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Since I've been asked often enough, I thought I might as well post this to the forum. It's something I put together for someone else interested in breaking into freelancing and who asked me for some pointers.

I'll start by admitting my break into "freelancehood" wasn't very typical. I boasted a huge battering ram to knock FanPro's doors open: the EuroSB project, which I coordinated and wrote with a whole bunch of talented folks for a very long time before it ever saw print (more than 5 years from first post on the Deep Resonance Forums to print). That being said, I think the approach I took is ultimately the one everyone takes. I submitted a Proposal exactly as described in the FanPro Writer Guidelines for a full sourcebook. I was surprised when FanPro got back to me and said they were interested… the hitch was the first opening in the development schedule was almost a year down the line and we had to wait. While I waited for Shadows of Europe to come to development, I decided I might as well take a crack at submitting a proposal for Lofwyr when I heard Dragons of the Sixth World was open for submissions (ambitious, me?). Rob seemed to like it and the rest, as they say, is history.

So what can I tell you that’ll help you on your way? First off, I suggest everyone carefully read the official Writer Submission Guidelines, especially the part explaining what actually constitutes a "Proposal” as this is the single biggest flaw I've seen in most submissions.

Let me spell this out: FanPro does not want a finished draft (manuscript). What we want is a Proposal — which the SR Developer will study, take apart and finally (if approved) ask you if you're interested in doing it his way, or in freelancer parlance, "to spec".

Keep in mind the Developer has a vision and plans for both the setting and future products. As the guidelines state: “We have a specific development vision for Shadowrun's future. Many ideas, concepts and the directions of our plotlines have not been hinted at in published products. The closer your proposal fits into our plans for story arcs and associated game products, the more likley it is to be accepted. The developer has the final say on whether or not a specific proposal idea fits into the vision FanPro has for Shadowrun.”

Contrary to popular belief, there is a production schedule and it’s mapped out as far out as 2-3 years ahead. Story-wise there is some flexibility, but ultimately the stuff to include/seed has to fit in the context of the books that are planned. Looking back, we managed to pull this off with System Failure, where the setup and tie-ins are spread-out over a number of apparently unrelated books.

You should also consider the “format” of what you’re actually pitching. At this stage FanPro is still working on getting out the advanced rule books for SR4 (Street Magic, Arsenal, Augmentation, Unwired and eventually a Runner’s Companion). Interspersed among these will be some setting and campaign books (Runner Havens, Emergence, Corporate Enclaves, Feral Cities, etc). That makes for a pretty full schedule for the forseeable future…

Many people still don’t realize that traditional adventures in general sell pretty weakly (as compared to sourcebooks), most have an inbuilt limited target audience (GMs) and generally aren’t the most effective products in terms of cost/return. This is one reason FanPro prefers setting/campaign books, track campaigns, and plot development/event books to the one-shot type adventures you saw in first edition. The truth is that format just doesn’t sell that well these days. The same applies to one location setting books. Chalk it up to a peculiarity of the Shadowrun fanbase or the way distribution works for small publishers.

Anyway, established freelancers get an edge in submitting because they receive an "Open Call for Submissions” notice from the Developer for each new book that goes into pre-development and outlines what he envisions for that project (though organization and contents are still very fluid and subject to change) and what he'd like to see in the way of proposals. If you're not an “established” freelancer you send stuff in blind and keep your fingers crossed (everyone I know did). Keeping your ear to the ground about future projects helps significantly (that’s how I heard about DotSW while waiting for SoE to come up). To help prospective submitters out, I’ll review what’s been officially announced regarding the release schedule at the end of this post.

You also need to realize that it is unlikely the Developer will trust an untried newcomer with something as critical as writing an entire book. Consequently, you’re more likely to have more success pitching for a part/a chapter of a book than for the grand multipart epic or ultracool location book you’ve thought out (SoE not withstanding).

Assuming you’ve taken in all of the above and you still want to give it a shot, let’s get back to the submission process.

A Proposal goes far beyond a sample of your writing or a "working draft". Follow the Submission Guidelines as closely as possible. That means including: a detailed outline, a written summary, a pitch, and a writing sample. To those I'll add, if you're pitching for rules, outline your ideas for mechanics and how you'd handle things.

Sometimes the Developer likes the contents of the proposal and the draft you end up being asked to write essentially follows what you would have written anyway, but sometimes he will want huge modifications and an entirely different approach (though he likes your writing style, or your ideas, or some mix of the two). Both happen equally often. Though some people just aren’t comfortable with the latter, you have to remember this is FanPro’s sandbox and they’re letting you play in it.

Eventually, if you are picked to write something, you will be contacted with a proposed fee, some draft deadlines and wordcount targets, and the proposal you submitted with detailed notes by the Developer (for you to incorporate in the writing/drafting phase of development).

Development is broken down into several stages: discussion, primary writing, revision and discussion, rewriting and final drafts. The process is pretty organic and everyone working on the book gets to exchange ideas and comments—though final say on new ideas and changes is still up to the Developer and the writer decides how he writes things up. It goes without saying that you are expected to stick to the wordcount and development directions the developer gives you at the start of the project. Deadlines can be pretty tight, and the revision stage can be a killer since these can mean anything from some minor tweaks to a full rewrite. For example: my original draft for the fiction section of the Lofwyr chapter in DotSW was written entirely as a transcript of a phone conversation between Mina Graff Beloit and Johnny Spinrad. There's still a bit of that left in the printed version, but it was (rightly) decided that a two-person conversation taking up 10000 words was just too boring for the reader. The Developer suggested I change the "Voice" of my piece, but leave a bit of the conversation in for "atmosphere". What that entailed was an almost complete rewrite for my Final Draft.

Here are some things you should keep an eye out for that really make or break a proposal:
  • Revise thoroughly – Make sure your proposal and writing samples have no spelling or grammar mistakes and they show off your writing skills. Also try to keep within the wordcount the submission guidelines suggest since this shows that you can write within space constraints and still pull off your concepts.
  • Original ideas – By this I don't mean new powers or critters or whatever, but entirely new ideas to the SR Universe both in terms of setting and background as well as rules. I got my SSG gig essentially because I proposed a bunch of crazy offbeat ideas that I felt played up the feel of different countries. Jong made his breakthrough when his Orxploitation concept was picked for SOTA64.
  • Separate fact from fiction – A major mistake all newbies make (I know I did) is failing to distinguish what is essentially game mechanics and what is fiction/in character content. Do NOT use game mechanics terms in the fiction (either proposal or draft). See the Magic chapter of SOTA63 as an example. The fiction dodges what are metagame references such as spell power and damage codes for Scorching, but this all appears in the relevant Game Info section.
  • Don't try to change the fundamentals– if you're proposing something with rules make sure they are fully compatible with current systems—this entails a familiarity with the systems. All new material should be retroactively compatible.
  • Have a thorough knowledge of the SR universe - This means both rules and setting. The Proposal guidelines mention that you should point out what your proposal adds to the game line and how it ties to existing books. This is very important. Sell us how your ideas will add to the setting. This is where "Thorough knowledge" kicks in. It doesn't mean just knowing where all the previous rules and setting references are, but also how they can be integrated with what you are proposing to make your stuff even more interesting.
  • Know your stuff - Another major mistake people make is oversimplification and simple lack of research. (ie. writing about a Social Adept means very little, on the other hand a Cornish or Aesir Bard resonates with the setting). When writing SR fiction make sure you research your references, the material should feel as "realistic" as possible. It should feel as if is is grounded in the "real world".
  • Take Things One Step at a Time - the developer is not going to hand out the responsibility of writing one of the 5 sourcebooks/adventures that he puts out a year (and which he needs to turn a profit to keep the company going) to an unknown. It's too big a risk. He doesn't know how you write under pressure, how skilled you are, how well you take his demands and suggestions, etc. Prove yourself with smaller stuff and build up to that level. Submit for a section of a book.
  • Get the "Voice" right – explained in the Writer Submission Guidelines, but I would like to underline how important the Voice is. It is what makes the writing "credible". The Voice can't know too much (ie. How the frag does a DesertWars merc know what's going on in Wuxing’s R&D department?) or too little (ie. The shadowtalk is doing so much of the work of the main text, that you wonder why Fastjack bothered to ask this "specialist" to write in the first place...). It must contribute to the atmosphere of the piece, etc. You get the idea. With SR4 FanPro has introduced Jackpoint as a replacement to Shadowland. Jackpoint has a select group of members but brings in specialists to speak/write about specialized topics, this complicates chosing voices and makes writing all the more demanding.
I think that about covers it. Any questions you may think off post them and I’ll answer within the limits of my abilities. As to the release schedule, here’s what’s been officially announced:

Street Magic (out)
Emergence (in post-development)
Arsenal (in post-development)
Augmentation (in writing)
Corp Enclaves (in writing)
Unwired (in pre-development)

Further down the line (tentative titles and in no particular order):
Running Wild
Runner’s Companion
Feral Cities
Awakened Haunts
Cities of Intrigue
Corp Guide 2070.

-- Peter Taylor (aka Synner)
Kyoto Kid
...Thank you very much.

Very informative. The pointers near the end are especially helpful.

Since I am still running in the "Pre-Crash" era, would it be possible to get a copy of the unused Balkans chapter material? Would be interesting to compare notes.

One question, I know that other game systems sometimes allow for licensing of third party material (eg. "for use with Shadowrun 3rd ed."). Is this something that Fanpro might do?

BTW, SoE is one of my more favourite sourcebooks. It was a big help for my last campaign along with the cultural sections form the old London Sourcebook.

One question, I know that other game systems sometimes allow for licensing of third party material (eg. "for use with Shadowrun 3rd ed."). Is this something that Fanpro might do?

I don't think so. The OGL was a very special case, and while it was the most financially successful decision that any trademark holder of D&D ver did, it was ultimately and supremely grounded in the position that D&D holds in the industry.

By creating a 3rd party market for D&D related material, WotC was able to get people who would otherwise be writing material for 3rd party games to put more D&D books on shelves instead. 3rd party material ate slightly into WotC profits, but propelled them to an even more dominating position in terms of market share. They killed Palladium. They nearly killed Whitewolf too.

But if you aren't the market giant, letting other people spam bookshelves with stuff for your game doesn't push other companies off ofthose shelves - it pushes your material off of shelves.

I think what Kyoto Kid meant was not an "open licence", but rather a joint licenced product. Probably along the lines where he purchased a limited licence for the one specific product using the Shadowrun setting/rules that he would self-publish, advertise and sell, and, I assume, give FanPro a royalty or percentage of the sales.

I know some other publishers do this. Hero Games for one. It allows them to expand their universe (in a controled way) without any of the risks, costs or headaches trying to produce books that they know will have a limited appeal to their general audience, but might still be of intrest. They still have final say and control over what gets published, but without having to pay for the costs (but in turn they also get less of the profit if it gets major sales).

For example, I agree to pay FanPro $500 and 10% of sales, and they let me self-publish a setting book detailing the incredibly dangerous and wild life of professional dog sled racers in 2070. It is then up to me to write, publish (in book or most likley PDF form) and advertise this book for sale. If I am able to sell 10 copies at $20 each I have to give FanPro $20. (and I'm still in the hole $420) smile.gif
QUOTE (Kyoto Kid)
Since I am still running in the "Pre-Crash" era, would it be possible to get a copy of the unused Balkans chapter material? Would be interesting to compare notes.

I seem to recall Synner mentioning that some or all of the information was located in Wiki format somewhere, although whether that was some private thing or the actual Shadowrun Wiki I don't know.
QUOTE (Kyoto Kid @ Nov 10 2006, 02:07 AM)
One question, I know that other game systems sometimes allow for licensing of third party material (eg. "for use with Shadowrun 3rd ed.").  Is this something that Fanpro might do?

FanPro is the license holder for all Shadowrun RPG-related products, and I think its pretty safe to say at this point that there is no interest in sub-licensing third party material even if that were possible under the agreement with Wizkids (which to be honest, I'm not sure it is). Frank has made some good points and there are others too. FanPro is pretty liberal in terms of free-distribution fan-made web material though.

BTW, SoE is one of my more favourite sourcebooks.  It was a big help for my last campaign along with the cultural sections form the old London Sourcebook.

SoE took a long time in the making and it shows. I was lucky enough to co-write the UK chapter with a native Brit (I'm an ex-pat) and I think we did a good job of shaking up existing canon and introducing new elements to that particular setting (if I do say so myself).

QUOTE (Fortune)
I seem to recall Synner mentioning that some or all of the information was located in Wiki format somewhere, although whether that was some private thing or the actual Shadowrun Wiki I don't know.

Nah, that was me clearing Flak to post the notes I sent him ages ago to the Sixth World Wiki. My computer has died on me a couple of times since and currently I just don't have the time to go search through my backups to find the original rough drafts.
QUOTE (TheRedRightHand)
I think what Kyoto Kid meant was not an "open licence", but rather a joint licenced product. Probably along the lines where he purchased a limited licence for the one specific product using the Shadowrun setting/rules that he would self-publish, advertise and sell, and, I assume, give FanPro a royalty or percentage of the sales.

Monte Cook did this with his Arcana Evolved line. He has a couple 3rd parties that produce licensed products.

Problem is that Arcana Evolved is a niche line of an rpg, so writing for it is writing 3rd party stuff of a niche line of an rpg. AKA not very profitable.

Though rave reviews are nice....
QUOTE (Synner)
Jong made his breakthrough when his Orxploitation concept was picked for SOTA64.

Synner, I still have my original proposals for Orxploitation and Sports. Think I could post them here?
Please do. smile.gif
This seems like a better place for this than the other thread, so I moved it here.

My Street Magic Proposal:


This is a proposal for writing a portion of Street Magic, or a subsequent manuscript, in order to include rules and background text to incorporate magical traditions from previous editions of the Shadowrun game. In keeping with the 4th edition design specification of tradition simplicity, all previous traditions (Wu Jen, Voodoo, Insect Shamanism, Blood Magic, Toxic Magic, Paths of the Wheel Magic, Fairy Magic, Druidism, Manitou Shamanic Hermiticism, Wicca, etc.) are to be collectively handled with the minimum of new spirits and the minimum of new rules. The design intent is for the feel of traditions previously available in the Sahdowrun universe to come through without forcing anyone to learn many new rules or wade through pages of new spirit types.

Outline (I am prepared to write any or all of the following sections):

Different Paths, Different Ways - New Spirits and Conjuring Styles:
The Impact of Five Yellow
Getting Helped
A Report on the Blending of Auras in Damballah Worshipers
New Rules:
New Spirit Powers
New Spirit Types
The World is Dangerous - Magical Threats:
I Do What Must Be Done
A Retrospective of the Bug-Related Events of Chicago
Taking Your Life in Their Hands
New Rules:
Magic Threats
Specific Threat Traditions
In a Nutshell - New Traditions

That's the section of the Table of Contents as you'd see it in MitS, but here's the breakdown of what that all means in a bit more detail:

Different Paths, Different Ways:
1. The Impact of Five Yellow
-A first person story from the perspective of a Wu Jen, who describes the tradition's perspective. Most especially centering on the uses of Spirits of Wood (Plant Spirits). Can be expanded into a Shadowlands-style matrix discussion.

2. Getting Helped
-A story from the perspective of an onlooker who watches a Leyak medicine man from Bali calling forth aid from Ancestor, Worker, and Warrior spirits through the power of his own Sakti. Can be expanded into a Shadowlands-style matrix discussion.

3. A Report on the Blending of Auras in Damballah Worshipers
-A Thaumaturgical Scientific report about Houngans in the Carribean League. A description of how Possession Traditions look to physical and astral examination. Can be expanded into into a Shadowlands-style matrix discussion.

In a Nutshell:
1. Tradition Writeups.
-Using the rules presented here in MitS and SR4, all previous traditions can be constructed without any special cases or special rules. Samples will give a couple of paragraphs of descriptions and full rules write-ups for the following:
Berserkers*, Druids, Houngans, Leyak*, Manitou Hermits, Mythos Cultists*, Path Followers, Psychics, Wiccans.
*These traditions were not actually written up in the previous editions with playable game mechanics, only mentioned in passing or in part. They are being rotated into a full description because they fill a niche - Berserkers use Possession with pretty standard spirits, and the Leyak use mostly new spirits with the standard conjuring techniques. Or just because they were mentioned in Awakenings without any rules and are really easy to generate rules for in SR4. Since the SR4 tradition writeups take 2 paragraphs instead of 5+ pages, the SR4 Magic Book can afford to contain a much more comprehensive list than previous editions.

1.1 New Rules: Possession.
-Rules for Possession Traditions (Voodoo, Insect Totems, Bearserkers, etcetera.), all of these traditions work exactly the same in 4th edition, and the possession option replaces the "Materialization" power on all spirits conjured. This makes a Houngan or Wasp Shaman able to have their signature ability (the ability to put a spirit into a human), without making them overpowered and without having to write up a lot of extra spirit types.

2. Spirits
2.1 New Spirit Types
-Creature Write-ups for four new spirits: Ancestor Spirits, Plant Spirits, Warrior Spirits, Worker Spirits (sufficient for all previous traditions under SR4 rules). The 9 Great Loa and Work Loa collectively become: Ancestor Spirits, Warrior Spirits, Worker Spirits, Man Spirits, and Water Spirits.

Ancestor Spirits:
B F+3 A F-1 R Fx2 S F+1 C F I F L F W EDG F ESS F M Init Fx3 IP 2
Astral Init/IP: F x 2, 3
Movement: 10/25
Skills: Assensing, Astral Combat, Counterspelling, Dodge, Perception, Ritual Spellcasting, Unarmed Combat.
Powers: Accident, Astral Form, Confusion, Divination, Guard, Magical Guard, Materialization, Sapience, Search
Optional Powers: Animal Control, Concealment, Enhanced Senses (pick two: Hearing, Low-Light vision, Thermographic vision, or Smell), Fear, Influence, Mind Link.

Plant Spirits:
B F+3 A F-2 R Fx2 S F+4 C F I F L F W EDG F ESS F M Init Fx3 IP 2
Astral Init/IP: F x 2, 3
Movement: 5/15
Skills: Assensing, Astral Combat, Counterspelling, Dodge, Exotic Ranged Weapon, Perception, Unarmed Combat.
Powers: Accident, Astral Form, Concealment, Engulf, Fear, Guard, Magical Guard, Materialization, Sapience
Optional Powers: Confusion, Movement, Noxious Breath, Search, Venom

Warrior Spirits:
B F+1 A F+2 R Fx3 S F+2 C F I F L F W EDG F ESS F M Init Fx4 IP 2
Astral Init/IP: F x 2, 3
Movement: 15/40
Skills: Assensing, Astral Combat, Blades, Clubs, Dodge, Exotic Ranged Weapon, Perception, Unarmed Combat.
Powers: Accident, Astral Form, Fear, Guard, Materialization, Pain Resistance, Sapience
Optional Powers: Confusion, Elemental Attack, Flight, Movement, Natural Weaponry (DV = Force), Skill a Warrior Spirit may be given an additional Combat Skill instead of an optional power, Venom

Worker Spirits:
B F A F R Fx2 S F+2 C F I F L F W EDG F ESS F M Init Fx3 IP 2
Astral Init/IP: F x 2, 3
Movement: 10/25
Skills: Artisan, Assensing, Astral Combat, Dodge, Perception, Unarmed Combat.
Powers: Accident, Astral Form, Materialization, Movement, Psychokinesis, Sapience, Search.
Optional Powers: Binding, Concealment, Flight, Influence, Enhanced Senses (pick two: Hearing, Low-Light Vision, Thermographic Vision, or Smell), Skill a Worker Spirit may be given an additional Technical or Physical Skill instead of an optional power.

2.2. New Spirit Powers
-Rules for new spirit powers: Divination, Engulf (for plant spirits), Magical Guard, Mind Link, and Possession.

New Powers:
Divination: Type: M * Action: 12 hours Magic * Range: Self * Duration: Instant * A critter with the Divination power has a limited ability to gain insight into current and future events concerning a single individual. The procedure is the same as for Ritual Sorcery (SR4, page 174), except that only the critter can participate in the ritual (meaning that if the target is assensable by the critter the ritual fails no spotter can be used). At the end of the Ritual, the critter is able to give answers to questions according to the number of hits the critter gets on a Magic + Ritual Spellcasting test:
Hits Results (For the question “What does the next month hold for me?”):
Zero (or a Glitch) Incorrect Answers or gibberish.
1+ Very Vague (Difficulty at the beginning and sorrow.)
4+ Vague (Your old enemies are rapidly approaching you once again.)
6+ General (The run will hurt you tremendously.)
8+ Specific (Your Mr. Johnson is taking bribes from Yakashima)
10+ Very Specific (Mr. Johnson is picking up his bribe this evening, a hit squad is already on its way.)

Engulf Plant Engulf enwraps the victim in brambles, vines, and thorns. The victim suffers stun damage.

Magical Guard: Type: M * Action: Free * Range: LOS * Duration: Instant * A critter with the Magical Guard power can counterspell spells as a magician can. This power does nothing if a creature does not have the Counterspelling skill. A critter with the Magical Guard power can also attempt to dispel spells.

Mind Link: Type: M * Action: Simple * Range: LOS * Duration: Sustained * A critter with the Mind Link power can open and maintain mental communication with another sapient creature. The critter can maintain a number of Mind Links equal to its Magic attribute. If multiple sapients are engaged in the Mind Link of the same critter, they may communicate freely with each other as well as the original critter.

Possession: A Possessing Spirit is merged with a physical body and is constantly Dual Natured. A spirit merged with a metahuman has Physical Attributes equal to the sum of the spirit's Force and the character's attributes (this uses the augmented caps of the spirit - which is to say no caps). Furthermore, the combined entity has the ability of Immunity to Normal Weapons. The mental attributes of the combined entity are not added together simply use the mental attributes of the dominant entity. The combined entity uses the Edge of the host, and the Magic Attribute of whichever is larger (host or Spirit). The combined entity can use all of the spirit's powers and skills, and all of the skills and abilities of the host. If the Spirit is disrupted, the physical body suffers incapacitating damage, or the spirit is no longer able to stay in the body for any other reason, it vanishes to the metaplanes. A possessed creature has 2 initiative passes unless it is under an effect that would give it more than two (in which case, use that number of initiative passes instead).

3. Threats - The World is Dangerous
3.1. I Do What Must Be Done
-A confessional by a Toxic Avenger, interspersed with a discussion of Toxic Poisoners, and a description of how those traditions work (similarities and differences). This is to be aimed at new players of SR4. Can be made as an Amazonian memo leaked to the Shadowlands discussion.

3.2. A Retrospective of the Bug-Related Events of Chicago.
-A quick historical discussion bringing SR4 players up to speed on the Bug City timeline, as well as an overview of the Insect Spirit Threat and the differences and similarities between different Insect Totems. Can be made into an Ares memo leaked to the Shadowlands discussion.

3.3. Taking Your Life in Their Hands
-A description of Blood Magic, and a discussion of human sacrifice as a power source. Can be made into an Aztechnology memo leaked to Shadowlands discussion. This can have as much or as little tie-in to the "horrors" metaplotline as required.

3.4. Threat Rules
Rules for Threat Magicians generally. Including the powers and limitations that Magical Threats gain for themselves and their spirits. Magical Threats will retain their Threat Rating from previous editions, and that Threat Rating allows Threat Magicians to add extra optional powers to their spirits. Furthermore, each Threat Tradition has a specific list of extra powers they can put on any spirit. And lastly, each Threat Tradition has a flaw that applies to all of their spirits. This way we can represent Toxic Spirits, Ant Spirits, and Blood Spirits without having to give them a whole new five spirit Write-up for every single threat tradition.

3.4.1. Specific Threat Traditions:
-Blood Magic Threats, Insect Threats, Toxic Avenger Threats, Toxic Poisoner Threats.

Why you should go with me for this portion of the product:
I have a really good grasp of game mechanics in general and Shadowrun's in specific. I have an authoritative and compelling writing style that persuades the reader to accept the suspension of disbelief necessary to enjoy either the science fiction/fantasy that makes up the game's backstory or the game rules themselves. I've been following Shadowrun avidly since 1st edition, and have a working knowledge of the whole plot line all the way back to when Ghouls were described as being an alternate form of goblinization.

But the really important reason why you should go with me is because I can write a cogent set of rules that is entirely consistent with the rules in the basic book of SR4 that completely represents all of the magical traditions and threats that have been used in Shadowrun over the last 15 years - and do it in five pages. That means that a fourteen year old boy who was born after first edition SR came out could pick up the section of the book I will write for you and understand how Shadowrun Houngans work in less than 10 minutes. And that leaves room for inclusion of story pieces that will make people want to put those extra magical styles into their game, whether as a new player to Shadowrun 4, or an old hat who wants to know what happened to their Wu Jen character after the crash.

And I can do it all without overpowering the "new" traditions. That means that noone is going to resent the people who start Druids and Houngans while they are left playing characters who are "just a hermetic".

- Frank Trollman


As you can see, it changed a substantial amount from that point to the final product, for both good and ill. Also you can see segments that ended up appearing in other sections that I did not write, just as you can see the hands of others in the chapter I ended up with. That's collaborative writing for you.

I'll repeat what I said elsewhere: Frank's proposal doesn't really follow the guidelines, and didn't really take into account that the Developer normally maps out a rulebook section by section before it is ever open to submissions. But it did cover many of the bases we were interested in for Street Magic, and what's more, I was familiar with his ideas and nudged things along.

To reiterate, under normal circumstances, stick to the submission guidelines. FanPro posts them because that's what we want/need to see.

Also note that different people have different approaches to the "written summary" part of their submissions. Mine tend to be very detailed, to the point that I can use it as a direct blueprint of my draft writing.

Here's my original pitch for Lofwyr in DotSW:

By Peter Taylor
Contributions: Lars Blumenstein, Tobias Wolter

Submission proposal for “Dragons” sourcebook.

The truth is submitting for Lofwyr is a major headache.

Simply put, Lofwyr is possibly the most influential and devious being in the Sixth World. Only the naive believe his power extends only to the corporate arena and yet many people still do exactly that. With the possible exception of the late President Dunklezahn, among all dragonkind Lofwyr has taken best to the realities of the Sixth World and used them to his advantage. Unlike Dunklezahn, this edge doesn’t come from an understanding of the metahuman mind, but rather from a unique vision of the webs of influence and control underlying metahuman relations in the 21st century. A nice analogy would be a chess grandmaster possessing a mind capable of deducing the myriad permutations and co-processing his moves on multiple ‘boards’ at the same time. In fact, the Chess theme is a very appropriate metaphor for Lofwyr’s game, since he appears as one of those grand masters who plays multiple opponents at the same time with a skill that beggars understanding and a perfect willingness to sacrifice pawns to take the queen.

Whilst others of his peers have taken to establishing and extending their territories and domains through specific areas of interest and influence (often reflecting their personal and local understanding and conceptions of power), Lofwyr’s claw marks are indelibly etched on so many different levels of intrigue that an overview of his interests poses a major problem. Or it would, if there wasn’t already an informal alliance of Lofwyr’s enemies that has been pooling information to best oppose his plans.

As the saying goes “the enemy of my enemy…”. The alliance between these players is purely circumstantial, they have different and often conflicting agendas, but through Mina Graff-Beloit they have decided to share (part) of their knowledge with each other to better oppose Lofwyr’s growing power. Originally the alliance was made up of four individuals – Nachtmeister, Wilhelmina Beloit, Monseigneur Beauville (the Grand master of either the NSOJ or the New Templars) and Johnny Spinrad (another major EuroSB player), and a fifth player, possibly representing the IEs in TT would be interesting. None of these would be addressed by name, but instead would be noted in shorthand as N., Sp., and Monseigneur. Clues would be given as to who they might be in shadowtalk, and Nachtmeister should be especially evident. However Spinrad, the Monseigneur and the possible fifth player would only be identified in the Game Information section as introduction to SoE plots.

Careful analysis already reveals connections between all of the above. Mina’s son works for Proteus which in turn was one of Nachtmeisters’ major projects (according to FanPro D), Johnny Spinrad believes he was almost destroyed by Lofwyr and was at one point engaged to Mina’s daughter (from EuroSB provisional drafts), both Mina and Johnny have less obvious ties to the RCC through conservative factions in Germany and southern Europe and we can make these as far-reaching as we want.

The premise of this submission is that one (of several) reasons for the Dragon Dogfight and Lofwyr eliminating Nachtmeister was an attempt to decapitate the ‘alliance’ and send a message to the other plotters (other reasons include a hidden power struggle for control of the blooming NEEC, the Proteus plots related to FanPro D's Shockwaves, the FBV’s subverting of SK assets, etc).

While watching the outcome of the vicious draconic fight on the trid on Z.O., Mina Graff-Beloit suffers a massive stroke. The stoke immobilizes and places her on life support, but she lives on for a few months. This situation creates quite some strain on the Z.O. and the C.C. since Mina’s entire fortune hangs in the balance. Despite the paralysis and increasing bouts of incoherence, Mina manages to set her affairs in order through DNI. She dies just a couple of months prior to the “Dragons” date and the main text of the submission is essentially either her “deadman’s drop” to the only co-conspirator she believes she can trust, Johnny Spinrad (because his principal motivation is the same – revenge), or her way of screwing with the Dragon one last time by making what she knows public.

We have two options as to how the file is made public, both have their pros and cons:
a) The deadman’s drop file was amongst the stuff Deitrich Beloit received after his mother’s death. He chickened out of the family feud by not passing it directly on to Spinrad (and so possibly ticking off Lofwyr) but by giving the dragon fair warning the info was out there. He handed over the file to Capt. Chaos and the Nexus (or Helix) crew for publication knowing full well it would reach both of them and washed his hands of the matter. His sister however is another matter entirely.
b) Mina has the file dumped directly on the Helix when she dies since she believes the ‘plotters’ are all compromised and this is the way to cause maximum disruption.

The information collected from the various conspirators makes up the bulk of the text and serves as an reference for other interests and Sixth World players that might be involved in Lofwyr's actions.

A recap of Lofwyr's history reveals that he spent the first three decades after the Awakening quietly and carefully setting the cornerstones of an empire without equal. Using pawns, he manipulated and staked out his domain, only rising into the spotlight when this would serve his purposes and when his power could no longer be challenged. When Lofwyr came forward as the majority owner of BMW and several European megas and consolidated them into what would become the Saeder-Krupp empire, he had been secretly active for decades behind the scenes. Cautiously his grasp extended through shattered Germany, making great gains during the EuroWar years and the recession that followed. All the while, like a chess grandmaster, playing various boards at the same time, fencing powerful and influential opponents in the shadows – Nachtmeister, the Vatican, the Black Lodge and his persistent fiend Alamaise – carving out his private domain with the persistence and strategy of a great general.

Unlike many of his fellows, Lofwyr seems to have understood the amount of power that lies in the hands of the common man in this new age. He tested the resolve of individuals through multidimensional plots and by making them jump through hoops they don’t even know he put there. The European Restoration was a hoax, a trial run, to test the waters for his great project which only began to take shape in 2060 almost 30 years later.

Personality: The ultimate chessmaster. Everyone and everything is a piece in his game. It is played on so many levels that only a dragon’s intellect can keep track. The plays and feints that he makes are subtle and obscure to anyone but himself. Lost in the intricacies of his plots and counterplots few are the people who actually think to ask who is he playing against? Maybe some of his peers might shed some light on the matter, wondering if Lofwyr hasn’t lost himself in the complexity of his own game and his recent loss of direction can be attributed to his losing sight of the forest for the trees. Others, those who know him better, might suggest he has been overwhelmed by proximity with the Crystal of Memories, that he has developed the draconic equivalent of foci addiction to this immensely powerful artifact. Some might wonder if this was not what Dunklezahn intended all along...

Lair: Saeder-Krupp Headquarters, Rhine-Rhur Megaplex, German Alliance. Others across Europe and he retains the princely estate in Tir Tairngire despite having renounced the Office.

History: Lofwyr awakened in 2012 at Mäuseberg (which means “mountain of mice”) near the Dauner Maare in the Eifel region (now Great-Principality of Westrhine-Luxenburg). The Mäuserberg no longer exists. It was destroyed during the eruption of the Eifel volcanoes in 2042. But S-K later bought the land together with prospecting rights in ‘59. They did not prospect anything until Halley’s Comet became visible to the naked eye in Nov. 2061 when Krupp Industries started mining Orichalcum. Some interesting trivia is that there is another mountain in the Eifel range, called Goldberg (gold-mountain). It still exists and has been the property of S-K since 2036. More interesting though is that the village of Ormont near Goldberg has had a mountain and a dragon on the village’s coat of arms for centuries.

Contrary to other dragons in the ADL (especially Feuerschwinge who destroyed everything coming his way right after his own awakening), Lofwyr did not fight or rampage across the land, instead talking his way right through German military forces (although it's suspected the displays of magic he employed might have had some bearing on the matter too). Months later, for as yet unknown reasons, he came to Nebelherr's aid and fought the recently awakened great dragon Kaltenstein on his way into the SOX. Note- the apparent death of Kalenstein was added to the FASA version of Germany sourcebook (DidS1) while in German canon Kalenstein would become a shadowplayer with an eco-agenda—I've been exchanging ideas with the German freelancer Lars Blumenstein and we've come up with what we think is an interesting and cool answer to the apparent contradiction which doesn't require retconning.

THE BOARDS (Current Agendas)
Lofwyr uses agents to influence all aspects of European and Middle Eastern life from the media to state policy, through their contacts in Europe’s high society and jetsetters. Primary amongst these are Claudia Romanov and Saied Bey. An important element of this behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing is “The Grand Tour”. The concept is drawn from mixed sources. The most basic are of course the jet-setting country hopping lifestyle of today's eurorich and celebrities, and the idea that the Corporate elites of 2062 have realized that the European Matrix communications are compromised by Lofwyr's/S-K's intel gathering listening posts (which assumes that SK has the 206x equivalent of data interception abilities currently attributed to the FBI or US Secret Service, and is suggested in Target: Matrix see below) but that the thing has actually been subverted by Lofwyr through Claudia Romanov and other agents.
Since the highest echelons of corporate and high society are naturally aware that Matrix comms are often compromised it becomes far more important to conduct important business face to face.
(Before going any further I want to explain that historically the Grand Tour was an actual staple of European high society from the mid-18th century through to the early 20th century. Although it's route changed through the years it started in France went down to the Cote d'Azure and then down the West coast of Italy and across to the Adriatic ending in Austria/Trieste. It would last anywhere from 2-3 years (!) and the nobles and later the bourgeois would take their families to see and learn the ruins of the Ancient world.)
Anyway back to SR. Let’s say that the Grand Tour has 2 seasons, and started sometime during the 40's when (apparently) a bunch of rich lay-abouts and jetsetters started organizing a month long traveling party that basically lasted most of Summer vacation. It starts up in the ACE with some of the harder partiers and hangers-on kicking off the festivities. The party then moves on to Nice and gains some bigger personalities and jetsetters. From there it goes on to Spinrad's New Monaco, then Rome, Venice finally Vienna. In the mid-Fifties things got so interesting (and useful) for the parties involved that the Winter Season was added starting in Paris for the final Ball, running through Tyrol and Switzerland, Rome and finishing with a Grand Ball on the return to Paris.
Most people join the party for 2-3 weeks moving from town to town, resort to resort, private party to casino but some of the real partiers last much longer, but during those party days a lot more than goes on behind the scenes than the illegitimate cavorting the DeMeKo and Sol race to uncover.
In the mid-Fifties with the "Grand Tour Seasons" quite established and have become a self-perpetuating 'tradition', some of the corporate. media and political leadership realize this was the perfect smokescreen for them to meet in person and hammer out multi-million euro deals, lobby politicos and reaffirm networks of influence, friendship and power (all safely away from possible eavesdropping by SK while also letting them flew those muscles of influence and image).
Now, add in entourages of obligatory hangers on – starlets, boy and girltoys, chiphead former music star spouses – and deep-cover spies for everyone interested, plus such luminaries as Claudia Romanov, Johnny Spinrad, Zoé de Paris, the Habsburgs, de Rohans, etc and you've got an explosive setting for traveling intrigue riddled runs and role-playing opportunities.
Lofwyr’s main Pawns in this arena are:
Claudia Romanov – Grand Tour, Monaco, Portugal and several other things connected to the nobility and jetsetting revolve around her. Whether it’s saying some soft words in the right ear to get a vote to go a certain way, making sure the right people get together, or placing a little peer pressure on the wife of a certain exec, Claudia is Lofwyr’s ultimate Mr. White operating in high society and corporate circles without anyone the wiser. Almost single-handedly she put together the Grand Tour but few are aware of it, fewer still are aware of her long time association with the Wyrm. She’s made her winter home in Lisbon and her summer home in Paris but she spends a large part of her year globetrotting and spreading her influence. She can make or break your reputation in high society and is one of the most powerful socialites in the World. The fashions she wears are immediately in and if she says a certain music is trendy it’s a sure fire hit. Former supermodel…
Ladmilla Reanka – She is the daughter of elector Danadin Reanka (strangely enough rumored to be an ally of Kaltenstein) of one of the Pomoryan Noble Houses. After attending finishing school and University in Tir Tairngire (a custom amongst Pomoryan aristocracy), she decided to pick up some experience by working for a small outfit in the Tir. The luxury wines import business she worked for was one of several shells for an S-K listening post in the Tir. While attending a party at Ehran the Scribe’s residence in ‘56 she met Prince Lofwyr for the first time. Since then it seems as if big and scaly has thrown a protective wing over her (for as yet unknown reasons). When not acting as Lofwyr’s agent among the Tir elite and across North Am, she lives in Essen in the Rhine-Ruhr Megaplex in a luxurious apartment owned and paid for by S-K proxies. She is constantly guarded by the very best in bodyguards. (This character was introduced in FanPro Germany material on Pomorya). While her public profile bears many similarities with Romanov (both are east European, elves of great beauty), Milla’s attitude and approach to life couldn’t be more at odds. While she has become a staple of American high society, she is known as a pragmatist and a professional rather than a flakey aristocrat.

And until recently:
Saied Bey – The Defector. Saied’s positions reported in CD have only become more extreme in the intermediate years. After the events in YotC with the Islamic Jyhad, Saied was assigned the mission of making sure Ibn Eisa was permanently terminated before he put S-K interests in the Middle East at risk. Saied tried to dissuade his boss but received no reply. The orders stood without further explanation and Saied defected. Currently he is an influential member of _Ibn Eisa’s inner circle, a large financier of the movement and a mover and shaker for the Jyhad. He shows no particular enemity towards S-K but it is known that Lofwyr has put a price on his head. Mina will ask Spinrad to look carefully into Bey. She suspects this is all one of Lofwyr’s plots possibly to destroy the Jyhad from within but if Bey really has changed sides he is too good a source of info to remain on the loose.

The NEEC represents a major step in Lofwyr’s masterplan for Europe and indeed the world. Nasty cause this would give away our big setup in the EuroSb. Lofwyr has been manipulating governments, corps and opinion makers behind the scenes very, very subtly to put together the NEEC. It is his first step towards unifying Europe. He has fostered increased government participation in the economy (all the while taking control of the individuals who make up the governments) and either destroyed the competition (see Nachtmeister) or subverted it (the takeover of the Swiss Bank Corporation while attentions were elsewhere during the Corp War).
Since the failure of the Restoration, Lofwyr’s influence in Western European politics has been careful and subtle. Lofwyr controls many aspects of politics through influence and lobbies as well as outright bribery and corruption. Nachtmeister had begun to infiltrate Lofwyr’s network within the NEEC’s structure, and coincidentally or not, the Dragon Dogfight came a mere 2 weeks before a Corporate Policy Commission vote for the 4 Council of Ministers’ Corporate seats when everyone expected the Frankfurter Bankenverein to rise to the CoM…
Otherwise it is hard to point actual agents in European Politics although many German politicos are accused of being mere faces for S-K interests and receive substantial campaign support form the corp. Fingers have been pointed to the current Director of the Judicial and Policing Harmonization Committee Junot who’s been regularly seen in the company of S-K’s chief lobbyist in Brussels EC Julian Sergetti (possibly the most powerful man in Brussels and he isn’t even an NEEC official).
Despite the secrecy and the influence peddling that are Lofwyr’s trademark in the political theater, the fact that many European government’s privatization policies in the wake of the Euro Wars Recession have placed many essential services and industries across Europe in the hands of S-K subsidiaries – from Norway to France, from Spain to the UNL.
But this MO is not the same said for many countries of Central Europe, Central Asia and Middle East and their governments. In most of these areas both market forces and public opinion are minor elements of realpolitik and S-K operates less secretly. It is an open secret that S-K has several Ministers of the previous Polish Neo-Communist regime and now the new Polish revolutionary government in his pocket. How the Dragon pulled the switch between collaborationist corp and supporter of the new Liberation Government despite the maneuvering of the Catholic Church and Polish companies’ opposition is a tale to be told elsewhere.
Stanislaw Wiacek – Former Minister of the deposed Neo-Communist regime has become S-K’s principal negotiator and deal-maker in Eastern Europe. He currently operates out of Linz in Austria but he’s rarely in residence in his luxury condo. Wiacek is a usual presence at the dinner table and private lounges of Ministers, Secretaries and other political movers and shakers across Central and Eastern Europe. Wiacek holds a long time enmity towards Austrian media-mogul Hans Dechant (which has only increased with the recent negotiated buyout of MediaSim by MCT Europe which left Dechant as the Japanese megas Central Europe VP), and has a through dislike for nationalist and ultranationalist movements (which goes back to the Polish Liberation Campaigns and which he hides very well when necessary) – like the Habsburg’s Austrian Heritage Party that just returned to power in Austria.

Saeder Krupp maintains Corporate subsidiaries and domains. Lofwyr has established his direct corporate domain through Saeder Krupp but like a medieval emperor his power extends in all directions and there are literally hundreds of corporations that owe allegiance to his cause even if they aren’t aware of it. The apparently decentralized and complicated structure of his Megacorp is only clear to his own reptilian mind.
S-K keeps enough assets under its umbrella to assure it’s counted as the number one AAA in the world, some of these corps represent AA class operations in their own right like the Messerschmidt-Kawasaki, Siemens-Nixdorf, Commerzbank, Dresdner Bank, Swiss Bank Corporation, Krupp Manufacturing, Ruhr Nuclear, Hermes Eurocom, Eurocar Consortium. Below this level and operating through intricate chains of shell companies and proxies lies and enormous empire. Companies in all sectors and walks of life and employees numbering in millions rather than thousands.
The agents Lofwyr uses in the corporate arena are too numerous and varied to count let alone comment. Several stand out due to their efficiency, positions of power and/or level of proximity to Big Scaly Upstairs.
Rolf Bremen – Head of S-K Prime. And possibly the most feared sentient in Europe aside from the Dragon. Rolf has led S-K’s division of trouble shooters and problem solvers and answers only to the Wyrm. Build on the scant history given in CD. I’d like to link him up with either the Polish or the Russian situation so as to develop that aspect of S-K’s government control (especially if we get approval for the SoE Liberation Campaigns in the Poland Outline). He’s been busy lately, outmaneuvering Yamatetsu and MCT in Eastern Europe and in Russia. He’s also responsible for keeping the Atlantean Foundation from removing anything from Europe that Lofwyr doesn’t agree with.
Mariene Carstairs – Current Director of S-K Asia has managed to carve herself and her corp a small empire in the Far East. Prior SK Corporate Court Justice Carstairs is a long time member of Lofwyr’s Inner Circle and gets a lot of independence in her operations. She’s spearheading the expansion in to Central and southeastern Asia. S-K has been discreetly eating up several Indian companies and recently moved in on several small SE Asian corps further developing the idea presented in CD. This will be mostly confidential corporate information that the plotters have put together about the infiltration of the PPG and how Wuxing and Yamatetsu are fighting back in Central Asia and Russia.
Karen Mantejac – She is Lofwyr’s personal assistant at S-K Prime, but acts also as Lofwyr’s bodyguard (not that he needs one) and personal secretary, when Lofwyr’s appears in his human form. Although she seems to be a human woman in the mid-30s in truth magic hides that she’s a wendigo and a powerful Fenrir Neo-paganist, originating from the Scandinavian Union (from the novel Ragnarök and IIRC Secrets of Power Trilogy).
Herr Hans Brackhaus – Inevitably the illusive Brackhaus had to appear. Many now consider Brackhaus to be just a persona worn by S-K Johnson’s to play on the reputation the corp has earned. Even though noone really knows how many Brackhauses are out there, and if it is Lofwyr himself in human disguise sometime, a few people still remember that there was a Hans Brackhaus involved in the formation of Ruhr-Datafax from the ruins of Telecom (Germany’s biggest telecom and monopolist of the German telephone network) in the past, when Krupp was just the backbone of the BMW empire (under Mina). Mina might shed some light on the mystery…

Unbeknownst to many Lofwyr has been extending his influence beyond the realms of politics and boardrooms and helping define the borders and governments of nations through rather more direct methods. He has brought the leaders of a couple of the bigger independent Merc companies under his control – Navarre’s Jackals stand out since they’re are extraordinarily high profile in the fall of the Sudanese government, blocking the Congolese strike on the Portuguese Cabinda enclave (and coincidently protecting Fatima Petrochem interests in the process), the Jordanian Shi’ite coup and quelling the Morrocan Uprising.
Jonas Navarre – Is a nasty piece of work, his history is as treacherous and twisted as the man himself. He was courtmartialled from 10000 Daggers after several charges of insubordination—and for that outfit that is saying a lot. He continued to operate as an independent and built up a company-sized unit working in Africa and Aztlan. Eventually, he came up with the money to give his Jackals the logistics and materiel that are key in nailing the really juicy contracts. The Jackals operate out of Lisbon and provide several arms corps with field-testing of new weapons . In recent months, Navarre has been constantly accompanied by a cyberzombie he calls Deimos. No one knows it’s origin or how Navarre came into its possession, but Mina suspects it’s either a field-test of a new S-K cybersuite, or a gift for Navarre’s diligence.

Credit where credit is due and the scheming Princes of Tir Tairngire did manage to out-maneuver Lofwyr with the events described in Corporate Punishment. Then again even here Lofwyr had a fall-back plan in the event of just such a situation. In the wake of the apparent loss of face and public outcry from his ‘business practices’, Lofwyr resigned from the Council of Princes, a move that nullified the long-standing pact that prohibited S-K from operating in the country due to potential ‘conflict of interests’. With the opening of the country’s economy Lofwyr has discreetly opened new offices of his various CAS based subsidiaries (noted in SONA)… TBC a lot on this hook depends on what is in the “Private Agendas” novel.

Scale – Drake? There’s some stuff in Corporate Punishment that confirms Scale is Lofwyr’s ultimate problem-solver. Honestly I am not a big fan of Drakes as a concept but there he is… I’d suggest he remain in the Tir as he serves as a destabilizer and a proxy for Lofwyr setting up S-K operations. Other options is having Scale operate as a Drake-hunter looking for the free Drakes that appeared with the Comet’s manaspike.

Unlike Dunklezahn who understood the Matrix as a form of communication that promoted equality Lofwyr has adopted the modern (contemporary) corporate and government approach to the Matrix – proper control of the infrastructure can provide access to an enormous amount of unprotected information. Lofwyr has taken this one step further and created through S-K Prime and its discreet subsidiaries in the MSP and ‘listening post network’ – Essentially it is an open secret in the European Shadows that Grids (RTGs and LTGs) and Matrix communications (basically all types since most go over the Matrix at one point or another) have been seriously compromised in most European countries. This is because while there is no ‘apparent’ leader in the Matrix field and 10 MSPs each carry over 15 million accounts (both personal and corporate), a closer look reveals that 6 of those corps (including the 2 biggest) are owned by S-K. Unbeknownst to the general public these provide Lofwyr’s intel analysts at S-K Prime with eavesdropping ‘listening posts’ for all sorts of Matrix communications be they cellular or land-based, encrypted or standard. Most corporate heads, corp intel divisions and, of course, Shadowrunners have worked this out years ago and prefer to handle their most sensitive business in person (which connects to other points about running in Europe I will be making soon). It would not be cost effective for most corps to restrict communications to their PLTGs so a lot of traffic still goes on and although S-K analysts have to really work to milk the information they can still piece together a lot of intel from otherwise innocuous personal and professional communications. Please note the security of Hosts remains untouched it’s just the Communications that are conducted over the open Matrix (national RTGs & LTGs, and the MSP’s own Grids) that are ‘listened’ too. For reference imagine Vodafone listening in on and copying the files transmitted over their network…. The idea is inspired by the info in “Target: Matrix” and “Matrix”.S-K Prime provides the matrix supervision and overwatch Lofwyr demands, each regional SK Prime node has a specialized Matrix intelligence unit that through backdoors and Knowbots in RTG data traffic-governing operating systems watch most non-encrypted telecom transmissions and then put knowbots to patching it all into usable information. This develops the ideas presented in Target: Matrix in practical terms and introduces some of the effects this reality has on European countries.
A less obvious aspect of this is another EuroSB hook – the Scandinavian Union’s Wireless Matrix Initative. If the technology works as planned and proves economically feasible (and becomes widespread) it will mean a revolution in telecom and Matrix infrastructure which could jeopardize Lofwyr’s entire intelligence operation and maybe even his MSP subsidiaries control of the industry. So Lofwyr is in an active fight with Erika (Nokia-Erikson from EuroSB) to control the technology from the drawing board up. With the Scandinavian Union balanced between the sellouts in Norway and Denmark (doing the software) and the anti-mega sentiment of Finland and eco-Sweden, the brawl for control of the WMI tech and the small research corps that are developing parts of the system is just starting to heat up. This would play out in SoE with the situation reaching flashpoint as the ‘air date’ for the system nears (December 2064).

Leonardo: Alive or Dead? And more importantly what is Lofwyr doing with him and his work…

Survival of the Fittest: Depending on how things stand at the end of Survival of the Fittest Lofwyr may be the most powerful wyrm on Earth or he might have been taught a lesson in humility.

The Twist: Why has he been so quiet and distracted? Well, I’d like to suggest Lofwyr has been a bit out of it since becoming addicted to the power of the Jewel of Memory.

The Opposition: The Megas, Alamaise, anticorp, ecologist and antinationalist policlubs. Lurking on the sidelines biding his time is Johnny Spinrad out for revenge pure and simple (but this is a hook for SoE). Basically Lofwyr has let himself become too high profile and is now a target for everyone. With the exposé proposed above his position will become all the more vulnerable when people realize how powerful and extensive his reach really is.

Well... to be honest who isn’t on the list? (Although Lofwyr continues to shorten it wink.gif )
The angle here is Mina pointing out possible allies and ‘enemies of my enemy’ for Spinrad

Amongst the Greats, his rivalry is (pardon the pun) greatest with his clutch-sibling Alamaise (who has been knocked down so many times it’s becoming stale – however he is taking a new approach and will be aiding Spinrad in SoE), Ghostwalker would be a bigger threat if his powerbase was already established; Celedyr is apparently outpacing Lofwyr in the tech department and may become a problem to his Matrix strategy; Hestaby could be either a great rival or the voice of reason (a lot depends on SotF and/or Mike M’s book). Ryumyo and Lung are too involved with each other to pay too close attention to Lofwyr, although Mariene Carstairs moves on the PPG might be making Lung angry. Of the other Greats the Rain Queen probably has the most problems with Lofwyr’s operations in Africa. His influence is spreading from Fatima Petrochems’ base in Portuguese Cabinda (SoE) and she will be very angry.

On the other side of the field you have the human ‘resistance’: these include Johnny Spinrad (whose story we pitched in SoE as a secondary hook), the RCC (with both its factions united against Lofwyr’s growing power for different reasons – one of the few instances the NSOJ and Templars would act together), the megacorps bosses (aside from the Triple As) especially those in the European second tier and the IEs to a lesser extent now that the Tir situation is changed

If you compare this with the finished draft you'll see how much remains, how much was tweaked and how much was dropped entirely.
Here's my pitch for Orxploitation. Back then, I was just trying to seed a few ideas for a future Shadows of Latin America submission, and the inspiration for Orxploitation came up while I was working on my Sports proposal for SOTA:2064. God bless Cleopatra Jones. biggrin.gif




Written by Jong-Won Kim

    This proposal introduces both a new cultural fad known as Orxploitation, and an Ork language in Shadowrun for a new Culture Shock in a future SOTA64. It’s meant as follow up to Dunkelzahn’s Will, specifically its references about Orks having their own language and a trust fund for a school in Orkland.
    I believe Culture Shock is the ideal chapter for this, because Orxploitation helps to introduce new gaming opportunities in the streets, the underworld and the music industry. This idea would also tie in with Shadowrun’s continuity, by explaining what’s been going on with characters like the Brackhaven family or Chimera’s Sergei Malenkin, while attention was focused elsewhere. Being a massive fad in North America and other continents, it also adds considerable color to the Sixth World. Furthermore, the idea is flexible enough that future books can pick up the issue or leave it as just a passing trend.

    The section opens with an article from Shadowbeat’s now-classic indy mag KA POW! KA POW!, covering the current fad, its origins, the media hype and its effects. The report is divided into “Power to the people, chummer” (an introduction to the fad and its origins, including a small Ork vocabulary textbox), “Tonedeaf ujnort” (critics and opponents of Orxploitation, plus key events), and “Tuskadelic” describes the media frenzy and shameless commercial exploitation. Following it comes Saturday Night War, a Lone Star memo describing the Ork Boom’s fallout, like petty artist wars and the ongoing struggle between the Vory and the Humanis Policlub.

    Obnoxious as it is, this magazine presents a rather reliable report on the new fad. Besides, the hyped up tone helps to set the mood.

Power to the people, chummer
    Introduces readers to the phenomenon and its origins, which can be traced back to two bequests in Dunkelzahn’s Will:

>>> To Robert Page, I leave my copy of an ancient text that proves elves are not the only race to possess a unique language. Take pride in your heritage and continue to promote the rights of your people, for the orks have always fought to rise above the position in which others would keep them. May this document aid your struggle up from below.<<<

>>> To Maureen Williams, I leave the trust fund at Silicon Valley Virtual Bank, account 0456 967 0145 8620, for the purpose of establishing a free school in Orkland.<<<

    Williams used the money to establish the Orkland Community Center, hiring Page as a professor with the sole mission of analyzing and translating the Rosetta-like text, a book of metallic pages that included the same text both in Sperethiel and an unknown language (Earthdawn’s Ork language, known as Or’zet).
    After spending months without significant progress, Page made a deal with the Draco Foundation. In exchange for resources and linguistic assistance from Sperethiel translators, Draco obtained privileged access to certain parts of the book. 
    In 2060, the OCC published its initial findings, titled The Or’zet Codex. Although incomplete and not entirely accurate, it established the basics of an Ork language. Details of the language and syntax spread across academic and social networks, until General Saito’s coup forced the OCC to go underground. Except for Page (who’s gone MIA), they’ve been teaching Or’zet as a communications code for the Metahuman People’s Army.
    This section would include a textbox with a small amount of Or’zet vocabulary, enough for readers to understand the casual Orkish interjections spread through the text.

Tonedeaf ujnort
    Describes the Ork community’s reaction to CalFree’s situation, the birth of the genre and its opponents.

    With CalFree turned into a cause celebre for most metahumans, goblin musicians became the voice of popular protest, adding some Or’zet words to their songs. It wasn’t long before the music industry smelled a potential new market.
    In 2063, Ork star CrimeTime released Djoto, the first album to be mostly in Or’zet, with cityspeak jargon filling in the blanks. Carefully aimed at the Ork market, Djoto had the mandatory political message, combined with CrimeTime’s trademark carefree outcast attitude.
    The album became an unexpected megahit, and all thanks to the Brackhaven family. CrimeTime’s latest (and most infamous) squeeze is Tiffany Brackhaven, granddaughter of Humanis leader Karl Brackhaven. The hatemonger does not dare to kill the Ork artist, because CrimeTime’s best buddy is Sergei Malenkin, another Russian expatriate who happens to be Chimera’s representative (this is not common knowledge).
    To ruin the ork’s career, Humanis used its media hound, the LOUD (Legion of UCAS Decency, Shadowbeat reference). The plan failed, leaving him with a reputation as a polemic, charismatic street mobster that skyrocketed Djoto’s sales: it became 2063’s best selling album.

    This part of the article gives an idea of the effects in society generated by Orxploitation: the media frenzy and commercial exploitation, a massive interest in Or’zet (Sperethiel is passé, don’t you know), renewed sense of pride in the Ork community, and even Ork-posers trying to become a little more goblin.

    The music industry was quick to profit from the situation, flooding the market with cheap clones and even some good artists. Orxploitation entered mainstream culture, thanks to artists like Orxanne, Tusk Master and even the perennial Darwin’s Bastards. While plenty of them are crap, there are some real gems (Goblin Rock is finally maturing).
    Fans always mimic their idols’ attitude and style, but this time the craze isn’t limited to orks and trolls: other metatypes have the mandatory pair of kewl tusks implanted (tusks are not just fashion, they’re needed for a correct pronunciation of Or’zet). Grandpa Karl fainted when he saw Tiffany’s new look…
    As for the Ork and Troll communities, Orxploitation for them is what blaxploitation was for afro-americans in the Sixties and Seventies, mixed with the gangsta rap attitude of the Nineties: a turning point in the mainstream culture and collective mindset, shamelessly abused by commercial interests and petty conflicts. But it has also fostered their pride and a sense of belonging. Many are starting to learn Or’zet.
    It is too early to predict political fallout, but give or take a few years there might be a change. Groups like ORC and MOM will surely try to take advantage of it. The Draco Foundation, the Atlantean Foundation and other groups are already doing so. Most notably, Ehran the Scribe came to Robert Page’s defense, when Humanis claimed Or’zet was just an invention.

    I should note that if Orxploitation is accepted, it would be a good idea for a “Top 10 Albums of the Year” list to include several goblin artists. In fact, the ranking could be included in this section, giving some useful tidbits about the new stars. Likewise, Orxploitation movies shouldn’t be ruled out of a “Top 10 Movies of the Year” list.

    Lone Star gives the darker side of Orxploitation: petty rivalries between artists ending up in drive-by shootings, violence between the backers of Orxploitation and the racist fringe, Humanis and LOUD pickets outside concert halls turning ugly, and the selective targeting of artists by Alamos 20k (which forces them to hire indy runners rather than corporate bodyguards).

    The document also notes the sudden rise of the Vory v Zakone in the music industry. This is because CrimeTime is once again in the good graces of the Russian mob. His Ork contacts allow him to find and enlist the best new artists into selected record companies, concerts are used for money laundering and BTL traffic, and overeager fans who take part of his parties end up in prostitution and pornography rings. Lone Star grimly predicts that it won’t be long before the major syndicates enter the music market, making it the next underworld battlefield.
    Karl Brackhaven’s quest for revenge led the Humanis Policlub into a vicious, sordid war against the Vory. The LOUD is still searching for evidence to sink CrimeTime, while the more militant cells attempt to harm the Russians’ profits. Brackhaven might try to abduct Tiffany, to “deprogram” her at a rehabilitation clinic in Renton (Seattle), deep within Humanis territory.
    Other human supremacists like Human Nation have adopted a more insidious strategy. With corps scrambling to get a slice of the Ork Boom, they want to make sure that Orxploitation is seen as a negative influence, one that threatens “normal” society. Goblin artists are encouraged by their companies and managers to engage in any kind of excess, in a way similar to some real life “gangsta rappers” (what’s good for promotion is good for propaganda too). Even worse, they hope younger orks will choose their idols’ “lifestyle” rather than study or work hard to improve their position.
    Lone Star’s memo also points at conflicts between artists, resulting in drive-by shootings or worse. Devious Johnsons hire runners to foster such rivalries, be it for promotional purposes or worse, human supremacist propaganda. There are even problems with crazed out fans who stalk popular musicians.

Note: I admit that this is loosely based on the blaxploitation and gangsta phenomena, but what is history but a wax record that keeps repeating itself in an endless loop?

>>> Begin Or’zet sample textbox
ah    conj. Of. Usually omitted in favor of simply connecting the two words with an apostrophe.
bat    n. Daughter. Usually seen as Bat', "daughters of-"
bot    n. Son. Usually seen as Bot', "sons of-"
buunda    interj. Expletive. Often accompanied by an obscene gesture to show contempt for the recipient.
cara fahd    n. “Heroic sacrifice”.
cerri    n. Literally, “battle siblings”. Or'zet has no separate words to distinguish brother and sister.
djoto    n. “The way of life.”
drundeah    n. “Execution” (it could also be used as “to kill”). 
egrand    n. Protector.
grumoge    v. “To wrestle.”
hez    n. Fang.
hurlg    n. Alcoholic beverage made from fermented rye mixed with animal fat.  The type of fat used determines its quality.
kart    n. Young boy.
ken    n. Young girl.
magnun    n. Volunteer. Plural is magnu.
quaalz    n. Idiocy, as in “full of quaalz”.
rohodo    n. “Private celebration”.
turgan    n. City ork.
turgma    n. A deviant Ork, one who engages in blood betrayal and so on (a traitor).
ujnort    n. Non-orks. Literally, “they who will not understand.”
vruken    (inf) n. Girlfriend. Literally, “mate-girl”. Male form is “vrukart”.
vut    n. Drek. Used as an expletive.
wejoto    n. “Against the way”.
yerz'eth    n. “Nest money.”
>>> End sample textbox

As you can see, many ideas made it straight into the book, other were changed to match FanPro's vision, and some benefited from freelancer and editorial feedback (compare the book's Or'zet vocabulary with the above, for example).
I just wanted to say thanks! These are great examples and an excellent writers guide. Synner, Frank, Jong thank you very much!

When I get questions I'll post them up here
Ancient History
Heh. Synner doesn't mention it, but he was also directly responsible for getting me into it.
You guys rock. It's really helpful to see successful pitches. THANKS!
Kyoto Kid
...I guess why I was interested in the licensing aspect is that I am still pretty much involved with SR3. With 3rd Ed now basically out of print, I understand that Fanpro will not be releasing any more, as I would call them, "Pre Crash 2.0" supplements or expansions.

Since becoming involved with this forum, I also noticed there appears to be a fair percentage of the SR community (such as myself) who have remained with the SR3 ruleset. For myself this is because of the the following reasons:

The heavy investment in SR3 books (some of which were still fairly new when 4th Ed was released)

The familiarity with the SR3 ruleset (including the vehicle design, cyberdeck design, and *gasp* the decking rules)

The "waiting list" for SR4 Supplements

I have played in and even GM'd a number of sessions using SR4, and this is no knock against the new edition. However, other than doing one shots to learn the new system "inside out", I personally have little interest in developing an actual campaign (since mine tend to be fairly involved) until a several of the forthcoming sourcebooks are released (which will be at least another year based on the last schedule I saw)"

As to Web distribution, this is something I need to learn more about. Personally, I have no web page or site of my own at the moment as I do most of my work on a 2 generation old Toshiba laptop without wireless capability (I have an old card, but unable to find a driver that works). With Portland having become a wireless community, I may just pick up another one (they're pretty cheap now anyway).

Again, Synner, Frank, thanks for the assistance.
A dozen years ago, it was a lot harder to get access to this kind of information so quickly and easily. Back then it usually relied on going to your FLGS (and then only if someone there was up on SR) and/or going to cons just to keep up on the latest news. There was also that archaic custom of writing messages on paper, putting these sticky things called stamps on them and physically taking them to the outbox on the street corner, then waiting (seemingly forever) for a reply.

Man there are times I do love the technology curve.
QUOTE (lorechaser @ Nov 10 2006, 05:05 PM)
You guys rock.  It's really helpful to see successful pitches.  THANKS!

Don't forget the most important part. Compare the pitches with what actually went to print. That is equally telling and revealing of what goes on and how much you have to tweak and compromise along the way.

Again, Synner, Frank, thanks for the assistance. Twelve years ago, it was a lot harder to get this kind of information.

Believe me, I know. Care to guess why SoE took 5 years from DSF thread to print? Fortunately many of the established freelancers (thanks Adam, Jon, Ken, Eliza, Michelle) lent me their ears and put me on the right track. I think it's only right I do the same for others and I'm happy to know I've played a role in drumming up some of the new talent - from the ranks, as it were.
First of all, thanks Synner, Frank, Jong for sharing your experiences smile.gif

While reading the Submission Guidelines, I stumbled across this sentence:
QUOTE (lSubmission Guidelines)

You may also submit your proposal via email, though we prefer hardcopy submissions.

Is that true? Did you send your propasal via hardcopy or email?
QUOTE (Grinder @ Nov 12 2006, 10:33 AM)
QUOTE (lSubmission Guidelines)

You may also submit your proposal via email, though we prefer hardcopy submissions.

Is that true? Did you send your propasal via hardcopy or email?

All my submissions and proposals, from my first to the latest, have been over the net—in fact 99.9% of my development work gets done over the net. We're tech-savvy that way. wink.gif
Sometimes it takes a while for them to get looked at (remember FanPro is still just pretty much two guys full-time), but FanPro's always got round to them...
QUOTE (Synner)
All my submissions and proposals, from my first to the latest, have been over the net—in fact 99.9% of my development work gets done over the net. We're tech-savvy that way. wink.gif

Everything else would have really surprised me. biggrin.gif Just wanted to get this straight.

Another oint: what's with us non-native english speakers? Does the Developer (sounds llike a religious title, btw biggrin.gif ) expect us to send proposals in perfect english or do we get some hand-waving when it comes to grammar and the like? I'm currently working for RB and the editors there don't have a problem to work with not-so-perfect writings in terms of grammar.
QUOTE (Grinder @ Nov 12 2006, 10:59 AM)
Another point: what's with us non-native english speakers? Does the Developer (sounds llike a religious title, btw :D ) expect us to send proposals in perfect english or do we get some hand-waving when it comes to grammar and the like? I'm currently working for RB and the editors there don't have a problem to work with not-so-perfect writings in terms of grammar.

If you're asking whether your proposal would be descriminated because English isn't your mother tongue, the answer is probably not. Almost half of the regular contributors these days don't have English as a first language and aren't US-based. Most of them, however, have a strong enough grasp of the language and grammar to make the developer/editor's job relatively easy.

So it depends. FanPro is small and there's only so much time and so many resources that can be put into developing and editing. Consequently, your fluency and mastery of English is a factor, just probably not a deciding factor... assuming your proposal and writing are good enough.

On more than one ocassion we've teamed up non-English writers with someone with English fluency for best effect. I should know, I've collaborated in several such instances all the way back to DotSW. :)
That's exactly what I wanted to know, thank you. smile.gif

I guess my english is good enough for submitting a proposal, but writings for a sourcebook would need some editing, that's why I asked.
QUOTE (Grinder @ Nov 12 2006, 03:27 PM)
I guess my english is good enough for submitting a proposal, but writings for a sourcebook would need some editing, that's why I asked.

If you want to run it by me, I'd be happy (time allowing) to provide further feedback on tweaking a proposal. My e-address is in my profile.
QUOTE (Synner)
If you want to run it by me, I'd be happy (tiem allowing) to provide further feedback on tweaking a proposal.

Just not editing, eh? wink.gif biggrin.gif
emo samurai
What about novels? How are they submitted? I'm thinking of writing one.

Then again, it might work really well as an adventure, too.

How well did On the Run sell? I remember it being at the top of the list for a while at DriveThru.
emo samurai
QUOTE (emo samurai)
What about novels? How are they submitted?

FanPro doesn't have the rights to do Shadowrun novels, and WizKids and ROC didn't renew their contract, so right now, you don't.

Adventures are submitted via the standard proposal method.
emo samurai
'twould be an awesome adventure.

How are you paid? Not that payment of any type for writing for Fanpro wouldn't be awesome.
QUOTE (emo samurai)
What about novels? How are they submitted? I'm thinking of writing one.

First, submit your novel proposal - in German - to FanPro Germany. Second (if your proposal is accepted), you write your full novel in German.
emo samurai
It could be a cooperative project with Grinder! I like it.
As with most types of freelance writing, per word, depending on your experience level.
emo samurai
How much per word, if you're a n00b?

First-Time Writers
FanPro is always willing to look at your proposal even if you have never worked or written for anyone else in the gaming industry. Any work you do for us will be done on spec. This means you will work with us to develop the project, write the manuscript and submit it to us for approval without receiving a contract. We retain the option to reject the manuscript even after you have submitted it. This policy protects both FanPro and you. It protects you because you are not contractually (legally) obligated to finish the project if you are unable to do so. It protects us because we can still refuse the manuscript if we find the quality to be unsatisfactory. The manuscript will be returned to you in the latter case.

If the project is accepted, the contract terms will be worked out with the developer. The developer is in charge of all contract negotiations (with the approval of the President of FanPro), and will forward a contract to you upon formal acceptance of your manuscript.
emo samurai
I see. So you have to bet everything on their acceptance of your manuscript?
Yes. That's generally why new [or new to SR] writers are encouraged to submit for small portions of a multi-part sourcebook; it minimizes risk on both sides.
QUOTE (emo samurai @ Nov 14 2006, 06:40 AM)
I see. So you have to bet everything on their acceptance of your manuscript?

Let's try this again:

QUOTE (Writer Submission Guidelines @ second paragraph)
General Guidelines
Do not begin to write until we ask you to. Never send us an unsolicited, complete or partially complete manuscript. The manuscript will be returned to you regardless of the legal permission or disclaimers you provide with it.

Emphasis mine.
QUOTE (Synner)
QUOTE (Grinder @ Nov 12 2006, 03:27 PM)
I guess my english is good enough for submitting a proposal, but writings for a sourcebook would need some editing, that's why I asked.

If you want to run it by me, I'd be happy (tiem allowing) to provide further feedback on tweaking a proposal. My e-address is in my profile.

Thank you for the offer, that's great! love.gif

I'll send you an email later today.
Good luck Grinder! It would be great to read something written by you in a future sourcebook.
QUOTE (emo samurai)
It could be a cooperative project with Grinder! I like it.

To say it with your words: "That would be awesome!" biggrin.gif
emo samurai
Unfortunately certain varieties of AWESOME just don't fit with the developer's awesome vision for Shadowrun. So, be warned.
That's really surprising. biggrin.gif
QUOTE (Synner)
Unfortunately certain varieties of AWESOME just don't fit with the developer's awesome vision for Shadowrun. So, be warned.

But, but, but, my proposal for the Lesbian Ninja Catgirl takeover of Shiawase (Keep it in the Family) is beyond reproach! How DARE you reject my vision?!





QUOTE (mfb)

Is it a bad sign that this made me laugh out loud?
emo samurai
What the fuck did mfb's post mean?

And if I post a paragraph from a short story I'm thinking of submitting to FanPro, does that void me for acceptance?
i'm just glad somebody got it.

QUOTE (emo samurai @ Nov 16 2006, 03:09 AM)
And if I post a paragraph from a short story I'm thinking of submitting to FanPro, does that void me for acceptance?

Technically, yes. FanPro (and quite a few other companies) have a policy whereby they prefer not to publish anything that has previously been made available for public consumption. You would be better served in not posting anything (even ideas or rough drafts) that you intend to submit for possible publication.
QUOTE (Wakshaani)
But, but, but, my proposal for the Lesbian Ninja Catgirl takeover of Shiawase (Keep it in the Family) is beyond reproach! How DARE you reject my vision?!

take out Ninja Catgirl, include vampire-wannabe otaku, and you're good to go!
Or take both! biggrin.gif
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