Occasionally an author will have a draft where everything goes smoothly. This was one of those books. I can tell that, because there is absolutely nothing hising in my files. No spare magi, no unused spells, no cut monsters, nothing. A perfectly clean write.
To the other authors I’d like to say “Thanks” and “How did we manage that?”
Some of the Ars authors talk about the “metagame”, the game of writing Ars supplements. You can see some hard metagaming from me here. Eboris, which places Paris at the centre of Western Europe’s military and economic power, is a piece of deliberate setting framing. It combines the idea that Paris is as close as Constantinople has to a successor, with the idea that Jerbitons give up studying when they feel they know enough. Oleron was a really different way of dealing with faeries when it first came out, but I knew what I wanted to do with Realms of Power: Faerie, and that I had a dynamite pitch for it ready. Florum defines how the Tremeres respond to the Tytalus tradition of trying to wreck their lives. Confluensis is an interesting mix of high fantasy and everyday life, and that’s where I hope the line goes in future.
The thing is, metagaming is basically an annoyance. It limits what future authors can do. Now, if you are lucky, when you metagame, the other authors go “Hey, that’s great…” and tear off following your idea. In that case you win the metagame, and so do they. If they hate what you’ve done and you play retcon wars, then we all lose, because the quality of a future supplement suffers. So the metagame is an odd mix of co-operation and blatant disregard for the other players.
David’s the line editor, but if you’ve not written for the game you might not understand that one of his biggest roles is to keep the metagame rolling.