Sunday, 18 June 2017

New Project Announcement! Basic / Expert Core Rules

Sounds like another clone! (Rejoice / weep.)

Well, sort of. Here's what I have planned:
  1. A rules document that focuses on quick and easy reference for experienced players. Existing clones vary in the readability of their presentation, especially regarding ease of quick rules reference during play.
  2. A 100% accurate clone of the Basic / Expert rules. Existing clones modify certain elements of the rules, so a really pure clone is missing.
  3. A 100% Open Game Content version of the combined Basic / Expert rules, presented in a pure text format. This can serve as a foundation for house rules documents and tweaked rule sets.
  4. A rule set augmented with commonly used rulings for situations not covered by the core Basic / Expert rules. All such additions are clearly marked as optional extras.
  5. A document containing purely the rules of the game, not including character races/classes, equipment lists, spells, monsters, etc. These commonly vary between campaigns, so are better presented in a separate booklet.
          So, as you can see, this isn't a clone in the same sense as Labyrinth Lord, say. It's a partial clone, focusing purely on presenting the core rules of the game in an easy-to-reference form. The project was born out of my frustrated love for two existing B/X clones: Labyrinth Lord and LotFP. The former is my game of choice, but (to be honest) the way the core rules are written and laid out is a mess (e.g. check out Attacking and Melee Combat on p53). LotFP, on the other hand, while impeccably written and laid out, modifies the core B/X rules in quite a few ways, so isn't much use when running a B/X-based game.

          The other reason for this project is simply that I really enjoy playing around with this kind of thing :)

          So far, I've written up two sections:

          1. Basic combat procedure.
          2. Other combat issues.

          The text is a chimera of Labyrinth Lord, LotFP: Rules & Magic, and my own writing. (Thanks to the Open Game Content generosity of Daniel Proctor and James Raggi!)

          v0.1 is online now. Check it out!

          As the "v0.1" specifier indicates, this is a super early, incomplete version. There are lots of sections still to write and lots of things still to do. (For example, I need to go through and compare everything with B/X to check for errors / omissions.) Bearing that in mind, though, feedback on the document is most welcome! Feel free to comment on the document directly or send me a message.

          (I plan to do a properly laid out PDF version, too, but only once the basic text is finished.)


          1. A group of us are working on something similar. Are you think of releasing under Creative Commons?

            1. Oh that's interesting! I'm doing this as open content under the OGL (see the license at the end of the v0.1 doc). I'm not sure how or if that's compatible with CC. Do you have anything online already?

            2. Is your stuff posted anywhere Donovan? I've tried the same thing before and "lost steam" so I am really curious to see what people are doing that might get me a "tiny B/X reference" for the table.

              Gavin, a brief read of what you currently have shows numerous areas that are not B/X but might be LL or LotFP or your own house rules. You'll need to carefully weed through this for sure, I know how easy it is to imagine that something you've been doing for 30+ years is B/X but when you read the books it's actually not... :-)

            3. Yeah, I've not done any cross-checking against B/X yet. That's one of the next big things to do. (Obviously excluding anything marked as an optional rule, though. Those are intentionally departures from pure B/X, hence marked as optional.)

              The text is a pure LL / LotFP / my writing mash-up, so far.

              Peter, if you have a minute, please feel free to make comments on the doc noting any discrepancies that stand out to you.

            4. So we don't have anything for public consumption yet. We are doing our work via a private project management platform. Where we overlap is the idea of having a document that others can edit to fit their own needs. Our aspirations are less B/X specific and perhaps a bit more grand but we shall see.

              The thing we would really like to see is "plug and print" usability with a database of alternative rules sections.

              As for Creative Commons, for our project we want anyone to be able to use our platform in any way they see fit, even to create commercial content.

            5. Ah is the project that I saw mentioned in the OSR g+ community recently to create a platform for a sort of pick & mix rule set generator? A very cool idea!

              Yes, it sounds pretty different to what I'm working on here, though.

              The OGL can be used to allow content to be reused for any purposes, including commercial, too, by the way. That's part of my intention.

            6. Yes indeed, that comment thread got us rolling. While the projects aren't exactly the same, I really dig what your doing too. Seems like we are both trying to empower people to self-publish.