Ducks, why?

Detail from OpenQuest cover by Jon Hodgson

OpenQuest has a long tradition of including rules for Ducks as a playable non-human race/culture.

Why?

They have a firm place in popular culture, courtesy of the animated adventures of Donald and chums.

Yet they are a blank canvas. Unlike other fantasy non-humans, there’s not an established canon of history in either fantasy or folklore.

Twagedy and Triumph. Their short stature odd appearance and argumentative nature may make them an obvious figure of fun, But dig deeper into the detail of their lives, and you will see the struggle of their underdog lives, and take pride in their achievements against the odds.

A fan favourite, all of the above have inspired some truly great fan work over the years, as people have taken Ducks to their hearts and made them their own.

As a replacement for Halflings, I’ll leave that there and say no more 🙂

And yes it is a bit silly and lighthearted, but you have to have those moments in a game. Especially a game that can often have monster hunting and investigation of the terrible acts of dark cults as its focus.

OpenQuest 2nd to 3rd edition Change Log

So what’s changed in OpenQuest 3rd edition?

Here’s the definitive change log at present – bearing in mind there may be tweaks during the editorial process.

Introduction

Text updated to reflect changes in the new edition.

Characters

Ready-Made Concepts made more robust and more pick up and play.

Improving Characters moved into this chapter and additional sections added to deal with characters changing magical path (e.g. From Battle Magic to Sorcery) and unlearning spells so they can learn other spells.

Skills

Lots of nips and tucks to make this fundamental chapter clearer and more accessible to a newcomer.

Skills no longer exceed 100%, even when they are modified. What this means in terms of Skills Masters (skill at 100%) is explained. All the rules for what happens if the skill goes over 100% (multiple attacks against multiple opponents, etc.) removed.

A step by step list of the procedure for a Basic Skill test is now given in this chapter for ease of reference.

Criticals and Fumbles now occur when doubles are rolled, eg. Skill is 52%, so a roll of 33 is a critical and a roll of 66% is a fumble.

Failing Forward as a game concept explained specifically for OpenQuest.

Equipment

Unchanged.

Combat

Overall, the chapter that has seen the most reorganisation, additions, and changes. The page count has risen from 11 to 21 pages (without art). It now shows how verbal skills and magic works alongside physical combat, as well as being approaches in themselves.

Social Combat

Fast talk – the art of quickly getting your way with individuals or small groups with a leader (who you target).

Oration – how you sway crowds to your point of view.

Intimidation. Moved outside physical combat, where it will still get used to get foes to surrender/run away,

Also, there’s a section for Prolonged Social Combats, which details how you do social combats like an election campaign, or as the example given convincing your sweetheart’s family that you are suitable marriage material, that takes place over time and may involve not just social combats but physical and magical ones as well.

Physical Combat

Physical is still as deadly if things go wrong for the character.

The big change here is that combat order (and any time where who goes first is important) is determined by modified skill, highest to lowest.

Rules for Surprise attacks, Ambushes, sneaking upon and rushing foes are given.

Damage. Major Wounds system removed. I found in play players would spend Hero Points to avoid them.

Zero Hit Points. Is the character dead at zero hit points? Rather than yes, there’s now a table you roll on with a D10 + any excess damage after the character has been reduced to zero hp, which has a range of results from, knocked out and back after 1d6 minutes with 1 HP to body destroyed. Also, wounds that are killing wounds are now called mortal wounds which is important in terms of healing.

Magical Combat

This section highlights which magic spells are used to enhance characters attacks or are attacks in themselves. Also covers Spirt combat, which moves here from the Battle Magic chapter.

The Quest

This chapter retains the examples of how adventures are structured, for both players and Referees, as well as spot rules. Large chunks of the 2nd Edition version of this chapter, previously called The Quest and Afterwards, has been moved to the new Referee’s Guidance chapter (see below). In contrast, the Improving Characters section has been moved to Characters in its entirety.

Introduction to Magic

This chapter that exists in the 2nd edition has been removed

Battle Magic

Good half a dozen spells removed.  About three overly powerful spells moved to Divine Magic. Addition of the Wise as a specialist Battle Magic caster.

Divine Magic

Cleaned up a little bit, but largely unchanged. Added some spells from Battle Magic that were overpowered there. Removed the Generic Deities list, since I feel it needs a bit more work on it (detailing example Holy Warriors for each deity for example) in its current form.

Sorcery

Specific abilities and benefits for the three ranks of Sorcery have been added. Apprentices get Mystic Vision as a free spell and a Sorcerer’s want that focuses (+20% casting bonus) a spell or two. Adepts get a Sorcerer’s Stone which can store magic points, they can create a Sorcerer’s Staff (a more powerful variant of the Wand), can create Familiars and can teach and create Apprentices. Finally, Magus’s through their mastery of the laws of Sorcery, can become immortal turning their physical body into one of pure magical energy, through the process known as Ascension.

Plunder

Unchanged.

Creatures

New section to lead Referees through the creation of new creatures.

New section to lead Referees through the creation of detialed npcs using the base creature profile as a starting point.

Creatures listed by type/magic world that they come from rather than a-z.

For sentient creatures example lists of magic spells given, to make them more pick up and play.

REINSTATED The Empire of Gatan

This was taken out of OQ Refreshed. So has been reinstated with a bit of rewriting and with the extra bits I put into an unpublished version that was pulled due to space reasons.

REINSTATED The Road Less Travelled

This was taken out of OQ Refreshed. Reinstated and updated to fill some holes in the narrative that I missed previously. Also, this version has removed the Goblins as the monsters in the mini-dungeon at the end of the adventure, replacing them with human cultists of the Burning Heart Horde.

NEW! Referee’s Guidance

Whole chunks that are currently in the Quest and Afterwards, WAR! Realm Quests etc. can quickly make Ref advice chapter, with a few other small bits from me about how OQ works.

OpenQuest 3rd OGL SRD will be hosted here

I’m going to double post the update which I’m posting over on the Kickstarter, since its just funded the Online version of the OQ3 SRD.

So Stretch Goal 5 OGL SRD Website funded yesterday.

This goal was quite a big one, so what does this entail and why is it important?

The OpenQuest System Resource Document will contain all the Open Gaming Content (OGC) contained in the game. Unlike previous editions of OQ where I made the entire text of the book OGC, this time out it will be the game without all the flavour text, examples,  with the example setting and any references to it removed, and not have the adventure included. In the ten-plus years, I’ve been working on OQ, I’ve learnt a lot more about how the OGL works and this to my mind is the best way of delivering it.

Here’s a quick version of the preview chapters, with the content that will be OGC highlighted in yellow.

The OQ SRD, will work out about 100 pages possibly less and be in a nice concise shape to create an online version of it that you can use as an online reference during play, and 3rd part developers can use to create adventures, supplements and spin-off games.

Having a website to support it means I can put up frequently asked questions for developers, and post updates to the rules. It also gives me a focus and a reason to connect with other developers, existing and potential.

Last time I did this properly was during the OpenQuest 2 years (2010-2015) and as a result not only did we see our spin-off games emerge (The Company and the River of Heaven) but also some great games from Cake Bread and Walton (Clockwork & Chivalry, Dark Streets, Pirates & Dragons) and Crooked Staff’s Age of Shadows. There’s also a great French translation by the folk over at d100.fr