Posts tagged "blog"

January Devblog & v2.6 Fantasy System Update

Hi, I hope your 2018 is going well so far! As you may recall, I skipped the December update due to only having 3 items to change in the Codex, and I hadn't finished any new artwork. Well, I've been running myself ragged trying to get this scifi system done, and hey, who knew a system with heavy science and math would be so difficult? :D

So yeah, still no new art at this point but the good news is that the scifi system is just about ready. Thanks to the games I've been running (and the feedback from those games), I've tweaked the advanced weapons rules and damage output and finished the vehicle system. This is pretty cool, as you can design your own ground vehicles, air vehicles, boats, grav cars, flying cars etc. In the campaign I ran, the party had a cabin cruiser they'd armoured up and installed a minigun turret on the bow. We had a few combats which played out beautifully (though the last one did result in their boat blowing up!) so that part of the system is done. 

Alongside developing those rules, I've been adding NPC templates to a separate manual I'm calling 'Scifi Encounters', which is over 250 pages long and features templates for modern and high-tech NPCs, as well as vehicles and yes, even a few starships. So yeah I've been busy!

After finishing the vehicle system, I was pretty burned out. The calculations involved were very demanding and I'm an artist, not a mathematician! Still, I got it done but it cost me a lot of creative energy. I'm just finishing up the starship system now, but I'm plodding along as I'm pretty much spent. Before I release it, I need to see more of how it all works in play, so the party just got their hands on an old starship and over the next couple of sessions, we'll see how it goes. I'm sure there will be tweaks required, and during the next month, I can get going on the Scifi species artwork. I'd really like to have them all done before I release it this time, so I'll make that a priority as of this week. 

In the meantime, some core mechanics needed adjusting and of course, they translate across to the fantasy codex too, so here's the update for this month. See you at the end of February when I hope to have scifi ready to go (finally)!

 

v2.6 Premium Fantasy Codex Changelog

* Avoiding death with an Endurance roll is now correctly an opposed check where appropriate, and can only be made if the total damage is less than your maximum Hit Points.

* Added 'Renowned Surgeon' healing talent.

* Tweaked the language on 'Mental Projection' spell, so that a projection has to fit well into the scene in order to prevent the subject being able to try and disbelieve the illusion.

* Slightly revised the text on the Blind condition.

* Tweaked the language on 'Blind Sense' talent.

* Tweaked the language on 'Mind Control' psionic spell.

* Clarified that 'Sensory Cascade' psionic spell requires a resolve skill check at the start of the victim's turn to break the effect or the effect ends.

* Fire & Steel no longer requires the use of a Reaction.

* The Teach skill now requires 100cr per day regardless of the skill level.

* Purchasing talents with money is now 10x more expensive.

* Updated the advanced character packages for more even and balanced distribution of skills and abilities.

 

v1.63 Basic Fantasy Codex Changelog

* Avoiding death with an Endurance roll is now correctly an opposed check where appropriate, and can only be made if the total damage is less than your maximum Hit Points.

* Slightly revised the text on the Blind condition.

* The Teach skill now requires 100cr per day regardless of the skill level.

* Purchasing talents with money is now 10x more expensive.

* Updated the advanced character packages for more even and balanced distribution of skills and abilities.

September Update & v2.3 Fantasy Codex Change Notes

Hi everyone, hope you're keeping well :)

We've got a few tweaks to the system this month, implemented during the evolution of Sabre Scifi. Since the core systems are the same, some of these changes are useful for the fantasy system too! That's one of the great benefits of what we're working on here - the scifi and fantasy systems will be completely compatible and integratable. 

Want to have wizards on starships? Done.

Want a mad scientist archetype with steampunk science inventions in your fantasy setting? We got that.

Want to do a time travel adventure with a modern cop in medieval times? We can do that!

How about a mad-max type setting with vehicles, upgrades and fast-paced combat? Yeah baby!

Want to use a minigun to slay a dragon? Absolutely (I've been looking forward to this one for years).

I'm running two separate scifi games at the moment, both following the same campaign a few episodes apart. It's helped me move along development at a brisk pace, especially when I learned a couple of guys eagerly wanted to start their own scifi campaigns with this system, to which I whimpered "...it's not ready yet!" (my campaign is a post-EMP apocalypse with mostly swords and bows, with high-tech weapons and devices taking the place of magic, whereas the other guys want to run futuristic era stuff, which needed parts I hadn't finished yet).

So I've redoubled my efforts to get it up to speed, fleshing out the vehicle, science and starship areas which hadn't been completed yet, as well as creating NPC templates to help GM's easily flesh out their cabal of bad guys. I personally can't remember how I got by without them, so I've spent a couple of weeks cranking out modern and high-tech era templates for my campaign. The upside of this is you'll have access to the scifi system sooner than I thought. The downside is I've neglected the bestiary artwork, since I'm just swamped with system development. I think game mechanics and gameplay take priority over shiny pictures, though they're important too! 

So, my checklist is:

  • Finish the vehicle section.
  • Finish off the starship section.
  • Finish off the steampunk invention section. (The invention system lets you make designs from modern and high-tech settings too, it's pretty cool!)
  • Have a nap.
  • Get back into the art side of things, the list of which now includes 10 new race pictures for the scifi system.
  • Finish off the Feydwiir atlas.
  • Figure out what I'll do with the rest of my day (ha!)

I'd prefer to release the scifi manual with the artwork already done. The cover art is complete, but I think the race art makes an important statement about the visuals for the system. Once the above things are done to the scifi manual, I'll be focusing completely on the artwork in general. I've missed it, so look forward to getting back into that side of development.

That's about all for this month, I hope to have a few pictures and some more news about scifi development next month. With luck, I might get it released by the end of the year :D

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v2.3 Premium Edition Change Notes

* Updated the falling and collision damage table, and fixed this entry on the GM reference sheets.

* Tweaked the rules on suffocation.

* Added 'Jewellers Tools'.

* Revised the Weapon Modification section.

* The 'Death Blow' action no longer applies to the Stunned condition.

* 'Sleep' & 'Somnolence' spells now render subjects Stunned instead of Unconscious.

* Fire damage of any sort now causes 2 Hit Points to be lost at the start of the subject's next turn.

* Improved the construct's 'Mighty Fists' and 'Massive Fists' enhancements.

* 'Tiny Warrior' talent now grants its damage bonus to any damage dealt.

* Revised the Leadership manoeuvres and added new abilities.

* 'Sidestep' evade manoeuvre now takes away 2 Reactions from attacker.

* Removed 'Quick Draw' pistol manoeuvre, replaced with 'Double Tap'.

* Tweaked the language for the Quick Draw talent.

* 'Braced Shot' longarm/crossbow talent now also grants +2 damage while prone or in full cover.

* Removed 'Hard Shell' Saerid talent.

* 'Thick Carapace' Saerid talent now grants extra AP as Endurance skill increases.

* 'Resolute', 'Graceful' and 'Stalwart' talents have had their skill requirement reduced to 70%.

* 'Sweep Kick' and 'Sweep' manoeuvres no longer work on targets of 250cm height or above.

* Removed 'Stronger Parry' melee manoeuvre and added its bonus to 'Swift Parry'.

* Added 'Staggering Blow' and 'Gut Punch' melee and unarmed manoevures.

* The 'Blindside' talent now works if allies are within melee weapon reach.

* The 'low-carat diamond' entry in the 5000cr gem section is now a 'mid-carat diamond'.

* Fixed the 'diamond' entry for the Prospecting skill.

* Added 'Zen Master' martial arts talent.

* Added 'Black Powder Ingredients' to the Prospecting skill.

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v1.6 Basic Edition Change Notes.

* Updated the falling and collision damage table, and fixed this entry on the GM reference sheets.

* Tweaked the rules on suffocation.

* Added 'Jewellers Tools'.

* The 'Death Blow' action no longer applies to the Stunned condition.

* 'Sleep' & 'Somnolence' spells now render subjects Stunned instead of Unconscious.

* Fire damage of any sort now causes 2 Hit Points to be lost at the start of the subject's next turn.

* Removed 'Quick Draw' pistol manoeuvre, replaced with 'Hold & Shoot' and 'Double Tap' manoevures.

* 'Braced Shot' longarm/crossbow talent now grants +2 damage while prone or in full cover.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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!

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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.

 

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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.

August Update & Six Month Plan

I've been thinking about the items I have to work on over the next 6 months, and came up with this list (in order of importance).

 

* Finish my current novel (should be done by november).

I'm on chapter 17 of 22 so it won't be much longer. I've already started the cover art as well.

 

* Redo the cover art for the first novel series.

I have developed new techniques to make the covers more professional and eye-catching, so I'm eager to get this done. I'm basically doing digital, high-resolution versions of the current cover art, but without the stone effect blocking some of the picture. I'll also be able to make prints of the new art, should it turn out really well!

 

* Do another editing pass on the first novel series. (probably take 6-8 weeks).

The first novel, Nature Abhors a Vacuum, is in reasonably good shape but it's still far too long and not as focused on the main plot as my later work. Now that I've learned how to write (!) I want to go back and redo this one, and smooth out the later parts of the saga a little too, mostly in books 3 and 4. Book 2 had an editing pass earlier this year and books 5 and 6 are at the same standard as my current work. 

 

* Create audiobooks of my entire series. 

I've been wanting to do this for a few years, but felt that the series needed some final polish before going to the trouble. I'll be purchasing some quality recording equipment in order to do a professional job of this. Some people have mentioned I have a good 'broadcasters voice' so I'm hoping this is true and the final result turns out well! 

 

* Add several countries of content to the feydwiir atlas.

I have a lot of the little details done, but the flavour text and full descriptions of the other countries demands the part of my brain that writes novels, and it's busy at the moment *wink*. Once I have the books out of the way late in the year, this is my next big task. Won't take more than 6-8 weeks either.

 

* Finish the introductory module to the Scifi system and release the manual.

I've put this on hold for now as the system is continuing to evolve, and I've re-written parts of this story twice already. We're still playing a scifi campaign on a regular basis, now with the inclusion of starships (woo!) but it's still very much in alpha and not ready for release. Besides, I want to do some proper cover art involving science things! I'll probably peck away at this over the next few months instead of just doing it all right at the end of my task list. 

The starship system looked to be fairly straightfoward, but then I decided to make individual character sheets for each crew station. The end result is superb, though it's been a lot of work. Been adding to the rules as we go with this, so there's much to be done on the ship side of things. I could probably release the scifi manual as is, now that I think about it, just that it wouldn't have the intro story to demonstrate some of the advanced mechanics. Hit me up on the sabre facebook page or through twitter (@stephennowland) if you'd like to get your hands on the manual sooner rather than later.

 

* Get back to work on the current novel series.

I'll be starting the as-yet unnamed third volume of the ballard chronicles, probably around february of next year. With all that other stuff out of the way, it'll be nice to focus on one thing for a change. Except...

 

* Create portrait art for the fantasy and scifi game manuals.

They're not huge, and I think with a little practice I should be able to make decent race portraits for the manuals and finally get rid of those 'placeholder' images. The scifi manual has this too, and given the races available (one is a giant bipedal space cockroach) it might be a little more challenging! If this goes well, I'll make a start on the bestiary art too, the wolf and storm crow want some new friends I'm sure.

 

So, that's my work schedule. I'd be doing more on the game systems but as the novel nears completion it really starts to push its way into anything else I'm trying to get done (hey, write meee!) so I need to get that out of my head before I can focus on the other stuff. Naturally, I need to pace myself too, for as much as I love working on all these things, I don't want to burn out either. That's a bad deal for everyone (including me). Well, back to it then!