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December 2020 2nd Edition devblog

After a 4+ month hiatus, I'm back to working on the Sabre RPG :)  I burned out pretty hard after getting the second edition finished, and should have taken some time off then before tackling the revised Feydwiir Atlas. That's how it goes for a solo developer ;) Anyway, our local games have started up again thanks to zero covid cases for the past couple of months (until yesterday at least) so I've done a pass on the entire system with a number of additions and fixes, with the biggest change the revision of the Threat Level calculator. 

Before, you'd probably need a calculator and spend a minute or two going oer a character to find out what your TL is. Watching a couple of people in our group grappling with the math inspired me to find a more streamlined way to get it done. There's some needless calculation in there, so I pared it back to directly calulating the TL instead of doing a sort of weighted system, then converting it. 

The result is the calcution takes about 15 seconds! It's proven very popular with our group, and I think you'll find it makes a big difference. The downside is I had to go through the entire system and recalculate all of the npc templates. Many things came out the same as before, others went down, some went up (a lot). But it's a lot easier, and that's the important thing.

There's a new fantasy race, the Nymph, a high-fantasy concept with interesting mechanics put together by a friend of mine, with a little input from yours truly :) 

Part of what I was up to during the covid lockdown here in Victoria, Australia, was to start a new novel. I'm about half way through now, but on the side, I've decided my next sabre project is a Game Master's Guide. Some of the feedback I've had from those running Sabre games is that they don't feel they have a total grasp on what's needed to run a game. All the information is crammed into the core rulebook, and going through 400 pages to find what you need can be challenging. 

So I'm going to make a short manual to cover my process for making a module, and all the pertinent information a GM needs, to help people get a grip on what is a weighty system. So I'll peck away at that on the side before getting back on to finishing that Atlas. 

Anyway, that's all for now. I hope everyone has a safe happy new year, and that 2021 sucks less than the last 12 months :)

 

Sabre RPG 2e Fantasy Core Rulebook v1.07

* Priest 'Templar' ability is now 'Zen', granting +2 Spirit Points.

* Paladin profession loses its Resolve resistance skill, but gains the ability to ignore the effects of medium armour on casting cost, and heavy armour only costs 2x normal spirit.

* Paladin's 'Inspiring' ability loses the +2 spirit bonus, gains the Commander talent.

* Added sample names for all non half-cast races.

* Dwarven Craft critical range bonus now applies to all their craft skills.

* Added details of what Difficult Terrain is to the Movement section of Game Mechanics, and added an entry in the Glossary.

* Removed the Gambling skill from the system. Cheating while gambling can be achieved via the Sleight skill.

* The Inheritor profession loses the Gambling skill and gains Courtesy.

* Added Nymph race, talents and the Nature Warden profession.

* Revised the Threat Level calculator to remove unneeded mathematics and to better account for certain abilties within the system.

* Spirit Surge action now cannot be used if already under the effects of Spirit Surge.

* Noted that teleportation-type spells only gain the ability to let you mark 1 sigil at a time.

* Increased the ENC on tower shields, kite shields and heater shields to something closer to realistic figures. Corrected shield ENC figures between basic and premium editions.

* The Thief profession now gains a benefit to detecting traps, and the Looter option loses its Evade bonus, but can use its other bonuses in any armour type.

* The Veteran option for Inheritors also grants the servant access to Soldier profession talents.

* Increased the AP from breastplates, plate greaves, cavalry breastplates and cavalry greaves by +1.

* Snap Shot talent now has a range limit of 10 squares.

* Reduced the Small size Evade bonus and the Double Jointed bonus for Feylin to +5%. Raelani lose the +5% Evade bonus from the Elusive trait.

* Ranged attackers trying to hit a Prone target don't lose their Result Bonus if 3sq above the target.

* Removed mention of adding additional enchantments from the Permanency talent.

* Moved details of fumbled ranged attacks to the ranged attack section.

* Added that casting magic requires the ability to speak, and to have one hand free.

* Modified the Restrained condition to allow spellcasting.

* Vial of holy water now does 1d4 damage base.

* Shield Bash manoeuvre now mentions you can't Block unless shield has the Light trait.

* Added 'First Strike' melee manoeuvre.

* 'Shackle' and 'Hold Creature' spells now pins its targets the round after the target is successfuly restrained (at appropriate skill levels), and paralyses the round after restrained.

* 'Incite Passion' charms spell now pins its targets at 90% skill the round after the target is successfuly restrained.

 

Scifi Core Rulebook 2e v1.07

* Revised the Threat Level calculator to remove unneeded mathematics and to better account for certain abilties within the system.

* Spirit Surge action now cannot be used if already under the effects of Spirit Surge.

* Increased the ENC on tower shields, kite shields and heater shields to something closer to realistic figures. Corrected shield ENC figures between basic and premium editions.

* The Thief profession now gains a benefit to detecting traps, and the Looter option loses its Evade bonus, but can use its other bonuses in any armour type.

* The Veteran option for Inheritors also grants the servant access to Soldier profession talents.

* Increased the AP from breastplates, cavalry breastplates, plate greaves and cavalry greaves by +1.

* Updated the Inanimate Objects table with an AP column.

* 'Coalesce' veiran manoeuvre allows them to condense down to a smaller size.

* Reduced the Small size Evade bonus to +5%.

* Ranged attackers trying to hit a Prone target don't lose their Result Bonus if 3sq above the target.

* Added details of what Difficult Terrain is to the Movement section of Game Mechanics, and added an entry in the Glossary.

* Added 'First Strike' melee manoeuvre.

* Shield Bash manoeuvre now mentions you can't Block unless shield has the Light trait.

* Snap Shot talent now has a range limit of 10 squares.

* Removed the Gambling skill from the system. Cheating while gambling can be achieved via the Sleight skill.

July 2020 update and devblog

Hi everyone, I hope you're all keeping well in these difficult times. We here near Melbourne have had to lockdown again, and so I had to shut down our local games. While disappointing, the four games we ran gave me a chance to tweak some things in the system, which I'm updating today :) You can check the changelog notes at the bottom for more information there. There's nothing major, just some quality of life improvements, and an overhaul of the Raptor profession. I played one of these myself in a game a few weeks ago, and found that it's a) fun! b) a little broken in some ways. Acrobatics isn't especially useful if you can fly, so I've changed the skill attached to the profession abilities to make it more usable. 

I've mostly been working on the Feydwiir Atlas overhaul, which is something I've been wanting to get to for a long time. It's still a month or two away from completion, as filling in the remaining nations, revising the layout, and adding more detail to the current work is a demanding task, but it's the perfect time to get it done. 

Here's a couple of sample pages with the new layout and expanded military unit information.

That's all for now, and it might be the last update before the Atlas comes out, given that I'm not running any games for a while. No new bestiary art at the moment either, but I've enhanced the loot rolling tables to cover all of your random looting needs! Take care and stay safe!

 

v1.06 Premium Fantasy Rulebook

* Revised the special options for the Raptor profession.

* The Raptor profession talents are now based on the Evade skill instead of Acrobatics.

* Added 'Nerves of Steel' and 'Tumble' resistance manoeuvres.

* The Feylin minimum height is now 120cm to avoid certain... complications.

* Noted that Incorporeal creatures are visible at 5 squares range.

* Tweaked the language on the Monster Bond summoning talent to cover planar creatures.

* Corvid's unarmed attack is referred to as 'Beak & Talons' for flavour.

* Added a table for random herbalism checks.

* Altered 'Channel Power' magic talent.

* Reduced the damage bonus from 'Battle Mage' talent.

* Magic profession options that offer 2 spells and +1 Critical Range now grant only 1 extra spell.

* The damage dice size bonus for Crossbow Expert increases again at 90% skill.

* Added extra mercenary options to the hirelings table.

* Disintegrate's damage dice is now d8 instead of d12.

* Detailed the effects of a fumble on melee, ranged or spell casting.

* Reduced the time for putting on or taking off armour.

* Shields can now be used to block certain spells, mentioned under the spell's Resistance type. Spells are Sceptres of Fire and Lightning, Brilliant Lance, Brimstone, Hail of Thorns, Lightning Strike, Rust, Corrosion, Storm Totem, Arc Lightning, Disintegrate, Fireball, Dragon's Breath, Acid Blast, Lightning Bolt.

* Improved the high-end capabilities of 'Fortified Shield'.

* Expanded the list of commodities for the Commodities talent, and boosted the talent's bonus.

* The Heal Rate benefit of Superior Accommodation is now x2 Heal Rate instead of +2.

 

v1.06 Basic Edition Rulebook

* Noted that Incorporeal creatures are visible at 5 squares range.

* Added a table for random herbalism checks.

* Altered 'Channel Power' magic talent.

* Reduced the damage bonus from 'Battle Mage' talent.

* Magic profession options that offer 2 spells and +1 Critical Range now grant only 1 extra spell.

* The damage dice size bonus for Crossbow Expert increases again at 90% skill.

* Added extra mercenary options to the hirelings table.

* Detailed the effects of a fumble on melee, ranged or spell casting.

* Reduced the time for putting on or taking off armour.

* Shields can now be used to block certain spells, mentioned under the spell's Resistance type. Spells are Brilliant Lance, Brimstone, Acid Blast, Lightning Bolt.

* Expanded the list of commodities for the Commodities talent, and boosted the talent's bonus.

* The Heal Rate benefit of Superior Accommodation is now x2 Heal Rate instead of +2.

 

v1.03 Bestiary

* Increased the TL of Zombie, Zombie (Fast) and Zombie (Giant), and Skeleton.

* Added expanded loot rolling tables.

 

v1.06 Scifi Core Rulebook 

* Corvid's unarmed attack is referred to as 'Beak & Talons' for flavour.

* Added a table for random herbalism checks.

* The damage dice size bonus for Crossbow Expert increases again at 90% skill.

* Added extra mercenary options to the hirelings table.

* Detailed the effects of a fumble on melee, ranged or spell casting.

* Reduced the time for putting on or taking off armour.

* Boosted the the Commodities talent bonus.

* The Heal Rate benefit of Superior Accommodation is now x2 Heal Rate instead of +2.

June 2020 devblog and changelog notes

It's time for an update on some current tweaks and upcoming stuff! 

With the pandemic going on, we haven't had a chance to play a game until last week, when we managed to get a small group together (with all the precautions neccesary) to play some of the fantasy system. I had some concerns about the power of some spells, so I've done a little tweaking on the numbers, which you can see in the changelog notes below. But overall, the second edition game is running really well, and the easy to use character creation system is much better than before. 

While I do want to make a print-on-demand version at some point, I really like having this flexibility to iron out some of the kinks in a digital format, before committing to a papery version. Speaking of such...

 

Bestiary

I messed up the list for NPC's available, with a mix of the old version and the new in there, so I've fixed that up. I've also add a picture for the Vorax, which has been vexing me for quite some time. But I'm really happy with it, so it's all good! The remaining pictures will need to be done by me - I've enjoyed "cheating" with stock art images, but these last few are rather unique so I'll get them done eventually.

And now, for what's next:

Atlas

What started out as a reformatting and spellcheck has turned into a fully fledged overhaul. The old atlas weighed in at around 2mb, but the new version I'm working on is already up to 30, with a big, high-res map that you can zoom in on with a table, and new stock art pieces at the start of each country, to add some flavour. I've also completed some new cover art!

 

I'm redoing some of the information in a nicer (and familiar) style, and expanding detail of each city now that I'm alloting additional space. I'll also be adding two new regions, the democratic Free States of Lyden, and the quasi-steampunk Grand Duchy of Kurhain into the mix. Anyone familiar with my novels will know of these countries, and I'm excitied to finally add details of them to the atlas. I'll be releasing this as a new product for the usual $3.99, as it's a big facelift and second edition-izing of the old tiny book.

I've decided I'll be removing the magical relics section from it, as I want these to be more radily available to any setting, not just my campaign world. So, once the Atlas overhaul is done, next comes...

Legends

Getting to 99% skill in sabre is quite an accomplishment, but it feels like the end of the road too. So this book will cover new legendary talents, manoeuvres, spells and magical items for high-level adventures! It'll include the basic magic items from the old atlas, as well as the sa'quaarin "space magic" stuff too, but with a lot more. Each item will have a full page entry and some artwork, and like most sabre material, it should be quite compatible with other d100 systems too. 

There's lots to be done, so I'd better get back to it. Stay safe and healthy, everyone.

 

v1.05 Sabre 2e Premium Fantasy Core Rulebook

* Shields used as weapons can't be used to block on the same turn, except with the Shield Bash manoevure or Light shields.

* The Thief profession gains an extra background event, and has better special ability options.

* Armour of Faith, Arcane Armour, Amulet of Armour, Psychic Armour, Spectral Armour, Gargoyle's Skin spells are now an Action to cast, but provide better AP at higher skill levels. 

* Traps you set can be recovered if they haven't been set off.

* Spirit, Pain Relief and Energy tonics are now considered addictive due to their potent ingredients.

* Planar Guardian divinity spell now requires you to be adjacent to it to transfer wounds back and forth.

* The casting time for Empower, Vampiric and Vorpal Weapon, as well as Fortified Shield spells is now 1 Action.

* Vorpal Weapon spell now has a chance to kill the target outright when cast at 99% skill.

* Added 'Vengeance Aura' divinity spell.

* The result bonus for the Empower Weapon spell has been doubled.

* Disintegrate, Dragon's Breath and Fireball spells have had their damage reduced.

* The addiction chance is now 5% instead of 10%.

 

v1.05 Sabre RPG Basic Fantasy Core Rulebook

* Shields used as weapons can't be used to block on the same turn, except with the Shield Bash manoevure or Light shields.

* The Thief profession gains an extra background event, and has better special ability options.

* Armour of Faith, Arcane Armour spells are now an Action to cast, but provide better AP at higher skill levels. 

* Traps you set can be recovered if they haven't been set off.

* Spirit, Pain Relief and Energy tonics are now considered addictive due to their potent ingredients.

* Planar Guardian divinity spell now requires you to be adjacent to it to transfer wounds back and forth.

* The addiction chance is now 5% instead of 10%.

 

Scifi Core Rulebook 2e v1.05

* 'Fast Repair' manoevure now greatly reduces the repair time.

* Shields used as weapons can't be used to block on the same turn, except with the Shield Bash manoevure or Light shields.

* The Thief profession gains an extra background event, and has better special ability options.

* Traps you set can be recovered if they haven't been set off.

* Spirit, Pain Relief and Energy tonics are now considered addictive due to their potent ingredients.

* The addiction chance is now 5% instead of 10%.

May 2020 update and devblog

Hello everyone, I hope you're well and staying safe in this difficult time for the world. This is just a short blog to cover some of the updates for the scifi system, with the fantasy system only needing the slightest tweak at this stage. You can find the changelog notes below.

GM Tips

One thing I never really covered in Sabre was some tips to help Game Masters get rolling with their own sessions - until now! It's just a couple of pages, but the GM tips towards the back of the manual do cover what I believe to be the most important core aspects to know when running a game. It's tricky for me to know for certain, since I wrote most of the system and have been running it for years, so I might add to this in the future too. 

Encounters

This is the final manual in the core set, and it's getting close to completion as of writing this blog, with only 49 templates left to create (out of 175 total!) When running games, especially improvised on-the-spot sessions, I've found it super helpful to have pre-made bad guys to draw from, and this 2nd edition of the Encounters manual now covers each era for the scifi rules. This includes post-apocalytpic chainsaw-wielders, industrial era fencers and boxers, modern era combat troops and thugs, and high-tech powered armour-clad soldiers. And of course, there are vehicles for each era too, including (for the first time) steam cars, boats and dirigibles to challenge your Victorian era adventurers! I hope to have it released by the end of May.

Bestiary

The artwork has gone very well of late, and by that I mean I've found nice stock images suitable for a wide range of monsters :D  There's now only 10 left to do, but they're the sorts of monsters that are hard to find images for, so I'll have to do more work to make them happen. Still, the finishing line is in sight, at long last.

That's about all for this month. Once Encounters is out, I'll just finish up the artwork jobs next month and then take a long break. I don't intend to be making any modifications to the system for a while yet, so sink your teeth into tha manuals and get a handle on 2nd editions mechanics :)  Stay safe and peace out.

 

Scifi Core Rulebook 2e v1.03

* 'Cop Training' talent no longer requires the use of a shield. (also in fantasy system)

* Added some Game Master's tips to the reference sheet section. (also in fantasy system)

* Added 'Junk Armour' mechanical invention.

* 'Mechanised Armour' steam tech invention's Heavy Plating upgrade now makes the armour Heavy.

* Corrected the bonus from 'Imposing Aura'.

* 'Focus Fire' heavy weapons manoeuvre now has no minimum requirement, provides more damage at higher skill.

* Added the missing 'Close Shot' talent.

* Narcotics that increase result bonuses now have a listed duration.

* Improved some details on the steam exoskeleton invention.

* 'Junk Droid' profession is now available in Low-Tech era campaigns.

* 'Damage Control' manoevure can now be used on any weapon.

* Sentry Turrets now have listed Charges for use with manoeuvres etc. The builder's Intellect Attribute bonus applies to its skills.

* Sonic Blaster invention now correctly lists Firearms as it's skill.

* Added 'Tuned Emitter' upgrade for Sonic Blaster.

* Improved the Optical Pump industrial era invention.

* 'Improvised Gun' Invention now lists slot requirements for mounting on vehicles. .50cal and 20mm ammo options now double base range.

* The Industrial Era 'Steam Car' invention can now also be built into a boat. 

* 'Sideswipe' manoeuvre no longer deals collision damage, and applies the vehicle's ram damage to the target.

* 'Side Spikes' now boosts 'Sideswipe' damage by +5.

* Vehicle weapon ranges are now listed in 10 metre/yard squares for the vehicle grid.

* Blast Wave manoevure is pegged at +1 radius range for weapons, but gains additional effects as skill increases.

March 2020 devblog

The premium fantasy manual of Sabre 2e is out, and I think it's about time I updated everyone with a blog about what's happening with the other manuals! 

 

It's been somewhere around 6 months to get to this point, and the fantasy system is chugging along nicely. My local group wants to switch from scifi to fantasy, so my next campaign is going to be just that, though I might have to learn how to use Roll20 given the situation around the world at the moment! The core mechanics are much more alilgned between the scifi and fantasy systems, so they integrate even better than they used to.

What I'm working on next is the Bestiary, which I've really only just started on, but the good news is the job basically entails redoing all the template data, but keeping the format for the most part. I'll be getting a few more pieces of art done for it too, though I've spent my limited art budget on stock images to spruce up the core rulebook so there won't be a lot just yet. Still, that project is ongoing and one of these days, I'll have all of those images done!

We've had great success with the random looting table system I developed for the Scifi game, so I'll be making a version of that for the fantasy system too, so you can look forward to that as well. 

Then I'll be looking at making a new intro module for the fantasy system, to show off how the new mechanics work. They're not too difficult to be honest, and have actually been designed to be smoother and more refined than the old version, so they're not hard to learn. That was the whole point of this 2nd edition exercise, to streamline the playing of the game and help newer plays wrap their heads around it all. 

Scifi

Technically, the scifi core rulebook is ready to go, as that was the primary development system we've been using for the last four months. I just want to go over it a little more and check a few things before I release it, so that should be online next week. The Encounters manual needs the same treatment as the Bestiary though, so I've got plenty of template making in my future (that'll certainly keep me indoors!)

I'll be making a new intro module for Scifi too, and I think for both modules I want to make them longer and with a heavier story element. I had made those original ones to just demonstrate mechanics, but I think they're a bit dry and having a better story will make them more engrossing in general, so I'll put on my writer's hat when the time comes and make something interesting ;)

So, a timeline of releases: 

Scifi Core Rulebook: The week of the 24th of March.

Fantasy Bestiary: 2nd week of April.

Scifi Encounters manual: 1st week of May (possibly sooner, we'll see how it goes).

Fantasy Intro Module: 3rd week of May.

Scifi Intro Module: 1st week of June. 

All of these times are just estimates of course! Subject to change, and of course I like to avoid punishing deadlines to give myself creative freedom, so I sometimes get the work done much sooner than expected.

Oh, and we have a Discord server now too, in case anyone has questions about the system etc. :)

That's about it for now, I'll go back to posting a new blog every month around the 20th, as usual. Stay safe, stay well, and look upon this time as an opportunity for some gaming, even if it has to be done remotely! Peace.

October 2019 2nd Edition devblog

You've probably noticed there's no update this month, which I think is a first! Instead, I'm well into development on Sabre 2nd Edition, a series of sweeping changes to the core system to make it easier to learnand play. Let's go through some of the things I'll be introducing, but first:

 

Why?

About two weeks ago, as of the writing of this blog, I had an epiphany - I could see the whole system as a quilt, stitched together from all sorts of bits and pieces. It's whole, it works and we're familiar with it, but it's pretty rough when you get right down to it, and could be smoothed out a lot. 

Every now and then a system like this needs to be cut back and refined, and now is the time. This will actually be the 4th edition of sabre, as I've been here before, armed with a nerf bat and the delete key long before it was released to the public. For the purposes of the public release version it's the 2nd edition though, to prevent confusion :)

 

Uniform Rules

After using and developing the system for the last few years, I've got a good sense of what's working and what's not. At the moment, you've got to learn and deal with separate rules for different parts of the system. Just the Attributes and their bonuses are a hassle - Damage Modifier is +1 for every 3 Strength. Reactions come at 1 for every 5 Agility. Spirit Points equal half your Willpower Attribute and Luck Points are on a sliding scale.

Then your ability to learn new talents is on a compounding scale, but everything else is a flat scale that varies between skills, manoeuvres and psi/magic. It's a mess :(

I also don't like how detatched Attributes are to other aspect's of a character's abilities, so I want to tie them together in a better structural way. 

And while I like the freedom of the Background system, allowing you to be more fleixible with how your character is created, I feel there's too much crossover in skills which muddies the roles everyone is playing. So while I think Backgrounds are like 50% of a Class (referencing the class system of something like D&D), we're going to lean into it a bit more with 75% of a class :D 

Finally, the layout and style of the manuals is too harsh on the eye, with heavy, dark headings on all tables (meant to highlight important bits) contributing to a challenging read. 

 

Solutions

Firstly, I'm combining Willpower and Intelligence into 'Intellect', as Intelligence didn't have any impact on a character's combat abilities, and was mostly used for faster learning. Now it'll also be Spirit Points, and it's one less Attribute to keep track of, and one more that you'll need to consider for any character build.

Then I'm taking a leaf out of 3rd edition D&D's ruleset by having each Attribute have an Attribute Bonus, starting at 10 and advancing +1 for every 2 in the Attribute. So a score of 18 gives a +5 bonus. We'll be using this number as a bonus to skill results, as I really like how the Result Bonus works in the system so we'll be using that a lot more. This number will also dictate Damage, Reactions, Heal rate and Spirit Point bonuses, as well as Luck points. 

Instead of Backgrounds, we're going with Professions, each of which has more in the way of unique abilities, but more than that they present a character's capabilities in a modern context, speaking about what you can do now as opposed to what you learned growing up. It's a subtle distinction that makes a profound difference in how we think of characters, and now you'll be able to say what you're playing, as each profession has a title not unlike a character class. I doubt anybody ever took the Fisherman or Farmer backgrounds, and they were more thematic for roleplaying purposes than character ability. Now you'll have Hunter, Soldier, Gladiator, Thief, Doctor and so on. The total number of these professions is less than the backgrounds system, but there's still a huge variety.

Some skills have a companion tied to them as well, such as Leadership and Artifice/Robotics. I'm developing this further with professions that have a specific companion ability baked-in. The Inheritor profession gets a butler/bodyguard, Wizard gets a familiar, Hunter gets a pet (which can be a beast or dire beast once you're skilled enough), Roboticist gets a robot etc. For scifi, the ability to make a whole lot of robots is being removed. Sure, if you can build one you should be able to build a hundred and have them do the adventure for you, but that's bad gameplay, so restrictions are coming in. These companions will also not be counted as separate characters, requiring your own Accolades to advance, so a player's abilities are split over two characters, essentially, using the power of teamwork to achieve victory!

Now that talents, skills, manoeuvres and psi/magic are all going to cost the same to 'buy', manoevures are being revamped completely, bringing them up to the same value as the others with better abilities that advance automatically as the related skill increases. I should also mention that the Quick action is being removed too, with Reactions being used in its place for things that are 'quick'. This also means that you can use more than 1 manoevure in a round, but they're each being pegged to a particular action now. So your Action, Movement and Reaction(s) can each have a manovure attached to them, requiring only a Spirit Point with no other dice rolls required. It's a cleaner system with more freedom and will produce faster play :D

The current system to roll critical hits is easy to use and elegant, but the result is basically a 10% critical chance by default (10% of your skill level, no matter what it is), and 20% on an expanded critical. In our last game, the players (who are playing very experienced characters) rolled a LOT of criticals, more than 12 combined. It's just too many, and the system doesn't allow for any granular adjustments, it's either 10% or 20%. So I've come up with a new system which gives a 5% critical chance on all skills by default, and I can incrementally boost that with talents etc. It's the top 5 points from your skill score, basically. So if you've got a 55 skill, 51-55 is your base crit range. It should fix a LOT of issues, and of course the ability to use Luck Points to "de-crit" an enemy's roll will be removed. Mmm, balance!

Finally, the entire layout of all manuals is getting a facelift, with those heavy lines being removed and a lighter, fresher look to make it easier to follow. I'll do new cover art too, something that really captures the adventurous feel we're going for here. Wish me luck on that one!

One of the new manoevures:

A profession n the new layout:

And the race/species new layout, single page!

When will it be ready?

No idea! I'm making excellent progress on the scifi edition, as both of our local games are scifi and well, the squeaky wheel gets the grease! The next campaign I'll start will be Sabre 2e, and I'm wrapping up my current campaign before the end of the year so we can switch to the new system. That should give me enough time to get all of the manuals done and some of our experts can analyse my work. The good news is that most of the core system will simply copy over to the fantasy version, but there's still a lot of work updating all of the spell system too. Plus I have to do the bestiary and encounters guide as well, so there's a fair bit of work to do there. I need to run a few sessions to verify it'll all work on paper as well as I think it'll work in my head, and then I can get it out there. So, tenatively, I'm thinking the end of the year at the earliest, but more likely it'll be sometime early next year, depending on how well the cover design goes. Oh, and if all goes well, I'll make sure the new manuals are set up for print publishing, which is something people have been requesting for a while now! I never got around to it because I didn't like the look of the manual, but this new one is shaping up very well indeed. So, keep an eye out here for any further news :)

 

September 2019 update and devblog

Hi everyone, it's time for the monthly Sabre update and we've got some extensive core fixes to tell you about, thanks to playtesting done by my local groups. Let's get to it!

 

Advanced Characters

It's been tricky to find a nice balanced way of making an character from scratch that has some experience. Adding points to skills over the course of playing is more art than science, and replicating that is very difficult. So I've had another pass on this, both to bring more even results to start from, and to simplify the process. Adding dozens of Accolades to skills can be tedious at this level, so that's been made redundant for starters. I'm moderately confident this will be a big improvement!

 

Animal Training

At the request of one of our players, the Animal Training skill has been expanded to allow the teaching of Combat and General talents to beast and dire beast pets. This greatly enhances their utility and durability in combat.

 

Robotics Overhaul

This is a big one. The robotics system has been evolving over the last few years, with rules tweaked, rewritten and patched on until the whole thing was rather messy. We've gone over it carefully to refine the methods for making and operating robots, in a clear and concise manner that we believe is a big improvement!

 

Parry Overhaul

Let's face it, Parry as a defensive style has been pretty ordinary since the start. Especially compared to the other methods: 

* Evade is great, because if you succeed, you avoid all damage and it works against ranged and melee attacks. Restricted by light armour only.

* Blocking with a shield is great as it lets heavily armoured (i.e. non-agile) characters have a powerful defence against ranged and melee attacks.

* Parry was only really useful if you're using a very large weapon, and you were too heavily armour to take advantage of Evade bonuses. Smaller weapons were useless for Parry as the damage from larger weapons could still get through, and you can't parry Ranged attacks.

So there are a number of improvements here to make it much more viable. The size of the weapon no longer matters. A short sword can Parry a greatsword with no damage coming through. Think of it more as deflecting the attack rather than taking the brute force of the blow. Some small weapons, such as daggers and whips, specifically say they cannot be used to Parry. So while it still can't be used against ranged attacks, at least you can be assured that you can Parry larger weapons if you need to.

 

Weapon Balance Tweaks

Another thing that's been bothering me for years is weapon Armour Points. Using an attack that damages weapons was convoluted and not very useful, so I've taken the big step to change weapon durability to be represented by Hit Points, which also makes it work really well on vehicles and starships. This was a big step as it required fixing every single character sheet, as well as bestiary and NPC templates, a process that is still ongoing. The end result is that the tweaked 'Sunder Weapon' type manoevures now deal damage in an easy to understand way.

This has also allowed me to add wear and tear on weapons and equipment, where on a fumbled roll with that equipment it loses 1 HP. This way, you'll eventually have to do some maintenance to keep it in top condition.

One of our players (Hi Luke!) crunched some numbers on the difference between Longarms and Heavy Weapons, and while it was pretty well balanced, I felt that the roles of these weapon types should be a little more divergent. So, Longarms have lost a bit of damage (via talents) and gained more accuracy, while Heavy Weapons have dropped a talent or two and picked up some extra damage talents instead. I finally feel like all of the Heavy Weapon talents are useful and desireble, even if I do have to go through the NPC templates again to update everything :)

 

Bestiary and Encounters Updates

Yeah this is going to take a while. I've completed the Bestiary monsters (and added some more stock images to get rid of those awful placeholders), and I've done most of tne Bestiary's NPC templates, but the rest (spellcasters, mounted enemies and all the scifi templates) still need doing. It'll be a couple of weeks :)

 

Space Dragons

The Zacharial species has lost its space folding ability. It's a little disappointing, but the GM in charge of a campaign with these things flying around made a great case for it. Being on a starship keeps a party together, but if a Zacharial can just jump out of an airlock and fold to another star system on a whim, it makes the GM's job a lot harder. They can still focus on boarding actions in space combat and fly around for a while in a vacuum, but they need their own ships to fold to other star systems. In this regard, they've gained their own species starship designs too.

That's about all for this month, which should be plenty to digest for now! One of these days, the system really will settle down and the changes should be far fewer, but it's all worthwhile as it's slowly paring back the system into more readily understandable chunks. All good! Peace.

 

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Sabre RPG Scifi Core Rulebook v1.16

 

General 

* Revised the Advanced Characters section for what I hope is more uniform numbers.

* The medical scanner now lists Surgery as one of the skills it can be used with, and has a bonus to first aid as well.

* 'Barrel Extension' weapon mod doesn't work on missiles.

* 'Coca Wine' narcotic duration is now correctly listed as 2 hours.

* Combat Talents & Manoeuvres can be taught to Beasts and Dire Beasts using the Animal Training skill.

* Squires cannot learn the Animal Training skill.

* Sentry Turrets now require a remote control to use, cannot use voice commands by default, and require an action to start them shooting at a target.

* Heal Rate is now calculated as Hit Points/6.

* 'Efficient Crafting' skill now increases the hours per day that you can use craft or tech skills such as Robotics to 12 hours instead of 8.

* Arborean species is no longer Vulnerable to fire damage.

* Xarani skin colour now varies according to their mood.

* EVA suits now provide +5 ap vs radiation damage.

* 'Leap' and 'Sprint' manoeuvres can only be used during your turn. Leap no longer ignores difficult terrain.

* Devices with the Worn-out condition now also have half the normal charges.

* Added 'Xen' medicine.

* Listed how long it takes to make medicines.

* Morphine now provides a -5% Evade penalty instead of losing a Reaction.

 

Robotics Changes

* Removed 'Massive Fists', 'Colossal Fists' and 'Mighty Fists' robot upgrades (buy a power fist!)

* Revised 'Battering Ram' upgrade.

* 'Saw Blades' robot upgrade now increases Damage Modifier bonus for each body size increase and damaged targets bleed, but it cannot be augmented with Unarmed weaponry.

* 'Transform' upgrade now notes that Armour Plating also lowers transformed Movement.

* Rewrote the sections on how to build robots, repair robots, and operate robots.

* Robots can be be programmed with skills and talents, no longer requiring the expenditure of Accolades.

* Reduced the Circuit cost for building robots.

* Added 'Robot Avatar' talent.

* Added 'Expanded Memory' robot upgrade.

* Robot Program devices now allow the robot or Automaton to take talents related to the skill learned. Talents and skill points are lost if the program is removed. The price of Robot Programs is now much higher.

* Positronic Brain upgrade now grants +10 INT.

* 'Broad Application' Robotics talent now also allows the roboticist to use Mechanic and Electronic manoeuvres on robots.

 

Parry Changes

* The effectiveness of parrying attacks is no longer limited by weapon SIZ.

* Many Tiny and Small weapons such as daggers cannot parry.

* The Parrying weapon trait now grants a +5% result bonus when Parrying.

* The 'Impact' trait now also mentions that Parrying weapons are affected.

* The Martial Arts skill no longer increases weapon SIZ, but allows you to Parry with empty-handed and Martial Arts weapons.

* Charge no longer increases weapon SIZ.

* 'Solid Defence' and 'Swift Parry' manoeuvres now grant +5% to Parry results.

* Removed 'Stronger Parry' melee manoeuvre.

* 'Fight Dirty' Unarmed manoeuvre now specifies it is a result penalty.

* 'Fencer' talent now grants its result bonus to the skill in general, not just for feint etc.

* 'Lightning Riposte' is now just called 'Riposte'. It now gives a free melee attack on a critical Parry.

* 'Reciprocating Strike' shield talent now gives a free attack on a critical Block.

* Added 'Iron Wall' shield talent.

* Removed 'Skewer' blade talent, replaced with 'Duellist' talent.

 

Weapon Stuff

* Modern melee weapons with the Perforate trait instead have the Bleed trait.

* Added upgrades for 'Powered Weapons' invention.

* 'Weapon' background event now provides a weapon of 500cr or less in value, but it has the Worn-out condition.

* Weapons and devices now all have Hit Points, including weapons which always had Armour Points in a convoluted kind of way. Hit Point numbers on weapons are much higher in some cases, and all devices also have Hit Points.

* When using equipment or weapons, a fumble reduces its Hit Points by 1.

* Improv Laser and Improv Gun inventions now list slots for installing on vehicles and starships. 

* Improvised Laser has less charges and uses modern batteries. High-Tech batteries double charges as usual.

* The Martial Arts skill now allows the use of all Martial Arts weapons by default.

* Removed the 'Martial Weapons' talent.

* Some high-tech weapon mods are now available in the modern era.

* Replaced 'Shrapnel' heavy weapons talent with 'Heavy Hitter' which grants damage, increases with skill level.

* 'Practiced Aim' longarm talent now gives +2% result bonus, increases with skill level. Skill requirement is 50%.

* 'Defensive Swing' heavy weapons talent is now at 70%.

* 'Low Profile' longarms talent is now at 90%, 'Braced Shot' is now at 70%.

* 'Haymaker' Unarmed manoeuvre now also grants Reach.

* 'Faultless Aim' Small Arms manoeuvre now grants EC only on single shot attacks.

* 'Improvised Laser' invention is now Modern era.

* Gatling trait for 'Improvised Gun' and 'Improvised Laser' can only be used on heavy weapon configurations. Accurate trait has been removed from Improv Gun.

* 'Blast Shield' invention is now Modern era.

* Added a note about cover gained from smoke and fog, noting that AoE effects work normally and night vision sees through it. Noted this difference in 'Low Profile' talent.

* 'Sniper' talent now only applies its bonus on single-shot longarm attacks.

* 'Hail of Arrows' talent now grants the Burst ability.

* 'Opportunist' sword talent now makes it so Swords don't reaquire Reactions to make opportunity attacks.

* Removed Particle Accelerator vehicle weapon, replaced with Hvy Plasma Cannon.

* Mass Driver vehicle weapon now has a clip size of 1, takes only 12 slots.

* Improv laser invention's electric damage option now halves the damage figure.

* Corrected the text for 'Powerful Throw' talent.

* Added 'Switch Bow' and 'Powered Crossbow' high tech weapons.

* Added 'Close Quarters Specialist' general combat talent. 

* Added 'Martial Finesse' talent. 

* Added 'Blade Finesse' talent, Removed 'Agile Defence' blade talent.

* Added 'Ammo Feed' upgrade for Hazard Suit invention.

 

Starship Manual v1.06

* Zacharial have gained a species starship design bonus, and lost their 'Fold Space' talent.

* Added 'Weapon Turret, Capital'.

* Zacharial's unarmed attack is a bite, not claws.

* Zacharial can take the 'Ravenous' talent.

* Added Heavy Plasma Cannon.

* Mass Driver now has a clip size of 1, takes only 12 slots.

* Cruise Missile takes 15 slots.

 

 

Sabre RPG Premium Fantasy Core Rulebook v1.16

 

General 

* Revised the Advanced Characters section for what I hope is more uniform numbers.

* Combat Talents & Manoeuvres can be taught to Beasts and Dire Beasts using the Animal Training skill.

* Squires cannot learn the Animal Training skill.

* Heal Rate is now calculated as Hit Points/6.

* 'Leap' and 'Sprint' manoeuvres can only be used during your turn. Leap no longer ignores difficult terrain.

 

Parry Changes

* The effectiveness of parrying attacks is no longer limited by weapon SIZ.

* Many Tiny and Small weapons such as daggers cannot parry.

* The Parrying weapon trait now grants a +5% result bonus when Parrying.

* The 'Impact' trait now also mentions that Parrying weapons are affected.

* The Martial Arts skill no longer increases weapon SIZ, but allows you to Parry with empty-handed and Martial Arts weapons.

* Charge no longer increases weapon SIZ.

* 'Solid Defence' and 'Swift Parry' manoeuvres now grant +5% to Parry results.

* Removed 'Stronger Parry' melee manoeuvre.

* 'Fight Dirty' Unarmed manoeuvre now specifies it is a result penalty.

* 'Fencer' talent now grants its result bonus to the skill in general, not just for feint etc.

* 'Lightning Riposte' is now just called 'Riposte'. It now gives a free melee attack on a critical Parry.

* 'Reciprocating Strike' shield talent now gives a free attack on a critical Block.

* Added 'Iron Wall' shield talent.

* Removed 'Skewer' blade talent, replaced with 'Duellist' talent.

 

Weapon Stuff

* 'Agile' weapon trait critical damage bonus increased to +3, no longer lowers weapon HP.

* Weapons now all have Hit Points instead of Armour Points. Hit Point numbers on weapons are much higher in some cases.

* When using equipment or weapons, a fumble reduces its Hit Points by 1.

* The Martial Arts skill now allows the use of all Martial Arts weapons by default.

* Removed the 'Martial Weapons' talent.

* 'Practiced Aim' longarm talent now gives +2% result bonus, increases with skill level. Skill requirement is 50%.

* 'Low Profile' longarms talent is now at 90%, 'Braced Shot' is now at 70%.

* 'Haymaker' Unarmed manoeuvre now also grants Reach.

* 'Faultless Aim' Firearms manoeuvre now grants EC only on single shot attacks.

* 'Hail of Arrows' talent now grants the Burst ability.

* 'Opportunist' sword talent now makes it so Swords don't reaquire Reactions to make opportunity attacks.

* Corrected the text for 'Powerful Throw' talent.

* Added 'Close Quarters Specialist' general combat talent. 

* Added 'Martial Finesse' talent. 

* Added 'Blade Finesse' talent, Removed 'Agile Defence' blade talent.

 

 

Sabre RPG Basic Fantasy Core Rulebook v1.16

 

General 

* Revised the Advanced Characters section for what I hope is more uniform numbers.

* Heal Rate is now calculated as Hit Points/6.

* 'Leap' and 'Sprint' manoeuvres can only be used during your turn. Leap no longer ignores difficult terrain.

 

Parry Changes

* The effectiveness of parrying attacks is no longer limited by weapon SIZ.

* Many Tiny and Small weapons such as daggers cannot parry.

* The Parrying weapon trait now grants a +5% result bonus when Parrying.

* The 'Impact' trait now also mentions that Parrying weapons are affected.

* The Martial Arts skill no longer increases weapon SIZ, but allows you to Parry with empty-handed and Martial Arts weapons.

* Charge no longer increases weapon SIZ.

* 'Solid Defence' and 'Swift Parry' manoeuvres now grant +5% to Parry results.

* Removed 'Stronger Parry' melee manoeuvre.

* 'Fight Dirty' Unarmed manoeuvre now specifies it is a result penalty.

* 'Lightning Riposte' is now just called 'Riposte'. It now gives a free melee attack on a critical Parry.

 

Weapon Stuff

* 'Agile' weapon trait critical damage bonus increased to +3, no longer lowers weapon HP.

* Weapons now all have Hit Points instead of Armour Points. Hit Point numbers on weapons are much higher in some cases.

* When using equipment or weapons, a fumble reduces its Hit Points by 1.

* The Martial Arts skill now allows the use of all Martial Arts weapons by default.

* Removed the 'Martial Weapons' talent.

* 'Practiced Aim' longarm talent now gives +2% result bonus, increases with skill level. Skill requirement is 50%.

* 'Low Profile' longarms talent is now at 90%, 'Braced Shot' is now at 70%.

* 'Haymaker' Unarmed manoeuvre now also grants Reach.

* 'Opportunist' sword talent now makes it so Swords don't reaquire Reactions to make opportunity attacks.

* Added 'Blade Finesse' talent, Removed 'Agile Defence' blade talent.

August 2019 update and devblog

Hi everyone, time for the monthly Sabre update, and this time we've got some more streamlining of character creation and a bunch of other tweaks. Let's get to it! 

Core System changes

This applies to both fantasy and scifi systems. I've been looking for ways to pare back the system to make it easier to get into, and this is what I've come up with this time: 

* All skills are now calculated by one Attribute score, times 2.

* All Characteristics are now calculated from only one Attribute score.

* Four Common Skills, namely Boating, Conceal, Dance & Sing, have been removed (they ain't that common).

* Pistols and Longarms skills have been combined into the new Small Arms skill (scifi), or Firearms skill (fantasy). 

* Pistol and Longarm Manoeuvres have been merged into one Small Arms/Firearms category. 

Our beta testers have confirmed this makes things much easier and a bit quicker during character creation, so it's totally worthwhile! The upshot of this is you can get more Hit Points, Spirit Points and Initiative Rank too. I've gone and updated NPC templates for the Encounters manual, but I haven't had time to do the Bestiary templates yet. I'll try to get to that next month, but the numbers are pretty similar anyway.

There's plenty of other adjustments and improvements done to the scifi system, mostly as a result of the modern era alien fighting campaign I'm running. The vehicle system works really well, and we're having a great time with it.

One last thing, I've taken the sample bestiary out of the premium fantasy edition, it's taking a lot of space and it's extra work to maintain it. Those templates can be found in the basic edition, or the bestiary anyway :)

I've added some more bestiary art, from stock images of course, but we're past the halfway point now! Anyway, that's all for this month, play on :)

 

 

Sabre Scifi Core Rulebook v1.15

Core System

* All Common and Professional skills are now initially calculated by 1 Attribute number x2. This makes it much easier to do the initial skill calculations. 

* Revised calculations of Characteristics based off 1 Attribute instead of 2.

  -Damage Modifer is based only on Strength.

  -Hit Points are equal to Constitution.

  -Initiative Rank is equal to Agility.

  -Reactions are based on Agility.

  -Spirit Points are equal to half Willpower.

* Android, Automaton and Veiran Spirit Points are now equal to their WIL Attribute.

* Increased Buff Points for character creation to 23 standard (up from 22).

* 'Roboticist' background now gets 2 background events. 

* 'Medical School' and 'Science Institute' backgrounds now gets 2 background events.

* 'Prodigy' background has no contacts.

* Pistols and Longarms skills have been combined into the new Small Arms skill. 

* Pistol and Longarm Manoeuvres have been merged into one Small Arms category. Modified Diving Fire, Opening Salvo, Double Tap. Removed Rapid Fire, Hold & Shoot, Pistol Whip. 

* All backgrounds have 1 less common skill to freely choose from.

 

New!

* Added 'Epic Driver' and 'Epic Pilot' manoeuvres.

* Added 'Burn' trait option to Pyrokinesis.

* Surgery skill can now only be used once per day.

* Added 'Major Operation' surgery talent that allows the operation to last much longer, and heal more Hit Points.

* Added B.A.D. Lever longarm modification.

* Added 'Double Smash' Unarmed manoeuvre.

* Added 30mm Chain Gun vehicle weapon.

* Added 20mm Chain Gun vehicle weapon.

* Added 20mm Cannon to the ranged weapons category (for personal use).

* Added 'Detoxatol' modern era addiction relief medicine.

* Added 'Stinger Launcher' modern era vehicle weapon.

* Added '40mm AA Cannon' modern era vehicle weapon.

 

Everything Else (Sorry for the disorganised list, I'm pressed for time).

* Revised the 'Commander' leadership talent - it is no longer tied to anyone's initiative skill, you can just arrange your party initiative as you wish, but only for your party (the GM's inititive roll stays where it is in the sequence.) 

* Removed 'Expanded Cartridge' crossbow modification.

* Added modern 'Multi-Shot Crossbow'.

* 'Vanquish' crossbow talent only affects ancient armour AP.

* 'Deep Wound' bow talent now functions on any hit, doesn't have to be a crit.

* Increased damage on modern bows.

* Serpent Combat Bite Option loses it's Perforate attack, begins at 1d6 and gains a special extra attack.

* Serpent Combat Grapple option now deals its Unarmed damage as collision damage each round.

* Corvid beak attack is now 1d6 damage base, cannot be used with unarmed weapons.

* Ravenous talent can also be taken by Corvid and Aleerata, grants Perforate and double damage modifier bonus instead of additional attack.

* 'Martial Warrior' talent can now be taken with the Unarmed skill.

* 'Psychic Shield' now grants +10 AP as a baseline, and gains +5AP and +5% result bonus for each spirit point put in after that. 

* Veiran Lightning Bolt manoeuvre now requires only 50% skill, deals +1 damage for each spirit point used.

* Characters with the Amorphous trait (Veiran and Shifter) get "Your Unarmed/Martial Arts attacks can gain or lose Reach & Longreach as desired."

* 'Thunder Fists' Unarmed manoevure now only affects your baseline Damage Modifier.

* Plasma Caster and Improvised Flamerthrower inventions now have a clip size of 30.

* Diamondback talent no longer gives a bonus against plasma or laser damage.

* Electronic Engineering and Mechanical Engineering talents now also require INT at 12+. 

* 'Narcotics' and 'Xenobiology' talents now require 12+ INT.

* 'Advanced Surgery' talent requires INT at 15+.

* 'Nanotech' and 'Implant Cybernetics' talents now require INT at 17+

* 'Renowned Surgeon' talent now requires INT at 19+

* Mentari Attribute penalties are now -3 for STR, -3 CON, instead of -6 STR.

* 'Dimensional Shunt' now has a base range of 10 squares, and it and 'Circuit Spike' can increase by increments of 10 squares.

* 'Howl' intimidate manoeuvre now called 'Roar', because it's more awesome.

* 'Thunder Fists' Unarmed manoevure is no longer limited to empty-handed attacks.

* 'Animate Dead' veiran talent now works with a Concentration or 1 minute duration as normal.

* Corrected short description for 'Archery Master' talent.

* 'Martial Fury' manoeuvre has been moved to Unarmed manoeuvres.

* Noted for Skill Combo and Skill Mastery talents that manoeuvres of different activation times are still limited by when you can use them. i.e. 1 action still must be used on your turn etc.

* Replaced 'Hardened Systems' and added standardised 'Composite Armour' upgrade for Powered Armour, Vehicles and Robots.

* Composite Armour heavy tank option now grants invulnerability to electrical damage. 

* Powered melee weapons all have 10 charges.

* Electrical Foil, Taser Glove and Shock Baton now deal bludgeoning (or piercing for the foil) damage, but separatly add +3 electrical damage. Taser Glove cost reduced.

* Psychic Shield is an opposed check against incoming damage rolls, thus it works like a shield.

* Removed Acting and Oratory Professional skills, and Boating, Dance, Customs and Sing common skills. Boating is now under Seamanship. Acting and Dance are under Art. Sing is under Musicianship. Customs is under Culture. Oratory is under Influence.

* Semi-Auto shotguns are now Huge in SIZ.

* 'Renowned Speaker' talent now applies to Influence skill, 90% requirement.

* 'Artist' talent now only applies to art or musicianship skill, 90% requirement.

* 'Renowned Musician' talent now only applies to musicianship skill. 

* 'Researcher' talent now applies to either Knowledge or Science skills.

* 'Thunderous Report' applies to longarms mounted on vehicles now.

* Removed the 'Mounted Weaponry' vehicle talent.

* Fully auto shotgun has lost suppress trait, clip size is now 12, damage is 1d8+8.

* 'Redundant Organs' genetics enhancement only gives +5 HP now.

* 'Enhanced Senses' genetics enhancement no longer makes you unsurprisable.

* 'Precision Circuitry' talent now only applies to building or repairing robots.

* Fixed erroneous instances of 'Organic Component' references.

* 'Dragon Strike' and 'Double Slice' manoevures now only apply the damage dice of off-hand weapons. 

* Removed 'Fast Reload' heavy weapons talent and replaced with 'Firepower' at 90% skill.

* 'Shrapnel' heavy weapons talent is now at 70%, and can apply from heavy weapons mounted on vehicles or starships.

* Setup weapons trait no longer requires weapons to take 2 rounds to reload.

* SUV's and Light Trucks have an extra slot and +1 Movement.

* Shell-type weapons can use Explosive and HESH warheads.

* Added Depleted Uranium shell ammunition.

* FMJ rounds can only be used on bullets up to .50cal in size.

* Suppress attacks no longer use the Perforate trait.

* Stinger Launcher is now 3 slots.

* Added details for making special shells and warheads to Ammunition invention.

* AI Construct can now learn any talents using its Computers skill to qualify. 

* Taking a nose injury using the Maiming rules also results in -1 CHA.

* 'Medic' talent can now also be taken with the First Aid skill.

* Missile trait now only gives +10% to hit larger targets.

* 'Guidance System' weapon mod now gives +10% to both rockets and missiles, but is now specifically listed as High-Tech (as it requires a Wrist Radar).

* 'Inspiration' and 'Forced March' leadership manouevres are now C1 duration.

* 'Fusillade' pistol manoeuvre now simply gives you the gatling trait for 1 round.

* Fixed the listed ammunition bonuses for FMJ, Hollow Point and Solid Slugs in the ammunition invention. Also added extra time cost for some special ammo.

* AI Construct invention only gains extra actions and reactions if attached to a turret, starship or base at 99%. 90% ability lets it learn talents with its Computers skill. Invention takes 64 hours to program now.

* EVA suit now stipulates it can be worn over armour, and suffocation rules apply once it is breached.

* The 'Possess' veiran manoevure now states that you use your Psychic skill for all skill checks while in possession of another entity.

* 'Rebellious Spirit' is now listed as Quick.

* 'Signal Disruptor' is now called Signal Jammer.

* 'Repair Bots' nanomedicine is now called Repair Meds (to prevent a clash with actual starship repair bots).

* Added 'Faultless Aim' longarm manoeuvre.

* 'God of War' hvy weapons manoevure now lasts for the entire round.

* Explained that direct piloting of a robot (or using an AR visor) allows you to use the robotics skill by default for all robot tasks, or use your own specific skills and talents if you have them.

* Starship Control robotics upgrade now correctly states that you use the Robotics skill to control ship functions instead of Computers. They can also gain the benefits of a console if they have the appropriate skill and talent.

* 20mm Cannon now has a clip size of 5, matching the vehicle mounted version, and costs 25k instead of 30k.

* Further refined Anti-Air weapon trait to "Weapon has +10% to skill result vs flying targets, -10% skill result vs ground targets."

* Added 'Airborne Tracking System' heavy weapon mod.

* 'Heavy Lifter' manoeuvre now requires only 70% skill and allows wielder to ignore Setup requirement of weapons.

* 'Airborne' weapon trait has been changed to 'Anti-Air'. "Against flying targets, weapon ignores standard -10% penalty & gains +10% to skill result instead."

* Tweaked the language on 'Airborne' ranged weapon trait to remove penalty for shooting at flying targets.

* 20mm Cannon and 20mm Autocannon now deal 1d12+15 damage.

* 30mm Autocannon now deal 1d12+20 damage.

* 40mm Cannon clip size is now 5, slot requirement is also 5.

* Stinger Missile has a range of 5km, deals 1d8+20 fire damage and has Explosve trait. Reduced cost of Stinger/Skyshield ammo.

* Interceptor Missile deals 1d8+25 damage.

* Removed 'Bunker Down' heavy weapons talent, replaced with 'Weapon Training'.

* Revised 'Linked Weapons' vehicle and starship upgrade for a more efficient mechanic, can now also be once again used in turrets.

 

Starship Manual v1.05

* Docking Bay upgrade is now 15 slots instead of 25.

* A ship's Length is now listed as it's Size, which is in cubic metres/yards.

* Hardened Subystems upgrade is now 'Armoured Subsystem'.

* Added 'Composite Armour' upgrade.

* Added a section about Repairing a Starship to the manual (better late than never). 

* Hull repairs now take 5 hours per hull part.

* Added 'Interdiction System' upgrade.

* 'Intense Flame' talent now gives Invulnerability to fire damage instead of a plasma damage DR bonus.

* 'Fearsome' talent is now an opposed check to be frightened.

* 'Fold Space' talent now requires only 70% skill, can travel to other star systems at 90% skill.

* Doubled the movement in space from 'Psychic Travel'.

* Tweaked Zacharial 'Breathe fire' manoeuvre to be deal damage more efficiently, with a lower maximum. 

* Fleet Command talent now extends to 10 space squares by default, 20 squares if you have the Decisive Leadership talent.

 

 

Sabre Fantasy Premium Core Rulebook v2.97

* Raelani now have -3 to STR and -3 to CON, instead of -6 to STR.

* Separated Common Skills and Resistance skills.

* Added 'Double Smash' Unarmed manoeuvre.

* 'Thunder Fists' Unarmed manoevure is no longer limited to empty-handed attacks, but only affecst baseline Damage Modifier.

* 'Martial Fury' manoeuvre has been moved to Unarmed manoeuvres.

* Removed Acting and Oratory Professional skills, and Boating, Dance, Customs and Sing common skills. Boating is now under Seamanship. Acting and Dance are under Art. Sing is under Musicianship. Customs is under Culture. Oratory is under Influence.

* Pistols and Longarms skills have been combined into the new Firearms skill.

* Pistol and Longarm Manoeuvres have been merged into one Firearms category. Modified Diving Fire, Opening Salvo, Double Tap. Removed Rapid Fire, Fusilade, Hold & Shoot, Pistol Whip.  

* All backgrounds have 1 less common skill to freely choose from.

* 'Renowned Speaker' talent now applies to Influence skill, 90% requirement.

* 'Artist' talent now only applies to art or musicianship skill, 90% requirement.

* 'Renowned Musician' talent now only applies to musicianship skill. 

* All Common and Professional skills are now initially calculated by 1 Attribute number x2. This makes it much easier to do the initial skill calculations. 

* Revised calculations of Characteristics based off 1 Attribute instead of 2.

  -Damage Modifer is based only on Strength.

  -Hit Points are equal to Constitution.

  -Initiative Rank is equal to Agility.

  -Reactions are based on Agility.

  -Spirit Points are equal to half Willpower.

* Acadian Elf Spirit Points are now equal to their WIL Attribute.

* 'Dragon Strike' and 'Double Slice' manoevures now only apply the damage dice of off-hand weapons. 

* Taking a nose injury using the Maiming rules also results in -1 CHA.

* 'Inspiration' and 'Forced March' leadership manouevres are now C1 duration.

* Added 'Faultless Aim' Firearm manoeuvre.

* Removed Drive manoeuvres.

* 'Howl' intimidate manoeuvre now called 'Roar', because it's more awesome.

* 'Thunder Fists' Unarmed manoevure now only affects your baseline Damage Modifier.

* Removed the sample bestiary, as it's a lot of extra upkeep.

* 'Martial Warrior' talent can now be taken with the Unarmed skill.

 

Sabre Fantasy Basic Core Rulebook v1.81

* Raelani now have -3 to STR and -3 to CON, instead of -6 to STR.

* Separated Common Skills and Resistance skills.

* 'Martial Fury' manoeuvre has been moved to Unarmed manoeuvres.

* Removed Acting and Oratory Professional skills, and Boating, Dance, Customs and Sing common skills. Boating is now under Seamanship. Acting, Dance and Sing are under Art. Customs is under Culture. Oratory is under Influence.

* Pistols and Longarms skills have been combined into the new Firearms skill.

* Pistol and Longarm Manoeuvres have been merged into one Small Arms category. Modified Diving Fire, Opening Salvo, Double Tap. Removed Rapid Fire, Hold & Shoot, Pistol Whip.  

* All backgrounds have 1 less common skill to freely choose from. Adjusted skill options after removing the 4 less desirable ones.

* 'Renowned Speaker' talent now applies to Influence skill, 90% requirement.

* 'Artist' talent now provide expanded critical to an art-related subskill. 90% requirement.

* 'Renowned Musician' talent now only applies to musicianship skill. 

* All Common and Professional skills are now initially calculated by 1 Attribute number x2. This makes it much easier to do the initial skill calculations. 

* Revised calculations of Characteristics based off 1 Attribute instead of 2.

  -Damage Modifer is based only on Strength.

  -Hit Points are equal to Constitution.

  -Initiative Rank is equal to Agility.

  -Reactions are based on Agility.

  -Spirit Points are equal to half Willpower.

* Acadian Elf Spirit Points are now equal to their WIL Attribute.

* 'Double Slice' manoevure now only apply the damage dice of off-hand weapons. 

* Removed 'Inheritor' background as it contained abilities not present in the basic edition.

July 2019 update and devblog

Hi everyone, we've got a bit of an early release this month, as all of the updates I had ready to go are... ready to go. Plus, I'm shifting my work focus to another project as I'm starting to feel a little burned out from this 6 month Sabre sprint. So for now, let's take a look at the shiny things for this month!

 

Encounters templates finished

After a herculean effort from myself and an associate (thanks Aidan!), we got the Encounters templates completed. When it came to doing the psychic, inventor and vehicle templates, I had to do some customisation work on the layout, and revised the system as I went. There were a lot of errors and old informaton in there, but now it all looks great, and is current with the system. The fantasy bestiary was updated a couple of weeks ago, though there's an update now for a few errors with the melee npc templates.

 

Aleerata

Space rats! I've been wanting to do a tiny species for quite some time, but after some discussion (and recalling how vicious a tiny melee robot had been in the last campaign I ran) we resolved to keep it as a small species. Usually the smaller species are best used with magic or psi powers to make up for their lack of physical ability, but this one is different. They can carry a lot more than their small size would suggest, including the ability to use large weapons normally excluded for smaller species. This frees them up a lot more for other roles. They're also able to make mechanical and electronic inventions without the need for those exact skills, and although the resulting gadgets tend to be unreliable, it frees them from taking backgrounds with the right technical skill too. So they're very flexible, and downright adorable :)

Miniatures

I've added a section to the scifi manual in an appendix to show how to use miniatures with Sabre, primarily about the vehicle and starships. Lots of cool pictures to look at from my own collection :)

Pilot manoeuvres

With the revision of the aircraft templates, I felt the pilot manoevures had been neglected long enough. So, now they match up with the manoevures in the starships manual, and can be used for vehicles or starships as required. There's more of them, and work better with how the vehicle system now functions. Some of the driver manoeuvres have been tweaked too, as with the system settled into a nice boardgame style environment, some adjustments needed to be made. 

 

Space vehicles vs starships

There's been a bit of a crossover between vehicles and starships, as with a plasma engine, some grav plates and a life support system, you could get a flying car into space. How it worked out there was never made clear. After some discussion, we've decided to remove this ability and keep vehicles primarily planet-bound. Now, shuttles and space fighter craft will be handled as class 0 hulls - half the size of a class 1 and with a few other limitations, but ideal for high speed dogfighting action (or carrying people and cargo). This is accompanied by a modification of the drone swarm rules, which allow a squadron of up to 6 identical fighters to operate as a single unit, perfect for larger hulls with multiple docking bays for launching fighters - carriers. We had a preliminary test this last week, and it seems to work well, but the system may evolve a little more in coming months. 

 

Other bits

The siege warfare system has been always just over the horizon, with other things constantly getting in the way. Since I'm easing back on development for a while, I've handed the current pre-alpha build back to my crack beta team to revise and improve, and then we can have a test play at some point. So it's still bubbling away :)

My current campaign is an x-com style "modern era vs aliens" thing, with a heavy emphasis on vehicle combat, and it's going very well! But the next campaign I run (which was going to be a mad max style vehicle campaign) is being changed to a waterworld sort of scenario, but with more guns and ships. As such, something I had wanted to do from the start of the starship system is adapt it for larger sea-going vessels. So when the time comes, I'll add a section to the starships manual on how to do that (it'll probably be next year sometime). 

There is actually another species in the pipeline for the scifi system, but the artwork is proving to be very challenging, so I'm giving myself more time to get a handle on it. Expect it probably next month. I plan on continuing the work on the bestiary too, as time allows. I do enjoy the artwork, though it can be demanding when I have too much going on at once. Otherwise, all the usual little updates, fixes and tweaks will continue as we delve further into the system in our local games, and find things that need work.

That's all for now. Peace :)

 

Scifi Core Rulebook v1.14

New Stuff!

* Added 'Aleerata' species. 

* Added a Miniatures appendix showing the kinds of miniatures players can use with the system.

* Added Reinforced modular plate inserts. Non-Conductive plate inserts now grant +10 AP vs electrical. Move its plasma bonus over to Refractive plates. 

* Added 'Grav Plate' high-tech upgrade for robots.

* Added 'Airborne' weapon trait for anti-aircraft specific weaponry.

* Added 'Stinger' and 'Skyshield' portable anti-aircraft missiles.

* Added 'Weapon Mount, External' vehicle upgrade.

* Added 'Cut Off' drive manoeuvre.

* Added 'Change Course' drive manoeuvre.

* Revised all Pilot skill manoeuvres and added a few. They are now matched with Pilot manoevures in the Starships manual.

 

General

* Student background now only has 1 Background event.

* Noted in the Contacts that when you lose one for any reason, you lose the benefit as well.

* The Psi Rank table now shows rank 1 (i.e. baseline) effects and requirements.

* Reduced the damage on AA Missiles and Interceptor Missiles.

* Noted under Suffocation rules that these fatigue levels cannot be ignored or reduced like other fatigue levels.

* Life Support vehicle upgrade can no longer allow a vehicle to go into space.

* 'Repulsor' now gains +5% per extra charge used, and has 10 charges. Updated details for how it operates when mounted on a starship.

* Removed 'Extra Turret' vehicle upgrade. Extra standard turrets can be added at 3.0t weight, and 10m/11y length. Only 1 HD turret can be mounted per vehicle.

* 'Reckless Flying' Pilot manouvre is now called 'Danger Zone'.

* Offensive Flying is now called 'Aggresive Flying'.

* Corrected the body text for 'Psychic Leech'.

* Vehicle docking bays now correctly list using 5 slots.

* Corrected the Long Range Fuel Tanks and Lightweight Vanes turbine option data.

* Revised how materials are used with the vehicle system. Ground, Air and Sea vehicles now have their own table with available materials suitable to that vehicle type, with correct bonuses and penalties.

* Clarified that a Major Wound now happens at or below negative maximum Hit Points, and if damage is equal to or more than twice this number, death cannot be avoided with an Endurance check or Luck Point use.

* Arborean ranged and longreach unarmed attacks now let you take Chain Weapon or Heavy Weapon talents and manoevures. 

* 'Furious Ram' drive manoeuvre now deals +5 damage instead of 1d10.

* Tactical Analyser invention now uses small batteries.

* Corrected missed instances of Healing (the skill) to Surgery.

* Suppression now applies a -5% skill penalty per level instead of -10%.

* 'Defy Gravity' psi discipline now grants +2% to starship agility instead of +5%.

* Added the mention of Expanded Fumbles to the criticals section, and mentioned that a 99 is still a fumble even if your skill is 99%.

* Second Skin now heals 1d4+2 HP, but works instantly.

* The Arborean Vine Limbs ranged penalty now states that this only affects hand-held ranged weapons.

* Canine Venator's Pack Hunter trait now grants +1 Damage instead of +1 Damage Modifier, so it affects all damage done, but is limited to +3.

* Genetics no longer requires a medical scanner to use.

* Vehicle 'Extra Turret' upgrade now allows a third turret on vehicles over 10m/11y in length.

* 'Fortify' vehicle upgrade gains +5 AP instead of +10, notes that it affects all sides.

 

Starship Manual v1.04 beta 4

* Expanded Cargo upgrade can now also convert cargo hold into precious, precious slots.

* Reduced the amount of default cargo space on all hulls.

* Sensor Upgrades only give +2% per level, but are no longer limited to 4 per ship.

* 'Empower PDS' manoeuvre now also gives the Impact trait.

* Added 'Fleet Command' talent.

* Added 'Manual Firing' talent.

* Added Class 0 starship hulls.

* Barrage Cannon PDS systems firing in Suppression mode can leave a small gap in their defences to allow drones, fighters and missiles to leave or enter from either the front or back of the ship. This compromises the system's ability to destroy incoming targets along that vector for the round.

* Added details in the combat section on using class 0 hulls in a squadron.

* Modified 'Docking Bay' upgrade details to suit class 0 hulls, and added 'Launching Tube' upgrade to complement large scale carrier vessels.

* Added 'Dominator' starship template and modified Falcon and Runabout templates.

* Primary starship weapons now incur the -40% skill penalty attempting to shoot targets of 10 metres of less instead of 20 metres or less.

* Added 'Rapid Launch System' and the 'Salvo' weapon trait.

* Suppression now applies a -5% skill penalty per level instead of -10%.

* Added a weapon traits table to the starship manual.

* HD weapon turret now provides +10 AP.

* Mentioned that at 0 Capacitor, no system, weapon or ability that requires capacitor to function works.

* Reduced the damage bonus from the Zacharial's 'Breathe Flame' manoeuvre from +2 to +1 per spirit point.

 

Encounters v1.14

* Completed all NPC templates.

 

Fantasy Premium & Basic Core Rulebooks v2.96 & v1.80

* Noted in the Contacts that when you lose one for any reason, you lose the benefit as well.

* The Spell Power table now shows rank 1 (i.e. baseline) effects and requirements.

* Noted under Suffocation rules that these fatigue levels cannot be ignored or reduced like other fatigue levels.

* Clarified that a Major Wound now happens at or below negative maximum Hit Points, and if damage is equal to or more than twice this number, death cannot be avoided with an Endurance check or Luck Point use.

* Corrected missed instances of Healing (the skill) to Surgery.

* Added the mention of Expanded Fumbles to the criticals section, and mentioned that a 99 is still a fumble even if your skill is 99%.

 

June 2019 update and devblog

Greetings, Sabre enthusiast! For this month's update, the main focus has been on revising and updating the Bestiary's monster entries, mostly to replace the old tables with the new forms, but as the work went on, I noticed a lot of anachronistic or flat out wrong information, so it's all been brought up to the latest iteration of the system (and it looks a whole lot nicer!)

I also took the opportunity to add and update some monster art, as shown below:

 

I feel like I'm cheating a bit, as I decided to speed up the process by using some royalty-free stock images to fill out the backgrounds, but I think the result is much nicer and it's far cheaper than having a dedicated professional artist come in and do them, so it's a nice middle ground. Plus, I'm spread thin working on the system itself, so it's a big time saver. 

For now, it's just the monster entries that have been updated, which I just finished up today. I'll continue working on the NPC templates going forward, as most of those will crossover with the scifi Encounters manual too. I'll also do a few more pictures, as I think I can speed things up a bit in that regard. 

Oh, one more thing: I've disable the Sabre Character Sheets product on DriveThruRPG, as I didn't see the point in trrying to maintain that in addition to the fillable forms. 

It feels like the system as a whole is settling down, with fewer tweaks needed as we go. As such, there's not a lot done to the rest of the system, though the scifi books get a bit more love, as you'd expect (it's newer and more complex). So that's about all for this month, so until next time, peace out.

______________________________________________

Sabre Scifi Core Rulebook v1.13 

* Taser glove is now more expensive, only adds +1 damage, and has 3 charges per battery.

* Arborean ranged weapons count as Heavy Weapons (spore cannon) or Longarms (thorn gun) for modding.

* Medic talent now grants +1 HP gain to First Aid and Surgery skill results.

* LAW rockets and Mini-Missiles are now counted as Heavy Weapons.

* Solid shotgun slugs now provide 20/80 base range.

* Lift Fans robot upgrade now limits the robot to 2 armour plating upgrades.

* Mentioned that the human's Ambitious Effort manoevure can be used after the skill roll.

* Added 'Hydraulic Assist' option for the Hazard Suit invention.

* Dimensional Shunt now imposes a -20% skill penalty check if you can't see the target location.

* Noted that the sawn-off barrel mod can only apply to longarms of L size or less.

* Latent Mutation genetics mod has been revised with fewer negative results, the ones that are there are less onerous, and there are more positive ones.

* Added Antacid medicine.

* Fixed a few vehicle upgrade entries such as Armour Plating and Docking Bay.

* Added computer programming requirements for Bio-Analyser, Compact Nuke, Critical Shield, Fusion Generator, Gravity Gun, Hazard Suit, Invisibility Cloak, Microbe Filter, Mind Probe, Mini-Drone, Omnivisor, Phase Shifter, Powered Armour, Security Matrix, Sentry Turret, Signal Disruptor, Tactical Analyser, Temporal Compressor, Wormhole generator.

* Infopads in the high-tech era now also have a holographic display.

* Updated the base building section with correct information.

* Field Medic background loses Healing skill, gains Medicine. Loses extra damage bonus and gains a time bonus to perform First Aid in 1 round. Also gains 1 extra background event.

* Healing skill is now called Surgery.

* Surgery Talent is now called Advanced Surgery.

* Feline venator minimum height is now 110cm, Ursine venator minimum height is now 250cm.

* Off-road suspension and Tracked upgrades for ground vehicles now grant -2 movement, but don't halve their total movement off-road.

* The bonus from Academic contacts is now +10% extra accolades at the end of each session (instead of a flat +1).

* Machine Language can now only be written and read by non-machine characters, not spoken.

* Added 'Mind Link' psychic discipline.

* An Extended Period of Study now clearly outlines 8 hours is required for the check.

* 'Efficient Study' talent now allows a 2nd check if 12 hours are spent performing an Extended Period of Study.

* 'Signal Disruptor' invention is now modern era, altered components.

* Added 'Plasma Caster' modern nuclear invention.

* Vehicle Turrets specify they can only mount 1 weapon each. 

* Linked weapons have to by fixed mount (forward, rear etc).

* Added 'Omnivisor' modern electronics invention.

* Restored the missing 'mini-drone' invention (now new and improved!)

* Added 'Radiation Cleanser' modern invention.

* 'Annihiliator Warhead' is now called 'Compact Nuke', available in modern era.

* Weapon Turrets are now just Standard (max of 3 slot weapons) and Heavy Duty (up to 6 slot weapons). HD turrets add +10 HP to the weapon.

* Added Command & Control upgrade to allow leadership abilities to be used for vehicles. 

 

Starship Manual v1.03

* Updated the navigation and commander's sheets with space for more data.

* Added 'Repair Specialist' talent.

* Removed 'Emergency Procedures' talent.

* 'Cloaking Expert' talent is now listed under Engineering talents, also benefits Silent Running.

* Updated the engineer's character sheet with space for hull type and species design.

* 'Stealth Mode' is now called 'Silent Running'.

* Thruster upgrade now increases atmo speed by 25%, increases Max Lift by 1 ton per hull class, and reduces fuel by -1. Uses 20 parts per hull class.

* Expanded Drone Bay now uses 10 slots instead of cargo space.

* Ships Advanced Brig now uses only 20kw of power.

* Armour Plating now increases ship weight by 1 ton per Hull Part.

* Characters can use any ship's console without penalty so long as they have the Computers skill (they no longer need the Console Operation talent to avoid a penalty).

* The Console Operation talent now gives the character using it the bonus from that console (without this talent, there's no bonus).

 

Sabre Fantasy Premium Core Rulebook v2.94

* Healing skill is now called Surgery.

* Surgery Talent is now called Advanced Surgery.

* The bonus from Academic contacts is now +10% extra accolades at the end of each session (instead of a flat +1).

* An Extended Period of Study now clearly outlines 8 hours is required for the check.

* 'Efficient Study' talent now allows a 2nd check if 12 hours are spent performing an Extended Period of Study.

* Updated monster templates in the Sample Bestiary.

 

Sabre Fantasy Basic Core Rulebook v1.78

* Healing skill is now called Surgery.

* Surgery Talent is now called Advanced Surgery.

* The bonus from Academic contacts is now +10% extra accolades at the end of each session (instead of a flat +1).

* An Extended Period of Study now clearly outlines 8 hours is required for the check.

* 'Efficient Study' talent now allows a 2nd check if 12 hours are spent performing an Extended Period of Study.

* Updated monster templates in the Sample Bestiary.

 

Sabre Fantasy Bestiary v2.56

* Updated and revised all monster templates (NPC templates will be done next month). Added or updated art for Storm Crow, Celestial (minor), Demon (minor), Aethereal (minor), Astaroth, Virtue.