Sunday, April 24, 2011

Editing Continues...

I’ve got a nearly-final draft of Resolute: The Splintered Realm done, and here are some things you might want to know about how it ended up:

- It’s 20 pages, in a very similar format to Resolute: Towers of Arvandoria; the pdf is landscape and primarily 3 columns in black and white with one accent color (lavender). However, it’s quite a bit more packed with content; Arvandoria was just over 14,000 words, whereas RTSR weighs in at over 20,000; so I increased the word count by almost 50% but the page count by only 25%. I felt at points the way I feel about writing poetry; you want to get as much mileage out of every word as you can- there’s really no room for wasted language.
- I ended up with 29 monsters in the bestiary. This feels to me like a great starter selection; it’s a little heavy on insects and humanoids, but I like insects and humanoids!
- I shelved the starter adventure that was included in the ashcan in favor of the re-working of an adventure from the Gryphon Watch Adventures I published a few years ago. It’s a classic dungeon crawl that better fits the flavor of the game as it is right now.

FYI, Although the book is ‘done’, I’m still not releasing it until June 1. I still want to hammer out some small details (today, I’m toying with the idea of making heroes never mooks; this seems pretty reasonable to me. In larger groups, the heroes are going to end up as mooks against single foes rated at their fellowship’s level; seven heroes each built on 60 CPs (a large and powerful team to be sure) is going to have a total CP value of 240 CPs (wow). A foe built on 240 CPs (pretty much the most powerful creature in the game) is going make them mooks 2x over. This I don’t really like.

One more thing I’m doing is (now that I’m close to done and I’m not worried so much about directly swiping things from others) is to go back and re-read some RPG books that influenced me. I started with the 1981 Red Box D+D book. There’s some great stuff in there, but I was amazed at the cavalier attitude taken towards the mortality of PCs… in the sample combat, the party’s dwarf is one-shotted by a hobgoblin and dies. There is no further discussion of this PC (or his poor player); it’s almost like the other players are somewhat relieved they have someone else to divvy up treasure with. The rules assume a certain level of animosity and competitiveness amongst the players that contemporary games would not necessarily assume, and in fact many (like mine) intentionally work against.