Grogzilla

Missed out on getting a copy of Grogzilla at Grogmeet 2019?

This 36 A5 page zine of D101 Mega Gaming Fun with skyscraper high three-headed firebreathing lizards is now available to preorder (with free pdf)

As well as articles for OpenQuest and Crypts and Things, it also has a sequel to the Road to Hell in the form of Wigan Pigs an adventure for OSR games. Also making their debut in Grogzilla are the Six Traveller culture for Mythras, which is a short taste of things to come in the new year.

 

 

River of Heaven Refreshed + To the Stars 20% off until end of July

Finally, the much-delayed River of Heaven Companion, To the Stars is now available from the D101 Games web store.

This 88-page book contains rules for organisations, adventure seeds and quick-start campaign outlines. It also includes two adventures by John Ossoway, The Last Witness and Message From Futhermost (which never been available in print before).

Also, to go with along with the companion is an updated version of the main rule book, River of Heaven Refreshed, which as well as another editorial pass and updated combat chapter, now has the introductory adventure Reunion included in the book. It’s also now printed on heavier paper, so Peter Frain’s most excellent illustrations are better reflected.
I’m expecting the final print books by the end of the month, so until then pre-order either book before then and you will get a 20% discount. Simply enter the code BLASTOFF20 at checkout.

Note if you are a previously bought River of Heaven via the d101 games webstore or drivethrurpg.com (this includes Kickstarter backers) simply redownload the pdf to get River of Heaven Refreshed.

OpenQuest 3 Combat

Work continues on OpenQuest 3. I’m very close to finishing of the core of the game, which will be made available to patrons of my OpenQuest Adventures Patreon along with an updated The Road Less Travelled (the introductory adventure, last seen in OpenQuest 2 Deluxe).

Currently, I’m working my way through the Combat chapter. One of the big changes from OpenQuest 2 is that I’ve reorganised the chapter to include Social and Magical combat as well as physical combat. These two sections aren’t complete rewrites of what’s in OQ2, but as the following introduction to the current draft Combat chapter shows, the overall effect is to treat combat more as a complete whole where verbal and magical attacks are made force the opposition to bend to the character’s will as well as fighting, and that verbal and magical attacks can also form a big part of any physical combat.

“Combat occurs when one side, either the characters or the non-player characters, decide to use force, either physical, social, or magical, to get what they want. This chapter looks at all the offensive and defensive options a character has when things take a less peaceful path.

There are three combat sub-systems in OpenQuest.

Social Combat occurs when words turn sharp in meaning and at least one side of an argument is trying to get the other to do want they want.

Social combat can take three forms:

  • Fast talk, where an attacker tries to quickly sway a defender into accepting their course of action.
  • Oratory, where two sides field advocates for their position and try to get the other side to accept it.
  • Intimidation, where one side tries to threaten the other into submission. This type of social combat given its nature can be used as a sub-conflict in physical combat.

Physical Combat is when swords and axes go smashing through armour in Close Combat, bows shot at distant foes in Ranged Combat, and when it’s fist against claw in Unarmed Combat.

Magical Combat occurs when magicians attack targets with offensive magic, who then try to resist against it, when two magicians throw magical energy at one another and when hostile spirits attack mortals seeking to take control of their bodies.

The combat sub-systems are discussed in the order they are because it’s the order that players tend to go through when trying to get their way with non-player characters.  First, they will use one of the social combat techniques to talk it over with the non-player characters. Then if that doesn’t work weapons will be drawn and they will engage in physical combat. If they have a magician in the party who is actively supporting them with spells, or they realise that they need to use magic themselves to boost their combat abilities, they then engage with the Magic Combat techniques.”

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.