Friday, April 1, 2011

Resolute: The Splintered Realm Ashcan Release Notes

As the title says, here are some release notes...

1. I know there are typos. I’m finding more every time I look at the ashcan. Feel free to send me any that you find, but I’m aware of most (if not all) of them, and they’ll be fixed for the final draft. If there’s a typo that distinctly changes how something works mechanically, please feel free to send me a reminder. I felt comfortable publishing the edition without a final thorough editing, seeing as it was a temporary working draft anyway. For example, I know that I alternate ‘arcane bolt’ and ‘magic bolt’ because of changes between drafts- I’ll get that cleaned up (FYI, it’s arcane bolt in case you’re wondering).

2. You’ll see some changes from previous blog entries to a few notable things. Disciples now use auras instead of chants (taking a shorter range, but getting a more concrete ability- how far can you ‘hear’ the disciple? What about background noise? If we’re fighting under a raging waterfall, does the ability work at all?) This cleans up many of those problems inherent in the previous approach. However, the descriptions of ‘who can hear you’ snuck into the draft, and these should all read ‘in range’ for the individual aura descriptions.

3. I simplified and streamlined monsters (again). If you want multiple attacks, you simply buy each attack, and you get to use each one each time. While the ashcan only has 8 beasts, the final version of the rules will have at least twice that many, and I think that 24 would be a reasonable starter set of monsters.

4. The core rules may end up at 20+ pages. I really want to get the rules into 16 pages, and I’m cramming as much as I can, but it feels pretty tightly-packed already, and that’s without illustrations or a starting adventure. I could almost justify pushing it to 24 pages and packing even more content, and at that point I’d have to look into a print edition as well- 24 pages is comic-book length. That would be worth having a hard copy available. There’s a break point somewhere that it’s easier to order a print edition than it is to run a copy on your printer, although I’m not sure where that break point is. For me, 24 pages is getting close. The text alone feels a bit too small, and changing from 9 point to 10 point type in the body text is going to add some pages right away. The draft weighs in at over 17,000 words, and the content I still have to add will push it into the 20,000 word range. In this case, I may look at re-formatting to a smaller book and going with a 40-50 page edition. More on that as we go...

5. One key change that eases play considerably is that everything you do happens on your turn. If you have used a poison that continues to harm a foe, it pulses on your turn; if you have an aura going, that aura pulses on your turn. The same for such effects as regeneration. This makes things so much cleaner in play; you don’t have to do a big inventory at the end of a round, figuring out all of the ongoing effects at once. It feels much smoother in how it works live.

FYI, I'm heading over to the forums right now to do some maintenance and get them ready to support RTSR content. I'll be endeavoring to use that and the blog equally over the coming weeks as development continues.