This project is far enough along that I feel I can talk about it now.
The title of the blog post is just a code-word for now, because I was feeling silly.
There is an actual name, but I'm not sharing that until we're a touch closer.
So what is the project?
Well, it's an RPG project.
It'll be a retro-clone of sorts of a venerable Nordic role playing game.
What all is it going to include?
Well, ideas change but right now, the goal is:
* A skill-driven RPG derived from BRP roots.
No classes or levels: Make a character and develop them as you see fit.
Improve as you adventure and train, based on the actions in-game.
* Quick character creation that still produces a well rounded character, with a mixture of random rolls and player choices.
* Combat that is fast, yet has enough detail to be interesting.
* A complete game with mass combat rules, creatures, magic item creation etc.
* A logical, consistent game system that isn't driven by tons of special cases.
* A flexible, open-ended magic system.
* Gritty game play with room for heroics.
* "Cosmopolitan" game play where characters can be from a number of interesting species and places.
* A built-in game world with a mixture of recognizable fantasy tropes and creative ideas. A loving homage to "kitchen sink" fantasy worlds but with a more cohesive feel.
* Also a game world where we hope players will read about it and immediately want to make a character from one of those places.
* * * * *
I realize that the above probably sounds fairly vague.
So let me try to explain it this way:
The trends of roleplaying right now tend towards one of three things in my view:
*The OSR, with a big emphasis on random encounters, survival-dungeon crawling and player-over-character approach.
*Indie/story games, with their emphasis on precise marriage of theme and mechanics and telling of specific story experiences.
*"Big Traditional" games like 5E and Pathfinder (2 now) with a focus on chains of tactical combat experiences and precise encounters.
What we're working on is not any of those.
Instead it is (hopefully):
*A style of game where a reasonable degree of realism and simulation is viewed as a positive.
*A game where characters are expected to have a place in the world and not simply be blank slates.
* Encouraging a play style where it is understood that fantasy adventure is about many things: Dialogue, sword fighting, exploration and excitement.
* Exists in a game world that facilitates adventure but also feels like it was alive before the players came along.
* A game that evokes a sense of fairytale adventure:
If the stories of Conan and Barsoom and Lankhmar are the building blocks of the OSR, this is the stories of Middle Earth, Sparhawk and Lyonesse.
* * * * *
What we're hoping to do is around 200 pages, including a complete game setting, world map, character sheet and an introductory adventure.
We may try to do a POD version as well, that remains to be seen.
It's VERY unlikely there'll be a kickstarter or anything like that.
It's possible we'll have a beta test version.
If so, it'll be done NWG style where you buy the beta for a reduced cost and then get a discount on the final game.
* * * * *
Answering a few obvious questions:
Q: Why would this be better than [insert BRP game here]?
A: I think this will sit nicely in a spot where there's more "meat" than something like OpenQuest but be a bit smother than most versions of Runequest.
Q: Can you tell us exactly what game you are retro-cloning?
A: If you haven't figured it out, I'm not telling.
Q: How much original content will there be?
A: The game world is 100% our own creation. Mechanically we're trying to lean on the source material but the goal isn't to be a precise copy (which would be pointless)
Q: There's already 10 billion roleplaying games on the market, why don't you just publish the 47th new take on B2 instead?
A: The reason to do anything creative is because you want to do it.
Q: Is this a solo project?
A: No, it's a collaboration with someone.