Nothing to See Here

by Matt Wilson

I’d love to show you a great picture of something new and exciting that we’re working on, but I don’t have anything at the moment that we haven’t shown or are ready to show. So instead, I’m going to write a thousand words or so to let you know what’s been going on at Privateer.

A few months ago, in another Insider that was also looking ahead, I suggested we might present a keynote in the fall. Since then, the practicality of that has dwindled—and I’m afraid the annual “keynote” as we know it may be a thing of the past. But there’s a good reason for this: historically, we planned our major annual product releases around Lock & Load and Gen Con, which meant our products were on a somewhat parallel development cycle, as those events are only about a six weeks apart. This made the early part of the year a crushing experience as we raced to meet deadlines for multiple projects simultaneously and then get releases off to print in order to have them arrive in our warehouse in time for one convention or the other.

As the world has changed, we have planned more of our major releases around Kickstarter campaigns, and this has been impacting our product development cycles in an interesting way. Instead of all releases running neck-and-neck to the finish, we now find ourselves working in focused blocks on one project at a time, moving from one to the next in a more linear style. While the deadline pressure is still present, the opportunity to focus on one major project before moving on is much less hectic.

What this means, though—and this has been a fairly recent revelation to yours truly—is that there’s no one point in the year now where we have a big volume of new development to show, which is what we’ve always tried to do at our annual keynote. Instead, we’re moving toward a new approach in which, several times per year, we’ll have big reveals for one specific product line or project once it gets to a point where we feel we’re ready to start showing it off.

So, the bad news is, we’re not going to be doing the annual keynote anymore, at least not in the manner we have in the past. But the good news is, we’re going to have multiple big reveals throughout the year that focus on one game line or a new product, so the hits are going to keep coming, just not all at once. If you’re a player of only one of our game lines, you won’t be waiting any longer than usual for that big drop—you’ll still get a noteworthy update at least once a year. But if you follow multiple lines, then you’ll have more to look forward to as we make more frequent announcements.

So, when is the next big announcement? It’s coming Thursday morning, and it is a truly BIG announcement. We said there would be significant news coming for Monsterpocalypse, and on Thursday, we’re going to be sending out a press release about that very thing. So, if you are a player of Monsterpocalypse—or have even thought about being a Monsterpocalypse player but haven’t taken the plunge yet—then be sure to swing by on Thursday to get the news and witness my own uncontainable excitement.

Wait! Is that it? Only Monsterpocalypse players get a high-five? Well, both Riot Quest and Warcaster wrapped Kickstarters earlier this year, so we won’t be making any major new announcements before those rewards deliver. You can, however, expect news on those games late this year and early next. That said, if you happened to back the Warcaster: The Thousand Worlds Kickstarter or are getting in on the late pledge now, we’re very close to finishing up the sourcebook and will be sending out PDFs right after we’re done.

And for Iron Kingdoms RPG players, we have a lot of material to show you over the next couple of months, and the GM Toolkit is going to be ready for download in about 24 hours!

But the Orgoth! Where are the Orgoth you were promised? I would love to show you, but as the title of this Insider says, there’s nothing to see here…just yet. (Actually, that’s not true; there is a ton of concept art done, but there isn’t enough of the army done that we’re ready to spoil them at the moment.) I mean, we’ve been waiting over 400 years for them to come back. They deserve a BIG reveal, don’t you think? Still, you should know that their development is progressing very well, and they are going to be a really stunning-looking new army. But since I’m not ready to show you what they look like just yet, I still want to tell you about them.

If you know anything about the Iron Kingdoms, you know they were once conquered by dark magic-wielding invaders from across the uncrossable seas, and their subjugation and enslavement led to an underground resistance that ultimately produced firearms, steam-tech, and the original colossal warjacks. Those warjacks defeated the Orgoth and pushed them from the shores of western Immoren almost half a millennia ago. Beyond that, all you probably know is that the Orgoth liked to put grisly faces on their armor.

In creating the Orgoth faction for WARMACHINE, we had to think about what they’ve been doing for the last 400 years since their defeat at the hands of the Iron Council. You might think that the trans-oceanic barbarians are going to come back looking like the wild-haired, horned warriors we’ve seen in the two or three images we’ve printed of them in the past—but you’d be wrong.

The Orgoth have had many centuries to develop a technological response to the steam-powered creations of the Iron Kingdoms. They didn’t set their aspirations for conquest aside, but they knew they couldn’t return until their own machines of war could take on the warjacks and firearms of the nations of Immoren. They also knew that as long as the Nonokrion Infernals held sway over those lands, their own deities, the Felgoeth Infernals, would be opposed. But after the Claiming and the repulsion of the Nonokrions, the Felgoeth influence would once again be free to infect the Iron Kingdoms. And more important, the technological advancements of the Orgoth were now more than a match for the powder-charged firearms and brainless automatons of the people who denied the Orgoth their original victory.

In our modern concept of the Orgoth, they are still a brutal, barbaric people. But they have combined their dark magic with technology in ways that mimic the technology of the Iron Kingdoms while at the same time being quite different. In their search for an equivalent to steam power, the Orgoth created Blaze, a fiery alchemical power source that fuels everything from their firearms to their warjacks.

Of course the Orgoth have warjacks! They were defeated by them and clearly needed an answer to them. But their own warjacks are not the same as those of the Iron Kingdoms. Without the cortex technology, the Orgoth were forced to find a new way to imbue a mechanical automaton with the intelligence required to do battle. Following their barbaric nature, the Orgoth turned to wild predators, and with their dark magic, they found the means to harness the souls of those creatures and encase them in formidable mechanical creations. Orgoth warjacks are machines in every aspect, but they also resemble the living, breathing, seething beasts their essence was ripped from.

The faces? They’re still present. Though not as pronounced as they were among the Orgoth of the past, the agonized visages are still a key part of their armor and their fell-weapons. Though they may not look like their ancient precursors, the Orgoth will be instantly recognizable once they set foot on the beaches of the Iron Kingdoms again.

I can’t wait to show you what the Orgoth look like; they’re shaping up to be everything I always hoped they would be. But I want to ensure that, when we reveal them, you will enjoy the impact of their return, as their influence on the Iron Kingdoms has been so significant and will be again.

So, think of this Insider as kind of like the scratch-off Kenner card that showed Boba Fett for the first time. (I assure you, however, that we won’t promise any rocket launchers that won’t get produced.) The Orgoth are coming back armed and ready and will be a formidable opponent to all of the Iron Kingdoms.

In the end, no, this isn’t a keynote, but it’s an update on where our projects are, so I hope this gives you something to look forward to, no matter which of our games you follow. And with that, I think I’m over fifteen hundred words, which according to the ages is worth about a picture and a half. Soon, though, we’ll most definitely have pictures to show you—and I hope they’ll be even more exciting than the ones I hope I’ve put in your head until then.

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