1.I assume that less of the book will have inside references, so no Claremont academy to refer to a school for the gifted since Claremont was the actual writer of X-men. I assume there was a conscious decisions not to include so much of that.
What then did freelancers work on? Steve wrote a bunch of it, is he a 'freelancer'? Were freelancers given smaller sections to work on?
What was the thing they like the most about their section and I assume it was designed by Steve or Jon and thus what did the freelancer like about what Steve or Jon designed for them to work around, and was there anything they wished Jon or Steve had done differently to make their own job as freelancer easier, or they thought would have been a better idea (the one they wanted to use for a specific element they wanted to introduce into the book)
Were specific elements like AEGIS worked on more? like an example of their agents, their headquarters, etc. How much detail was put into it, or how much is there to help the GM but keep it open for them to add details?
How do the use of the surrounding area of the city and that of freedom city differ. In Freedom City there is a state park nearby. I see various forested areas around Emerald City? In FC, it was left vague, will EC have more structure? I also liked areas in Freedom City like the Mesa and wish places like that had more detail to it. So will 'secret' or special places have more detail in the GM's? book. Can we see stuff like that in future small pdf emerald city based creations.
I enjoyed the pdf products for freedom city like the freedom city only archetypes, the iron age characters, and villains, and for Emerald City (or even the Supernatural book) some type of smaller pdf add on product would be cool. It would even be cool to have a mini-adventure in there.
It's still the Freedomverse, which is inherently an homage setting (for specific and well-supported reasons). There will be the occasional in-joke or in-the-know reference. Not played to death, but there. And anyway, anything that gives Chris the opportunity to name something after bulldogs has to earn a warm place in your heart.
As I recall, Jon sent out an outline pretty much already formed.
Which is cool. Planning Prevents Poor Performance and all that.
Steve, Chris, and Darren did the lion’s share of the writing. My contributions were:
Kesskorp and Arwin Kessler— Unsurprising since I’d introduced them in the Cybertribe Threat Report.
The write-up and brief description I did for Max Mars back in ECK#2. I still find it smile-inducing that Jon liked the “Maximilian Mars” name I intended only as a placeholder during the character development on the NPC enough to adopt it for continuing use.
The AEGIS section—Again, not terribly surprising as back when the Threat Reports began and I came up with the agents intended for audience interaction NPCS I just started sending Jon background material rambling around in my head way above and beyond what would ever actually see print. Maps delineating AEGIS regions, org charts for AEGIS national and regional hierarchies, and so on. He finally had to put his foot down and say, “Hey! Enough already with this stuff that ain’t ever gonna get published. You’re cramping my inbox, dude.” Must have left him with the impression I could flesh out the EC office well enough, though. He was also kind enough to forgive me for going significantly over my assigned word count there (a recurring scenario between the two of us for which I frequently apologize). Me and my detail-obsessions. Hope it gives GMs enough to use without weighing them down or cramping possibilities.
The Chessmen — Continuing in the lack of surprising category, as I introduced them in my chapter of Emerald City Knights.
MEDUSA—Back when the Threat Reports scheduling was being discussed, this was one of the groups originally mentioned to me as a possible for me to use, but ultimately failing to make the final cut. The name and the leader’s name were handovers but Jon and Steve are beautifully receptive to leaving things open there and asked for suggestions on everything else (a lot like what happened with several of the initial Threat Reports in general). I pointed out the setting still lacked a specific Brotherhood of Evil Mutants analog and we were off.
Ghostworks and Majestic 20 — A couple of suggestions of mine that hit the right tone for Jon and turned into assignments. My original idea for Ghostworks actually hewed much closer to Stephen King’s The Shop, but Steve suggested an evil CADMUS analogue instead that I think was a much better idea for carrying the setting’s narrative weight. Collaboration is a wonderful thing. M20 is pretty close to what I originally envisioned though, and that’s always gratifying.
The AEGIS memo on Doc Shock’s victim list got dropped for various reasons, but I look through and see little fingerprints from me here and there over the material and it makes me happy. This was the first full set of setting material I was able to contribute to from the ground floor so I am inordinately fond of using it (and really impressed with the final product). Hope plenty of other GMs and players get the same kick.
Jon kept something like 99% of what I turned in for AEGIS, and I'm a detail freak. There's background and crunch and The Dome (HQ, complete with blueprint style map). My favorite little surprise: how well the new AEGIS banner I asked for in my art order turned out. It's even on a t-shirt. Which I so totally picked up at Gen Con as soon as I saw it, oh yes I did.
Not only is there a large set of surrounding environs, elements like the Deep Six Meta-Max prison and the Cryptid Clans play into using those environs very well.