Discover more from The Guac Newsletter
New Prelaunch Page Sign Up + Chris Airiau Interview
I hope everything has been going well for you all. Like many, we had a long winter flu-induced lull that lasted a few weeks, but I’m ecstatic to have it all expelled out and have some good old-fashioned normalcy back in our lives.
We have quite a few updates and an awesome interview!
Most importantly our first Primal Quest module is ready to sign up to be notified on launch (Feb.1st Kickstarter Link) and Constant Downpour Remastered will be 100% done besides TKG licensing and printing by the end of the week.
The Guac 008 Docket
A Butterfly Dies Announcement
Constant Downpour Remastered Update
SpicyTuna OpenSource Update
Bio-Drones & Cryo-Clones Interview with Chris Airiau
A Butterfly Dies Announcement
This zine is inspired by Mexican myth and Jose Clemente Orozco’s mural “Man of Fire” and the artistic style developed during the Mexican Muralist Movement.
The zine keeps a few core concepts from the myths and murals and develops alternative mythos from the sources. The adventure itself is set in a fantastical prehistoric Michoacan along the volcanic mountainside of the oyamel forest where the monarchs overwinter today.
You can sign up for the prelaunch here
If you like giant rituals, behemoths on fire, worlds that progress without player interaction, splits in factions, butterflies, hallucinations, and/or Mexican zines, A Butterfly Dies might right for you!
The team on this one is small, I’ll (Marco) handle writing, layout, and illustration. And I’m stoked to say we’re working with Christian Sorrell again! This time for editing.
Constant Downpour Remastered Update
Everything besides the soundbytes will be done by the end of this week! I have about 4x illustrations to finish and some finalizing for the bunker and sun dome maps and finishing touches on layout to finish and we’re good to get final approval from Tuesday Knight Games. After that, we’re off to the printer 🙂
I’m so stoked to have this project progressing on time and getting to the stages where we put it in our partners’ hands.
BackerKit update: Pre-orders and surveys will go live by the end of the month! We will update everyone via KS update and through The Guac around the first week of February.
First announcing the full team
Adventure Writing: Christian Sorrell (Bloodfields at Blackstar Station)
Intro and Toolkit: Marco Serrano (Familiar Faces Vol.1)
Editing: Walton Wood (Lichoma)
Illustrations: Evangeline Gallagher (The Lost Bay)
Layout: Eric Hill (Nirvana on Fire Expanded Edition)
For Mothership 1E launching late April/early May 2023.
Evangeline is churning out incredible artwork so far! Here’s a look of what you can expect.
Outsourced is an important part of our Tunaverse. It introduces Luko Fin Corp, a dubious mercenary outsourcing agency that works under many aliases. Luko Fin Corp works under many aliases and can be used to tie together any number of modules, leading the crew to eventually end up in the Jiri Clovis Bunker…possibly needing to escape.
Luko Fin Corp is the mercenary agency responsible for sending mercs to Venus 3 and therefore ties perfectly into Constant Downpour Remastered as a wonderful follow up. The project also provides a toolkit to build out deadly missions on 3x deadly planets: Celsio-X, Venus 3, and Trace Atko. I’m excited to share more as the launch date gets closer.
Outsourced is also a really important project for SpicyTuna because it is one of the first projects that the majority of the project was designed and written by freelancers outside of SpicyTuna. We’re ecstatic to be working with incredibly talented creators in the space to bring amazing diversity throughout the zines and books that the Serrano brothers couldn’t do on our own.
Writing 70% done, Editing 60% done, Illustrations 40% done, Layout started. Outsourced will be finished far before the launch date, but we want to make sure people have Constant Downpour in their hands before launching our next Mothership module. Plus, as a follow up to CDR, we want people to have time with the fully finished CDR before jumping into the next phase.
SpicyTuna OpenSource Update
This project suffered the most from us being sick. We plan to have at least 1x variable and module Layout Design System ready for public use by the end of February. The plan was to have it done on time for people launching projects during Zine Month and Zinequest, but we hope some creators launching during the event will still find great use of the first SpicyTuna OpenSource design system regardless.
The SpicyTuna OpenSource project will also plan on having a number of other copy and editable Figma files for maps and design ready by the end of February as well.
More detail in February.
Bio-Drones and Cryo-Clones Interview with Chris Airiau
We’re stoked to have been able to interview Chris Airiau for this newsletter. Chris is crowdfunding Bio-Drones & Cryo-Clones on Kickstarter and has been churning out incredible large scope settings over a number of modules during the last 12 months. I love the worldbuilding he’s done and am excited for him to explore more of the Sleeper Crew adventures!
Hi, Chris!! Thank you for being willing to answer a few questions about your upcoming Bio-Drones & Cryo-Clones zine!
1. There are a ton of interesting features in this zine! Massive areas to explore, gathering clues, and the giant monstrosities as an opportunity to break free. Can you tell us about the ramping pressure of the zine and some of the intricacies of the reawakening cycle?
Chris Airiau: The titular creatures, the Bio-Drones & Cryo-Clones are the first push onto the PCs to get their butts moving. They wake up in these impressive ruins, standard stuff, and then these fleshy flying guys buzz in through the light well. What the hell, right?
Whichever way they go, they soon discover the Cryo-Clones, these weirdo mutants lurking around the PCs probably want to avoid, haha.
Not long after, the PCs start mutating. The player characters are the Cryo-Clones. They’re in the middle phase of a cycle: new clones grow in the labs and the mutants wander about.
A timing mechanic, the Bunker Clock, gives the PCs six hours to accomplish what they can before they unalterably change into the mindless mutants they encountered before. After those six hours, the current PCs change, and the new clones decant. The cycle restarts. And this cycle serves a greater purpose.
What’s fun about this adventure are the insanely different resolutions that have come out of this central concept. Some try to fight the clock, some go scorched earth, and others ended up playing two PC groups: one set of “new” clueless Clones and the half-mutated PCs still trying to Solve.
Meanwhile most of the Bio-Drones are more like freaky monkey-bees more so than hard killers, working away in the factories. The threat of Bio-Drone encounters in these areas is another pressure point, as drones build more drones, and work on other nefarious plans set by their master, Dr. Hua Fenwei.
2. I want to ask a little bit about the trapped NPCs. Can you give us a run down of your favorite and some of the interesting happenings that can come out of their interactions?
Chris Airiau: Dictator Chen and Detective Bishr are probably my favorites. They’re sort of the heads of the two factions to the NPCs: Chen loyalists and a Nanshao Co-op investigation team, respectively. The Chen interactions are the endgame pieces, which are always a blast. The Cryo-Clone project is not what it seems. The zine even has some recommendations on how to keep her as an ongoing antagonist.
On the other hand, Bishr is the first NPC players are likely to meet. I love Bishr because he’s an exhausted wreck. He’s been stuck in the Mountain Bunker for a week, watching the PCs and his team mutate into these monstrosities, fed up with the PC clones but still trying to be friendly so he can GTFO. And his role is important should the PCs try to heal themselves.
3. Can you tell us more about your Sleeper Crew adventures and how Bio-Drones & Cryo-Clones fits in the line up?
Chris Airiau: Sure! A little pamphlet duo called The Sleeper Crew was my first Mothership RPG release. At its core it’s a character background generator and setting supplement to help kick-off a new arc, or use its boon/bane character mechanics to spice up any one-shot. These pamphlets are included in both bundle tiers of the Kickstarter.
The idea is that Sleeper Crews are on contractors held on retainer in Extended Duration Cryosleep by the PCs’ benefactor, only to be awakened when shit hits the fan (i.e. basically any Mothership module).
There’s not a “line-up” per se, as all Sleeper Crew adventures can stand independently. I wanted to create an adventure to support this pamphlet setting. Then I got to thinking, How can I subvert this? What kind of adventures turn this idea into a horror itself? My first answer to those questions is Bio-Drones & Cryo-Clones.
I have a second Sleeper Crew adventure in the works, well into its first draft! And a third Android-merchant sandbox idea I’m sketching out.
4. Lastly, I want to ask about other ChrisAir Games releases. You’ve been turning out a ton of pamphlet adventures + smaller zines since mid-2022 and have a number available as add-ons for the KS campaign. My favorite aspect of your design is the deep interconnectedness of the zines and exploration of adjacent areas.
Can you tell us about a few of the Chris Air releases, where to find them, and any thoughts on creating larger settings for adventures to be played in?
Chris Airiau: Thanks! I guess that interconnection is the SF writer in me. I really love building lived-in worlds, and creating the problems for those places. Most of that drive has to do with the rigor of verisimilitude I learned writing (and reading) lots of science fiction.
The way larger settings manifest this in a game boils down to “factions,” and giving NPCs within those factions problems whose resolutions directly impact the setting. Additionally, the environment, naturally in a space horror game, poses its own complications. The players’ job is to navigate all those problems. As a game designer, my drive is to provide a highly interactive setting which provokes players into exploring how their characters deal with and resolve these series of conflicts.
It’s true I’ve been very busy, haha. I feel lucky to be a part of the Mothership community and the 3rd Sector Collective. Seeing all the effort and love for the game motivates me to create new and wild stuff for Mothership.
One major project for the backend of 2022 was the Cerdo Cycle, a set of four pamphlets published by RV Games. These were borne from beta-testing Planet Designer, so thank you Marco! Two adventures are set on the ever-raining jungle world of Cerdo’s Garden, and the others on the orbiting space station, Cerdo’s Flower. Digital copies of the Cerdo Cycle are available on Drive-Thru RPG, and physical versions are coming soon!
For ChrisAir Games, the big projects were my four submissions to the Voices of the Void lo-fi zine Jam. August was a busy month, haha. I’ll be releasing the digital versions on itch over the month of January. People can catch those by following me on twitter @ChrisAiriau,or directly on itch at chrisair.itch.io.
And of course, Bio-Drones & Cryo-Clones launches on Kickstarter on February 1st, 10am EST
Thank you for reading! I hope you have a beautiful day!!
Till next time!