Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The wait is over 3.2 is finished

Hey Dredlings,

The long wait is over.  With CANCON wrapped up and a break in my workload opening up I have had the time I needed to finished the last compile of beta 3.2 and its ready to start compiling for download tomorrow.  I hope a quick flick through will really make it all worth the wait.

It takes a few minutes to compile each playtesters personal copies, and there are a lot of playtesters, so it may be a day before you get your link.

This is the last of the experimental betas, trying out new things.  From here on I am picking mechanics purely from those that existed in earlier betas that worked the best.
Though magic needs thoroughly playtesting and may need revising heavily, the rest of the book is going to start being locked down, with wording, clarity and spelling being finalised for beta 4.0- so word worms grab your grammar books and pick at my spellink.  It is time to get this baby ready for flight.

My schedule now allows for revisions based on feedback directly after 3.2, so the development will be much, much quicker.  I simply have not had the time to get 3.1 done these last few months.

Old stuff

The good news for those fearing change is that the majority of the work on 3.2 returns to the more streamlined, gritty and popular beta series 2- with the return of the Action die, Dreadskulls, Downed/Dead damage system.  I like to experiment with wildly different ideas to try and get closer to the core principles I laid out at the start (maths free as possible, playable when drunk etc etc), and 3.0 totally missed the mark- adding too much complexity and taking out a lot of the fun.  Players of the beta 2 series will find themselves on familliar ground.

New Stuff

The two major changes in 3.2 is the trial of D8 dice and non deductive rolls.

Since it was quite easy to whack in, I decided to convert the rules to the D8 system.  It will always nag me if I didn't try it and its easy to change back.  It will also give me a head start for Stardred, as that will be a d8 system to accomodate drones through heavy mechs up to huge walkers.  If we can get the costs balanced for Skulldred in D8, then Stardred will be cross compatable.

Dont worry - you can still play with d6 dice, you just do not field higher than level 4 or size 6.  The notes on how to do this are included a few pages in.  If your feedback is about numbers, make sure to note if your using the D8 or D6 versions.  If you can give it a try and tell me how it feels compared to D6, that would be a real help.

Non deductive rolls takes out the step of deducting the losers roll from the winners.  Again its a tiny change to put it back, but removes one mental arithmetic step from every single roll in the game- so pays of big time if it works.
Both players now roll dice and the one with the most hits gets to apply all those hits to whatever effect is required.  In spells, its the spell potence, in shooting and fighting, its the damage caused.  Because this generally ups damage, the defense and kill numbers are adjusted.  This also makes the game more viscious, so more Dreadskulls are needed.

The big change to magic is that spellcasters charge power now, which they can do on the same turn as cast a spell- so a sorcerer can always get off a risky, weak spell.  The numbers and prices for spells are pretty close to random at the moment, so I expect spells to be waaay too expensive and hard to cast to begin with.  There are literally thousands of ways to combine spell effects, so I expect playtesting is going to throw up some nice cheats.  Ideally, spell casters should have no more than around 3 to 6  spells with a range of low level and one or two higher level spells they cast well.  Spells should be unreliable, and devastating to anyone who does not watch for portals.

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