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.
Text updated to reflect changes in the new edition.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.