I started the HQC list in January of 2007 to discuss the Hive War setting that I’d begun to develop several years before. I figured it was different enough from the published VSF/Steampunk settings that those lists deserved to be free of the chatter about something that was becoming progressively more off topic. It had also begun to take on a life of its own and I thought it might interest people as a stand alone set of ideas.
The list began as a place where I could bounce ideas off a few individuals that had shown an interest from other lists or other places. Very quickly it started to pick up steam. I think now it is something that if it isn’t unique is certainly different than a lot of internet venues. On the Yahoo! Group a community of people is helping to design and flesh out a game universe. I’ve always viewed role playing as collective storytelling. The referee or game master does much of the work but without players who contribute their creativity in the form of characters and character actions and interactions with the referee’s setting all you have is a still life, like a stage with great set decoration but no players, sort of an intellectual diorama. On the list I think we’ve taken things a set beyond that. This is role playing universe creation done interactively with ideas and information being injected by anyone that wants to speak up.
When I was at Archon describing the setting someone asked if I had “back story”. I nearly fell over laughing. The universe as it stands is certainly one of the most detailed in existence. It was pointed out to me by a writer friend that if I had no additional input from this point on I still couldn’t do justice to the back story already created. People on this list have been extremely diligent in preventing me from tripping over myself and producing an HQC canon that wasn’t internally consistent. At times discussions have been far down in the weeds, other times we’ve looked at over arching concepts. I’ve been prevented for numerous errors by the wide ranging knowledge that constantly dazzles there.
If anyone is interested in being a part of this they are welcome to join the list!