Many of the people who are interested in Convention Book: Void Engineers have already heard at this point, since it came out on Friday and I had already set up my blog post for that day hours before it was launched.
- The Void Engineers are, naturally, the most changed of all the Conventions by the Dimensional Anomaly. You get to see how that change — turning the VEs into an explicitly military force — affects the Union as a whole.
- A detailed Enlightened Cosmology, showing you how the Technocracy views the Umbral realms and beyond.
- Threat Null — the hints that were dropped in N.W.O. and Progenitors, the force named in Syndicate, now revealed to those with enough clearance.
- Dimension Science and Void Correspondence! Further showing how Enlightened Science isn’t the same as Traditional understanding (not that Traditional understanding is all the same). After all, Mage is fundamentally a point-of-view story.
- Brilliant opening and closing fiction by the ever-talented Josh Roby, showing some of the core conflicts the Void Engineers must content with.
- A speech on the history of the Convention by one of its most prominent admirals.
- As always, showcasing the relationships the Convention has with others. These ones are far more telling than even those in the other books.
Also, I learned over the weekend that our books have been incorporated into the TVTropes section for Mage. How awesome is that!
We had to cut more from this book than the others. The original turnovers were over 10% larger, and that’s before the ideas we cut because we _knew_ we didn’t have that. I’m not going to share what those are right away, but some of that material is stuff in Jeremy Tidwell’s Methodologies chapter, and he wants y’all to eventually see it. So I’ll blog it up in a bit. I want folks to get a chance to read the published work before then.
The End of a Journey
For over a year, I’ve been Control. I’ve been know to say “I am the Technocratic Union, motherfuckers!” in jest. But Convention Book: Void Engineers ends my run on Mage: the Ascension, in time for Phil Brucato to retake the helm with Mage 20th. It’s been a fun run, and I like it to something like an author’s run on a comic line — Joss Whedon on Spider-Man or whatever. I get to put some ideas out there, some that folks will love and some that folks will get all nerd-upset about.
But the line is bigger than any one person, so it moves on and I go to do other stuff. I have a bunch of Fate projects I’m working on, and I want to get honest motion on the Emerging Threats Unit — my take on the modern investigative/action horror RPG genre.
I’m not slated on anything involving M20, so I get to sit back and enjoy the stuff that’s to come as a fan. :) That means watching someone else write about the Technocracy just as I have, taking my ideas and doing things I don’t expect with them — some I’m sure will have me cringe (not because of stuff inherently bad, but because of weird creator investment), and others totally inspiring. But that’s what it means to have a line that’s larger than you, and I see that as pretty awesome.
The Story Behind The Line
At the ENnie Awards pre-party in 2011, where I was all dressed in my tux just in case Dresden won an award, Eddy Webb comes up to me and says “Hey, Ryan, how well do you know the Technocracy?”
If memory serves (and I got real drunk later, so 50/50 there), I responded with “Son, please.”
My Skype group and I were in the middle of playing our Mage: the Ascension game–heavily diverging from canon and using Cortex Plus Action, but Mage nonetheless. One of the game’s prevalent themes was “What does it mean to be a Traditionalist/Technocrat?” I had been blogging about that, and Eddy & I are friends who see each other far too infrequently, so he was aware of my Technocratic love.
And that I could find others of similar bent.
Rich Thomas & I talked a few months later about the Convention Book line and the promise made to the community. Given that I’m one of the people who was so, so looking forward to those books, getting the opportunity to make them was totally fucking metal.
Totally fucking metal, and the most nerve-wracking project i’ve ever been on.
The fans have been pretty awesome. Some of you guessed things coming down the line. Some of you give us ideas that we seriously wished we could have implemented. But mostly, y’all have taken the ball and ran with it in different ways, and that’s been pretty awesome to see.
Be seeing you,
 Well, the non-dick ones. But that’s always the case. :D