Rather than apologizing for being off the blogs the last two weeks (long-time readers will know I am feeling both sorry and guilt-ridden), I'll just try to pick up with something interesting: I've spent the (fairly little) spare time I've had the last couple weeks to finish up the writing on a new game: my fantasy-meets-cyberpunk knock-off that's been gathering dust on the shelf ever since the last round o play-testing revealed some nasty little flaws.
Welp, the new game has been re-vamped and stream-lined and is ready for a second set of play-testing. Even better, the writing is complete (at least in the current format...see below...); whereas half my prior play-testing was done from cribbed notes, this time I've got the whole thing in manuscript form. Except for a table of contents and index the thing is completely useable...though I'm still considering the addition of an appendix or two.
Problem is the thing is loooong...while currently under my requisite 64 pages (it's 60) with lots of blank space for illustrations, I've got the font dialed down to "tiny." Not micro-game tiny (I believe those were all done in 7 point), but certainly clocking in at the 8.5 range...a lot smaller than I'd prefer. It looks fine (to me) in a PDF format, but I'm afraid I might need to do some drastic cutting for a print run. At least assuming there IS a print-run...and assuming I intend to stay to my one-book, 64-page format.
That's what I'd prefer, of course...simply because it seems to be the best, most useable format for using an RPG at the game table. Oh, yes, I know all the cool kids like their tablets and the grognards are pleased with their stack of hard covers, but pour moi, I like a book whose basic rule set can fit into one soft-cover, saddle-stitched volume.
At least, that's been my story for awhile and until recently I was willing to fight doggedly (or stubbornly) for the concept. Now, though...well, in doing my version of D&D Mine (which IS still on the table by the way), I kinda' fell in love with the whole "tiny three volume book" set. In fact, that's the format I've been using for writing my D&D Mine. The original LBBs are only 112 pages total (some of which are illustration only) and since they're half the size of a "standard 64" (a la Moldvay's Basic set) that means they're clocking in at 56 pages of writing. Tiny writing, but still...
Anyway, I might take the new game and do it in a three volume version similar to the LBBs (though with different themes: characters and rules would be Volume 1, magic and tech would be Volume 2, and GM stuff including NPC profiles would be Volume 3), but as I said, right now it's in a decent enough (and complete enough) form that I'm ready to start the next round of play-testing.
Which, by the way, I intend to start this week.
I've already farmed the manuscript out to one gaming group that's interested/willing to give it a go (their GM is one of the artists doing work on the soon-to-be-published TCBXA book). And I am taking my dice and gaming back to the Baranof starting this week. The game has a simple "adventure creation" system (more of an "plot idea" series of random tables, really), that I will be using to create some single-session missions. I will be posting more to the blog as I document my attempts at breaking the thing.
[well, truthfully, I'll probably just leave the breaking to the players]
When will this game be published? No idea. In fact, I had an offer a while back from a different independent publisher looking to buy the thing. Unfortunately, at the time it wasn't nearly complete enough to shop around (not that I'm proactive/ambitious enough to take that kind of initiative myself...). Right now, I just want to see if I've gotten the kinks out enough that it's playable...this is, after all, a complete system, not a supplement or add-on to an existing game (like B/X). Still, I'm fairly excited...I'm especially anxious to give the magic system a twirl. Previously it had be far too similar to FASA's "Shadowrun" game (to the game's detriment). Now...well, it definitely has its own spin on sorcery!...but only testing will tell whether or not the system works as intended.
So yeah, that's the latest-greatest. As always, I once again fully intend regular posting to commence this week...but the 2nd week of April is going to be another single-parent-killer and I'll be heading out of town at the end of the month, too, so who the F knows. And, oh yeah, taxes...gotta' get that whole mess out-o-the way so I can even tell if I have the money to print The Complete B/X Adventurer. Here's hoping!