OpenQuest 2 IndieGoGo campaign, why?

Later today the OpenQuest2 pre-order will go live. This post goes into why I’m doing it this way.

OpenQuest has gone through five mini-editions since it was released back in 2009. With each incremental update we’ve trapped more errors, clarified the rules, and added more content (monsters, spells, adventures and additional optional rules). One thing that people have always asked me for is a hardcover version, but I’ve always resisted since it would have meant reformatting the book from A4 to US Trade, something that takes time. In the first couple of years after OQ’s release time was in short supply as I worked on other games to establish D101 Games.

For various reasons time is now available to do a hardback and I thought it be a good time to address some of the art and layout issues that still exist in the book. John Holmes who has a razor sharp eye for typos and game logic mistakes has gone through the entire text. Meanwhile OQ’s artist Simon Bray has touched up his existing art where necessary and replaced all the clip-art with new pieces. Now that we have a tidied up or ‘Remastered’ version, thoughts have turned to doing a proper second edition of the game. Now don’t get me wrong this will not be a radical re-write of the rules, merely a tidy up and expansion. For example take Magic. I plan to keep the three magic approach, revise some of the problematic spells and add a supplementary magical approach for evil magicians (Blood magic), rather than collect all the spells into one unified magic system that does away with magic points.  So you could conceivably keep your old copy of OQ1 and get the new OQ2 content via the OQ2 Dev Kit (although note the setting Empire of Gatan + some of the examples is not going to be part it this time round).  So that brought me into a state of dilemma. I could conceivably work on OQ2 implementing people’s requests and either write too much or too little.  OpenQuest had a strong tradition of open development involving the game’s community. So as answer I thought that doing an campaign would determine how much the community wants to see certain features.

Please note this is a PRE-ORDER. No matter what happens if you put your money down you’ll get the tidied up OpenQuest Remastered in print or pdf dependent on the pre-order you buy. This book is already in layout. If we raise more money than the initial goal, I take it from there 😉

Playin’ Pathfinder

Ok so instead of carrying on manically playing Crypts and Things or even driving OpenQuest into the ground earlier in the year me and my group invested in Pathfinder and since late year as time allows have been running a mini-campaign.

1. The adventure style is very AD&D 1st ed Dungeon crawl with a setting that is a love letter to a certain “grim and perilous” setting 😉  If I do get round to writing it up I’m highly likely to be doing a Labyrinth Lord write up as well as a PFRG version.

2. The players, all jaded 3.5ers, are loving it as I’m I. Every rules tweak seems to have been made in the name of FUN and COOL 🙂

3. Even though I’m a very low crunch GM I’m not feeling too out of my depth. The books are very clearly written reference books, and during play I’ve been using my Netbook to access the Pathfinder PRD.  Overall it feels like I’ve got a big friendly beardy DM called Bob on hand at all times, who patiently explains without being judgemental how to do stuff.

4. Even though I’m not using miniatures the game is running just fine.

5. I ran the first couple of sessions completely feat-less for the monsters, which you can get away with at low levels, but I’m now into the swing of it.  In away this makes the game a little bit predictable, or push button gaming as my players call it, as both sides of a combat run through their feats to get an advantage.

Overall its a fun departure from our usual style of gaming, short focused story driven, where we’ve been kicking back and just Dungeon Crawling the heck out of the adventures.

OpenQuest 2 Mega Gaming Fun edition :)

Its spring bank holiday this weekend here in the UK, and the long weekend affords me time to sit in my Ivory Tower of Doom and finally nail what I’m including in OpenQuest 2.

Over the last week or so I’ve been working on Battle Magic. I’ve already got 50 or so new spells + another batch from Nathan Baron ( author of the upcoming Empires Rising ) + spells from the Legend SRD which aren’t already in OQ.  That’s before I even start looking at ‘classic’ RQ sources for inspiration. My overall objective with the magic system is to make it less ‘whiffy’ and more fun. My players have picked up on the fact that there’s spells in there like Fanaticism that don’t do a great deal, and are in fact superseded by their Divine/Sorcery counterparts (Berserk in this example).  This isn’t new to OQ, in the previous example the players said “magic has always been a bit crap in RQ”.  In OQ1 I did a partial job of ‘fixing’ the magic system, but I was sensitive that I wanted backwards compatibility. This time round I’m less concerned.   Sorcery and Divine are getting similar overhauls and extra spells.

As well as finally making my mind up on the contents/scope of OQ2, which I’ll post here when I’m done, I’ll also be considering whether or not I do a IndieGoGo preorder. Would that be something folks would be into?

2012 D101 and the old skool

OK here’s that beginning of year statement that frankly I should have put out at the beginning of the year…but hey this is the man who is doing the not so synchronized 12 Days of the UK OSR (which I’ve not forgotten about) 😉

So here’s how D101 stands with the Old School Renaissance (which ever form you are following);

Pretty fuckin’ Tall

OpenQuest is still my biggest seller, despite being something you can download for free, and Crypts and Things completely blew me out of the water when I ran the pre-order. From recent discussions where various folk have basically poked me repeatedly about the General Release date, I kinda get the feeling I’m sitting on a volcano here. Nice feeling that 🙂

In fact the Old school stuff is definitely half my income, the other half being Glorantha + my more indie games ( Monkey + Wordplay ). Part of me thinks it would be fun to go OSR all the way, but practicality + the fact I still like my Glorantha and story telling games so this ain’t going to happen. But saying that from coming in as a curious outsider, attracted because a couple of folk like Akrasia ( Akratic Wizardry ) and Shange Magnus ( Swords against the Outer Dark ) from the OSR blog sphere said nice things about OpenQuest, I’m now fully a champion of this style of play.

OpenQuest 2nd Edition
This is going to be a 2nd edition in the same way that Chaosium does new editions for Call of Cthulhu. i.e. the underlying rules stay the same, with some clarifications and fixes, but with some additional content. So far we’ve made good progress towards achiving milestone number 1: Clean up, which is where I can put out a nice version in 8″ x 11″ ( which means hardcovers ) with tidied up rules and all the clip art replaced. Simon Bray has done a Stirling job on the art, touching up the existing art (his choice not mine) & illustrating the monsters that currently are presented by clip art. John Holmes is applying his laser eye to the rule book.

Milestone 2 “Additional Content” requires a bit more work. There’s going to be additional advice from me, because it became clear that I wrote a lot of OQ from the point of view that people would already be familiar with over 30 years of Game development history. The Otherworlds in the game are a good example. If you have been following Glorantha’s chequered history you’ll know exactly what I mean by Spirit World. If not you’ll need it explaining, which is what I aim to do. Other articles already lined up are “The Life Cycle of a Character” which explains the levels of play that an OpenQuest character goes through, so that players and Games Masters can create appropriately exciting adventures. There’s also some additional Optional rules by Simon Bray for “Relationships”. The big draw for additional content is a selection of new spells. I’ve got about 30 to add from the newly OGLed Legend, which will ensure compatibilty for GMS running adventures from that line and hopefully RQ6 to, + another 30+ of my own devising. Once we’ve reached Milestone 2 2nd Ed will be most accurately described as “OpenQuest Deluxe Edition” 🙂

Depending on the amount of work I generate aiming for a Summer release by the very latest 🙂

Here Be Dragons
Simon Bray’s and Paul Mitcheners weird and wonderful Swords and Sorcery island is currently in Editorial, so you’ll be getting a brand new Sandbox to play in. Release to coincide with OQ2 (so Summer/Autumn).

Crypts & Things
Main rule book
I’m fulfilling this as I type, so pre-orders should start landing in people’s post end of this or next week. General release very soon…watch this blog.

Blood of the Dragon and other adventures
The first module, is nearly finished writing wise, so that should be with pre-order people in March, with a general release a week after pre-orders have had theirs sent out. Look at ref number “UKS-01”, what could that mean? Well it means that its the start of a three module series set in “The Spires” (that’s where the S comes from ) 🙂 Next module “UKS-02 Fort Boneguard” is kinda my take on Keep of the Boarderlands with scads of undead. Finally things end with a bang with “UKS-03 Tower of the Hydra” a Sorcerer’s tower for you and your chums to take control of , or not if you don’t understand its twists and turns.

I’ve also got a couple of half-finished pieces, such as the 5th Level adventure I ran at Furnace 2010 here by known as “The Sky is Falling”, that will get written up at some point hopefully this year.

More stuff in the pipeline as well, but since its more nebulous I won’t mention it yet.