Over the next few months, and in anticipation of HOMD’s *!* FEBRUARY 3RD *!* release, I’m going to be serving up light story-aperitifs to whet your appetite. If you’re already a Kickstarter backer, consider this a delightful titillation and a confirmation of your good judgement. If you’re someone who might be looking to pick up the game later, consider this a straightforward attempt to sell it to you.
First up, I’m going to be talking about one of my favourite stories in the game – the Museum of Unnatural Curiosity. If you want to remain completely unspoiled on this quest, skip the next section! I just discuss game mechanics, and hint vaguely at possible consequences.
The Museum of Unnatural Curiosity
At the City of Keys, a professor named Ambrose Monsoon may approach you. He has a proposition; as a far-ranging explorer, you’re uniquely placed to help him found a Museum. He asks you to bring him back items of historical consequence, of beauty, of mystery. Once the Museum is sufficiently full of artifacts, it can open. (And of course, you’ll receive a share of the profits.)
But the type of Museum you open will change greatly depending on the items you bring back. The game tracks different values for every item in the game: Fill the Museum with Undreamt Treasures and Oscillating Prisms, and you will create an exhibition of great beauty, famed throughout the House and pulling in gawping tourists. Fill it with Historical Curios and other items of scholarly value, and your Museum might spark an academic renaissance. Fill it with Old Bones and Embalmed Corpses, and you’ll have an odd little creepy Museum that schoolchildren dare each other to enter.
And if you bring back Occult Relics and Bottled Darkness and other especially weird items of the occult, well… Your Museum might grow a little beyond your control. And you cannot escape the consequences.
(All this, of course, while still trying to ensure your Museum escapes censorship from the inspectors. The Governor cannot allow a museum that portrays the City of Keys in a negative light, no matter how historically accurate that may be!)
As you can tell, there are a dozen ways for this quest to end. And this is just one quest out of the sixty or so that are in the game! I’ve really gone all-out to make every story as responsive to the player’s decisions as is possible – probably more so than I needed to, in fact. You could play HOMD ten times and still not see everything it has to offer.
Random Enemy of the Week
The House is full of other vehicles, not just your kinetopede. This week I want to highlight one that has somewhat fewer legs but a lot more chitin. Arachnophobes, look away.
Giant spiders patrol the swampy floorboards of the Entomarch, with creaking shacks roped precariously on their backs and reins looped around their mandibles.
Beware the weaponry of the spider-riders – they favour poisons and webs, trapping your kinetopede in silk and preventing it from moving, then poisoning your crew and causing you to slowly lose them over time. Best smash them quickly with the largest cannon you have available. Just like real spiders!