OpenQuest 3 is done!

Well, my bit anyway. I’m pleased to announce that OQ 3rd edition, was sent over to its Editor/Proofreader yesterday evening for a final check. Its got a table of contents, an index and a set of cross-references ( “see page xx” ) that are all lovingly hyperlinked in the pdf, which is also fully bookmarked. So I expect that to come back within two weeks, in which time I’ll be sending out pdf’s to backers and opening a pre-order for non-backers.

OpenQuest We’ve Got You Covered!

Big update on OpenQuest 3rd edition.

Jon Hodgson has delivered the goods on the Five stretch goal supplements, also I’m reusing the cover from OQ Refreshed to provide the cover for the Early Bird Quickstart Adventure, and finally Jonny Gray provides the cover for the OpenQuest Quickstart: The Lost Outpost.

So we’ve got covers, erm covered 🙂

Here’s the whole lot as previews, click on image for a bigger version.

The Clockwork Palace by Jon Hodgson

The Clockwork Palace © Jon Hodgson

OpenQuest Companion cover by Jon Hodgson

OpenQuest Companion © Jon Hodgson

the Book of Duck cover

The Book of Duck © Jon Hodgson

OpenQuest Dungeons cover

OpenQuest Dungeons © Jon Hodgson

The Saga of the Savage North Cover

The Saga of the Savage North © Jon Hodgson

Catching the Wyrm cover by Jon Hodgson

Catching the Wyrm ©Jon Hodgson

OpenQuest Quickstart Cover by Jonny Gray

OpenQuest Quickstart Cover © Jonny Gray

OpenQuest Dungeons

The Book of Duck (working title)

The Clock Work Palace

OpenQuest at Layout Proof!

Behold! Witness the marvellous moment where I print off a complete copy of OpenQuest 3rd Edition, to do a layout-proof.

Some photos showing off the layout, which is a work in progress.

OQ3 Layout Proof – Characters

OQ3 Layout Proof -The Quest

OQ3 Layout Proof – Sorcery

OQ3 Layout Proof – Creatures

OQ3 Layout Proof – Creatures

OQ3 Layout Proof – Empire of Gatan, The Five Emperors

 

Welcome to the Shambles

Catching the Wyrm is the Early Bird Quickstart that people who backed the Kickstarter in the first 48 hours, and Art Level backers, will be receiving. This Quickstart adventure is a little different from what I normally write for OpenQuest. Its made of up the first two adventure areas of a bigger ruined city known as The Shambles. It’s not quite what older roleplayers call a Sandbox, where the adventure presents the information that the characters may encounter as they make their own way around the unifying adventure location, more what I call a Toybox. Where I present various objects or Toys (adventure locatinos, non-player characters, rumours, encounters ) that the referee can place together to create an adventure.

So with that in mind, let’s see what is in this particular Toy Box.

A Taste of the Shambles. A quick introduction to this ruined city, its history and the current state of affairs. This gives an overview of fo the complete package.

Adventure Areas This Quickstart has features two Adventure Areas from the city.

  • Tent Town. A mishmash of scavengers, professional treasure hunters and wise people keeping watch over the ruined city, right next to its walls.
  • The Squares. A residential area just inside the walls, with Tent Town on the other side. So-called because the houses are built around squares, each of which have a different focus for the well to do residents that once lived there.

The Quest of Catching the Wyrm. This is the adventure itself in a short digestible form that draws already detailed information from the Locations.

Non-Player Characters Rooster. All the character profiles (or references to the relevant page in the main OpenQuest rulebook).

Design Notes.

Unlike the publically released Quickstart Adventure, which comes with its own concise version of OpenQuest, this Quickstart pulls from the main rulebook, for both a wider collection of magic spells and creatures.

Also, the adventure will feature the three characters and the Dragon (!) that feature on the cover of OpenQuest 3rd Edition (and the detail of which is used for the banner for this site) 🙂

OpenQuest outside of the Kickstarter

I’ve slowed down considerably in the run-up to Christmas, but it’s not seen any slacking in getting OpenQuest stuff done. At the same time, Paul (Mitchener) and Peter (Cakebread) are going through the first draft of OQ3 with a fine-tooth come, a job that should be done any second now. Meanwhile, I’ve been beavering away on various things that are outside of the Kickstarter deliverables’ work while related and help bring clarity.

OpenQuest Thursdays. This is my “home” group that got up and running sometime online in October. I’m using it playtest the Quickstart adventures, that I’m producing for Kickstarter Backers. It’s going tremendously well. On a personal level, it reunited me with a couple of my old friends who have played in games that have shaped what OpenQuest is today.

OpenQuest World. At this point, this is probably only exciting to me. My “publisher head” remains unconvinced 🙂 Back in October, I stopped doing my Gloranthan fanzines, which while disappointing to Gloranthafans, meant that I could reclaim the bits of the adventures/setting info that aren’t Gloranthan IP. Kick out Orlanth and the Gang, and I’ve got stuff I can revise and reshape for OpenQuest releases. With my creative head freed up from pondering Gloranthan this and that, It had to look at another setting. And it found and fixed in its gaze the nascent setting that is detailed via OpenQuest 2 and its setting/adventure books (except Crucible of Dragons), and notes I made for unreleased stuff. And suddenly a coherent narrative of a fantasy world emerges. Not just the snapshot of the late Dark Ages/early Medieval Empire of Gatan anymore, there’s a whole Ancient World and even an Age of Reason/Enlightenment period now. I’ve started work on a “setting bible”, a set of bullet-pointed/brief notes on all the ‘facts’ of this setting, in a form that both myself and future OQ authors can use. The immediate effect on books is that the default setting, because don’t get me wrong OQ is not tied into this, will be a bit more joined-up

Empire’s Edge (working title). This one developed out of the OpenQuest Thursday Quickstart adventure playtest sessions. This will be a short setting/adventure book that focuses on the Eastern Imperial Borderlands, particularly the County of Mitchdale and a series of adventures that introduces bigger concepts of day to day life in the Empire of Gatan. While I have plans to do a bigger treatment of the Empire, called Dark Corners of the Empire, later on in 2022, this gets you started with an introductory arc of adventures that will probably come out in 2021.

Back into work on the various OpenQuest deliverables for the Kickstarter campaign in earnest tomorrow, but I thought it would be exciting to share with you some of the stuff happening on the edges.

 

Last miniute Tweeking

So the pdf of the 1st Draft is compiled and about to go out to backers, a little later than expected. That’s because as well as doing one last self-edit, I took it as an opportunity to make some last-minute changes.

What’s changed

  • Hero points are now called Fortune.
  • Improvement points are now Growth (points)
  • Improving Characters now Growing Characters and re-written and expanded.
  • Battle Magic renamed Personal Magic

All the Paths of Magic have an Immortality End Game

  • Personal Magic: Shamans become Great Spirits and move into the Spirit World. Wises become One with the Land.
  • Divine Magic: Priests and Holy Warriors, Ascend into the Houses of Holy either as Ascended Guardians, who become part of the Pantheon that they worship or as an independent deity.
  • Sorcery: The Magus Transcends the very limits of mortality through their knowledge of the Laws of Magic, becoming beings of pure magical energy.

New Logo

One of the first set of stretch goals (1-3) was an improvement of the graphic design of the main rulebook.

Part of that money has been spent on this logo, which John Ossoway designed for me some time ago and has been left unused UNTIL NOW.

So here’s OQ’s new logo which will grace not just the main rulebook but all the books of the game line 🙂

OpenQuest Logo by John Ossosway

OpenQuest 3rd Edition has Funded!

Well, the Kickstarter ended just after breakfast this morning, and 545 backers have funded all 12 stretch goals. Maximum thanks to all the backers 🙂

This is what the campaign has achieved:

  • Stretch goals 1-3 More art and enhanced graphic design for the main rulebook.
  • Stretch Goal 4 The Whispering Warrior Quickstart Rules/Adventure
  • Stretch Goal 5 An OpenQuest OGL SRD that will be hosted here.
  • Stretch Goal 6 The Saga of the Savage North, an adventure/setting book.
  • Stretch Goal 7 The Clockwork Palace, an adventure/setting book.
  • Stretch Goal 8 The OpenQuest Companion, a compendium of alternate rules and guidance.
  • Stretch Goal 9 OpenQuest Dungeons, a collection of adventures, with a mini-setting, and rules guidance.
  • Stretch Goal 10 Support for a Virtual Table Top
  • Stretch Goal 11 The Four Emperors Preview Adventure.
  • Stretch Goal 12  OpenQuest Patrons choose OpenQuest Next (the next OQ powered project) everyone gets 1st draft in pdf.
  • As a thank you to the generosity of the backers and the Master of Ducks (a unique special high tier reward that has been claimed), The Book of Ducks (Working Title), a culture book including character options, culture details, a mini-setting and an adventure.
  • There is a new reward for OQ Patrons and add-on for all other backers, called The Book of Patrons (a working title)  a collection of 25 NPC + rules for patronage.

The main rulebook is due to be released early in 2021, with the rest of the stretch goals being delivered throughout 2021.

Follow this blog for progress on the main OpenQuest Rulebook (which is phase 1) and delivery of the various stretch goals (phase 2).

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.