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Author Topic: In the thick of things  (Read 136 times)

Offline Pladohs Ghost

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In the thick of things
« on: September 17, 2017, 06:51:22 PM »
I'm to the point now where much of the working outline is ready to be written on a project. I view it as an OSR game, though it's certainly not a retroclone. It's the game I wish I would have had as a beginner all those years ago, I reckon. The idea was to turn the collection of mismatched, not-always-fully-considered systems and mechanics into a more cohesive collection of systems.

I'm hashing out the details of many bits, and find that I want some feedback on the bits as I consider them before writing them up for playtesting. I figure this could be a good place for that, as you folks are also old school players; I don't expect any of you to ask why I don't do something the way PbtA does. ;)

So, the game is a fantasy rpg. It will offer basic rules and advanced rules. The basic rules are intended to be very much a beginners' set, though I expect some groups would be quite happy to use them for regular, ongoing play. The rules are intended as toolsets for GMs to use, and the most basic toolset found in the basic rules is sufficient for ongoing play.

On the face of it, much of what can be found in the Oed/BX/AD&D rules is present: classes, levels, hp, etc. The details of those elements has changed, though not in a fashion that makes them unrecognizable. It should feel quite familiar in many ways to old school players.

I'll ask about different topics in individual messages in the thread. I believe we'll begin with questions about classes.

Offline Pladohs Ghost

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About classes 1
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2017, 07:13:15 PM »
First, the exact mix of classes available in the basic set has yet to be nailed down. Deciding what is fit for basic and what should be included in the advanced set is tricky, as I want there to be a solid set of available classes for basic play without it being overwhelming.

So, at this point, the basic classes look to be fighters, wayfarers, and magicians. There are subclasses of each: Fighters: soldiers and troopers; wayfarers: hunters and rovers; magicians: wizards, witches, and sorcerers. The classes each have sub-classes and then those sub-classes can support a bunch of kits (so Witches can be hedge witches or druid-like figures or something else).

The advanced rules will include vagabonds (tomb robbers and snoops) and a class of characters that specialize in social abilities (think of spies impersonating merchants and similar characters). It's not that these types of characters are necessarily more difficult to play, just that the feel of basic fantasy is established by those listed for the basic set.

What you won't find are any warrior-magician types. No spell-casting rangers or non-human fighter-MUs. I'm wanting the character skillsets to be pretty distinct when comparing classes.

There also won't be any thieves or assassins. I'm aiming the system at heroic fantasy and I don't find that those types of characters fit very well. There will likely be a section in the advanced GM's book that offers up chargen rules for anti-heroes that includes such (one of my favorite PCs I didn't get to play much was an assassin), so the option will be available on that basis.

Now, I'd love to hear about PCs and NPCs you've loved in play and those you've wanted to put into play. I want to figure out how they fit into my rules.

Offline Dizzy

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Re: In the thick of things
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2017, 10:06:28 PM »
I like your mix of classes for the basic. I think they're well rounded, and with the sub-classes still give the players some options if they want them. Would you be offering even more sub-classes in the advanced rules?

I like the idea of the vagabonds. Kind of more of what an adventuring thief would be rather than just a common 'thief'. Would healing be done by the magicians? or would there be any magical healing at all?

Offline Pladohs Ghost

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Re: In the thick of things
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2017, 08:13:49 PM »
I like your mix of classes for the basic. I think they're well rounded, and with the sub-classes still give the players some options if they want them. Would you be offering even more sub-classes in the advanced rules?
I expect to have more subclasses after a bunch of playtesting and more world-building. There are already a couple intended as optional, if the GM wants to allow for them (anti-heroes, as it were).

Quote
I like the idea of the vagabonds. Kind of more of what an adventuring thief would be rather than just a common 'thief'.
Yeah, I'm going for character types that on the face of it aren't evil or anti-social, so the folks with those skills ply their trade in more neutral fashion. I don't equate stealing from the dead and buried to be the same as stealing from the living, so tomb robbers (retrievers?) are OK. Snoops are spies that specialize in B&E for hire in the name of political machinations and the like. And those seem to be much more interesting than a random burglar from the Poor Quarter.

Quote
Would healing be done by the magicians? or would there be any magical healing at all?

There's some magic healing to be had--especially among the witches/druids--though it's unlikely to be the instantaneous healing found in most games. More likely to speed the healing process along, whether general trauma or specific wounds.


Offline Alex Karaczun

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Re: In the thick of things
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2017, 02:03:35 PM »
I like the sound of this!
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Offline Pladohs Ghost

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Re: In the thick of things
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2017, 12:56:42 AM »
I've changed lines of work and now have enough time to resume having a life, so I can now get the writing of this project done in a reasonable amount of time. The project has expanded a bit, so the final set of rules will likely come much later than I expected; I'm OK with that, as the first part will likely be as I expected.

The project now has three "levels" of rules. There will be a Basic rules set, an Expert Rules set, and an Expanded rules set. Each will have both a Players' Book and a GMs' book. They'll all be able to use the same bestiary. The rules for the Expert set will include and expand on those in the Basic set, and the Expanded set will include all that came before, so the rules are compatible throughout. It's more a matter of how complex a group wants their game to be.

The Basic rules are being developed as a beginners' set. I'm writing more thorough descriptions of the basics of roleplaying and how to play than I've seen in any other RPG. The subsystems are the most basic, bare bones subsystems and leave room for lots of rulings for each group.

The Expert rules add options and more structure. More classes and subclasses. Non-human PCs. More available subsystems for the GM to use. For example, where the action system in basic involves Quick Action ordering, the Expert rules add Ordered Action and provides the GM with an additional way to regulate who goes when in the middle of an action scene.

The Expanded rules then expands on the Expert rules. More subclasses and so forth. Expanded subsystems and more options in those. More subsystems to add to campaign depth.

A group can then decide how much of the system to use. Just the basics or a little more or a lot more. Pulling character subclasses from the Expanded rules into an otherwise Basic rules game will be simple.

I've thought of putting the Expert and Expanded together, with the Expanded rules all offered as optional in the Expert set. That feels like the most likely way I'll organize it, though I'll still develop the whole thing as if it's three individual game sets.

Offline Pladohs Ghost

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Re: In the thick of things
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2017, 02:45:10 PM »
Just realized that the types of PCs I'm planning map well to the major rules sections in the game. Social interactions, travel, exploration, investigation, action, magic, and spying. There's a bit more variety to it than the classic set up. The challenge is to provide structure to play while retaining choice for the players.