I don’t know… this post might come across as a bit of a whine, but I want The Dee Sanction to be good. I suppose that might be the source of my procrastination.
If you look back, the first post here was in 2014. Oddly enough, it was about a system called 214. That was an early iteration of The Dee Sanction with a self-developed system—along with another premise called Complex 214, which was a somewhat more blatant rip-off of Paranoia.
I wrote those pitches because I wanted to write my own games with my own system. That was long before The Cthulhu Hack arrived, which is sort of my own. 214 was meant to be entirely my own creation.
So, my perfect want was both my own system and my own setting.
Painfully, neither has come easily. I had started tinkering with Elizabethan adventures when I worked on Maelstrom in the 00s—including a whole supplement on playing as beggars—and then iterated through some weird ideas with the playtest of TimeWatch mixed up with an existing concept TimeMaster in 2013, a fascination that lingered. I ran the same adventure many times with multiple variations, some of which included Dee and the Queen’s Court. Walsingham also appeared.
The system and ideas changed many times and while they did another Game Designer—Kenneth Hite—came up with a setting excruciatingly close to my own—The School of Night—and then moved on, while I remain glued to the starting block.
I wanted to get it right. I was, however, losing time worrying about the particulars.
Heck, I’m still losing time worrying about the particulars.
I want to get it right, but I also now realise that the best way to do that might simply be to get it damned close and then worry about perfection. The first edition of The Cthulhu Hack wasn’t perfect, but it was what I needed to get going. I want something like that—and I’m getting close with Utility.
Every day during August, I’ll be writing something new on The Dee Sanction and aim to connect the word prompt of the day with the development of the game. Check out the concept, the list and the graphics over at AUTOCRATIK.