Monday, April 29, 2013

Runebearer Going Forward

My last post, nearly a year ago was about shutting the Runebearer website down and putting the game on ice. It has been a while, but I am back into a regular gaming swing and have a bit of renewed energy. With that renewed energy comes quite a few ideas for Runebearer, and I figured I would share them with you.

The gist of the plan is to run through all the current rules -- not a full rewrite, but add some of the stuff that I have been toying with in my recent campaign, cut some stuff that hasn't been used, and generally clean things up a bit. Once that is done, I plan to compile everything into a single document and post it to a print-on-demand shop, and get a set of books made for everyone in my current gaming circle.

I figure that it would be nice to have an honest-to-goodness book at the table with me when I am gaming. Plus, it would be a nice thank you to all of my gamer friends.

Someone suggested putting the pdf up for free on Drive Thru Gaming.. and I am all for making the new version of RB available for free, but I am not sure how easy it is to get something on their site. We'll have to see. I am not too keen on putting a Runebearer website back up because frankly, I don't find maintaining the web stuff fun at all.

In any case, what is new in Version 3 of Runebearer?

  • Alchemy is gone for now -- The skill remains as a way to identify potions, but the rules for creating potions are out for now. They were hard for PC alchemists to use and so, at least in our games, very few people made alchemists. For the number of pages those rules took, we got very little out of them. I am going to rethink alchemy and put it back in as a supplement.
  • Herbalism gets expanded -- Herbalists now have the ability to use their finds in their raw form, or they can process them to make them more potent, or to create entirely different effects. Herbalists have tons more to do now, which makes up a little, for the removal of alchemy.
  • Talents -- Talents have been in the game for a while, but they weren't in the last version that was "published" as far as I can remember. Talents are a different way to level up your skills. Instead of spending your checks to increase your skill level, you can use them to buy talents that enhance your skills and give them new and interesting uses.
  • Limitations are gone for now -- I have removed limitations from character creation for the time being. I have soured on the idea of taking a character limitation in exchange for buy points because I have seen too often players trying to take limitations they will try to avoid in play... not really a good role-playing tool. Limitations may return, but hopefully in such a way that they will lead to more role-playing opportunities instead of min-maxing ones.
  • Weapons now have traits -- Weapons have traits to differentiate types of weapons. Knives and daggers have the Fast trait that allows you to occasionally get an extra attack. Axes get Limb Breaker, allowing them to do more damage if they hit an arm or a leg. Spears get the Thust maneuver, possibly piercing armor if a small penalty to-hit is taken.
  • The Repair skill has a point now -- Gear now degrades in combat and the repair skill is used to fix it. In addition, if your repair gets high enough, you can hone a piece of equipment, giving it a temporary bonus.
  • Tough or Willful characters can "shake-off" some damage -- After combat, you can shake off some non-wound damage if your toughness or willpower is high enough.
  • Priest powers have been expanded -- Priests now have the ability to call upon the Bostonian saints for assistance.
  • More spells -- Because I like spells... and I am putting the spells in a more succinct and easier to use format.
  • A lot of tweaking the various skills and talents in the game -- There are a lot of small changes to cut things that were underutilized, or clunky in practice.
A lot of these changes are in the current version of the rules in the Dropbox folder. I am working on the rest of them over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully, that means I will be able to go to print sometime in the summer.

Oh... and I could use a sucker... I mean an editor :)