OpenQuest 3rd Edition Current Status

Slowly but surely plans are being laid and turned into action to bring OpenQuest back to life. A Kickstarted new edition of the rules, and an ongoing Patreon to support the release of new and revised adventures.

I’m currently working on OpenQuest 3rd Edition, in preparation of a Kickstarter to be launched in Aug/Sept to tie in with its 10 year anniversary. It’s not as a radical revision of the system that I thought it would be at one stage but its enough to call it 3rd Edition.
Highlights so far:

  • Combat now has systems for Social (new) and Magic (revised spirit combat)
  • Combat order now based on highest modified skill.
  • Magic just one system (Sorcerers and Priests just become specialist caster types, but everyone uses one common magic list, spend magic points).
  • New rules for Organisations which replaces the cult rules and extend to guilds and less magical organisation.

I want a system that can support lots of new funky fantasy adventures (and other genres) that’s simple yet mega-fun to play but has a few more modern standards built into it.

As well as the Kickstarter there will be an ongoing Patreon called OpenQuest Adventures, to fund what fans really want ADVENTURES without me having to point out that these are quite risky releases for D100 systems,  When I get enough support for the Patreon I will commission other authors to write adventures. I’m putting the pieces in place of this to launch at the beginning of May, and the first release will come bundled with a playtest version of OpenQuest 3rd Ed.

The last thing on my current roadmap is playtesting, which opens up next week. I’ve already done a fair bit of playtesting, the social combat rules got a good run out a couple of months ago at one shot game at Go Play Manchester for example, but this will be the first time I’ve put everything together and see how it flows. A call for open playtesting will happen sometime in early June.

So OpenQuest 3rd edition dates for your diary:

  • Now: internal playtest begins, watch out for actual play-reports.
  • Early May: OpenQuest Adventures Patreon opens.
  • Early June, Public playtest.
  • Aug/Sept: OpenQuest 3rd Edition Kickstarter to coincide with the 10th Anniversary of the game’s original release.

Which way for a new version of OpenQuest?

OK I’m gearing up to a tenth-anniversary version of OpenQuest in 2019, probably Kickstarting it over the summer.

Obviously, I’ve got my thoughts on what I’d like to change. I’ve got two approaches I could take which fall broadly between two extremes.

Approach 1. OpenQuest 2 tidied up.  Minimal changes, another editorial pass/proof, all new art from the current stable of D101 Artists, reintroduce the Empire of Gatan overview that was taken out in the last version and release the book as an all in one inclusive rulebook. Emphasis on polish rather than big rules changes.

Approach 2. OpenQuest 3 a more radical revision of the rules and presentation. Spilt the current 8 by 11 inch 250+ page book into three 6 x 9-inch books: Book 1: Rules + Magic, Book 2 D100 World Builders (GM’s book) Book 3  Bestiary.  Under this approach, OpenQuest Basics (the current free pdf/lo-cost 6×9 inch book) becomes a free artless Book 1 in pdf only. Rules would also get a good going over and it would be a proper new version, called OpenQuest 3 – where there would be big changes such as elimination ot the three approaches of magic.

I’m running this as a poll over at the OpenQuest forum over at BasicRoleplaying.org, so if you want to add your voice there visit this post.

So as well as voting for which approach would you favour, what would you want to see changed or sorted out in this version of OpenQuest?

Where I’m upto with OpenQuest

So I had a sofa day yesterday, an enforced stop due to an upset tummy.

In between blissful bouts of sleep, where somehow family life carried on without me, I realised that I like OpenQuest as written. That I spent a lot of time writing, musing over it, playtesting, releasing into the wild to great critical acclaim and yet I’ve been knocked back by a few bits of criticism (a bad review here and an ill thought out comment there) and a whole bucketful of self-doubt. I’ve worked on variant rules, complete rewrites, rewrites from scratch, getting further and further away each time of what I want out of a D100 system. Its kinda like what my mum used to do when we went shoe shopping for me as a lad. We’d spend a whole morning sizing up the possibilities, then get the best shoes possible. There would then be a short period where we were blissfully happy about the outcome. Then next time we out in town, my mum would then start criticising our choice, pointing out shoes that she thought were a better deal. I’ve done the same with OpenQuest and that’s wrong of me and I’ve had a spectacular own goal moment as a result.

My red-flag moment, if you’ve been following my last couple of vague posts about it on G+, was a couple of months ago when there’s been a whole lot of nonsense over at BRPCentral about MRQ1 SRD no longer being valid under the OGL and by extension OpenQuest itself. This triggered me into opening up the InDesign files, cut and pasting the text back into Word and giving the whole game another through self-edit (finally dealing with all those pesky Capitalisations which I used to be a big fan). There will be a few rewrites of rules, but not many because as I went through the text it slowly dawned I like the rules as written. Yesterday’s enforced stop meant that penny finally dropped. I love OpenQuest 🙂 This will probably see great sighs of relief from my co-conspirator Paul Mitchener who has patiently listened to all my plans for revitalising/rewriting OpenQuest when all I need to do is get on with writing adventures/settings for it 🙂

So what does this mean? Probably not a great deal immediately. I’m working on a cleaned up version of the main rulebook, which I’m going to also add some new monsters (I’ve about twenty or so planned), add back in the Empire of Gatan chapter (seeing as my plan last year to do a whole supplement based on it has fallen through for the time being) and the introductory adventure The Road Less Travelled. This “Maximum” (as in Fun geddit?) edition will probably go back to using the wraparound Dragon cover last seen on OQ2 Deluxe.

The main one which I can start work on now, even as I noodle away doing the Maximum Edition, is getting adventures out for it. This was the main thing folk wanted for OpenQuest whenever I asked on forums was new adventures. I’ve got three adventures nearly written up, as well as the previously announced Green Hell. Without the bottleneck of me worrying about the underlying system, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t get these out by the end of the year 🙂

And if you are a fan of the Company and River of Heaven, there’s news coming about these too 🙂

 

 

Chronicles of Erun now in Development

I’m developing the Chronicles of Erun, a game based off OpenQuest but written from the ground up.

It’s early days yet, I’m hoping to get it out the first half of 2018, but I’ve started giving details out at BasicRoleplaying Central, which now has a dedicated subforum (under OpenQuest).

The aim with the game overall is to have a very quick playing, pick up and play system, where you can play a very focused (and fun) campaign in about 10 sessions, with breaks for real life stuff.

All art will be by British Artist Jonny Gray.

The Chronicles of Erun cover by Jonny Gray

The Chronicles of Erun cover by Jonny Gray

Christmas in July UK OSR picks

Here’s my personal list of picks from the UK publishers participating in DriveThruRPG.com’s Christmas in July sale.

Return of the Woodland Warriors by Beyond Belief Games
I loved the first edition of this simplified and tweaked version of Swords & Wizardry that only uses D6s and is suitable for children. The new edition has full-colour art which adds to the magic. Lovely cover by longtime D101 collaborator Peter Frian.

The Cthulhu Hack by Just Crunch Games
Rules light, courtesy of its use of the Black Hack engine, rules for Cthulhu investigative horror. It’s just been upgraded to version 1.5, which refines this already sharp ruleset. Oh and its supplements are also in the sale.

Mythras by Design Mechanism
If you’ve not got this behemoth of D100 goodness by now here’s your chance. As well as the core system, which is a complete thing and good to go running a wide variety of fantasy settings of various genres, all the formidable selection of adventures and setting books are in the sale.

My recommendations: Mythic Rome & Mythic Britain (including Mythic Britain: Logres, the supplement by D101 collaborator Paul Mitchener about the Anglo Saxons), and I’m going to use the sale to catch up with the Monthly Mythras adventures that I’ve woefully fallen behind on.

Crypts of Indormancy by Melsonian Arts Council
A nice self-contained, creepy as fuck adventure for Lamentations of the Flame Princess.

Clockwork and Chivalry by Cakebread and Walton
The English Civil War as fought by Alchemical Cavaliers and Clockwork device using Roundheads.  One of my favourite settings of all time, and the D100 Renaissance system (an offspring of OpenQuest) makes me grin even more. Also check out the epic Pirates & Dragons, if you fancy a bit of fantasy Pirates in the vein of Pirates of the Carribean.

The Christmas in July sale is on until the end of the month over at DriveThruRPG.com, and all of D101 Games Books are participating with 25% off all pdfs.

Grab some D101 Old School goodness in our 25% Summer Sale

25% off Summer Sale at D101 Games Web store, for two weeks, closes Sunday 16th July 12 am GMT.
Amongst the items on Sale!

  • Crypts and Things (Softcover £15/$23 Hardcover £23/$30)
  • River of Heaven (Softcover £15/$23 Hardcover £23/$30)
  • The Savage North for OpenQuest (£7.5/$10)

P&P is free to UK residents.

OpenQuest Refreshed is here!

The new updated version of OpenQuest is now available. Its a slight tidy of up and revision of the OpenQuest 2 Deluxe version that I released over five years ago, with a new cover by Jon Hodgson and all new full colour art by Jeshields inside.

Its now available via the D101 Web Store

If you are looking for more information about what this new edition involves, and the plans for supplements going forward, check out this blog post over my Sorcerer Under Mountain blog.

Here’s the new cover by Jon Hodgson.

OpenQuest cover by Jon Hodgson

OpenQuest cover by Jon Hodgson

Sunday Morning Dungeons, Green Hell

When I was in my teens and running a weekly game, “Sunday Morning Dungeons” was the term I used for the couple of hours in the morning where I would happily throw together a dungeon for my game in the afternoon. Today I’ve got no game in the afternoon, only a series of adult responsibilities, but I’ve cracked open afresh notebook and started writing notes about my next OpenQuest game, Green Hell.

Green Hell cover by Jeshields

Green Hell cover by Jeshields

With Green Hell I’m firmly looking to get back to what makes OQ great for me. Fun. I’m not over thinking what I’m doing and if something looks like it would be fun to do I’m throwing it into the “Toy box” I’m creating. I’ve about 20 character illustrations by the great Jesheilds, many of which appear in the new refreshed OpenQuest rule book I’m about to release and the first port of call as always with any of my D100 games was to draw up a cast list of characters. There’s a surprising lack of humans, in fact only 2 out of the five factions that the characters fall into are human and one of those is hanging onto its humanity by a thread. Those five factions are quite diverse, a Dwarfen Expeditionary Force looking for lost relics, a Pirate Ship making its way along the rivers and coast raiding and trading as it goes, the warped woodland inhabitants of the the Wild Wood, the followers of a Water Nymph who lives in an bay, and finally the rather odd inhabitants of the Emerald Temple, which lies at the heart of the mystery that flows through the setting.

Next up was quickly outlining the Cults of the setting. Cults are one of the essential ingredients of any OpenQuest setting in that its where the player characters and their opponents get their magic and skills training. They act as an anchor in the world, supporting the characters, helping them with an off the peg world view and a set of readymade contacts. But is something that I feel I’ve been a bit muted about in previous OQ releases. Well not this time. Green Hell has about five Hero Cults, of people living or dead that you can draw magic (Battle Magic) from their legends and personal magnetism. This gives the factions some of their coherence. Take the Pirates faction, The Skull Jammers. All the ship’s crew follow the Hero Cult dedicated to the founding captain called the “Skull and Bones” (yes slightly cheesy I know but easy to remember when the players are being bombarded with names of NPCs, Locations and events in game). From him they gain Weapon Enhance since he was handy with his cutlass, Walk on Water after a legendary story where he walked on water to board an enemy ship, and Enhance Athletics so all the pirates can merrily go swinging round the rigging! There’s also a cult that despite appearances is a Sorcery cult and a Divine Cult which centres round rather lost and aimless deity, who instead of guiding and commanding piety from her worshippers just sits there staring into the distance while her followers mill about doing what they think she wants. I’ve decided as well that gone of the days of boring utility deities, such as the War God who only exists to provide Warrior PCs with magic. Firmly in the camp now that Deities are in mad, bad and dangerous to know category, with their followers being powerful and a bit unhinged from everyday life. This attitude probably comes from reading and playing Unknown Armies 2nd Edition.

Then I started contemplating rules for trekking across the Swamp, and all the nasty diseases and fierce some wildlife you can encounter, then I realised it was lunchtime so I put down my pen.