Monday, February 2, 2015

Back to Posting

Okay, we've been off for about a month here at the Hotspot, so we should probably get back to posting, eh? Thanks so much for all the kind words and support for the Book of Spells, 2nd Edition (a stripped-down, open-game-content, digest of spells for Original D&D and related games; see the last post). For the moment I'll be taking a bit more laid-back attitude towards posting, since I have a number of obligations with my new full-time math lecturer position at CUNY. Maybe once a week unless there's a burst of things I need to get off my chest?

Here's some possibilities of what might be coming up on the blog this year. I hesitate to even say this, because I always feel like a loser if I wind up not following through (partly why I'm unlikely to ever "Kickstarter" anything). So this is very tentative and just really spit-balling here. But if any of these interest you more than another, please chime in and let me know.
  • More Book of War stuff (simple mass-warfare with miniatures, statistically strongly aligned with D&D; see the sidebar). Possibly more gameplay, some rules revisions that have their way into our games in the last few years. Maybe a 2nd or expanded edition? Any time you see a dig into old combat rules it's probably coming from a what-works-for-BOW context.
  • Possibly some steps in the direction of campaign/domain-based play with Book of War?
  • Hopefully pretty soon some posts on play or materials I had when I was a young person.
  • Maybe some work on wilderness adventures. 
  • And, I've got the glimmer to possibly keep going with Spells Through the Ages until I've got an essay on the history and evolution of magic-user spell in the original rules. Right now I'm what, one-third or one-half done? We'll see how that goes, maybe a nice thing to collect when complete.
Any other ideas?


18 comments:

  1. As someone who recently purchased Book of War, I'm looking forward to more posts on that game. One thing I've noticed is that there are no command rules. Any thoughts on adding some sort of mechanism to BoWto simulate a situation where part of your army for some reason doesn't carry out your orders?

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    1. Probably not from me, as I think it puts another level of abstraction both in the rulebook and between the players and their forces on the tabletop. I hate to say it, but among my current circle of friends/acquaintances Book of War is already on the borderline of something more complicated than they really desire to play.

      A lot of the time I actually interpret the Morale rules as the junction in the game where forces break away from the commander's wishes, and of course that already is the mechanic where games get won or lost.

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    2. That makes sense, and I'm all about keeping it simple. One addition that jibes with your interpretation might be to have a penalty to morale rolls for all units outside a certain distance from your general.

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  2. Possibly some steps in the direction of campaign/domain-based play with Book of War?

    This.

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  3. I'm good with anything you do for Book of War. I'd love to see it expanded to cover everything in at least the first three LBBs, though I do understand your reticence about doing anything you aren't including in your own games (*cough*clerics*cough*). Campaign rules would be awesome, and would probably be useful for pretty much any D&D, and any mass combat system.

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  4. Congratulations on the lecturing gig.

    Looks like you have some fun stuff lined up, the history and evolution of the MU especially sounds really cool.

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  5. it'd be interesting to see your Domain rules. I have one Domain supplement that I don't care for that much.

    Have you considered putting your stuff up on DriveThruRpg as well? They offer printing services too.

    Maybe you can write a module that has parts of it where the party plays in a BOW scenario?

    I look forward to reading your BOW postings.

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    1. To date I haven't considered putting it up on DriveThruRPG. Do you know someone who's done that? How difficult? (Although my intuition that anyone's going to find this stuff through the blog here anyway, so it's kind of academic where it's hosted...)

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    2. its pretty simple to get it on Drive Thru. They'll probably look over your work and then let it out there. You've done the hard work of making the game. I'm gonna guess that Drive thru has a larger group of people looking through it for game than Lulu.

      I found out about BOW not through this site but from a forum post.

      It looks like they even have a wargame site:
      http://www.wargamevault.com/

      I know Crypts and Things started out on Lulu and is now on both sites. I think Newt said he did Lulu because DriveThru didn't offer printing services at the time.

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    3. Cool, that's good info. Admittedly I put Book of Spells 2E up on Lulu mostly due to inertia... that's what I did a few years back and it was easiest to just follow through with the same. That sounds like possibly a good idea to consider for the next product. Thank you!

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    4. I know you can do it! I just think it might attract more attention. Any idea how many people look at it on Lulu every day?

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    5. Thanks. :-) I've got to say, I don't right now have stats on Lulu views. Admittedly an RPG-specific site would have more of a chance of getting it in front of possibly interested gamers.

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  6. One thing that I think would be cool is if you made a video(s) and put it up on youtube of some BOW sessions. People put up their game sessions all the time, why not get BOW up there?

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    1. Interesting idea! Right now I'm not set up for video production (camera, editing, etc.). Of course I've done that in the far past but for BOW I've done photo-albums of play sessions here on the blog.

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  7. In the last year or two I've been playtesting some house rules which include your 'Target 20' as a core mechanic. The intention of these rules was to create a kind of halfway house between Original D&D and more recent editions. All characters have skills based on background and training package; these function as thief skills in your "Original Edition Delta", with the important exception that most rolls will add a Difficulty Class from 1 to 9.

    Because of work, I only get a chance to play D&D around once or twice a year, so the house rules still need more play-testing. Anyway, my question is whether you would consider discussing extensions of your Target 20 system to ability and skill rolls or other elements of the game. (Obviously, there are lots of perils and pitfalls here.)

    Also, regarding Spells Through the Ages: definitely continue this series. I purchased your revised Book of Spells and it's excellent. Consider creating and selling a Spells Through the Ages book as a companion volume to the Book of Spells. (Not sure if there could be IP issues here or whether it would fall under Fair Use.)

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    1. Thanks for the input. I'm also hoping that original text would be fair use (it's a relatively small part of the original, used for commentary & scholarship purposes). I hope. And I definitely do use Target 20 for things like ability checks, etc.

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  8. I'd love to see you do "Monsters Through the Ages" if any ever spark your interest.

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    1. Ooh, god, I wish I had time. Great idea.

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