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.

Magical ranks in a nutshell

OpenQuest has three paths to magical power. Within each is a set of ranks. which are listed below in order of magical power (although Wises and Shamans are more specialist casters of equal power to each other).

I quickly thought this up when thinking about how to quickly explain the magic systems to a complete beginner.

Battle Magic
Is the magic that just is. It flows through the surroundings and into a person who shapes it. A mish-mash of orally transmitted spells that have survived through time because they are useful in everyday life. Because everyday life for most adventurers is full of conflict they call it Battle Magic.

  • Most folk just do it to meet a need
  • Wises are exploring it.
  • Shamans are in a conversation with the self-aware expressions of it (i.e. spirits)

Divine Magic
Is the power of the Immortals, that comes from their deads in mythology.  Mortal followers are inspired by it, and that inspiration performs miracles for them. 

  • Lay members are protected by it
  • Initiates are at the start of their journey into the mysteries of it.
  • Priests/Priestesses are close to their deities and speak for them, guiding the believers.
  • Holy Warriors defend it

Sorcery
Is magic that comes from consciously manipulating the logical magical laws of the Universe, that previous seekers after knowledge has written down as spells in Sorcererous Spell Books.

When it comes to sorcery:

  • Apprentices are learning it
  • Adepts are doing it
  • Magi are living expressions of it.

The Wise

I’m currently doing a review of OpenQuest’s three magic systems. In short Battle Magic has had some trimming down of it’s spell list. Sorcery has had a few “utility” spells added so you don’t have to use Battle Magic to create magic point stores or charms any more, as well as a tweaked version of the Combined Manipulation Effects table (mainly because OQ doesn’t support skills over 100% any more). Divine Magic, for the time being, is left largely unchanged.

One thing that I’ve added to Battle Magic is another type of specialist magician type. Currently, if you want more magical power, you either graduate to learning Sorcery or Divine Magic, to peruse a career as a wizard or priest respectively,  or become a Shaman, where the emphasis changes to dealing with a small group of bound spirits.  But what if you want to carry on and become an advanced Battle Magic user?

Enter the Wise. This is the local hedge wizard/witch who lives on the edge of a small local community, usually rural where there isn’t an established religious Temple or School of Sorcery. Being a bit eccentric they have heard the call of the Magical Realm and quite naturally picks up Battle Magic spells without the need of a teacher. Also, they can pull the Magical Realm into the Real (as I’m calling the mundane plane of existence) and create places of power – such as a Seclusion (where they hide from the world and learn spells), a Sanctuary (an existing real world location that becomes embodied with the Wises protective spells for the duration of its existence) and the place of power, where the Wise and their followers can store magic points for quick restoration.

In short it a magician for the player who doesn’t want to not deal with the baggage of manipulating spells (Sorcery) or the implications and obligations of following a deity (Divine) or a small zoo of spirits (Shaman).   It also allows the referee to quickly have Battle Magic Magicians attached to gangs of creatures.

Here’s the hot off the press, so apologies in advance for the typos, version of this new type of Magician.

Please note its a pre-publication draft, so while it will be released as open gaming content under the OGL it currently is under development.