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 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

OpenQuest 3 Current Status

First off welcome to openquestrpg.com which will be the central resource for all things OpenQuest from now on. More content will be added as the days go by, so make sure to bookmark it and check back 🙂  You can also subscribe to the blog, see the link on the right-hand side, so you get the posts sent to you directly.

OK update about where I’m up to with the new edition of the rules.

I’m currently working on a new version of OpenQuest to coincide with the 10th Anniversary of its original release.

I had been working on a radically updated version, a proper OpenQuest 3rd Edition, which took the current version OpenQuest Refreshed (which is tweaked and cleaned up version of OpenQuest Deluxe without the setting chapter and adventure, with completely new artwork). This amongst many other changes was a “One Magic” version of OpenQuest.

I got really stuck writing the Organisations chapter, which is one of the really important core chapters of the book.

So… I went back to the OQ2 doc and thought about doing just a straight forward clean up and tidy up for a “10th Anniversary Edition” – I may have talked about this before as one of my options for OQ3.  I realised as I did this, that I like the three magic approach, I like magic points and the extra level of detail that OQ2 has. I also realised I’ve firmly scratched the simplified one magic approach with Skyraiders of the Floating Realms another D100 game which I’m currently playtesting and having a whale of a time with. Suddenly I had a eureka moment, that many of the changes that I was trying to bring in with OQ3 was just too much and already covered by Skyraiders. Oh the joy I felt when I realised this! I then spent the next couple of days going through the chapters – correcting here, tweaking there – but seeing them basically fall into place.

So this is the state of the book at the moment. Overall OpenQuest 10th Anniversary Editon, takes OpenQuest 2 Deluxe as a base. Some chapters are from the aborted OQ3 draft. Some are unchanged (except for another editorial pass to make corrections and clarify), and some are reinstated in the new version because they were left out in the currently available OpenQuest Refreshed.

Digging into the detail, chapter by chapter.

Chapter 1: Introduction. Largely unchanged, few updates in the actual play chapter to reflect the changes in working out initiative (its now based on the skill you are using, rather than DEX or INT). I’ve firmly decided that this chapter will need a new glorious full page picture to show Rurik and co on their Dwarf Steamboat fighting the Wyvern.

Chapter 2: Characters. Largely unchanged. I’ve stripped out Random Character gen, added a beefed-up Ready Made Concepts section. Ready-Made Concepts are more like the familiar BRP professions – so you can pick up and play, since they do skill points, magic and equipment allocation for you.  I might also make Non-human characters generation a bit more robust as well – list Duck/Dwarf/Elf with some ready-made concepts. The rules for Improving Characters moved to here from Chapter 6 the Quest.

Chapter 3. Skills. Largely unchanged but rules text updated for greater clarity. A section about Failing Forward added since this is something I do as standard in my games now, and its something that I feel should be in OpenQuest to stop gameplay stalling because of a failed roll.

Chapter 4. Equipment. Unchanged.

Chapter 5. Combat. This got moved over from the last draft of OQ3. It’s gone from ten pages in the current edition to twenty plus. Some of this is down to new combat options, but a lot of its down to the fact I look at the entire way conflict between the player characters and non-player characters occurs in the game. So there’s a new section on Social Combat, which covers Fast-talking (quickly convincing an npc or small group of npcs with a clear leader, that they should do what you want), Oratory (which is influencing a large crowd of people) and Intimidating (mainly used during physical combat to get npcs to surrender, but any attempt to use the threat for force). Then Physical combat is next and gets a full set of rules and guidelines which cover the initial contact between groups (Ambushes, Scouting ahead to work out the number of hostiles, running away to avoid combat, talking your way out of combat, actually engaging in combat), the actual hands-on of weapons being used (the meat of the section, and largely unchanged from OQ2), and the various ways combat is resolved. Finally, there’s a section on Magical Combat, which highlights how the use of various spells gives you the edge in combat as well as detailing Spirit Combat (which used to be in the Battle Magic section),

Chapter 6  The Quest (name changed from The Quest and Afterwards). Unchanged except for the ton of material moved to the new Ref Guidance chapter. It still is the chapter which explains what happens on an OpenQuest Adventure and how you pull it all together to run short campaigns or Sagas as I call them.

DELETED Chapter 7. Intro to Magic – this has got moved to the new Ref Guidance chapter (see below)

Chapter 8 Battle Magic. I’ve gone through the spell list and removed a good half a dozen superficial “gives you extra combat attractions/reactions” type spells that got added in OQ2 as a response to criticism that OQ1 didn’t have enough spells, I could go even further with this, but it undermines the whole “you can just use Battle Magic as a one-system” idea. I think that having Battle Magic as an optional complete magic system, for people that find the Advanced systems of Divine and Sorcery too much is a good thing. It’s also the approach that I’ve taken in the past in convention games.

Chapter 9 Divine. Unchanged. Might put all the Earth Mother cult bits together – since its currently split as examples.

Chapter 10  Sorcery. Unchanged.

All the Magic chapters will get a “How to do Magic” section as a page long high-light box, which explains the nuts and bolts of how to get the best out of each magic type in one place. So for Sorcery, I’ll explain about how to use it as a quickfire on the spot magic system vs having spells already cast and in effect before you go on a Quest.

Chapter 11. Creatures. Unchanged except a few clarifications/corrections and a new stat block format (that’s less space-intensive). I’m going to include an example of how you take on of the creature stat blocks and use it to create npcs of various power levels. So, for example, take the Orc,  roll up a basic warrior, add skill points and magic to get tougher warriors, chieftains and even a shaman.

Chapter 12. Plunder. Unchanged.

REINSTATED – Chapter 13. The Empire of Gatan – reinstated with a bit of rewriting (I need to explain why its Kingdom sized Empire :O ) and with the extra bits I put into an unpublished version that was going to be Worlds of Wordplay, but was pulled due to space reasons.

REINSTATED – Chapter 14. the Road Less Travelled redid it for the OQ Adventures Pateron and actually found it was missing bits(!) in the narrative – so it will be this expanded version OR replace it with Death comes to Ridsdale. Its been the example in the Quest chapter since initial release – is it not time to see the full adventure that you can play?  Road Less Travelled them moves to the big OpenQuest Adventure book (More on that later).

NEW! Chapter 15. Referee’s Guidance chapter – 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.

OK, that’s OQ 3 10th Anniversary edition done and dusted. I’m looking to have my final draft done by the end of this month. The overall aim is to get it to Kickstarter by August/September.

Jon Hodgeson has been commissioned to do the cover for the new edition.

More about what happens next after I finish the last bits of writing in a future post.