So by now, you know that the slog-formerly-known-as-a-Handbook project is now officially out. (As in, currently can be bought as a PDF and soon-to-be hitting store shelves in print form.) Yes, it’s true. Handbook: House Kurita is a reality at long last.
I was skimming it the other day and realized I’d put a number of little ‘Easter eggs’ within the project. Not to be confused with pop culture references – not all Easter eggs are such things – these are more little quirks and nods to other things of note. Or secrets. Or, possibly, simply born from side discussions that suddenly spawned into fictional reality.
For example, the Wakamiya-class salvage destroyer is such an item. The idea came from a long discussion with a close friend of mine on the way back from a day of gaming; I’d been trying to figure out what new wet navy type of ship to put into the book. (Every Handbook in the series has a different type of wet navy vessel, so no repeating.) Somehow, we got to talking about Project: AZORIAN (since I’d just written an article on it) and then my friend (that’d be Brian, of Jadehellbringer fame) said I should build a ship along those lines.
I didn’t think about it too hard, and instead tasked him with it. Now, building a surface vessel under our support rules system is an exercise in spreadsheet algebra – something I personally loathe – and he couldn’t quite replicate it. So we passed it off to Brent, a mutual friend, who snapped into shape the vessel now proudly displayed in this book.
Some other Easter eggs:
- Several headers and subheaders are actually haikus, when strung together.
- Lovecraft makes an appearance with a fake cult that pops up from time to time, never boding well tidings for the citizenry affected.
- One of the chain gangs listed is derived from my DC gaming group’s name.
- The Obuzaabaa and Sasayaku vehicles were inspired by my old college Shadowrun (2Ed) group, who modified CityMasters into robotic killing machines (much to our GM’s regret for allowing it).
- Yes, a particularly bad BattleTech novel is mentioned as a popular fantasy movie, along with an updated version of a popular monster franchise.
- The Gossamer drone is directly derived from the Schatten airships I created for TRO:VA.
- The Snapping Dragon came from a throwaway line by Ray: “We need more killer plants in this universe.”
- The actual location of the Kensai Kami is put on a planet that becomes fairly important later into the Jihad; that was a decision I made about halfway through the Jihad plot, as I needed the Kuritans to hold onto some of their elite status and traditions. Putting it on a planet that would go under harm’s way was not ideal.
- The Pachirisu is the most obvious nod to a very popular Japanese pastime, known as Pokemon. Herb, then the Line Developer, mentioned that it was only right we pay homage to that particular bend in Japanese culture. So I took the Pokemon pachirisu, a popular character in the series/game, and crafted the Kuritan ‘lightning squirrel.’
- A ‘popular’ character from the Somerset Strikers does make a surprisingly detailed appearance, as part of the current royal family.
- The ‘modernist haiku’ was written by a friend who graciously helped me with some cultural translation and adaptations.
- The light bulb jokes came from a particularly hilarious gaming session between friends, when we came up with a long list of these for almost every faction.
And there’s more, but why spoil all the fun?