Here's an update on progress with 3rd edition, and why it'll probably take me the better part of a year to get this done.

New logo!


Both of teh main manuals are just about done, but there's error checking and such to do yet. The art style for the fantasy system is coming along nicely too:


There's refinements in the mechanical aspects of the system, too. Beyond character creation, Attributes just weren't very important in 2nd edition, so in 3e they play a larger role, specifically through the Attribute Bonus. The Skill Focus talent now multiplies the Attribute bonus for skill results, so the higher your Attributes, the bigger the result bonus you get (it can go well over +20 now).

Other important improvements:

* Talents such as Commander, Resolute and Athlete have had their abilities rolled into the skill itself. 

* Hit Point boosting and Armour talents have been rolled into Profession abilities. 

* Martial Arts and Unarmed skills have never quite worked in their current form. They overlap and it was a little confusing, so Martial Arts has been Merged into Unarmed, which is now a Professional skill. 

* Brawn as a common skill has been removed, since there was a weird disconnect with the Strength Attribute. You could have 3 Strength and eventually get 99% Brawn. So the Brawn abilities such as Body Slam have been move to Unarmed, which now represents any kind of unarmed combat ability (martial arts, boxing, wrestling etc). Your Maximum Lift score now determines how much you can lift on the spot, and that's directly linked to Strength. 

* Conceal is now a talent for the Stealth skill. This means that 4 common skills have been removed, leaving 8.

* Languages are no longer skills, since they were rarely rolled against or advanced. Now each species or race have the common tongue and their own language, with further languages acquired through a talent.

* Combat talents and manoeuvres have been adjusted, so that starting characters begin with less power, with the 70% skill mark ratcheting up capabilities. 

* The Threat Level calculator has undergone another streamlining, as I learn what really matters when determining the threat that a creature represents. The result is most characters start at TL 1-3, and slowly ramp up from there.



The Big Issues

Now I'll go over the main problem that actually prompted the move onto 3e. Armour. 

Fixing this wasn't going to be easy, as there is damage and armour bonuses threaded throughout the system, so I had to choose between a major overhaul to 2nd edition on its own, or move ahead with a new version. Combined with the need to redo the manuals anyway, I took my opportunity to hit all the birds with one magic stone.

There's three aspects to this big change: Armour, Weapon damage, and Hit Points. Fixing the armour was relatively easy: Instead of separate pieces, 3e now has full suits, as shown in this armour page:




Originally, professions were divided between Warrior and Magic (or Technical), but all of the profession balancing that evolved over the course of 2nd edition (and it was a lot, sorry about that) showed that it could be tidied up and balanced much better. I wanted to improve player agency, so there are no race-specific professions anymore, with the exception of automatons, and even those can be shared with androids.

So now, in 3e we have Warrior, Rogue and Magic/Technical professions. Warrior professions have the best armour, the most hit points, and specific combat talents that allow them to do their job better. They're ideal for front line combat, whether it's ranged or melee, but have less utility outside of combat.

Magic professions have only light armour available, the fewest HP, but their magical powers can make up for both of these things. 

Technical professions can have decent armour (especially the Mechanic), but their Hit Points are still quite low. Their inventions and abilities are unique and provide them the capabilities needed in Scifi campaigns. With SCIENCE.

Finally, the new Rogue profession type have moderate Hit Points, their damage is usually just as good as Warriors but they mostly rely on light armour and stealth, not to mention a high Evade skill to stay alive. Their specific Rogue talents allow them to use cunning and stealth to best effect.

The Professions themselves have been refined and combined to a decent spread for each type, as shown here.

3e Release Date

I have no idea! Defintely 2022, no sooner than April, but I'm more inclined to take my time with this and get it down in the 2nd half of the year. Not only does this give me more time to go over the manuals carefully, it gives everyone some space from the very recent 2nd edition release too. I won't be doing any further updates to 2e, since everything I wanted to do is in 3e, so consider that system done in its current form (warts and all).

The good news about 3e is instead of releasing the system and then pumping out monthly changes, the intial release will be it - I'll be moving to an annual update schedule, so when it comes out, it's a refined, professional product that doesn't have me stumbling around trying to fix problems for the next 24 months!

There will be no free 'Basic Edition' this time - the full fantasy manual will be free, with everything else up for the usual prices. It will have 8 fields of magic by default, with Psionic being merged fully into the scifi system, and Summoning coming along in a separate manual together with the upcoming Geomancy magic (and probably detailed vampire player character rules!) I imagine the print manuals will be a bit expensive, but that's just the cost of physical editions. 

I think that covers all the major bits and pieces, including why I'm taking this step. I understand "edition churn" is a real thing, but this isn't a money grab. It's Sabre evolving from a glorified hobby into a professional product, and I'm putting in a lot of effort to make some really nice manuals and refined mechanics, worthy of sticking on your shelf.

With that, I'll sign off and wish everyone a relaxing and safe festive season, and a happy new year. Let's hope it's better than the last couple :)  Peace