This was a weird and sad week.
Progress has been made, I want to emphasis that.
Mutant Chronicles Update
I spent most of the week brushing up on the background of Mutant Chronicles to fill in gaps I had forgotten about. I have a complete collection of books from the original early to mid 1990s run of the Mutant Chronicles RPG. They are annihilated and beat up, all well loved while I was growing up. Some are filled with pencil marks made by son when he was a toddler and one even has a corner chewed off by my dog when he was a puppy. More on that at the end.
Modiphus’ Mutant Chronicles 3.0 Core Book
Modiphus Mutant Chronicles 3.0
I also forgot I backed the Modiphus Kickstarter for Mutant Chronicles 3.0. I spent time reading through the lore of those books too. Some of it was simply cut and pasted from previous editions, some new ideas were added, and some ideas were just bad. Outside of a handful of threads, I probably won’t be using the third edition content. That version just isn’t the same universe, really. Even if all the ideas presented were the original intentions of the OG creators made manifest, the game just lays all the mysteries bare and removes a lot of mystique.
To sum up my feelings:
I despise every facet of the lore being an alien accident.
I’ve always felt that Mutant Chronicles was the crossroads between Blade Runner, Hellraiser, and World War I. Third Edition almost entirely strips out the noir aspects and moves the universe closer to generic science fiction with everything presented in a tiny little bow. Even taking critical events of the universe and turning them into alien deus ex machina nonsense.
My thoughts? Who cares how the Dark Legion got trapped? Don’t explain it. Who cares who started Cybertronic? Don’t explain it. Why does Earth need a seat at the table? I mean really? Don’t do it. The planet is a wasteland. These are just a handful of mysteries the third edition tries to explore. The entire line of books feels like they always knew third edition was going to be a definite beginning and ending with no room left for expansion. Mutant Chronicles 3.0 is definitive in its effort to be complete and done. I feel Modiphus laid out every book they wanted to make, wrote them, kickstarted the series after they were finished, printed them, then moved onto the next thing. All questioned answered somewhere so no one could really have anything left to ask them.
The franchise is dead, Jim.
As a result, Modiphus has essentially abandoned the universe like some weird entertainment locust swarm. Find property, exploit for cash grab, move on. Prodos Games made the miniature wargame, that’s abandoned too. Siege of the Citadel board game by Modiphus, gone. The online Doomtrooper card game seems to be neglected at best or dead. Cabinet Entertainment, the company that owns Mutant Chronicles, has all but given up on the property it seems. Which makes me sad because I feel I’m the last man on Earth that gives a damn about Mutant Chronicles and rather than hire me to write this series, Cabinet Entertainment will just send me a cease and desist letter. lol.
As a related, tangential aside, I used to hold the mutantchronicles.com domain name. My intention was to create a website that gave a detailed overview of everything that made mutant chronicles great, I wanted to have it built before the (bad) movie came out so new people could see what the series was all about. Unfortunately, all my efforts yielded a wonderful cease and desist letter from then Paradox Entertainment, now Cabinet Entertainment. I understand protecting your properties, but damn, man, nothing like killing your legitimate fans unpaid efforts to lift your property up for others to discover in a particular time of need.
Anyway, I really love the universe and it pains me to see it just fade away. Which is why I’m here writing this pilot.
Mutant Chronicles Update (Really)
I managed to get the entire plot and character motivations worked out on a 4x8ft white board over the week. Taking the plot through line I had from my previous versions, I spent a lot of time beefing up the characters significantly, and added some more stakes. I think I now have a really good basis to start writing. The most important boosts were in the main character, Isobel. I gave a significant amount of time thinking about her wants and needs and developing a nice little arch for her that will carry over the entire series, but we get a glimpse of her potential in the pilot and where she is headed. The other main character, Blaine, got a few tweaks, but he’s been the same since the beginning, really. Blaine is the Han Solo to Isobel’s Luke Skywalker.
These two will drive the plot of the pilot and lead us on a journey into this speculative series.
I started scripting this week. I got about five pages in.
Unfortunately, all of that abruptly stopped when our second and last family dog had to be put down due to extreme physical problems.
We had two dogs, both pure bred Pugs, the first of which we had to put down last year. Since this was our last dog, the experience of letting her go was rather emotional. We had both dogs virtually since they were born. Our first Pug was bought right from the pet store having just been born (I know, don’t lecture me). We had him for fourteen years and had been with our family since my son was three. He developed significant physical and mental problems that resulted in blindness, an inability to walk, and loss of bowel and bladder control. We got our second Pug about two years after the first so they could spend time together. She was a year younger, so she lasted to about fourteen as well. She developed a severe infection in her uterus which started pushing all her organs into her chest that made her lung collapse and filled her chest with fluid.
Both of them, despite their physical problems, soldiered on, attempting to act normal as best they could. Pugs are some of the best “sports.” They roll with the punches well and happily endure their owners silly requests like wearing stupid dog clothes, just for a chance to cuddle with you. No matter what they are loving, gentle, and playful. Pugs are probably the best dogs ever. They are embodiments of love.
We took the weekend to mourn, clean out all her stuff, and clean the house (we all became allergic over the course of owning them). Needless to say the end of the week was crappy and sad. Anyway, I don’t want to beleaguer this. I just wanted to say that scripting will resume this week.