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It’s been a while since I updated this blog, and the reason is simple: I’ve been working on the Uncanny Highway book. I’ve been reorganizing, rewriting, and expanding the text for even greater usability. Right now, my editor/collaborator Wendy is editing the text, and we should be able to finalize it soon. Among other things…

  • There’s now an increased emphasis on the “The Ready Rules of the Road” as the system specifically designed for the The Uncanny Highway, while keeping the “meat” of the book usable with any RPG rules.
  • Some changes have been made to “The Ready Rules of the Road” themselves, which will be reflected in the upcoming release of Play-test Version B. Specifically, characters now have a Capability called “Mojo”. Instead of a “Saving Throw”, one can make a “Mojo roll” to resist Paranormal effects, avoid hazards, survive car crashes, and to avoid getting sick from eating at questionable roadside establishments.
  • I’ve further clarified the step-by-step procedures for preparing (or spontaneously creating) Sections of Highway, and for running game sessions set on the road.
  • I’ve added full support for Solo play on the Uncanny Highway.
  • The 140 named Sections of U.S. Route 28 are now fully laid out in easy-to reference tables, which include the length of each Section, and the predominant terrain the Section passes through.
  • I’ve added a full-color, two-page map of U.S. Route 28, which now also shows where the Uncanny Highway adjoins certain Uncanny State Roads – such as Pennsylvania’s “Hexerie Road”, and the “Megiddo Highway” that runs through eastern Washington state.
  • I’ve added information about regional American food, for an added level of verisimilitude.
  • More historical sidebars have been added.
  • A list of inspirational media has been added.

The basic design of the book will be intended to replicate the look and feel of a 1970s road atlas, with an emphasis on maximum readability and utility at the game table. This is not going to be an “art book” that you are afraid to get a coffee-cup stain on, but rather something that will look better and more authentic with wear – and with some “Make Love Not War’” stickers! I want you to write in the margins, doodle on the pages, and fully own the book. When it comes to physical game books, I am of the opinion that “used is beautiful”. So, we plan on bucking the recent OSR trend of collectible books with fancy bindings. For one thing, we’re planning a spiral-bound version of “The Uncanny Highway” – a binding that some may snobbishly dismiss as decreasing bookshelf-appeal, but which actually allows a book to be opened flat at the table, or folded in half on a page. As much as possible, we want to keep the eventual cost of the physical book as low as feasible. Game books are tools, and tools are meant to be used.

So, that’s where were headed. Or, at least, where we think we’re headed. Because, sometimes, the road decides your destination for you!