create our "steampunk" influenced class.  

While I like steampunk as a genre and concept, I never really though it made sense in a magic based setting.  So instead of focusing the “steampunk” quality of it, I wanted to focus on the engineering and scientific methodology of the technology as the magical element.  I was inspired by the Marvel comic series S.H.I.E.L.D. which focuses on the great scientific minds in Earth's history including Galileo Galilei, Leonardo Da Vinci and Nikola Tesla as the basis for the story, in turn as a basis for this new class. And with the quote from Authur C. Clark, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” I knew this would be great for the creation our new base class, the Machinesmith.

Best of all with using the Clockworker’s OGL material as the basis of the Machinesmith class I could avoid a few of the missteps that were discovered during it first draft that Headless Hydra Games release.  Sometimes it’s better to be second.  Talk to you later…