Thursday, June 23, 2016

E&E 2nd edition—chapter one complete

It's a curious thing, stripping the setting out of a game book and putting a complete set of core rules in its place.

It's also curious having the freedom to invent my own mechanics, and finding that most of the time I'd rather just go with what I know.

Anyway—a complete RPG book needs, what: character creation, items & equipment, rules for dungeon-crawling, rules for wilderness adventures, rules for combat, maybe some notes on vehicles, and then spells, items, monsters, and some encounter tables?

And a lot of that stuff, even from basic D&D, I don't actually use.  I just wing it, or I use a vastly simplified system (like what's found in Retro Phaze—a lot of that may just get lifted for E&E 2).

So with the first chapter done, I have character classes and equipment all hashed out, which puts me at about 20% right now.  I wonder if I'll have this done by the end of summer.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Grid-based encumbrance

I've been rather consumed lately with revising Engines & Empires (yes, a true second edition is now officially forthcoming—and as a standalone game rather than setting for someone else's), and one of the first snags I hit was encumbrance.  I used Delta's stone-based encumbrance in the original publication; since then, I've found that most players just prefer to count pounds.  But there's something so unsatisfying about a "bean-counting" encumbrance system: players scrimp and twist and cajole and wheedle and do everything they can to stay under that first 40 lb. "light encumbrance" threshold… which means that you wind up having a bunch of players who are all running around with exactly 39½ pounds of gear (most of the time; treasure-hoards and bags of holding do alter this equation from time to time).

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Demi-humans and multi-classing

I've been so busy lately, I haven't had the chance to write about everything I've wanted to.  I finally got my copies of the Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures rulebooks (the core rules, plus Further Afield and Heroes Young and Old) in the mail.  I was going to write a full review of them, but then a bunch of stuff happened between school and family, and that's on back-burner now.

One thing that became apparent even on a cursory read-through, though, was that using a conversion of the D&D 5E engineer class wasn't going to cut the mustard—not balanced against the way magic works in BtW.  Likewise, I can't use my own tech class from Engines & Empires; that was written explicitly to be balanced against BECMI magic-users and clerics.