Posts

August Update and 2.29 notes

Hi all, hope your sabre games are running well! I'm mostly focused on getting this novel done (just a couple of weeks to go now) and continuning development of the scifi system, so there's no new art this month. Once that novel is done I'll be dedicating months to finishing off all the art before I start my next story :)

The scifi system is going well, although I've had to make some fairly substantial adjustments today. It's certainly fun though! More on this in the coming months.

For today, we've got a number of fixes to the core system to improve some issues:

* I felt it was too easy to use teleportation spells to get around, so I've added a 100sp gem cost each time it's cast. On the plus side, you can take as many people as you want, but get a penalty for each additional passenger (mitigated by spending more spirit of course).

* There wasn't much incentive to boost Charisma, Constitution or Willpower Attributes, since the rewards don't match the cost of raising them. So I've created a weighted table for Spirit Points and Luck Points which punishes lowered scores and rewards higher numbers, making it more worthwhile to put points into both.

* Ranged attacks of opportunity made when someone breaks cover was a novel experiment, but a little too punishing. This has been removed, so ranged AoO only occur when someone stands from being prone. You can still hold an action for when someone breaks cover, just that you can't do that AND have your regular action as well. 

* The Vanish manoeuvre was a bit over the top, so I've brought it down a little in power. You'll need cover to make it work now, instead of being able to do it right out in the open, but at least it's a quick action. On the upside, there's no opposed check so it's easier to pull off, if the terrain is favourable (smoke bombs and spells work too!)

* I've added optional rules for more severe maiming, if that's your flavour. I personally love consequences for taking Major Wounds, though my players usually don't! 

That's about all for this month, I'll be back on art duties soon and we'll get that bestiary finished! Peace.

______________________________________________

v2.29 Premium Edition

* Added 'Teleporter' artifice spell.

* Teleportation spells now let you take along as many people as you wish, but with a -10% penalty for every extra person taken. This is negated by 10% for each extra Spirit Point you spend. Most also require sacrifice of a gem of 100sp value to cast.

* 'Vanish' manoeuvure now requires cover to work, but is no longer an opposed check.

* The Deafened condition now also reduces the character's Initiative Rank by 5.

* Added optional Permanent Maiming rules for more graphic lasting injuries.

* Removed the 'Weapon Expertise' talent and changed 'Martial Weapons' to allow the use of all exotic weapons.

* 'Fire & Steel' pistol talent now requires you to spend a Reaction to make a melee attack.

* Added names to the background events.

* Changed the colour of resistance skills in backgrounds to black and put them in bold text, just to emphasise them.

* Split some Martial Arts manoeuvres into a separate Unarmed manoeuvres category. These can still be used with Martial Arts.

* Replaced 'Martial Focus' manoeuvre with 'Martial Fury'.

* Revised the Spirit Point progression which rewards higher CON and WIL.

* Revised the Luck Point progression which rewards higher CHA and punishes treating CHA as a dump stat.

* Ranged attacks of opportunity can only occur when someone is standing from prone (removed the condition of breaking from cover). 

* Added 'Heavy Mace' melee weapon.

* Removed Vanish from the TL calculation.

* Body Slam manoeuvre now simply deals your Damage Modifier to the victim.

________________________________

v1.59 Basic Edition

* 'Vanish' manoeuvure now requires cover to work, but is no longer an opposed check.

* The Deafened condition now also reduces the character's Initiative Rank by 5.

* Removed the 'Weapon Expertise' talent and changed 'Martial Weapons' to allow the use of all exotic weapons.

* Added names to the background events.

* Changed the colour of resistance skills in backgrounds to black and put them in bold text, just to emphasise them.

* Replaced 'Martial Focus' manoeuvre with 'Martial Fury'.

* Revised the Spirit Point progression which rewards higher CON and WIL.

* Revised the Luck Point progression which rewards higher CHA and punishes treating CHA as a dump stat.

* Ranged attacks of opportunity can only occur when someone is standing from prone (removed the condition of breaking from cover). 

* Added 'Heavy Mace' melee weapon.

* Removed Vanish from the TL calculation.

* Body Slam manoeuvre now simply deals your Damage Modifier to the victim.

July update and 2.28 change notes

Hi everyone, we've got a few small changes to the codex and a whole lot of art for the bestiary this month. As usual, we'll start with art!

Bestiary

The term 'practice makes perfect' is certainly true in this case, as while my animal pictures are mostly working from photos of animals, the techniques I'm using to capture the essence of the beasty has certainly evolved. LIke most artists, I shudder when I look at my earlier work and so have redone a few of the earlier attempts. I'm getting more confident with the style and easing back on the hard outlines too. So I've done all the small animals, beasts and dire beasts, taking a big chunk out of my to-do list.

Drawing animals is the easy part - some greater challenges are coming up but I think I'm up for it!

Codex

There's a few balance tweaks here to keep individual effects from breaking the system, discovered after certain players in my local groups kinda broke the system a little. I've also revised the bonuses for character age categories, and brought the age section forward in the creation process so you can find out the number of skill points you can spend in the background and career stages.

The 'Grit' talent has also been tweaked, making it harder to get and it doesn't keep a character conscious past th end of the fight. It's a cool talent but quite powerful, effectively doubling Hit Points, and as such it's now listed on the Threat Level calculator, raising your total TL by 1 step.

Contact poisons are now more effective in combat, kicking in almost straight away instead of two rounds later, and the human 'Highly Skilled' trait has been changed. It wasn't a great bonus before (+5 to three common skill results), but I found something better - Expanded critical on a skill of your choice, because everyone's great at something! 

Scifi

By strange co-incidence (and an unexpected party wipe), both of my local groups are starting new campaigns in the Sabre Scifi system, the cousin of the fantasy version you're familiar with. The backbone is the same, but with less magic (only 1 type, and it's "Psi Powers") and lots of cool equipment to use. It's really an equipment based system, with lots of things you can do such as salvaging wrecked vehicles, upgrade weapons, verhicles, armour etc, build robots, BE a robot or android, or a silicon-based alien etc. It's very cool :D

So when is it going to be released? I just need to finish a few sections regarding starship rules (yes it has those too), and it's technically ready to go, but I have this dream of finishing the artwork before I release it this time. There's 10 races, so that'd be 10 pictures. Sure, I could use the current human, corvid and saerid artwork (they're basically the same in this system too) but I think the system deserves new art. The only problem with this approach is that the bestiary is the top art priority and there's a LOT more art to be done before i can get to the scifi system. I suppose I could release it without the art? I'm reluctant to do that again. I'll think about it. There's no rush, probably another month until I've finished documenting things.

Anyway, that's all for this month, more bestiary art next month!

v2.28 premium codex

* Reduced the Accolades given for advanced age groups but added another column for skill points given at the career stage.

* The Age category section now comes before background so you can pick your age and apply the right amount of skill points later.

* Added 'Chirurgeon' background.

* The 'Grit' talent now requires 90% Endurance skill and only keeps you conscious until the end of combat.

* Stipulated in the Criticals and Fumbles section that a fumbled melee attacker can't attack next round. 

* Better clarified how movement in combat works in the combat section.

* The 'Unyielding' talent stipulates that concentration effects are still broken, but can be used round-by-round.

* Contact poisons now affect victims at the start of their next turn (within 6 seconds basically), and require a piercing or slashing weapon to deal damage in order to apply.

* Stipulated in Martial Arts and Unarmed skill descriptions that weapons and abilities requiring the Unarmed skill can also be used with Martial Arts.

* Spells that grant extra blast radius when increasing Spell Power now only grant 1 metre of extra radii instead of 2.

* 'Blood Mirror' sorcery spell now only inflicts 1 damage for every point taken.

* 'Angelic Transformation' sorcery talent healing ability has been tweaked, and it now notes that the sorcerer can carry 100kg while flying.

* 'Blighted Soul' undead sorcery talent now no longer provides healing.

* 'Ancestral Legion' shamanic spell now has a 1 minute casting time and 1 hour duration. 

* Tweaked the text on 'Mirror Image' wizardry spell.

* Added 'Pocket Dimension' spell to Summoning.

 

* Changed human 'Highly Skilled' trait to grant expanded critical to one skill.

________________________________________________________________

v1.58 basic codex

* Changed human 'Highly Skilled' trait to grant expanded critical to one skill.

* Reduced the Accolades given for advanced age groups but added another column for skill points given at the career stage.

* The Age category section now comes before background so you can pick your age and apply the right amount of skill points later.

* Added 'Chirurgeon' background.

* The 'Grit' talent now requires 90% Endurance skill and only keeps you conscious until the end of combat.

* Better clarified how movement in combat works in the combat section.

* Stipulated in the Criticals and Fumbles section that a fumbled melee attacker can't attack next round. 

* Contact poisons now affect victims at the start of their next turn (within 6 seconds basically), and require a piercing or slashing weapon to deal damage in order to apply.

* Stipulated in Martial Arts skill description that weapons and abilities requiring the Unarmed skill can also be used with Martial Arts.

* Spells that grant extra blast radius when increasing Spell Power now only grant 1 metre of extra radii instead of 2.

June update and 2.27 change notes

I had planned to leave this update until next week, to add more art to the bestiary, but decided that since the manual is basically done (wooo) it'd be good to get it 'out there', especailly since it has a lot of cool stuff inside. So without further ado, let's get to it starting with...

ART!

With this release, the character race art is complete! 13 pictures in all, not a bad effort for an 'enthusiastic amateur'. I had thought of adding weapon and armour art, but I figure people know what swords look like, but they don't really know what a lot of the monsters in the bestiary look like so it'd be prudent to get on with that instead. 

Summoning Magic

I've added another style of magic to the system, allowing a caster to specialise in the summoning of monsters and other critters to do your bidding. I've been informed that summoning in certain other game systems is redonkulous (thought I've never looked into it closely), but I've got a pretty good idea of how to balance this concept alongside pets and squires in Sabre. We've done a few tests and they seem powerful enough without being broken, so we'll see how it goes over the next few months, but I reserve the right to tweak things as needed of course :) 

The biggest part of this change was the overhaul to the Bestiary it required. That's where you'll see the biggest improvement, and that manual is required to make summoning magic work, naturally. I've given the Bestiary an overhaul in appearance, and added a bunch of new pictures to it as well. Mostly just animals for the time being, but once they're done I'll delve into proper monster art and see what I can manage ;)

Damage Reduction

Part of this month's development has been ironing out old mechanics that were clunky and caused difficulty during a game. The old Reduction concept, which halved damage taken after calculating through AP always bothered me, but thanks to some player discussions we came up with a simpler way. 

Damage Reduction now adds to Armour Points versus certain types of damage, such as "+5 AP of Damage Reduction vs. fire". It helped iron out a lot of issues and allowed me to bring in my high-end fantasy metal, Auldsteel. This is probably the only area that will need balancing (fingers crossed), but I think it's a big improvement on how it was handled in the past. Spells that grant DR now give it in a disposable, "ablative" form so it provides more protection for a short time, usually only one big hit, and then disappears. 

Traps

I love the concept of playing a trapper, but since I've never actually had the chance to play Sabre (GMing doesn't count in this case) I've never given that part of the system a proper test until now. The system is much more flexible, easier to use and understand, and just plain fun. There's no need to fabricate a trap from various components, it's all done in the form of 'trap kits', or 'fixed traps', and there's even some new talents to improve your capabilities. 

So the manual is done?

For the time being, yes. I even went to the trouble of running the spellchecker, which is a pain in the backside as 80% of its results are false positives, due to so many abbreviations and uncommon words. Still, a lot of errors were fixed too so it's looking much better. I'm even going to print myself a copy, that's how confident I am!

What about Siege Warfare?

I made a start on this, then decided it was a huge undertaking but with the potential to essentially be a stand-alone sub-game. So I want to do this properly when the time comes and make it a separate supplement for the system. The codex is over 400 pages now and I think it needs to just, you know, stop growing! I don't have a specific timeframe for tackling siege warfare or invention, but given the amount of art I need to make for the Bestiary, I think it'll be next year. I'll make it worth the wait though.

So what's next?

Mostly, Bestiary art. It'll take me a while to get it all done, but I've made a start on the easier ones and formulated plans for the more challenging works. I'm happy to let the codex sit as-is for a good six months, barring any error or balance fixes that may be required, of course. In the meantime, one of my local groups is eager to try out the scifi version of sabre (called Sabre Sci-fi!) so I've dusted off the manual and are currently bringing that up to speed with the core rules from the fantasy system, so I can run a campaign. 80% of this work will involve expanding the fledgling campaign world I drew up about 2 years ago, because when you have a gravcar capable of over 300kph, you can cover a lot of ground very quickly!

I do intend to release the scifi system eventually, but I thought it'd be nice to get the race art done for it before I put it up for sale, so I might aim for getting this out by the end of the year. Lots of art in my future!

Anyway, signing off for now so enjoy the system confident in the knowledge that its finally come of age and won't be significantly altered anytime soon, if ever again.

__________________________________________________________

v2.27 Premium Codex (system stable!)

 

New!

* Added 'Flexible', 'Wanderlust' and 'Night Owl' race talents.

* Added 'Vial of Holy Water' thrown weapon.

* Added Investigator's Kit to the tools list. 

* Added art for the Feylin and Dracari races, completing the race art.

* Added 'Exorcise' divine spell.

* Added the 'Summoning' field of magic spells.

  -'Affinity' talents for summoning.

  -'Warlock' and 'Summoner's Pupil' backgrounds.

  -'Summoning' professional skill.

* Added 'Foil' blade weapon.

* Added 'Conflagration Bomb' alchemy spell.

 

Damage Reduction

* Adjusted the Damage Reduction system as follows:

  -Damage Reduction now grants a bonus to AP vs. specific damage types, usually in increments of +5.

  -Dracari and Daemon races now have +5 AP of Damage Reduction to their respective damage types. 

  -Revised the text for the 'Damage Reduction' section which now also covers how Invulnerability vs Mundane Weapons works. 

  -Adjusted the Incorporeal trait.

  -'Freeze' now gives Invulnerability while frozen.

  -Protective Potion, Stoneskin Potion, & Barkskin no longer have the option for Reduction.

  -Added 'Elemental Potion' alchemy spell, 'Ablative Armour' wizardry spell, 'Elemental Sheath' druidry spell, 'Soul Shield' divine and shamanic spells, and 'Fortified Body' psionic spell.

  -'Elemental Aura' sorcery spell now grants some Damage Reduction against that damage type.

 

Magic

* 'Whispering Voices' charm spell now uses a Reaction to cast.

* Altered the way summoned creatures are maintained - the Resolve check is only required if the caster is damaged.

* Summoned creatures now require 1 Reaction to command (just like pets).

* 'Fireblast', 'Brimstone', 'Combustion Energiser' and 'Eruption' spells now deal 1d12 base damage instead of 1d6+6. Eruption's continuing damage is now half the original amount.

* 'Ancestral Legion', like 'Mirror Image', now only protects against direct damage (not aoe damage).

* Clarified that only Quick spells can be effectively used from stealth.

* Corrected the text for 'Adapt Weapon' shamanic talent to explain that all damage from that weapon counts as the new damage type.

* 'Blighted Soul' sorcery talent only provides its healing bonus against necrotic spell damage.

* 'Wrack' Sorcery spell can now increase the penalty with additional Spell Power.

* 'Arc Lightning' sorcery spell now correctly deals 1d8 as its base damage.

* Spells which grant flight now let you carry 100kg of extra stuff above your body weight.

* Added Cold Iron and Silver material entries for the artificer's construct.

* Artificers can now remove enhancements and reclaim materials from their construct.

* Added 'Exotic Weapons' enhancement to allow a construct's fists to be composed of a different material.

* Shields larger than a Buckler prevent the use of Greater Magic, or Stealth, Acrobatics and Swim skills.

* Backgrounds which allow casting Greater Magic while wearing armour also allow the use of shields up to Heater in size.

* The material cost of ressurection-type spells is now 5000sp

 

Traps

* Rewrote the Lockpicking and Mechanism skill text to clarify how they work.

* Removed reference to making little gadgets with the mechanisms skill - I will expand upon this 'invention' concept at a later date.

* Removed the Locks & Traps section from 'Game Mechanics'. Pertient rules have been moved to individual skill descriptions, and the traps themselves are detailed under a new Traps section.

 

Talents

* 'Spell Synergy' stipulates that spell stacking and concentration spell limits apply to all involved characters.

* 'Firm Resolve' and 'Robust Health' talents can now be taken 4 times, bestowing +5% to relevant results each time.

* Replaced 'Twin Blade Defence' talent with 'Fencer' talent, which adds x2 your Damage Modifier when using a single blade.

* 'Animal Bond' talent now requires 1 Spirit Point per baseline Threat Level of the creature to be bonded with, and it earns Accolades just like any other party member. It no longer requires you to use your Accolades to advance it (it has its own) and can now also access the General Talents section for more to chose from.

* Squires obtained through the 'Squire' talent can no longer themselves take the Squire talent, creating a never ending line of plucky young go-getters to delegate tasks to.

* Squires now gain their own Accolades just like player characters.

* Improved the 'Quick Draw' general talent.

* Psionic 'Two Minds' talent now only benefits psionic spells.

* A character can remove a known talent at any time, but can only do this three times over the character's life. Accolades spent are considered lost.

 

General

* Revised and improved the Advanced Characters section under Accolades and Advancement.

* Split race talents into their own table under the General Talents section.

* Expanded the usefulness of 'Sawtooth' weapon modification.

* Tweaked the Threat Level calculator so that it now covers all negative conditions a character can inflict.

* Correctly calculated the SP per year earned as part of character income between adventures

* Added a 'Magical Practitioner' entry as a profession's income for spellcasters who offer services to the public.

* Expanded the Random Encounter tables I'd started but totally forgot about.

* Adjusted the damage modifier for falling damage's weight calculation. Dragons will no longer explode when falling more than 3 metres.

* Slightly adjusted the falling table's spread.

* Pets need 50% endurance to wear Medium Barding, and 90% to wear Heavy Barding, just like people.

* Corrected the tincture and poultice healing amount to 1d4 (in line with other references to these items).

* Silvered armour now makes metal armour non-conductive and can't be damaged by acid, reduced AP penalty to -1.

* Cold Iron armour gives +20% resist bonus to Resolve check results vs magic, removed AP penalty.

* Dragonscale AP bonus now correctly reads +2 instead of +5.

* Shurikens are now Thrown Weapons but kept on their own little table in the Exotic Weapons section.

* Added information about Auldsteel to the crafting section, glossary and expanded the 'Auric Weapon' section to cover details of this material.

 

v1.57 Basic Codex

* Revised and improved the Advanced Characters section under Accolades and Advancement.

* Removed an eroneous link to the old 'Arcane Warrior' talent in the magic talents list.

* Rewrote the Lockpicking and Mechanism skill text to clarify how they work.

* Removed reference to making little gadgets with the mechanisms skill.

* Removed the Locks & Traps section from 'Game Mechanics'. Pertient rules have been moved to individual skill descriptions, and the traps themselves are detailed under a new Traps section.

* Tweaked the Threat Level calculator so that it now covers all negative conditions a character can inflict.

* Added 'Shuriken' thrown exotic weapon.

* Added 'Foil' and 'Knuckledusters' weapons.

* Separated Lance into 'Lance, Heavy' and 'Lance, Light'.

* Adjusted some numbers of the cost and ENC of weapons.

 

Damage Reduction

* Adjusted the Damage Reduction system as follows:

  -Damage Reduction now grants a bonus to AP vs. specific damage types, usually in increments of +5.

  -Revised the text for the 'Damage Reduction' section which now also covers how Invulnerability vs Mundane Weapons works. 

  -Adjusted the Incorporeal trait.

  -Added 'Ablative Armour' wizardry spell, and modified the 'Soul Shield' divine spell.

* Altered the way summoned creatures are maintained - the Resolve check is only required if the caster is damaged.

* Summoned creatures now require 1 Reaction to command (just like pets).

* 'Brimstone', spell now deal 1d12 base damage instead of 1d6+6. 

* Spells which grant flight now let you carry 100kg of extra stuff above your body weight.

* Shields larger than a Buckler prevent the use of Greater Magic, or Stealth, Acrobatics and Swim skills.

* Backgrounds which allow casting Greater Magic while wearing armour also allow the use of shields up to Heater in size.

* Added 'Templar' background.

* The material cost of ressurection-type spells is now 5000sp

* Adjusted the damage modifier for falling damage's weight calculation. Dragons will no longer explode when falling more than 3 metres.

* Slightly adjusted the falling table's spread.

May 2.26 Update and Changelog notes

Greetings, sabre-liking people! I'd planned to put this update out at the end of the month with a couple of extra pieces of art, but I've come down with something and it doesn't look like I'll get much more done in the next week, so this will suffice. Let's take a quick look at this month's update:

Art!

As usual, there's some new character race art, though I only had time to get two done this month. I've settled into a style now and I feel really confident as I work on each one, so I expect things to keep on improving! Check out the Celestrel and Daemon races for the shiny new pictures, and I've tweaked both races to make them more useful and to fit the lore I had in mind when making them.

Templates

So instead of working on the siege warfare section, I did this because as a GM, it's good to have well-made character templates read to go, and the ones in the bestiary are old and not very well designed. I also wanted to see the NPC's arranged by combat style, since it's much more distinct in the modern version of sabre (but used to be much blurrier in the past). I ended up making 80 single-page templates, which was far too many to include in the codex, so I simply replaced the current ones with 20 for the premium edition (and 18 for the basic edition), ranging from Threat Level 2 to TL 5. The bestiary has up to threat level 9, with a more diverse selection of builds and they make running a game (especially an improv game) so much easier. 

Additionally, while making templates of the different styles, I found glaring gaps in capability for the lesser-used things, like thrown weapons or longarms. So as I went, I created (or modifier) a bunch of manoevures and talents to make every combat style count, as they should. There's nothing like building a whole bunch of characters to get a real feel of what they can do! This includes mounted combat and the used of shields as off-hand weapons, which makes more sense and works better than the previous iteration.

Magic

Both Alchemy and Psionic talents have been divided up into three catagories, fields of study for their respective areas, just like the other fields of greater magic. Artifice won't need this as the construct provides more than enough creative options for players, so this ends the update to greater magic! 

In closing

I've managed to figure out how to turn on visible bookmarks in the document, so I could see the missing ones and fix a huge number of broken or missing links, which should make navigation much less frustrating. Next month, I should have the character art finished (2 to go!) and I'd like to do pictures of all the weapons and armour, too. I'll finally get to doing siege combat, and make a start on the new field of magic, Summoning. This will bring to a close the frenetic development of sabre this year, and I'll drop back updates on the codex to once every six months (yay!) Then I'll focus on the Bestiary and Atlas to finish them off too. I'd like to make a few story modules too, as I have lots of notes from my sessions and some of them would make great stand-alone adventures. But enough of that for now, check out the notes below and enjoy your gaming!

__________________________________________________________________________________________

v2.26 Premium Edition

 

General

* Added art for the celestral & daemon races.

* Revised the celestral race abilities a little, allowing them to be not just half-human celestials, but half of one of many other races too.

* Revised the daemon race abilities. They lose their +3 CHA and deceit bonus, and gain Intimidate as a bonus skill and a +10% to intimidate checks, but they can also pick a special trait from their parent race.

* Revised the NPC templates and provided 20 of them here for the premium edition. 80 available in the Sabre Bestiary.

* Revised the gem value table to include higher quality varieties at 99 and 100 percent.

* Fixed many, many broken links throughout the manual.

* Added 'Reach', 'Longreach' and 'Mount' to the Threat Level calculator (+3).

* Added 'Climber' general talent.

* Clarified that Spirit regen rate is calculated from your current maximum Spirit Points, not the original amount if modified from a special ability.

 

Manoevures

* Added 9 Thrown Weapon manoeuvres.

* Added 'Sweep Kick' martial arts manoeuvre.

* Added 'Bullseye' bow manoeuvre.

* Added 'Hold & Shoot' pistol manoeuvre.

* Added 'Clear Barrel' pistol manoeuvre.

* Added 'Fusilade' pistol manoeuvre.

* Added 'Opening Salvo' longarm manoeuvre.

* Added 'Wrecking Shot' longarm manoeuvre.

* Added 'Assassinate' stealth manoeuvre.

* Improved 'Vanish' stealth manoeuvre.

* Moved 'Backstab' manoeuvre to the stealth category and improved how it works.

* Revised the 'Silent Kill' stealth manoeuvre.

* 'Forceful Strike' melee manoevure now grants +1 damage for every spirit point spent, limited by usual skill level progression.

* Lacerate and Pierce melee manoevures now only require 50% skill to take.

* 'Flying Kick' martial arts manoeuvre automatically renders the target prone if they take damage.

* 'Body Throw' martial arts manoeuvre now deals collision damage.

* 'Sucker Punch' martial arts manoeuvre has no skill level prerequisite.

* Improved 'Roundhouse kick' martial arts manoeuvre.

* 'Sweep' melee manoeuvre causes damaged targets to fall prone.

* 'Blistering Assault' martial arts manoeuvre can now apply to any martial arts weapon, requires 90% skill to gain.

* 'Crushing Impact' martial arts manoeuvre requires 99% skill to learn, improved effectiveness, renamed to 'Damaging Impact'.

* 'Point Blank Shot' pistol manoeuvre now ignores half target's AP on adjacent target, ignores adjacent penalty, 90% requirement.

* 'Diving Fire' pistol manoeuvre now requires only 70% skill, allows you to fire a pistol in each hand, and you travel out to your normal movement.

* Removed 'Sneak Shot' pistol manoeuvre (already duplicated with Deadshot talent).

* Removed 'Lucky Shot' pistol talent and replaced with 'Twin Shooters' talent.

 

Weapons, Armour & Combat Abilities

* Adjusted price and stats on the falchion and sabre.

* Added a new melee weapon trait: Agile. Agile weapons have -2 AP for their SIZ but deal +2 damage on a critical hit.

* 'Control Movement' talent can now be taken by the Martial Arts skill and clarified that a failed attempt means you can't try again against the target this turn.

* 'Medium Armour Training' talent now also requires 50% Endurance skill to take.

* 'Heavy Armour Training' talent now also requires 90% Endurance skill to take.

* The reload time of the Staff Sling has been reduced to 0 and its range has been improved.

* Culverin Explosive Balls have been renamed to Culverin Grenades, can also be used by Staff Slings.

* Shortspear can now be used 1 or 2 handed.

* Improved the stats on the Trident, which can now be used 1 or 2 handed (even when thrown).

* Improved the range on the Sling.

* Added 'Interrupt Loading' Reaction.

* Replaced 'Set weapon' Reaction with 'Counterattack' Reaction, allows the victim of a charge to attack someone charging them instead of defending.

* Added Nunchaku martial arts weapon.

* Added Light Lance weapon, old lance is now the Heavy Lance.

* Added Knuckledusters weapon.

* Added a dice progression diagram for size increases, under the Damage Rolls section.

* 'Shorten Chain' talent now lets the user have Reach or not until the start of their next turn.

* Mentioned under the Armour section that if an armour piece's AP is reduced to 0, it is destroyed.

* Mentioned that damaged Natural Armour regrows at a rate equal to your Heal Rate when you rest.

* 'Close Range' movements can now also use Parry, provided the weapon is no less than 1 SIZ smaller than the opponent's. 

* 'Cavalry Bane' polearm talent now increases dice size by 2 steps.

* Revised 'Guardian' polearm talent.

* Replaced 'Concussive Throw' talent with 'Disrupting Throw'.

* 'Spellbreaker' talent has been adjusted to function just like the 'Snap Shot' bow talent (a superior mechanic).

* 'Steel Wall' polearm talent now only grants 1 free 'Keep at Range' Reaction per round.

 

Archery

* Corrected the text of 'Snap shot' archery talent to read that the attack cannot be defended against.

* Baseline crossbow damage has been increased by 2 points.

* Bodkin arrows have tripled in price, from 1sp to 3sp and now simply give +2 damage (effectively the same as ignoring 2 AP in most cases).

* Broadhead arrows are now 2sp each.

 

Firearms

* 'Muzzleloader' pistol talent is now at 50%.

* The reloading time for a three-barrel pistol is now correctly listed as 2.

* Blunderbuss damage is now 1d8+8.

* Arquebus damage is now 1d8+10.

* Blunderbuss reload time has been reduced to 2 rounds, can now be reloaded on horseback.

* 'Age of Fire' firearms talent now increases damage dice by 2 steps (yes, culverin goes to 1d20+12).

 

Mounted Combat

* Added 'Trample' mounted combat talent.

* The damage bonus for flying or mounted combat now correctly says that this only applies to targets on foot.

* 'Cavalry Archer' now only requires 70% skill.

* 'Mounted Archery' now only requires 50% ride skill and completely eliminates the penalty.

* Removed 'Horse Archer' talent (no longer required).

* 'Warhorse Command' now requires Ride skill at 50%, and allows you to use the mount's manouvres or make an attack by spending one of your character's Reactions.

* Mounts cannot make attacks on their own during combat unless commanded via the Warhorse Command talent.

 

Shields

* Clarified that Shields use the Weapon table when crafting.

* 'Shield Bash' talent has been revised.

* Added 'Heavy Bash' shields talent.

* Shields with the 'Fast' trait now don't use a Reaction as part of a Shield Bash.

* Tower shields now have the proper Partial Cover bonus.

* Added 'Partial Block' shields talent.

 

Magic

* Added psionic 'Discipline' talents, with three categories to choose from.

* Separated Alchemy talents into three new categories called 'Sciences'. Added new talents to fill out each category.

* Changed the bomb creation system into a single batch mechanic. Alchemy materials are no longer listed as 'charges' - you use one batch of these materials when you attempt to make 10 bombs at once. 

* Failure to successfully throw a bomb raises your alchemy skill just like other skill failures.

* Corrected the text for alchemy 'Spirit Potion' effectiveness.

* 'Blight' druidry spell now deals 0 damage on a successful resist.

* Magic Resistance sorcery talent now requires 99% skill.

* 'Velocity' & 'Celerity' spells now have the option to gain addition Quick actions instead of Normal actions.

* Increasing an artificer construct's Attributes also increases related skills. 

* Corrected the text on the 'Augmentor' spell to show that doubling the power can only be used once, Attribute buff is +3 base now.

* Corrected the language on the Scroll Use table for a critical success.

* Tweaked the text on 'Dragon Warrior' sorcery talent, which is now has a 70% skill requirement.

* 'Dragon Companion' talent now requires 90% skill and requires 2 spirit to take instead of 3.

* 'Draconic Transformation' now also gives you +5 STR and the Breathe Fire effect is limited only by your Spell Power (Max output becomes 5d6).

* 'Storm Totem' now correctly lists as having a resistance check.

* 'Sleep' spell now correctly listed as 1 minute duration.

* Improved the damage for 'Gravity Well' psionic spell.

*'Control Weather' is increased to +200 metres per extra spell power, and gains the benefit of the 'Force of Nature' druidry talent.

 

Backgrounds

* 'Monastery Orphan' background now gets +2 Natural Armour.

* 'Ranger' background now correctly lists medium armour as part of its bonus.

* Added 'Field Scientist' alchemy background.

* 'Arcane Warrior' is now correctly listed as 'Arcane Blade'

* Escardi can correctly take the 'Shaman's Initiate' background.

* 'Dragonborn' background now gives +2 to damage from spells you cast.

* 'Gifted Artificer' now gets +2 to each of your constructs AP, HP and DM.

* Replaced the 73-75 background event with a new one that gives you a military contact.

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________

v1.56 Basic Edition

 

General

* Revised the NPC templates and provided 18 of them here for the basic edition. 90 available in the Sabre Bestiary.

* Revised the gem value table to include higher quality varieties at 99 and 100 percent.

* Added 'Reach', 'Longreach' and 'Mount' to the Threat Level calculator (+3).

* Clarified that Spirit regen rate is calculated from your current maximum Spirit Points, not the original amount if modified from a special ability.

* Moved 'Backstab' manoeuvre to the stealth category and improved how it works.

* Improved 'Vanish' stealth manoeuvre.

* 'Forceful Strike' melee manoevure now grants +1 damage for every spirit point spent, limited by usual skill level progression.

* 'Lacerate' and 'Pierce' melee manoevures now only require 50% skill to take.

* 'Sucker Punch' martial arts manoeuvre has no skill level prerequisite.

* 'Celerity' wizardry spell has the option to gain addition Quick actions instead of Normal actions.

* Corrected the language on the Scroll Use table for a critical success.

* 'Sleep' spell now correctly listed as 1 minute duration.

 

Firearms

* 'Muzzleloader' pistol talent is now at 50%.

* The reloading time for a three-barrel pistol is now correctly listed as 2.

* Blunderbuss damage is now 1d8+8.

* Arquebus damage is now 1d8+10.

* Blunderbuss reload time has been reduced to 2 rounds, can now be reloaded on horseback.

* 'Point Blank Shot' pistol manoeuvre now ignores half target's AP on adjacent target, ignores adjacent penalty, 90% requirement.

* Removed 'Lucky Shot' pistol talent and replaced with 'Twin Shooters' talent.

 

Weapons, Armour & Combat Abilities

* Adjusted price and stats on the falchion and sabre.

* Added a new melee weapon trait: Agile. Agile weapons have -2 AP for their SIZ but deal +2 damage on a critical hit.

* Added 'Control Movement' combat talent.

* 'Medium Armour Training' talent now also requires 50% Endurance skill to take.

* 'Heavy Armour Training' talent now also requires 90% Endurance skill to take.

* The reload time of the Staff Sling has been reduced to 0 and its range has been improved.

* Culverin Explosive Balls have been renamed to Culverin Grenades, can also be used by Staff Slings.

* Shortspear can now be used 1 or 2 handed.

* Improved the stats on the Trident, which can now be used 1 or 2 handed (even when thrown).

* Improved the range on the Sling.

* Added 'Interrupt Loading' Reaction.

* Replaced 'Set weapon' Reaction with 'Counterattack' Reaction, allows the victim of a charge to attack someone charging them instead of defending.

* Added a dice progression diagram for size increases, under the Damage Rolls section.

* Mentioned under the Armour section that if an armour piece's AP is reduced to 0, it is destroyed.

* Mentioned that damaged Natural Armour regrows at a rate equal to your Heal Rate when you rest.

* 'Close Range' movements can now also use Parry, provided the weapon is no less than 1 SIZ smaller than the opponent's. 

* 'Cavalry Bane' polearm talent now increases dice size by 2 steps.

* 'Steel Wall' polearm talent now only grants 1 free 'Keep at Range' Reaction per round.

* Updated the 'Grit' talent.

* 'Shield Bash' talent has been revised.

* Shields with the 'Fast' trait now don't use a Reaction as part of a Shield Bash.

* Tower shields now have the proper Partial Cover bonus.

 

Mounted Combat

* The damage bonus for flying or mounted combat now correctly says that this only applies to targets on foot.

* 'Cavalry Archer' now only requires 70% skill.

* 'Mounted Archery' now only requires 50% ride skill and completely eliminates the penalty.

* Removed 'Horse Archer' talent (no longer required).

* 'Warhorse Command' now requires Ride skill at 50%, and allows you to use the mount's manouvres or make an attack by spending one of your character's Reactions.

* Mounts cannot make attacks on their own during combat unless commanded via the Warhorse Command talent.

 

Archery

* Corrected the text of 'Snap shot' archery talent to read that the attack cannot be defended against.

* Baseline crossbow damage has been increased by 2 points.

* Bodkin arrows have tripled in price, from 1sp to 3sp and now simply give +2 damage (effectively the same as ignoring 2 AP in most cases).

* Broadhead arrows are now 2sp each.

April v2.25 Update & "Das Uberblog!"

It's that time of the month again, and what a month it's been. Being a 'team player' kind of guy, I do prefer to bounce ideas off others and work together to solve problems, so you can understand the challenge of being a solo developer. Even with the help of my local groups, I found we all eventually lose sight of how a new player looks upon the system. So when I made the decision to get sabre 'out there' in the public space last year, I knew it wasn't quite ready but I needed people to engage with it and give me feedback so I could continue development in the right direction.

So I've been really pleased with other gaming groups giving sabre a try and relaying back their experiences, which is largely what this update consists of. Believe it or not, we're actually getting close to 'system stable' where updates are wound back to every six months, and I get to put my feet up for a change! (kidding, too many other things in the pipeline.) I'll go into detail about what the development plan is towards the end of this blog. Anyway, let's get to it.

Art! 

I've completed art for the escardi, corvid and saerid races in the premium edition. Being the most exotic in the system, it was good to have these done so people know what they look like. My style is developing nicely I think, with clear signs of improvement though I still have much to learn. 

Crafting Improvements

I've had a few requests for a more detailed crafting system, specifically for weapons and armour, so here it is! The premium edition has a new 'crafting equipment' link in the Equipment section, and it's linked from the Craft skill in the professional skills section too. It has material types with prices, from which you can craft any of the weapons and armour listed in the game. 

Armour prices are precisely calibrated so I used them as the baseline to come up with material costs, then adjusted weapon costs accordingly, based on their size (or SIZ if you prefer). Some went up in price, some went down, and I tweaked a few numbers for the wooden weapons too. It was at this point I realised that weapon Hit Points were irrelevant, so I removed that stat and just left them with AP, which is a more elegant system used by shields and armour. 

Finally, masterwork items have had a major overhaul in how they're made. It's no longer simply a matter of being lucky when crafting and getting a critical. Masterwork items require a 70% talent, and then you can just choose to make one, but they take much longer to construct and use more materials too. 

Shamans

We've come up with some new talents under the heading of 'Shamanic Traditions' to flesh out this style of magic which should spice it up. It's always fun coming up with ways to enhance magic styles, though this one was challenging! Hopefully it'll work out (I salute all shaman guinea-pigs!)

The freedom of magic

One of the big things I've heard from groups playing sabre is that magic is cool and fun, but too restrictive in certain ways. I must confess that in coming up with the backgrounds, I've been thinking in terms of how races interact in my own fantasy world, but they shouldn't be restricted like this for others. So, I've greatly reduced the restrictions on which races can take what backgrounds, allowing far greater flexibility for characters.

Furthermore, there's a general feeling that characters are punished for not wearing as much armour as they can, as combat in sabre can be quite brutal. While this was sort of intentional, the overhaul of the magic system I completed in January did go a little too easily on damage output and damage absorption. I figured if players wanted to be on the front line, they should be in armour! I very much liked the distinct line between fighters and spellcasters too, but there's certainly room to expand on this. 

So, the backgrounds that let you wear light armour and cast greater magic have been expanded to allow medium armour too. I still want heavy armour to be the providence of dedicated fighters though, so that restriction remains. I still would like 'cloth-wearing casters' to be a thing though, so I've boosted the spirit points from dedicated spellcaster backgrounds to +5. 

'Magical Prodigy' has proven to be a very popular background to take, and this remains unchanged but now has some stiff competition for different styles of magic users. When recalibrating the value of backgrounds recently, I wasn't sure how to weight this one, and clearly underestimated the appeal of two separate greater magics. So now you can choose this, heavier protection or more spirit to choose from, much in the same way melee and ranged combat have their different styles as well.

Furthermore, I've increased the baseline damage output from most spells so you can be more effective while blasting things to bits. Additionally, I've modified the 'Block' type reaction spells so they simply grant a big chunk of armour against one damage source, which should help magic users survive on the battlefield without making them permanent fixtures. Ideally, fighters should be using 'Control Movement' to keep other fighters at bay, allowing ranged and magical combatants to do their thing without being hassled. 

Stealth

Speaking of combat imbalance, I've done some work on improving stealth options this month too (everyone gets something!) The 'Advantage' talent, essential for any stealthy assassin character, has been boosted to +5 which makes a big difference when attacking an unsuspecting target. But actually remaining undetected and staying alive while in light armour was definitely lacking.

So, 'Honed Reflexes', 'Sneaky' and the new talent 'Sharp Eyes' now add a lot to stealth gameplay options. Instead of a fixed 5% bonus (or in the case of Sneaky, Expanded Critical which really functions as luck more than expertise), you can now take these talents 4 times at regular skill intervals (50, 70, 90, 99) for +5% each time. So, evade checks can get a +20% bonus which really helps these squishy characters stay alive, and perception checks get the same benefit to help spot the new super stealthy characters.

Because the stealth bonus can go much higher now. There's the +20% from 'Sneaky', along with up to +10 from the 'invisibility' type spells, and +10% from Shadowcat leather armour. Add the 'Soft Step' manoeuvre to the mix and you can get a +50% result bonus for that added 'ninja vanish!' flourish. Oh, and the Ninjato weapon has been improved now too, adhering much more accurately to the size and ability of the weapon so it's actually the best weapon for a stealthy character. I have a corvid NPC assassin travelling with one of my gaming groups, he's rather effective!

Fatigue

The fatigue system was a hitting characters a little too heavily, so I've tapered the penalties back to 5% per level, but also added two levels to the scale. 

Serious Wounds

The dice roll for going down at 0 Hit Points was a little tedious, so I've changed it to simply make the character unconscious and bleeding at this point. The 'Grit' talent lets you stay conscious, but you're restricted in similar ways to how it is now – the main thing is, the roll to stay conscious is gone. Hopefully the additions to character survivability (bonuses to evade and magical AP) will keep non-armoured characters alive longer. Healing from potions and salves has been reduced (they were making divine casters look weak!) but I still want to keep healing in combat greatly restricted. It should always be easier to destroy than create, or in this case, easier to harm than to heal. It keeps the fights from going on too long as well. Healing should be for after a fight, not right in the middle.

Threat Levels

Lastly, gauging the power of a character should be easier, mostly for GM's so they know how to challenge their group without obliterating them. The Threat Level calculator has performed this task in the past, but it was never front-and-centre, and it was a bit clunky too. 

It's been overhauled to focus on the most important aspects of a creature's combat ability, with less relevant stuff removed and the calculations more straight-forward. It's actually possible to calculate a character's Threat Level off the top of your head, once you've had a little practice! The TL calculation has also been moved to the character creation section, with a space in the top-right of the character sheet, so players should be able to figure out the number for themselves. Most starting characters are TL 1 anyway so the initial calculation is easy. 

Coming Attractions!

Earlier in the blog I mentioned that the system is close to becoming stable, which means far fewer updates, completed art and a relaxed and satisfied developer. Next month, I hope to have the 4 remaining pieces of race art done, and I might even get the siege warfare mechanics completed too. 

The month after that, I want to have pictures of all the weapons arranged into their respective groups, as well as the armour types. I'll also have psionic talents done in the same way as the other greater magic styles.

The month after that, I embark on creating the final greater magic style which has constantly been pushed back, ever since the start of sabre development - Summoning magic. It's a whole slew of spells that are big enough to warrant its own field of study, effectively. With the bestiary in good shape, being able to summon monsters, or at least aspects of monster physiology for your own use is a very cool mechanic and it'll be coming eventually!

After that, I'll finish off the Feydwiir Atlas and commence work on the art for the bestiary entries. Lots to do, but they're smaller so it's not so bad. Once that's out of the way, I'll have a go and making a big splashy cover for the codex. I think my skills have advanced enough 

So ends the biggest blog I've written, and probably the biggest month of updates yet. I hope you're enjoying the system!

________________________________________________________________________________________

v2.25 Premium

New stuff!

* Added art for the saerid, corvid and escardi races.

* Added 'Sharp Eyes' general talent.

* Added 'Chameleon' saerid general talent.

* Added 'Dive Bomb' corvid general talent.

* Added 'Rock' thrown weapon, the latest in advanced ranged weapon technologies.

* Added Naginata martial arts weapon.

* Added Shamanic 'Traditions', 4 fields of expertise with 4 talents each for specialising the style of shaman magic you wish to pursue.

* Added 'Fast Knockdown' and 'Shove' Brawn manoeuvres.

* Added 'Teleport Pet' druidry spell.

* Added 'Shield Push' manoeuvre.

* Added a new set of heavy armour called Cavalry Plate, heavier and with better protection but with less mobility, mainly for use by mounted warriors.

* Added Pet armour to the barding armour section and gave it a link on the contents page.

* Added 'Intellect Fortress' psionic spell.

* Added 'Inside Reach' combat talent and combined it with effects from the now removed 'Grapple Expert' talent.

 

Crafting System 

* The ability to craft weapons and armour has been greatly expanded, with properly calculated time and material costs in greater detail (it has a link in the Equipment section).

* Creating masterwork items is no longer a fluke (i.e. a critical success), it's now planned for in advance and has a greater expenditure of time and materials.

* Masterwork weapons now gain +2 AP, +1 damage and +5% to related skill check results.

* 'Artisan Crafter' and 'Efficient Crafting' talents have been modified.

* Weapons no longer have a Hit Point value. They just have an Armour Point value just like shields and armour, and it functions the same way for damage purposes.

* Recalibrated the cost and size of weapons based on their material, time and skill requirements (some went up, some went down). 

* The 'Permanency' talent has been tweaked. It requires masterwork items, and the gem cost has been increased.

* The 'Aetheric Hammer' spell now also has an option to reduce crafting time.

* 'Aetheric Hammer' repair dice is now 1d4, with each point of Spell Power granting +1 to the repair bonus.

* Craft (Leatherworking) and Survival skills now mention they allow the character to skin animals to obtain leather.

* Longspear, shortspear and greatclub have had their damage reduced by 2 points, because they're wood, which isn't as good as metal for stabbing things with. Except vampires.

* 'Elemental weapon', 'Far Striker', 'Staff of power', 'Vampiric weapon' and 'Vorpal weapon' spells all grant additional AP to the enchanted weapon.

 

Fatigue system tweak

* Added 2 extra fatigue levels, and each fatigue level is now a cumulative -5% penalty to all skills for more granularity and is less onerous.

* Spirit Surge now gives +3 fatigue levels and subtracts 5 Spirit after 1 minute, can't go above max or below 0. Other fatigue inducing abilities are unaffected.

* Failing an Athletics skill check results in a normal failure (unsuccessful attempt) with no fatigue accrued. 

 

Artificer Construct

* Material costs and amounts have been adjusted according to the new equipment crafting system.

* There are no modifiers to working with different materials, except that working with mithral or dragonscale requires the Exotic Crafting talent, and flesh or bone requires Unethical Construct as usual.

* Construct begins with 15 STR and 10 CON (swapped them around to yield +1 damage).

* Construct enhancement 'mighty fists' now changes unarmed dice from 1d6 to 2d6, Medium sized enhancement.

* Added 'Massive Fists' construct enhancement for Huge or larger constructs, 3d6 instead of 1d6 damage.

* The 'Death Ray' construct enhancement is now able to be taken multiple times, choosing different damage each time.

 

Weapons & Armour

* Bodkin arrows ignore 2 AP instead of 1.

* Ninjato is now Medium in SIZ, can be used as a two-handed weapon and can also deal slashing damage.

* Sai and Sword-Catchers now have 1 ENC.

* The 'Impact' weapon trait now reduces the AP of a blocking shield by 1.

* Lochaber axes now correctly have the Impact trait, like all other axes. 

* Metal shields have had their damage bonus (for bashing) increased by 1.

* The ENC of shields has been reduced. 

* Medium and Heavy armour talents now merely let you wear the armour (removed mention of a penalty). You can't wear medium or heavy armour without taking the talent.

* Removed the restriction on charging with Longreach weapons (I doubt anyone was following this anyway).

* Reach and Longreach weapons no longer deal half damage to adjacent targets - they instead simply don't apply the character's damage modifier.

* Shield Bash can only be used against adjacent targets.

* Revised the ENC of Mail Shirt (now called a mail haubergeon) and Brigandine coat.

* Weapons made of wood now have the 'Wood' trait (important for shamans). This generally means the weapon has -2 AP and damage compared to similiar metal weapons.

* 'Expanded Cartridge' weapon mod now just reduces the reload time on crossbows by 1 (rapid fire arbalests = ridiculous). Weapon ENC is increased by 1.

* Repeating Crossbows now have the 'Burst' trait which reduces the need to make multiple attack rolls in a round. 

* Clarified that the shield block bonus applies to successful block results.

* Recurve bows now deal 1d6+1 damage, and composite longbows deal 1d8+1 damage.

* Hand crossbow is now correctly listed as a Small weapon.

* Dragon Pistol is now correctly listed as a Pistol-type weapon.

* The 'Scatter' weapon trait now removes penalty for firing at adjacent target and grants a +5% result bonus to your attack roll.

* All firearms with multiple barrels have the Expanded Fumble trait as these weapons were notoriously unreliable. Price has been greatly reduced though!

* Armour for corvid or raelani characters is half the listed price, and the ENC for each piece is reduced by 1 (minimum of 1).

 

Maneouvres

* Updated the section on learning new manoeuvres to bring it into line with the spell learning system.

* 'The ol' one-two' is now called 'blistering assault', can be applied to any martial arts weapon.

* 'Body Slam' manoeuvre now deals 1d6+DM collision damage.

* Added 'Leap' & 'Sprint' manoevures to each of the available standard mounts.

* Revised and improved the 'Sunder Weapon' manoeuvre which is now called 'Damage Weapon' to differentiate from the Axe talent.

 

Talents

* 'Blighted Soul' sorcery talent now gives you invulnerability against necrotic damage, which gives you 1 Hit Point of healing.

* Removed 'Brilliant Performer' talent, folded its benefit into the 'artist' talent.

* 'Sacrificial Spirit' Sorcery talent now stops any method of preventing the damage taken.

* 'Reciprocating Strike' talent now requires 90% shield skill and 'Block Magic' requires 99%.

* 'Tiny Warrior' talent now grants +3 damage instead of +2. (It's a tiny change but it helps, pun intended).

* 'Commander' Leadership talent has reverted back to using the highest party result instead of the Commander. Much better!

* 'Advantage' combat talent now requires 50% stealth skill and grants +5 damage instead of +3.

* 'Braced Shot' talent now also negates the penalty for firing longarms and crossbows from full cover.

* 'Hover' talent can now be taken by the saerid race too.

* 'Honed Reflexes' talent can be taken up to 4 times at successive skill levels for a maximum of +20% evade result bonus at 99%.

* 'Sneaky' talent requires 50% stealth skill and grants +5% result bonus instead of Expanded Crit. Talent can be taken up to 4 times at successive skill levels for a maximum of +20% result bonus at 99%. 'Vanishing Potion', 'Vanish', 'Invisibility', 'Obscurity Veil' & 'Bend Light' spells now grant stealth bonuses in 5% increments instead of 10%.

* 'Skill expertise' and 'Skill Mastery' talents have been changed to 'Combat expertise' and 'Combat mastery', only apply to combat skills.

* Tweaked the text for the 'Cleave Armour' axe talent.

* 'Construct Slayer' has had its damage bonus increased to +5.

* The 'Grit' talent allows a character to stay conscious with a Serious Wound, they get dazed instead.

 

Magic

* 'Obliterate' shamanic spell now deals no damage on a successful resist check, damage dice increased to d6.

* Acid damage now eats away at specific layers of AP. Auric, then Mundane, then Natural, only needing to be higher than one type in order to reduce it by 1.

* Enhanced the effectiveness and clarified the use of the 'Time Stop' sorcery spell.

* 'Heal Wounds' divine spell now has a baseline of 1d6+1 hit points healed.

* 'Aura of healing' is now a 1d6 baseline.

* Magic backgrounds which grant the ability to cast spells in light armour now also allow the wearing of medium armour. 'Templar' no longer charges double cost for this bonus.

* Magic backgrounds which grant +3 Spirit now grant +5 Spirit.

* Saerid are no longer forbidden from learning Greater Magic, though they are restricted to the armoured variety. They have also lost their 'Hunter' trait. 

* Almost all Greater Magic backgrounds are available to all races except now, aside from Chosen One & Dark Scion. 

* Many non-magical backgrounds are now unrestricted by race also.

* 'Arcane Warrior' and 'Arcane Warlord' magic talents have been removed, and damage spells have had their baseline damage increased where appropriate (i.e. not necrotic spells).

* 'Block' and similar shield-type spells now simply grant +10 AP against an attack.

* 'Forcefield' artificer spell now grants +2 armour as a baseline.

* Clarified in the 'Healing Energy' alchemy spell that potions and salves can also only be used once per day each.

 

General

* Made mention in the armour section that Swim and Athletics checks receive penalties while wearing medium or heavy armour.

* Cheap clothing is ruined if the wearer sustains a Serious Wound.

* 'Knockdown' action now pushes target back 1 metre in addition to making them go prone.

* Reduced the time required for learning spells by 1 day for each intelligence category.

* Redesigned the Threat Level Calculator that focuses on the important aspects of character combat ability. Easier to read and do the math.

* The Threat Level Calculator has been moved to Character Creation, so players can determine their own TL to help the GM know how powerful the group is.

* Clarified the height bonus for damage under "Mounts, Flying and Height Bonuses". Ranged weapons gain +2 damage and some extra range when firing against targets 3 metres below them.

* The carry weight stats for mounts have been revised so they can actually carry stuff now.

* Coloured the contents page to show that they are all, in fact, hyperlinks.

* Bonded Pets can now be taught general combat talents.

* Removed the 'Free Action' bonus of a druid's Bonded Pet as they now use Reactions instead of Actions to command anyway.

* Added an entry on the character sheet for 'Maximum Lift' (10xSTR in kg).

* Anyone can defend against charging now. 'Set' weapons just do their normal extra dice of damage. Charging requires minimum distance of normal listed Movement rate.

* Healing poultices and tinctures heal 1d4 hit points. Potions and salves heal 1d4+2 hit points. Spirit potions work the same way. 

* 'Gifted Artificer' background now grants +2 armour for a construct.

* A section has been added to the character sheet for 'Threat Level'.

* A Serious Wound now simply drops the character unconscious, and starts them bleeding.

 ________________________________________________________________________________________

 v1.55 Basic Edition

 

Fatigue system tweak

* Added 2 extra fatigue levels, and each fatigue level is now a cumulative -5% penalty to all skills for more granularity and is less onerous.

* Spirit Surge now gives +3 fatigue levels and subtracts 5 Spirit after 1 minute, can't go above max or below 0. Other fatigue inducing abilities are unaffected.

 

Weapons & Armour

* Added 'Rock' thrown weapon, the latest in advanced ranged weapon technologies.

* Added Naginata martial arts weapon.

* Weapons no longer have a Hit Point value. They just have an Armour Point value just like shields and armour, and it functions the same way for damage purposes.

* Recalibrated the cost and size of weapons based on materials, time and skill requirements (some went up, some went down). 

* Longspear, shortspear and greatclub have had their damage reduced by 2 points, because they're wood, which isn't as good as metal for stabbing things with. Except vampires.

* Craft (Leatherworking) and Survival skills now mention they allow the character to skin animals to obtain leather.

* Bodkin arrows ignore 2 AP instead of 1.

* Ninjato is now Medium in SIZ, can be used as a two-handed weapon and can also deal slashing damage.

* Sai and Sword-Catchers now have 1 ENC.

* The 'Impact' weapon trait now reduces the AP of a blocking shield by 1.

* Lochaber axes now correctly have the Impact trait, like all other axes. 

* Metal shields have had their damage bonus (for bashing) increased by 1.

* The ENC of shields has been reduced. 

* Medium and Heavy armour talents now merely let you wear the armour (removed mention of a penalty). You can't wear medium or heavy armour without taking the talent.

* Removed the restriction on charging with Longreach weapons (I doubt anyone was following this anyway).

* Reach and Longreach weapons no longer deal half damage to adjacent targets - they instead simply don't apply the character's damage modifier.

* Shield Bash can only be used against adjacent targets.

* Revised the ENC of Mail Shirt (now called a mail haubergeon) and Brigandine coat.

* Weapons made of wood now have the 'Wood' trait. This generally means the weapon has -2 AP and damage compared to similiar metal weapons.

* Repeating Crossbows now have the 'Burst' trait which reduces the need to make multiple attack rolls in a round. 

* Clarified that the shield block bonus applies to successful block results.

* Recurve bows now deal 1d6+1 damage, and composite longbows deal 1d8+1 damage.

* Hand crossbow is now correctly listed as a Small weapon.

* Dragon Pistol is now correctly listed as a Pistol-type weapon.

* The 'Scatter' weapon trait now removes penalty for firing at adjacent target and grants a +5% result bonus to your attack roll.

* Added the note that all firearms with multiple barrels have Expanded Fumble to the 'Multishot' trait. 

* Armour for raelani characters is half the listed price, and the ENC for each piece is reduced by 1 (minimum of 1).

 

Magic

* 'Block' and similar shield-type spells now simply grant +10 AP against an attack.

* 'Arcane Warrior' magic talent has been removed, and damage spells have had their baseline damage increased where appropriate (i.e. not necrotic spells).

* Almost all Greater Magic backgrounds are available to all races except now, and many non-magical backgrounds are now unrestricted by race also.

* Magic backgrounds which grant +3 Spirit now grant +5 Spirit.

 

General

* Added 'Advantage' combat talent.

* Added 'Inside Reach' combat talent and combined it with effects from the now removed 'Grapple Expert' talent.

* Updated the section on learning new manoeuvres to bring it into line with the spell learning system.

* The carry weight stats for mounts have been revised so they can actually carry stuff now.

* Added 'Leap' & 'Sprint' manoevures to each of the available standard mounts.

* Redesigned the Threat Level Calculator that focuses on the important aspects of character combat ability. Easier to read and do the math.

* Clarified the height bonus for damage under "Mounts, Flying and Height Bonuses". Ranged weapons gain +2 damage and some extra range when firing against targets 3 metres below them.

* Added an entry on the character sheet for 'Maximum Lift' (10xSTR in kg).

* Coloured the contents page to show that they are all, in fact, hyperlinks.

* Reduced the time required for learning spells by 1 day for each intelligence category.

* A Serious Wound now simply drops the character unconscious, and starts them bleeding.

* 'Honed Reflexes' talent can be taken up to 4 times at successive skill levels for a maximum of +20% evade result bonus at 99%.

* 'Sneaky' talent requires 50% stealth skill and grants +5% result bonus instead of Expanded Crit. Talent can be taken up to 4 times at successive skill levels for a maximum of +20% result bonus at 99%.

March Update & Devblog

March has been a very productive month, indeed, and I'm eager to show all the updates to Sabre! Let's get right to it.

Art

I've added two new pieces to the Codex, for the half-humans and raelani (along with expanding the flavour text for each race). This finishes off the standard races section which makes the basic edition look much more complete! Oh, I've also gone back over the forest elf picture and took another crack at the male. He was one of my first efforts and since my style has evolved since then, I felt he could look a little better. I'll probably redo the dwarves at some point as well, but I'll finish the exotic races from the premium edition before I swing back to give them another go. Later this year I want to do proper front cover artwork to really catch the eye with adventurous people, explosions, all sorts of stuff :)

 

Druidry

This skill was a little overpowered, as a druid could do just about anything in equal measure, so I've taken this opportunity to not only fix this issue, I've added more diverse choices for the type of nature priest you can play. Instead of gaining Animal Companion by default, you now choose a Sect, not unlike the Devotion a divine caster chooses, which grants you access to a set of talents which focus on a style of gameplay. Druidry also works well with the revised (and integrated) Animal Training skill, which lets you have trained pets. If you choose the Beastmaster sect, you get to choose one of those pets to bond with, granting enhanced abilities much like the old animal companion talents. So now you can be an animal trainer without needing to take the druidry skill too! 

Wizardry

Since the animal companion and familiar talents were merged together, I've also gone and revised the wizardry skill's special bonus from 'Familiar' to 'School'. Just like druidry, wizards can choose from one of four schools with talents to enhance certain aspects of their magical abilities. The capability to summon a familiar is now a spell, so every wizard can still have a familiar, but those of the 'Familiarist' school can have better familiars :)

Reaction Spells

Since greater magic spellcasters are unable to attain high levels of Armour Points without spending a lot of silver (and even then, fall short of heavy armour of similar cost), there are now some new spells designed to offer an alternative defence. These spells are cast as Reactions and are very economical for their cost, usually providing an excellent defense against one attack for only 1 Spirit Point, but can be boosted just like other spells. The shield spells in various fields of magic were modified to suit this new defensive method too. 

Armour

Just a little tweak here to the encumbrance of heavy armour, which was a little high. I've taken 1 point off each of the four pieces, so heavy armour is more appealing (and a bit more realistic I think).

Aside from these major updates, there's a bunch of little fixes and tweaks, as you've come to expect! Hey, at least I'm only doing this once a month instead of 5 times a week now. ;)

Finally, the Bestiary has been updated as well, and I even found time to add a few pictures, though I'm planning to finish the codex before really sinking my teeth into this.

 

Coming up next month...

Art for the escardi, corvids and possibly the saerid if I get the time. These are some of the more exotic races which need a picture to show how they look!

Shamanic talents.

Rules and equipment for siege warfare. 

 

So that's it for this month, keep an eye out for further updates down the road a little.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

v2.24 Premium Edition notes

* Added art for the raelani and half-human race pages.

* Revised and improved the forest elf artwork (practice makes perfect!)

* Fixed many typos and inconsistencies thanks to player feedback.

* 'Bodyguard' talent clarifies that you take the place of your ally against that attack.

* The 'Close Range' action can be attempted using the Shields skill in place of Evade.

* Added 'Hover' Corvid talent.

* The 'Ranger' background is now available to escardi.

* Herbalism skill now tells you how you can apply poison to a weapon.

* The 'Poison Weapon' talent now lets you avoid poisoning yourself by accident and can apply poisons as a Quick action.

* The background event which grants you a suit of heavy armour has been changed to simply give you +1 Natural Armour (heavy armour is very niche).

* Added Corvids to the Human age table.

* Removed reference to the Career stage when determining starting points for older (or younger) characters, and increased the background points for older characters by 5 at each stage. Reduced Accolades for age categories slightly.

* Added 'Spell Synergy' and 'Greater Synergy' talents for combining spell power.

* Mercantile and Military contact bonuses have been modified to be more useful.

* Changed the text for the 'moving house' player contact backstory (bonus is unchanged).

* All divine magic devotions have one of their 90% talents raised to 99% (getting tier 5 spells used to be a reward for 99% skill but that's no longer applicable, so these talents are falling into line with other skills).

* Renamed the 'Re-attempting Skills' section to 'Skill Spamming' to clarify how 'out of combat' skill improvements work.

* Removed artifice and 'permanent' spells from the Magic Services section - I don't want to promote the concept of the 'Magic Shop' (magic items should be acquired from adventure, not a store!) GM's can still use the permanency spell and the artifice section to create magic items as needed.

* 'Adrenalive Surge' is no longer a manoevure - it's an action anyone can use and it's name has reverted to 'Spirit Surge' as it's a more descriptive name for what it does. It no longer affects undead or constructs.

* 'Deep Reserves' sorcery talent no longer removes fatigue penalty.

* 'Bully' requires the target understand your language.

* 'Enduring Luck' talent now only gives its benefit on failed skill checks.

* Half-humans now gain the Culture skill and their free talent is no longer limited to 'general'.

* Half-human's 'Linguist' trait now allows them a chance to understand any language.

* Revised 'Corrupting Aura' sorcery talent.

* Modified the rules for mounted combat, which also includes rules for flying and attacking from height.

* Updated and linked the GM Reference Sheets.

* The Wounds section has returned to its rightful place on the contents page.

* Improved the numbers on the Recovering Ammunition table for spent arrows and bolts.

* The 'Commander' leadership talent now uses that character's initiative instead of the party's best.

* Druidry 'Regeneration' spell is now correctly listed as being Quick to cast.

* 'Crossfire' and 'Blindside' talents now work with each other to grant damage bonuses.

* 'Dual-Wielding' and 'Two Weapons' combat talents allow escardi and other large humanoids to wield a Medium sized weapon in their off-hand.

* On a critical success, 'Control Movement' also takes away the target's action for the round.

* Reduced the encumbrance of all heavy armour pieces (not barding) by 1 point each.

* 'Giant Slayer' sword talent has been replaced by 'Sword Specialist'.

Accomodation

* Revised and cleaned up the tables for easier reference.

* Revised the healing bonus from staying in quality housing: +1 to Heal and Spirit regen for Reasonable, +2 for Superior.

* Meals and trail rations of quality now also provide a +1 or +2 bonus to Heal Rate and Spirit Regen.

* The food section notes Escardi eat twice the normal amount of food, while Raelani and Corvids eat half the normal amount.

Wizardry

* The 'Familiar' ability is now a spell.

* Instead of 'Familiar', the Wizardry skill now grants the 'School' ability which allows you to choose a style of wizardry.

* Talents related to scrolls, illusions and familiars have been moved to the 'Wizardry School' section. 

* Added new talents for the 'Wizardry School' section for Librarian, Familiarist, Illusionist and Scrivener schools. 

Druidry 

* Druidry now has the 'Sect' ability instead of 'Animal Companion'. This provides 16 talents in 4 areas that allow druidry to specialise in different aspects of the skill.

* Druid's 'Beastmaster' talents now simply enhance one of the pets you acquire through the Animal Training skill.

* Revised the Animal Training skill which is now based around an animal's threat level.

* Added the 'Extra Pet' talent.

* Added 'Speak with Nature' spell to cover communicating with animals and even plants.

* Revised the 'Animal Form' druidry spell to better clarify how it works and what you can do.

Reaction Spells 

* Added a new concept for Reaction spells to give spellcasters some more defensive options other than just getting more AP, as listed below. 

Alchemy

* Modified 'Smoke Bomb' & 'Flash Bomb' to use Reactions.

* Added 'Wild Magic' spell. 

Artifice

* Modified 'Security Matrix' for more flexibility.

* Added 'Forcefield' area of effect natural armour spell.

Divine

* Modified 'Holy Aegis', 'Salvation' & 'Soul Shield' to use Reactions.

Druidry

* Added 'Guardian Sprite', 'Magnetic field' & 'Solidify Air' spells.

Psionic

* Modified 'Control Magic' & 'Precognition' to use Reactions.

* 'Deflect Missile' is now 'Deflect Weapon', uses Reactions.

Shamanic

* Modified 'Shield Totem' & 'Soul Shield' to use Reactions.

* Added 'Guardian Spirit' & 'Aethereal Shift' spells.

Sorcery

* Modified 'Force Barrier' & 'Incinerate Missile' to use Reactions.

* Added 'Blood Mirror' spell.

Wizardry

* Modified 'Block' to use Reactions.

* Added 'Reverse Momentum' spell.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

v1.54 Basic Edition Notes

* The 'Close Range' action can be attempted using the Shields skill in place of Evade.

* The background event which grants you a suit of heavy armour has been changed to simply give you +1 Natural Armour (heavy armour is very niche).

* Herbalism skill now tells you how you can apply poison to a weapon.

* The 'Poison Weapon' talent now lets you avoid poisoning yourself by accident and can apply poisons as a Quick action.

* 'Adrenalive Surge' is no longer a manoevure - it's an action anyone can use and it's name has reverted to 'Spirit Surge' as it's a more descriptive name for what it does. It no longer affects undead or constructs.

* Half-humans now gain the Culture skill and their free talent is no longer limited to 'general'.

* Half-human's 'Linguist' trait now allows them a chance to understand any language.

* Added art for the raelani and half-human race pages.

* Revised and improved the forest elf artwork (practice makes perfect).

* Updated and linked the GM Reference Sheets.

* Improved the numbers on the Recovering Ammunition table for spent arrows and bolts.

* Reduced the encumbrance of all heavy armour pieces (not barding) by 1 point each.

Accomodation

* Revised and cleaned up the tables for easier reference.

* Revised the healing bonus from staying in quality housing: +1 to Heal and Spirit regen for Reasonable, +2 for Superior.

* Meals and trail rations of quality now also provide a +1 or +2 bonus to Heal Rate and Spirit Regen.

 

February 2017 devblog and changelog

This month, we've got an overhaul of backgrounds, a bunch of new general talents, and some art! Let's go into more detail:

Backgrounds

So, the original batch of backgrounds were based along certain themes, the sorts of lives a character might live such as farmer, wizard's apprentice etc. There were adventuring backgrounds, and mundane ones that offered far less, and would only really be taken for reasons of roleplaying. But as someone pointed out to me, roleplaying shouldn't just be about taking big penalties. 

I did a pass on backgrounds last year, improving the weaker ones somewhat but it wasn't enough. Recently, a new player in one of my local groups took a closer look at them and noticed some glaring imbalances. Some backgrounds you'd never take, and others you'd be crazy *not* to take. So I decided to sit down and go over it more thoroughly. My process was simple enough - assign a value for each of a background's attributes and compare them all. Resistance skills and Greater Magic skills received 3 points as they are highly desireable. Combat skills and Spirit Points received 2, and so forth. I even factored in starting money, at a rate of +1 for every 200 silver pieces. 

After completing these (actually during the middle of the process) I could see the problems, but the solutions were relatively easy. It took me a whole day to sort it out, but once done, things were looking much much better.

Arcane Blade and Monastery Orphan were head and shoulders above the others, while Page and Brothel Orphan were sorely lacking. For the purposes of rebalancing, I decided that Wizard's Apprentice would be the baseline at 13 points, so I adjusted the attributes of each background to get to 12 or 13 points. Typically, backgrounds without combat or magic skills are more likely to have extra Resist skills, more money, and more background events. 

This process gave me an opportunity to look closer at the Greater Magic backgrounds too. There are now two types for most of the greater magic types (except for Alchemy and Divine magic). One type gives you a dedicated spellcaster with little starting money, the Resolve resistance skill, and a +2 Spirit Point bonus. The other kind has the same Greater Magic skill, but has more of a combative focus, with either Endurance or Evade instead of Resolve, more starting money, and instead of the prized +2 Spirit Points, another ability (usually the ability to cast spells in light armour).

Talents

There's plenty of combat and magic talents to go around, but the number of general talents was a bit lacking and has been for a while. After a brainstorming session, there are now plenty more to choose from and the requirements for some of the others have been lowered. 

Additionally, after thinking a few mechanics through, I move the 'Grit' manoeuvre over to a talent, as you can't actually activate it when below 1 Hit Point and therefore it's not tremendously useful. Now it's a passive, 'always on' ability that lets you stay conscious more easily with a Serious Wound. Part of this change too was noting that taking a serious wound almost always results in going unconscious for a few rounds, so this way its easier for tougher characters to stay in the fight.

Another change was in the ability to cripple a target's limbs without killing them first. There were three manoeuvres to accomplish this with either melee, martial arts or pistol weapons, but I thought of a better, less clunky way. Those manoeuvres have been removed and replaced by one talent, Critical Blow, which lets any physical combat skill cripple a limb (or the head) on a critical hit to a creature that can't defend itself. This prevents it happening too often, but when it hits, it'll really slow them down. This is yet another way of improving the balance between combat and magic characters.

Art!

Finally, this month was supposed to be dedicated to adding art to the codex, but all that other development stuff happened! I still managed to get three pieces done, with noticable improvements in my technique each time. My skill is still lacking when it comes to getting the lighting effects right, but that'll come with time. I imagine I'll redo these at some point in the future, but for now, I think they're quite adequate :) Just two more to go to have the standard races complete, and then I'll move on to the more exotic races. I've also just ordered some poseable models to help me get the postures right, and it should make a big difference in quality.

What's next?

More art! Additionally, I want to add some options for the druid, in the same manner as sorcery bloodlines or divine devotions. There's a druid in one of my groups who hasn't bothered with an animal companion and he's getting by just fine, so I'll add some devotions for other things:

* One for a shapeshifting focused druid with some appropriate talents.

* A devotion for a beastmaster to enhance your animal companion(s).

* A weather and 'natural disaster' focused druid.

* A healer, focused on life and regeneration.

So that'll be next month, and I'm sure there will be a few more additions along the way (there always is!)

 

v2.22 Codex Premium Edition Changelog (See below for the Basic Edition notes)

New!

* Added art for the Acadian Elves, Dwarves & Forest elves.

* Added 'Toughness' Endurance manoeuvre.

* The 'Grit' manoeuvre is now a talent (it works better as a passive ability).

* Added the 'Cat Burgler' background.

* Added 'Deep Pockets', 'Strong Back', 'Haggler', 'Design Sense', 'Commander', 'Blind Sense', 'Wingman', 'Improvised Medicine', 'Miracle Worker', 'Subtle Threat', 'Grain of Truth', 'Quick Draw' and 'Helpful' general talents.

* Added 'Warning Shout' Leadership manoevure.

* Added 'Advantage' combat talent.

* Added 'Critical Blow' combat talent, which replaces 'Cunning Blow', 'Selective Aim' and 'Called Shot' manoeuvres.

* Added 'Critical Power' spellcasting talent.

* Added 'Teleportation Ward' for wizardry, divine and shamanic magic.

 

Modifications:

* 'Righteous Fury', 'Berserker' and 'Bloodlust' now count as Combat Talents and require only 12+ strength to acquire.

* All talents with an Attribute requirements of "13+" now require only 12+.

* 'Tactical Combo' talent now only requires 70% in a combat skill.

* The Acrobatics skill can now be used to avoid movement penalties from difficult terrain, reduce damage from falling and climb at double the normal rate (using parkour!)

* Removed the 'Nimble' talent, the effects of which have been more effectively integrated into Acrobatics.

* 'Rune Power' & 'Potent Artifice' talents now require 70% skill but give +1 damage, +5m range and -10% to spell resists from scrolls or relics.

* Improved the 'Adrenaline Surge' Endurance manoeuvre.

* The 'Leap' manoevure also makes you immune to opportunity attacks.

* The 'Backflip' manoevure no longer limits you to half speed.

* Revised the 'Switch Body' spell with more detail.

* Revised and simplified the 'Imbue Divinity' divine spell which now also works with the Permanency talent.

* Gems are now required to make a spell permanent, of the same value as before.

* Escardi Hit Points are now equal to their STR Attribute.

* Escardi and similar sized creatures only pay 50% more for their armour instead of doubling the cost.

* Clarified that armour points gained from Auric or Natural armour doesn't add up from separate body locations - the value bestowed simply counts at each armour location if an effect targets a specific location.

* Clarified that Spirit Points gained through talents stack with each other.

* Gems used with the 'Store Spirit' talent are no longer destroyed if completely drained.

* Reduced the movement penalty on Plate Greaves from -2 to -1.

* Open Range and Close Range actions now use your Movement instead (and re-wrote the "open and close range" section for greater clarity).

* Revised 'Closing Strike' manoeuvre.

* The 'Grapple Expert' talent now applies to any restrained or pinned target.

* The 'Fire & Steel' talent now lets you make extra melee attacks if you can make more than 1 pistol attack each round.

* Lowered the INT requirement for increasing spell power.

* Stipulated that the 'Two Weapons' martial art's talent lets you make an off-hand attack with small weapons only (i.e. no double katanas).

* Longswords and katanas no longer switch to a smaller die when used single-handed - the Damage Modifier bonus for wielding a weapon 2-handed is sufficient.

* Weapons Expertise martial art's talent now requires 'Martial Weapons' as one of it requirements.

* Reduced the damage bonus gained from increasing the Spell Power on lightning spells (uniformly +2 now). This is due to metal armour having more importance in the system with fighters, and lightning simply ignoring metal AP. 

* Lightning spells no longer deal half damage on a successful resist, it's either they hit or they don't.

* Removed the 'Carrying Equipment' system of straps, belts etc. With the new lower limit on encumbrance, this doesn't appear to be needed anymore. The items themselves remain under 'clothing' but the character sheet doesn't list individual locations anymore.

* 'Devastating bomb' now grants regular damage instead of an increase in critical damage.

* 'Shock bomb' no longer deals half regular damage, but instead of boosting damage with spell power, you increase the area of effect.

* Baseline bomb damage has been reduced by 2 points.

* 'Skill Expertise' talent only requires 70% skill to take.

* Expanded the list of player contacts from 10 to 12.

* 'Spirited Performance' charm spell only affects one target instead of an area of effect.

* 'Petrify' wizard spell now allows an endurance check every round to break free.

* Alchemy spells that previously had unopposed Resistance checks have now become opposed checks.

* Removed 'Alchemical Mastery' talent as it's no longer relevant.

 

Backgrounds (highlights - too many changes to list)

* All backgrounds have been evaluated and rebalanced accordingly. High-powered backgrounds have been reduced somewhat, and the low-end backgrounds (lots of those) have been vastly improved. I also actually looked up what a medieval page did, so that background has been significantly revamped. 

* Resistance skills have been highlighted red on the backgrounds list.

* Primary Greater Magic backgrounds get +2 Spirit Points and the Resolve skill, but there are secondary backgrounds with Greater Magic that have a different bonus and a different Resistance skill (less spirit, less focus on casting, more on combat).

* 'Arcane Blade' is now only available for Acadian Elves.

* 'Ranger' now gains the Druidry skill.

* 'Rake' now gains the Charms skill.

 

v1.52 Codex Basic Edition changelog

New!

* Added art for the Acadian Elves, Dwarves & Forest elves.

* The 'Grit' manoeuvre is now a talent (it works better as a passive ability).

* Added the 'Cat Burgler' background.

* All talents with an Attribute requirements of "13+" now require only 12+.

* The Acrobatics skill can now be used to avoid movement penalties from difficult terrain, reduce damage from falling and climb at double the normal rate (using parkour!)

* Removed the 'Nimble' talent, the effects of which have been more effectively integrated into Acrobatics.

* 'Rune Power' talent now requires 70% skill but give +1 damage, +5m range and -10% to spell resists from scrolls or relics.

* Improved the 'Adrenaline Surge' Endurance manoeuvre.

* The 'Leap' manoevure also makes you immune to opportunity attacks.

* The 'Backflip' manoevure no longer limits you to half speed.

* Revised the 'Switch Body' spell with more detail.

* Revised and simplified the 'Imbue Divinity' divine spell, which no longer makes the enchantment permanent on its own.

* Clarified that armour points gained from Auric or Natural armour doesn't add up from separate body locations - the value bestowed simply counts at each armour location if an effect targets a specific location.

* Reduced the movement penalty on Plate Greaves from -2 to -1.

* Lowered the INT requirement for increasing Spell Power.

* Stipulated that the 'Two Weapons' martial art's talent lets you make an off-hand attack with small weapons only (i.e. no double katanas).

* Longswords and katanas no longer switch to a smaller die when used single-handed - the Damage Modifier bonus for wielding a weapon 2-handed is sufficient.

* Reduced the damage bonus gained from increasing the Spell Power on lightning spells (uniformly +2 now). This is due to metal armour having more importance in the system with fighters, and lightning simply ignoring metal AP.

* Removed the 'Carrying Equipment' system of straps, belts etc. With the new lower limit on encumbrance, this doesn't appear to be needed anymore. The items themselves remain under 'clothing' but the character sheet doesn't list individual locations anymore.

* 'Skill Expertise' talent only requires 70% skill to take.

* Lightning spells no longer deal half damage on a successful resist, it's either they hit or they don't.

 

Backgrounds (highlights - too many changes to list)

* All backgrounds have been evaluated and rebalanced accordingly. High-powered backgrounds have been reduced somewhat, and the low-end backgrounds (lots of those) have been vastly improved. I also actually looked up what a medieval page did, so that background has been significantly revamped. 

* Resistance skills have been highlighted red on the backgrounds list.

* Primary Greater Magic backgrounds get +2 Spirit Points and the Resolve skill, but there are secondary backgrounds with Greater Magic that have a different bonus and a different Resistance skill (less spirit, less focus on casting).

* 'Arcane Blade' is now only available for Acadian Elves.

* 'Ranger' gains the Druidry skill, but that isn't part of the basic edition so the background was removed.

January Devblog and v2.21 Patch Notes

Thus ends another busy month of sabre system development. I keep saying 'no more big changes' but then along come more big changes. I'm going to stop making that promise! The major part of work this month was the re-write of the magic system. After first creating the 5-tier spell point system in Sabre four years ago, I realised that there was a better way, where there are just spells (no tiers or levels) and you can spend additional points to buff them as you cast. Since I'd just finished writing the original system I wasn't keen on redoing it from scratch, but lately players have been coming to the same conclusion and urging me to do this change. You might have seen a hint of it with the armour spells, but what I've done now is apply this change to the entire magic system. 

Magic System Rewrite

The amount of changes are far too numerous to go into detail here, except to say that the system is more flexible and there's no more duplication of spell effects at different tiers. Most of the spells remain intact, but now have additional abilities written up in the full description. If there is a downside, it's that you'll need to have the full description in front of you to see what you can do with a spell, but the effects are similar across the board, such as 'Increase spell range by 10 metres' or 'Increase damage by +5'. The patch notes below have more detail, but you'll really just need to read through the magic section to see what's what. 

Armour System Balance

One of the questions I've been asked lately is 'what does a dedicated fighter bring to the party?' This is a very valid point, given how cool magic can be. The answer to this question was put forward by one of my contributors (thanks Ed!) who crunched the numbers and suggested a pretty substantial change to how armour and spells interact. All this time, I've been trying to allow some spell casting while wearing armour, mostly to cover the old classic 'armoured cleric' or 'arcane blade' style of fighter/mage, but now we've come up with a better way. The patch notes have the individual updates, but basically you can't wear any armour and still use Greater Magic. The only exception to this is the War devotion for divine magic, and that you can now use Lesser Magic in armour without penalty. Now, although you can't mix and match armour like before by default, special materials can still play a part, specifically wyvern and dragon skin leather, and mithral armour allow spellcasting without penalty. Some of them even stack with the Auric Armour spells that spellcasters can use, so if you're prepared to pay top prices for equipment, you can indeed be a fighting wizard or what have you. 

This means that if the party wants people with lots of armour for absorbing damage, it'll most likely have to be a warrior in medium or heavy armour, as it should be! Spellcasters still have a bit of magic armour and other spells for protection, fear not.

Art Update

Well, instead of spending the month creating art, I spent most of the time on that magic overhaul! Mechanics and play overrule art I figure, but at least I finished one piece for the humans. I had started on the elf art but the elves I created looked very human! My style is improving so I'm redoing those elf characters and that should be done soon. With the magic revamp complete I'll (hopefully) just be focusing on the artwork now. Oh, and along with the new artwork is a layout change for the races section with more icons and larger text to make it all easier to see, just like this;

Although this release is done, I still have to update the bestiary's spellcasting monsters and NPC's, which number about 35 or so. I'll get this done asap, but I wanted to get the manual online so you could read up on the new changes.

 

v2.21 PREMIUM EDITION PATCH NOTES

General 

* Added 'The Slow Road' skill advancement optional rule.

* Weapons that 'count as magic' for the purposes of bypassing protection against mundane weaponry are now called 'Auric Weapons'. The term has been added to the Glossary and spells which empower weapons in this way make reference to this new term.

* Added 'Collision' damage type for use with falling and colliding with objects.

* Condensed the file size of the pdf document.

* Improved the detail in the Weapons Modification section.

* Added 'Expanded Cartridge' weapon modification for crossbows.

* The 'Teach' skill's effects can be spread over 8 non-consecutive hours and it's been limited to skills no higher than 70%.

* Efficicent Study talent lets you spend 12 hours a day learning new skills/spells instead of 8.

* 'Reverse Engineering' and 'Eclectic Knowledge' now require double the normal learning time of acquiring a new spell, but there is no money or accolade cost.

* Added the 'Craft (Cooking)' sub-skill.

* Normalised all potions to 1d6+4 for their effects.

* Added more detail to Contacts, including a benefit for each one.

* Added 'Player Contacts' as a way to help player characters know each other prior to the start of the game.

* Pistols, Longarms and Martial Arts now use INT+AGI to determine their base skill numbers.

* Added a section for Recommended Character Builds to help new players make a character that fits a certain role in the party, such as Tank or Healer.

* Alchemy has been promoted to 'Greater Magic', and has its own background.

* Added 'Warrior Savant' 99% Martial Arts talent. 

* 'Drunker Master' Martial Arts talent has been lowered to 90% skill requirement.

* Revamped the race section, with more detail and a better layout for easier reading.

* Added art for the Human race (yay finally, more on the way).

* Added 'Sneak Shot' pistol manoeuvre.

* You can no longer move before taking a Death Blow action.

 

Armour Revision

* Removed the 'Endurance Training' talent.

* Greater Magic spells can no longer be cast at all while wearing any armour (the War devotion of divine magic is the exception).

* Lesser Magic spells can be cast in any kind of armour.

* Wyvern leather is now 5x normal cost, allows for the casting of Greater Magic spells and stacks with Auric Armour.

* Basilisk leather is now 3x normal cost.

* Spells which grant Auric Armour have been reduced in power, thus giving dedicated fighters a proper role as damage tanks within a party. 

 

Magic System Revamp

* Revised the magic system to be 'tierless', with each spell costing 1 Spirit Point to cast but with built-in bonuses that can be added with the expenditure of more Spirit Points. 

* The amount of Spirit Points that can be spent on a spell during casting (known as Spell Power) is limited by the character's skill level: 0%-49%=1, 51%-69%=2, 70%-89%=3, 90%-98%=4, 99%=5 and their Intelligence Attribute (it's all on one table, should be clear how it works).

* Spells have been removed where their power was either duplicated, or integrated into another spell of a given field of magic. This has condensed the spell list across the board.

* Removed the 'Channeled Spirit' and 'Expert Channel' magic talents (they are now effectively integrated into each spell).

* Spell cost and learning time is now adjusted by the INT of the spellcaster, just like skills (but cheaper/faster).

* Made it clear in the Attributes section that INT dictates the maximum number of spells and skills that can be learned.

* Fixed legacy rules and errors throughout the spell system.

 

v1.51BASIC EDITION PATCH NOTES

General

* The Backgrounds list now denotes which backgrounds give Greater Magic skills as part of their skill set.

* Weapons that 'count as magic' for the purposes of bypassing protection against mundane weaponry are now called 'Auric Weapons'. The term has been added to the Glossary and spells which empower weapons in this way make reference to this new term.

* Condensed the file size of the pdf document.

* The 'Teach' skill's effects can be spread over 8 non-consecutive hours.

* Efficicent Study talent lets you spend 12 hours a day learning new skills/spells instead of 8.

* 'Eclectic Knowledge' now requires double the normal learning time of acquiring a new wizard spell, but there is no money or accolade cost.

* Added more detail to Contacts, including a benefit for each one.

* Added 'Player Contacts' as a way to help player characters know each other prior to the start of the game.

* Pistols, Longarms and Martial Arts now use INT+AGI to determine their base skill numbers.

* Added a section for Recommended Character Builds to help new players make a character that fits a certain role in the party, such as Tank or Healer.

* Revamped the race section, with more detail and a better layout for easier reading.

* Added art for the Human race (yay finally, more on the way).

* Normalised all potions to 1d6+4 for their effects.

* Added 'Collision' damage type for use with falling and colliding with objects.

 

Armour Revision

* Removed the 'Endurance Training' talent.

* Greater Magic spells can no longer be cast at all while wearing any armour (the War devotion of divine magic is the exception).

* Lesser Magic spells can be cast in any kind of armour.

* Wyvern leather is now 5x normal cost, allows for the casting of Greater Magic spells and stacks with Auric Armour.

* Basilisk leather is now 3x normal cost.

* Spells which grant Auric Armour have been reduced in power, thus giving dedicated fighters a proper role as damage tanks within a party. 

 

Magic System Revamp

* Revised the magic system to be 'tierless', with each spell costing 1 Spirit Point to cast but with built-in bonuses that can be added with the expenditure of more Spirit Points. 

* The amount of Spirit Points that can be spent on a spell during casting (known as Spell empowerment) is limited by the character's skill level: 0%-49%=1, 51%-69%=2, 70%-89%=3, 90%-98%=4, 99%=5 and their Intelligence Attribute (it's all on one table, should be clear how it works).

* Spells have been removed where their power was either duplicated, or integrated into another spell of a given field of magic. This has condensed the spell list across the board.

* Removed the 'Channeled Spirit' and 'Expert Channel' magic talents (they are now effectively integrated into each spell).

* Spell cost and learning time is now adjusted by the INT of the spellcaster, just like skills (but cheaper/faster).

* Made it clear in the Attributes section that INT dictates the maximum number of spells and skills that can be learned.

* Fixed legacy rules and errors throughout the spell system.

New Year Devblog and 2.20 Update Notes

Happy new year to everyone! After running a session and getting some feedback about a few things (and finding some bugs to fix), I'm ready to release the 2.20 update for the system. It's a big one, and requires a devblog to explain what's going on here. Deep breath!

Combat Damage Balance

For a couple of years now, I've been filling out the talents and manoeuvres list in Sabre with “cool ideas”, without actually going over the numbers and seeing how it all fits together. At the request of a contributor, I spent a few hours calculating the damage output of certain combat styles, and found things were quite out of balance, especially unarmed combat, which easily beat out everything else for pure damage output. I'm not even talking about magically augmented 'monks' either, I just mean Jim from accounting who goes to karate class on Thursdays. With enough training, he could punch a dragon to death in 6 seconds (seriously, it came to something like 140 damage in one round), no doubt shouting something witty along the lines of "Reconcile this!" So, some adjustment was in order, as follows:

Two-handed weapons became the new baseline, given that they could only have one attack per round. Even then, their damage output was a little low so while wielding two handed weapons, a character's damage modifier is doubled. That's some solid damage right there.

The next issue was dual-wielding. Sabre leans towards 'realistic' more often than not, but the previous rules were very casual about effectively wielding two weapons at once. Historically, it was a fencing style, usually with a dagger in the off-hand. So, some of the duel-wielding talents have been folded into the Blades & Martial Arts (more on this below) weapon styles, which, along with clubs (staves can be used as dual-weapons too) are the only types which allow any sort of duel-wielding. The flexibility one needs restricts the armour type to 'Light' as well, but Blades have bonuses to Parrying instead, and of course light armour grants access to the Evade talents. In the end, dual wielding, whether with blades or martial arts weapons, can deal more damage than a two-handed sword, but individual hits are smaller and less effective against armour.

Next up was the sword & board style, which factors in shield bash. This is basically unchanged, coming in with less damage than either of the previous styles, but of course having the immense protective benefits of a shield.

So, on to unarmed combat. Some of my contributors and I have talked about how this skill should work over the years. My position was that anyone, even a child, can throw a punch, and therefore it should be a common skill. But expertise in unarmed combat requires specialised training, so we recently came to the conclusion that it should be both. There is now the Unarmed common skill, and the Martial Arts professional skill. All of the Unarmed talents and manoeuvres have been moved over to Martial Arts, so if you need to punch someone you still can, but it's a pretty basic attack. If you want to be really good at it, you need the professional skill.

I've also rebalanced the damage output of basic martial arts to something more realistic, adjusting talents and manoeuvres that applied extra damage but at the same time, I've added a few extra spells to sorcery and psionics (which tend to favour monk-like characters) which augment unarmed capabilities. In addition to this, I've added japanese weapons (sorry china, I'm not very familiar with your equipment at this stage!) which can be used with the martial arts skill, and therefore all the talents and manoeuvres. Well, some of them require you to be empty-handed, but otherwise they can be useful for increasing your damage output. 

This brings me to the last change for the combat system, multiple attacks. In the end, there were too many things going on in each round, with some characters of moderate 'level' having 3 or more attacks per round. As part of balancing the combat system, I took out 'Second Strike' for Medium sized melee, and 'the ol' one-two' martial arts has a requirement of 90% in the skill, and it only applies to empty-handed attacks (no weapons). As mentioned earlier, Blades and Martial Arts can still get an off-hand attack at around 70% skill, and blades still have the Riposte ability for extra attacks, but otherwise I've brought the number right down. There are still spells like Celerity that can add extra attacks, but the balance of the combat system should be very good now.

Skill Learning System

Something that bothered me for quite some time was the way learning skills and talents was sort of intermeshed. It was a little confusing and didn't make a lot of sense in ways, so we came up with a way to treat it more like the acquisition of spells, with a set price, and limited by a character's intelligence attribute. It can be more expensive in general to acquire a new skill, which is intentional - it adds more weight to your starting skill choices, but the cost doesn't increase for each one you get either. Acquiring talents remains unchanged, with increasing cost being the limiting factor.

Casting spells in leather

At first, I didn't mind that leather armour was being treated more like heavy clothing, but as time went on, I saw that all of the spellcasters were wrapped in leather from head to toe. That's not the look I was going for – since I wanted to capture a traditional fantasy experience of the 'robed wizard', I've put the double spell cost onto leather armour. But fear not! It's a little easier to get the 'Endurance training' talent to mitigate this effect, though it does still require 15 CON. Also, Wyvern & dragon leather (as well as mithral) remove this penalty, so leather-clad wizards can still be a thing if they want to pay extra for the privilege, plus dragon skin stacks with auric armour so those armour spells you cast can be bolstered by wearing the skin of your fallen enemies, you monster.

Armour spells

Speaking of armour spells, I've changed the spell system overall to allow just one per magic field (two for druid, since they also get barkskin), with the ability to spend extra spirit to increase the effect. It's cleaner, more flexible, and removes the need to buy multiple spells that sort of do the same thing. You see, shortly after completing the tiered spell system a few years back, I realised another way to do a spell system would be to have just one tier or level, and as your skill increases you can put more points into a spell to get more effect. Of course, that would mean re-writing the entire spell system so I wasn't keen on tackling it at the time! But after a recent game session where the players encountered this new change, the result was extremely positive and they encouraged me to expand this new way of doing magic.

So, over the course of at least the next couple of updates, I'll be conducting overhauls of certain spells. For example, taking out all the lightning spells for a particular field of magic and replacing them with a 1st tier version that can be boosted, just like the new armour effects. As the caster's skill increases past 70%, 90% etc, more points can be put into it to get teh same effects as the old spells, but also with other flexible options such as range, area of effect etc. This will make the spell system very flexible indeed.

Saerid tweak

Ah the saerid, such a challenging race to balance! I do love the four-arm concept, just that it's been difficult to make it work properly in Sabre. My original vision for the race was that they had little to no magical ability, but physically they were supreme. Adding a few greater magic options to their backgrounds went contrary to this, but it was worth trying it out. I'm returning them to their original vision though, with no access to greater magic at all, but they can still take the lesser fields of magic. This has allowed me to boost their natural armour a little more, and with the changes to duel wielding they're much more in balance with the other races. 

Encumbrance

The numbers were way too generous – a character with 15 strength and constitution could effectively carry a whole other person without becoming encumbered and then also perform acrobatics, much to the delight of small children nearby. So I've halved the calculation and reduced the effects of being encumbered slightly, since it's likely character might actually get encumbered now. I've also made teh 'carrying equipment' like backpacks a bit lighter, and adjusted the 'dimensional bag' artifice spell to be more useful in this regard.

What's next?

I'm feeling a little burnt out by this massive update and I hate having people re-learn stuff in a game system so I won't be doing anything this big for some time, if ever. I wish Sabre had been in its current state upon first release, but only with feedback was I able to bring it up to this level now, so thanks to everyone who threw in their two cents. Here's what's coming next:

* I'm focusing on the artwork now, first for the codex and then the bestiary. The forest elf is coming up first, but depending on how long these take me, I might just release a few on a monthly update basis as usual.

* The magic system overhaul will be done in chunks, and I've no idea how long this will take, but it's a thing that will happen.

I want to start my next novel too and get that trilogy complete, so I think I'll just work on these three areas in the near future. In a month or two I might get some more done on the atlas too, as there's still 5 countries yet to be completed. Lots of things to keep me busy all year!

 

v2.20 Premium Notes (See below for Basic Edition)

 

Fixes

* Fixed some broken and misguided links.

* The 'Restrained' condition now also halves the victim's movement.

* Added header navigation links for the skills and backgrounds section.

* Instances of 'Elven Cat' have been changed to 'Fey Cat'.

* The 'Squire' background is now more appropriately called 'Page'.

* Increased the weapon SIZ of polearms to the correct setting.

* Corrected the damage for Short Scythe and Military Scythe.

* 'Brawny caster' war devotion talent now only applies its bonus to 'Instant' damage spells.

* Corrected the sentence in 'Attack Basics' that refers to the old 'critical effects table' which is no longer a thing.

* Updated the Example of Play to reflect the current rules on dealing with a Serious Wound.

* Replaced missing 'Deadly Swords' talent description.

* 'Inspiring Charge' leadership manoevure has had the language rearranged to correct note that the character's charge is what inspires others to be better killing machines.

* 'Potent artifice' spell description now correctly notes that it doesn't double the spell range.

 

General Changes

* 'Imbue trap' wizardry talent is now called 'Magical trap', now also allows wizards to disarm magical traps.

* Revised the 'Accolade Skill Cost' table a little.

* Revised the way new skills are gained, with a new section on 'Learning New Professional Skills'.

* Skills are no longer factored into the cost of acquiring new talents.

* Made some adjustments to which races can get which backgrounds.

* Saerid can no longer take greater magic backgrounds.

* Thick Carapace now correctly grants +2 natural armour.

* Hard shell now grants +3 natural armour.

* Wearing any leather armour doubles the spirit point cost of magic spells.

* The 'Endurance Training' talent no longer requires 'Medium Armour Training' and also applies to light armour.

* Revised exotic material tables: Wyvern leather, dragon leather and Mithral do not interfere with spellcasting.

* Added a spot on the character sheet to show your maximum number of professional skills, and space for the maximum number of spells too.

* 'Energising Embrace' charms talent now doubles your Heal and Spirit regen rate overnight.

* 'Second Wind' can be used on Serious Wounds but doesn't stop bleeding.

* 'Adrenaline Surge' now gives 4 temporary Spirit Points while it lasts, gain fatigue when it ends. 

* Removed 'Spirit Surge' action.

* 'Acid Bomb' alchemy spell now damages AP if the damage it deals is above the AP of the target.

* Moved the 'Carrying Equipment' section closer to 'Tools & Gear'.

* Added standard tinctures to the 'Apothecary Services' table under 'Magical Services'.

* The 'Teach' skill can be used to improve a character's skill up to 80% instead of 60%.

* 'Efficient Formulas' alchemy talent is now listed under general talents, requires Herbalism skill and affects tinctures, not potions.

 

Encumbrance

* The encumbrance calculation has been modified. 'Burdened' is now STR+CON/2, 'Heavily Burdened' is now STR+CON etc

* 'Burdened' now only imposes a -2 move penalty and fatigue checks every 3 rounds in combat (and regular checks when travelling).

* The ENC of tinctures, poultice, potions and salves is now 0 (they're pretty small, when you think about it). 

* The ENC of the Healer's kit, Alchemists kit, Alchemical materials and Herbalist kit have been set to 2.

* The ENC of all carrying gear except for saddlebags has been set to 1.

 

New (general stuff)!

* Added 'Enhanced Bond' wizardry companion talent.

* Added 'Companion Resistance' companion talent.

* Added 'Sentinel' companion talent.

* Added new 'Advanced Alchemy' spells to the alchemy section (not yet completed).

* Added 'Assassin's Apprentice' background for several races.

* Added a 'Drop Backpack' action to the actions table.

* Added 'Lip Reading' skill.

 

Weapon System Balance

* Using two-handed melee weapons adds double your Damage Modifier.

* Escardi no longer suffer any penalty to wielding a two-handed weapon in a single hand, they just don't get the double damage modifier to it.

* The 'entrapping' weapon trait has been changed to 'Parrying', increases parry SIZ.

* Removed 'Second Strike' melee manoeuvre.

* 'The Ol' One-Two' unarmed manoeuvre now requires 90% Martial Arts skill and only applies to emtpy-handed attacks.

* Added 'Forceful Strike' melee manoevure.

Dual-Wielding Revamp (much more realistic)

* Altered the rules for two-weapon fighting, which now can only be done with Blades, Martial Arts and staves.

* Attacks after the first primary check you make during a round do not raise your skill on a failed check.

* Removed 'Follow-Through Attack' & 'Ambidexterity' talents.

* Removed 'Swashbuckler' blade talent and replaced with 'Dual-wielding'.

* Removed 'Fencer' blade talent and replaced with 'Twin Blade Defence'.

* 'Dual-wielding' is now a Blades talent and allows you to use a small blade weapon in your off-hand to make a second attack during your turn.

* Replaced 'Heft' club talent with 'Whirling staff' talent, allowing a staff to be used as a double weapon.

Unarmed Combat Revamp (long overdue)

* Added new 'Martial Arts' professional skill. All Unarmed talents and manoeuvres have been moved over to that. 

* 'Drunker Master' talent no longer gives extra damage, but grants Reduction against all damage types.

* Removed 'Flurry' talent.

* Replaced 'Brawler' with 'Iron Fist' talent. 

* Replaced 'Counterstrike' with 'Two Weapons' Martial Arts talent.

* Added 'Martial Weapons' and 'Weapons Expertise' Martial Arts talents.

* Added 'Solid Defence' martial arts manoeuvre.

* Added 'Reverse Grip' martial arts manoeuvre.

* 'Martial Artist' talent is now called 'Martial Warrior'. 

*  'Kick' Martial Arts manoeuvre no longer grants additional damage.

* 'Sucker Punch' Martial Arts manoeuvre now simply grants +2 damage instead of an extra dice.

* 'Spectral Gauntlets' sorcery spell now also increases effective weapon SIZ by two steps, and is now a concentration spell, is tier 3 and quick to cast.

* Added 'Psi Warrior' psionic spell at tier 3, similar to Spectral gauntlets with a little twist.

* Added 'Roundhouse Kick' Martial Arts manoeuvre.

* 'Flying Kick' manoeuvre moved from Acrobatics to Martial Arts.

* Knuckledusters are now concealed weapons.

* 'Reckless attack' talent now applies to melee, unarmed and martial arts skills.

* Mail gloves are now Small, Plate gauntlets are considered Medium SIZ. 

* The Unarmed common skill now deals 1 point of damage (plus damage modifier of course).

* The 'Monastery Orphan' background now gives the Martial Arts skill instead of Acrobatics, and First Aid instead of Unarmed.

* Added a table with new exotic martial arts weapons (japanese).

* Added 'Dragon Strike' martial arts manoeuvre.

* Added 'Psi Gauntlets' and 'Psi Warrior' psionic spells.

* Moved 'Spectal Gauntlets' sorcery spell to tier 3, moved 'Unstoppable force' spell to tier 4 and revamped its effects.

 

Spell System

* Revised the armour spells for all greater magic. Now there is just one spell at tier 2 which can be boosted to provide more AP as the character's skill increases, as noted below.

Divine: 'Armour of Faith', moved to tier 2, removed 'Raiment of Faith' and 'Prayer of Steel' spells. 'Aura of Peace' divine spell just makes target immune to being frightened, removed the armour bonus, and it's now tier 1.

Wizardry: 'Arcane Armour' moved to tier 2, removed 'Spectral armour' and 'Intellect Fortress' spells. 'Convey Voice' wizardry spell is now tier 1.

Artifice: Altered 'Eldritch Barrier' spell, remains at tier 3.

Druidry: Removed 'Earth Conduit', 'Stoneskin' now called 'Stone Armour' and is tier 2. 'Barkskin' can be boosted further.

Sorcery: 'Auric Armour' removed, 'Spectral Armour' moved to tier 2. 

Shamanic: 'Spectral Wreath' moved to tier 2. 'Aura of Death' doesn't provide AP but now deals 2 damage when caster is hit in melee.

Psionic: 'Tower of Will' now tier 2, removed 'Psychic Armour' and 'Mental Barrier' spells. 'Psychic Aegis' moved to tier 1.

* Moved 'Web' wizardry spell to tier 2, now renders target 'pinned'.

* 'Schism' psionic spell now lets the caster maintain 2 concentration spells at once.

* 'Spirit Generator' spell fixed to show that it lasts 7 days, but only one can be in existence at a time.

* 'Dimensional bag' spell now simply negates the weight of items placed with, but can also be expanded by spending more spirit.

 

v1.50 Basic Edition Abridged notes

Fixes

* Fixed some broken and misguided links.

* The 'Restrained' condition now also halves the victim's movement.

* Added header navigation links for the skills and backgrounds section.

* Instances of 'Elven Cat' have been changed to 'Fey Cat'.

* The 'Squire' background is now more appropriately called 'Page'.

* Increased the weapon SIZ of polearms to the correct setting.

* Corrected the damage for Short Scythe and Military Scythe.

* 'Brawny caster' war devotion talent now only applies its bonus to 'Instant' damage spells.

* Corrected the sentence in 'Attack Basics' that refers to the old 'critical effects table' which is no longer a thing.

* Updated the Example of Play to reflect the current rules on dealing with a Serious Wound.

* Corrected the GM and Magical Services table as to the effectiveness of healing potions and salves.

* Corrected the description of 'Snap Shot' bow talent.

* Replaced the missing 'Sap' and 'Reckless attack' talent descriptions.

 

General Changes

* Revised the 'Accolade Skill Cost' table a little.

* Revised the way new skills are gained, with a new section on 'Learning New Professional Skills'.

* Skills are no longer factored into the cost of acquiring new talents.

* Wearing any leather armour doubles the spirit point cost of magic spells.

* The 'Endurance Training' talent no longer requires 'Medium Armour Training' and also applies to light armour.

* Revised exotic material tables: Wyvern leather, dragon leather and Mithral do not interfere with spellcasting.

* Added a spot on the character sheet to show your maximum number of professional skills, and space for the maximum number of spells too.

* Moved 'Web' wizardry spell to tier 2, now renders target 'pinned'.

* 'Second Wind' can be used on Serious Wounds but doesn't stop bleeding.

* 'Adrenaline Surge' now gives 4 temporary Spirit Points while it lasts, gain fatigue when it ends. 

* Removed 'Spirit Surge' action.

* Moved the 'Carrying Equipment' section closer to 'Tools & Gear'.

* Added standard tinctures to the 'Apothecary Services' table under 'Magical Services'.

* The 'Teach' skill can be used to improve a character's skill up to 80% instead of 60%.

 

Encumbrance

* The encumbrance calculation has been modified. 'Burdened' is now STR+CON/2, 'Heavily Burdened' is now STR+CON etc

* 'Burdened' now only imposes a -2 move penalty and fatigue checks every 3 rounds in combat (and regular checks when travelling).

* The ENC of tinctures, poultice, potions and salves is now 0 (they're pretty small, when you think about it). 

* The ENC of the Healer's kit, Alchemists kit, Alchemical materials and Herbalist kit have been set to 2.

* The ENC of all carrying gear except for saddlebags has been set to 1.

 

Weapon System Balance

* Using two-handed melee weapons adds double your Damage Modifier.

* The 'entrapping' weapon trait has been changed to 'Parrying', increases parry SIZ.

* Removed 'Second Strike' melee manoeuvre.

* Removed 'The Ol' One-Two' unarmed manoeuvre.

* Added 'Forceful Strike' melee manoevure.

Dual-Wielding Revamp (much more realistic)

* Altered the rules for two-weapon fighting, which now can only be done with Blades, Martial Arts and staves.

* Attacks after the first primary check you make during a round do not raise your skill on a failed check.

* Removed 'Follow-Through Attack' & 'Ambidexterity' talents.

* Removed 'Swashbuckler' blade talent and replaced with 'Dual-wielding'.

* Removed 'Fencer' blade talent and replaced with 'Twin Blade Defence'.

* 'Dual-wielding' is now a Blades talent and allows you to use a small blade weapon in your off-hand to make a second attack during your turn.

* Replaced 'Heft' club talent with 'Whirling staff' talent, allowing a staff to be used as a double weapon.

Unarmed Combat Revamp (long overdue)

* Added new 'Martial Arts' professional skill. All Unarmed talents and manoeuvres have been moved over to that. 

* Replaced 'Brawler' with 'Iron Fist' talent. 

* Replaced 'Counterstrike' with 'Two Weapons' Martial Arts talent.

* Added 'Martial Weapons' Martial Arts talent.

*  'Kick' Martial Arts manoeuvre no longer grants additional damage.

* 'Sucker Punch' Martial Arts manoeuvre now simply grants +2 damage instead of an extra dice.

* 'Reckless attack' talent now applies to melee, unarmed and martial arts skills.

* Mail gloves are now Small, Plate gauntlets are considered Medium SIZ. 

* The Unarmed common skill now deals 1 point of damage (plus damage modifier of course).

* Added a table with new exotic martial arts weapons (japanese).

December Update Patch Notes

v2.19 Patch Notes

Fixed

* Re-added the missing 'lockpicking' and 'leadership' skills (oops!)

* Fixed the description and link for 'Alchemical Mastery'.

* Corrected instances of 'aging' to 'ageing'.

* 'Comeliness Potion' description now shows its correct details.

* The 'Disease & Poison' section is now just 'Poison' and it's link to the poison crafting section now correctly takes you to the herbalist skill.

* Ingredients for Energy and Spirit tonics have been switched (they were around the wrong way).

* Daggers now correctly have an ENC of 1 (they're also the standard measurement for Encumbrance for size and weight).

* Cleared up the use of weapons with the 'Set' trait. Non 'Set' weapons cannot be used to counterattack a charging opponent.

* Corrected the text and range on the 'Freeze' sorcery spell.

* 'Sunder weapon' melee manoevure now correctly requires a weapon larger than Medium, not smaller.

* Clarified the language on the 'Lacerator' artificer spell.

 

Modified

* Revised the Herbalism gathering system, which now lets you choose what you want to find and make one roll to cover up to 8 hours of searching.

* Revised the text for crafting poisons under 'Herbalism' which should clear things up.

* Revised the Prospecting skill system in the same way.

* Revised the effects of the Universal Tincture.

* Modified the bonus and skillset for 'City Watch Runner' background. 

* Psionic's 'Meditation' ability no longer grants +2 to maximum spirit points, but you do not need to speak to cast spells. 

* The 'Monastery Orphan' background no longer grants +1 to maximum spirit points - bonus changed to 'you have all three resistance skills'.

* Psionic 'Deflect Missiles' spell now has a range of 1m radius.

* 'Kick' Unarmed manoevure now deals +2 damage in addition to its current push-back effect.

* The Common Tongue is now the standard language for human characters.

* Mentioned in the language skill description that characters with less than 25% in a language are illiterate.

* Altered the text on 'Crossfire' combat talent to make it function more like 'Blindside'.

* Increased healing amount of the Healing Tincture to 1d6. 

* Removed 'Healing potion' and 'Healing Salve' Alchemy spells and combined them into a new 'Healing Energy' spell which simply grants +4 extra Hit Points healed by the targeted poultice or tincture.

* Reduced the cost of some material units for making constructs.

* All spells capable of producing light can now have their brightness adjusted as desired, and all of them (except the Daylight spell) have their effective light radius set to 3 metres.

* Revised the text for 'Unstoppable force' sorcery spell.

* Revised 'Called Shot' melee manoeuvre, 'Selective Aim' pistol manoeuvre and 'Cunning Blow' Unarmed manoeuvre.

* Artificers now control a basic construct by spending a Reaction Point rather than losing an entire action.

* 'Benevolent Spirit' & 'Regeneration Totem' Shamanic spell has been modified.

 

New!

* Added 'Psi Academy' Psionic background.

* Added' Healing Bomb' alchemy spell.

* Added a new exotic race - 'Corvid'.

* Added 'Imitate Sound' Corvid general talent.

* Added 'Tiny Warrior' combat talent.

* Added 'Control Movement' combat talent.

* Added 'Heavy Blow' melee manoeuvre.

* Added 'Hurl Weapon' melee manoevure.

* Added 'Stronger Parry' melee manoevure.

* Added 'Deep Wound' melee manoeuvre.

* Added 'Disarm opponent' melee manoeuvre.

* Added 'Quick Parry' melee manoeuvre.