Why I am doing this
Recently I have gotten a little overwhelmed by the complexity of gaming. I remember a time when you could sit down and create a character in half an hour and start gaming right away. Now, it seems as if you need a laptop, character generator, and lots of books to make a character. There are a few game systems out there that don’t really require that sort of investment (Fate is just one), but those games usually have a different take on how to play and require a larger investment in changing your viewpoint to play them. Don’t get me wrong, I love some of those systems; If I played them more often, I would likely feel more comfortable playing and Game Mastering them. But I wanted something a bit more classic, easy to play, and without all the inconsistencies of old school games. I wanted something that had a simple character sheet and simple rules, but still flexible enough for character development and diversity.
It may seem at first glance that all characters of a given class will all be the same, cookie-cutter characters. Yes, all arms-men will have the same basic skill set. Yes, all Wizards will have similar spells and skills starting out. It is my hope to keep things balanced to an extent that there is no ‘optimized build’ for a class. By giving all members of a class all of the rudimentary proficiencies their profession, no one will have to waste resources on the basics. The player can concentrate on the character’s personality, motivations, specializations, and personal advancement. The player can concentrate on the things that bring the character to life without worrying about how to micro-manage the character’s advancement resources.
One other objective of the rules will be to free the GM of constraints. By keeping the rules from being reliant on numbers creep and bonus dependency, I hope to allow a bit more spontaneous play and a bit more flexibility with preparation. I will sit down and create classic creatures and variants, but I will also create guidelines for creating your own monsters. The GM can focus more on creativity, the world, and the needs of the players. He can create unique items, monsters, people, and places.
The default world will treat magic as a mystery and wonder, reducing the access to permanent items of magic. This should make heroic characters stand out more and become the stuff of legends. This will allow the players to make their characters unique by seeking out things that are of interest, instead of paging through a book of pre-made items to purchase. The player will be encouraged to ask the GM about the world, the history, the heroes of old, and the great items that helped shape the world. And then the quest begins.
I hope to revive classic gaming where creativity and fun replace book keeping and optimization. I want to take back the table from the business of gaming where books are compiled and published that add complexity for the sake of making money. Whether you use vinyl mats and miniatures or graph paper and imagination, I hope these rules bring back a feeling of wonder and joy to your game.