Posts tagged "rpg"

June 2019 update and devblog

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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Sabre Scifi Core Rulebook v1.13 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Added Antacid medicine.

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

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

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

* Updated the base building section with correct information.

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

* Healing skill is now called Surgery.

* Surgery Talent is now called Advanced Surgery.

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

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

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

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

* Added 'Mind Link' psychic discipline.

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

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

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

* Added 'Plasma Caster' modern nuclear invention.

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

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

* Added 'Omnivisor' modern electronics invention.

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

* Added 'Radiation Cleanser' modern invention.

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

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

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

 

Starship Manual v1.03

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

* Added 'Repair Specialist' talent.

* Removed 'Emergency Procedures' talent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sabre Fantasy Premium Core Rulebook v2.94

* Healing skill is now called Surgery.

* Surgery Talent is now called Advanced Surgery.

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

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

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

* Updated monster templates in the Sample Bestiary.

 

Sabre Fantasy Basic Core Rulebook v1.78

* Healing skill is now called Surgery.

* Surgery Talent is now called Advanced Surgery.

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

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

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

* Updated monster templates in the Sample Bestiary.

 

Sabre Fantasy Bestiary v2.56

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

April 2019 update and devblog

Hello, I hope you're well! It's time for our monthly update, albeit a little early to get ahead of the Easter weekend, and we've got a few interesting items to cover this time. 

 

Character Creation Streamline

The system to create characters has been gradually pared back over the last few years, as we looked for an easy way to cover the process, and we're doing it again! 

Firstly, the Buff Points system to determine Attributes is being simplified. No longer will you have the diminishing returns of the current system to contend with - instead, you gain 1 Attribute point per Buff Point you spend, but with a maximum of 10 points to one Attribute, and a default amount of 22 Buff Points to spend. I went over the numbers to ensure this was a reasonable amount, and for humans, it yields 4 13's and 2 12's, if one was to average out the numbers. This new system does make it easier to min/max, but because most characteristics and skills require the combination of 2 Attributes, maxing one out isn't as dominate as you might hope, and of course the other Attributes suffer as a result. I've updated the character build example to reflect this change.

Next, there's a revision of the Background system. There are currently two stages (really three, if you count the baseline race bonuses), which are Background and Career. They each received separate skill points, usually 30 for Background and 20 for Career, to show that some skills weren't as developed as ones you'd learned earlier in life. 

The Career stage has been removed, and the ability to pick custom skills to flesh out your character is now folded into each Background. All skills at this step get 30 points (assuming the standard adult age category), eliminating the need to add separate numbers to separate skills. To balance the backgrounds better, they now have fixed skills (as before) bolstered by a varying number of freely chosen skills. Some backgrounds are more fixed than free, and some are very free indeed, but suffer for this in other ways.

So you just pick a Background, pick a few freely chosen skills (if offered), and add 30 points to everything. Done! This system will yield slightly higher starting numbers, which is a good thing as the lower numbers at the start meant a lot of swing-and-miss fights. Characters start out a little more competant now, which isn't a bad thing at all.

 

Imperial Units

One requested feature for Sabre has been the addition of imperial units, which are commonly used in the US and UK. I quite like using metric myself, but can see this would be an impediment to the system being enjoyed in those countries, so instead of creating a separate manual with imperial units, I've opted to put them alongside their metric versions throughout the manual. 

Anything with a metric unit will be followed by an imperial unit, usually in brackets. In the scifi system, vehicle templates have separate kph and mph areas, and all conversion tables list both types side by side. But there's a little twist to this alteration, to do with the combat grid. 

Typically, one square has been equal to 1 metre, but instead of having some realistic but increasingly complex conversion process, I've opted to list most combat-related measurements in 'squares'. Squares represent 1 metre of you're playing metric, and 1 yard if you're using imperial. This way, the grid stays easily understandable, and special effects, ranged attacks etc. all have their listed range in Squares instead of metric or yards. You just think of Squares as whatever suits the system you're using. Easy (I hope!) 

 

Threat Levels

We've added some more nuance to the Threat Level calculation in the scifi system, as after extensive playing we've found that plasma damage, perforate effects, and damage that bypasses AP altogether are more powerful than first thought. So, they have specific calculations that are added to the table, along with an easier way of calculating the effects of baseline damage - the first 10 points was awkwardly calculated as +1 for the first 6, and another +1 for the next 4, before settling on +1 for every two points. Now it's just +1 for every two points of damage you deal in one attack - halving makes it easy!

 

Separating the Manual

I still plan to put the starship section in its own manual, but decided to get the previous items out of the way first. It'll need cover art and I want to expaned on some of the details within. My apologies to those suffering slow loading times on their tablets, I'll get to it next month :)

 

Scifi Intro Module(s)

I've completed the module, including a nice cover, and I'll be playtesting it next week with my usual group. After we see how it goes, I'll make any changes it needs and then it'll be online shortly thereafter. The 2nd module, dealing with starships, is now under way, and I'll be test-playing that the week after the 1st module, and once I've made a cover for it, it'll go online as well. These are both free mods that should go a long way to explaining more of how the scifi system works, now that development is slowing as systems fall into place and prove themselves both fun and usable :)

That's all we have this month, I hope to have both intro modules released before the next update. I hope you give the character creation system a whirl and see what you think about the change! Peace.

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The Besiary and Encounters manuals have been updated with imperial conversions and general corrections of old or erroneous data.

 

v1.11 Scifi Manual

Core Changes:

* Revised the method for applying Buff Points to Attributes during character creation. 22 Points, no more tiered point calculations, just add straight on (max of 10 per Attribute).

* Removed the Career stage of character creation, and simply folded extra skill options into each background.

* All backgrounds have been revised with the new system, some with more fixed skills than others. Some other bonuses have been revised as required.

* Added Imperial units alongside metric units. Revised some of the numbers along the way, such as boat speeds, some species height etc. 

* Added the concept of 'Squares', used to denote either metres or yards on a combat grid map, and for abilities which list a range, whichever is preferred.

* Technical Skills are now simply referred to as Tech Skills.

 

Threat Level Calculations

* Adjusted the Threat Level table to better reflect Perforate, Plasma and Psychic damage, as well as a separate entry for collision, radiation and electrical damage.

* Added calculations to the ship TL table for perforate & plasma damage, and raiation/electrical/collision damage.

* Half of Energy AP also counts along with Partial Block bonus on TL table.

* Veiran joins Shifter on the Threat Level table for being able to function below 1 HP.

 

Other Stuff

* 'Power Spike' is now a modern era powered melee weapon under the Swords category.

* 'Laser Sword' is now called 'Light Blade', under the Blades category.

* 'Plasma Sword' is now Huge in SIZ, damage increased.

* 'Laser Blade' is now called 'Laser Scythe' under the swords category.

* Concentration effects are now re-rolled every time the subject tries to break free of the effect, instead of going back to the original roll.

* Mentioned that the Seduction skill usually has a -20% penalty when used against members of the same sex, subject to GM's determination on a case-by-case basis.

* Added 'Lockbreaker Bomb' to modern explosives.

* 'Sleep' is now correctly listed as C1 duration in the quick detail table.

* Weapons with the Explosive trait now have their range listed with them.

* After posession, veirans are dazed for 1 minute.

* 'Suggestion' psychic power has had its short description text corrected.

* Compensator Barrel Mods no longer reduce range.

* Silencer and Suppressor Barrel Mods no longer reduce range, impose -2 damage instead.

* Clarified that a Remote Control device requires the use of Robotics or Electronics for robots/turrets/minidrones.

* Powered armour now has an in-built Computers skill for resisting hacking attempts. 

* 'Neural Programming' talent can now also be applied to powered armour.

* Bioweapon 'Contagious' option now stacks its bleed effect with each success. Which is really gross after a few rounds.

* Removed old 'Magnify' psi discipline entry.

* Replaced missing text on streamlined starship hulls.

* Added 'Extra Command' robot upgrade for clockwork and steam robots.

* Circuits only take 8 hours to make each in an Industrial Fabricator.

* Mentari hull bonus is now +10% to stealth and halves the round by round capacitor cost for cloaking devices.

* 'Bend light' discipline now correctly lists its activation as 1 action.

* 'Psi Shield' now grants +5 AP per spirit spent.

* 'Brawler' background event now gives the option to add skill points to Martial Arts.

* 'Hardlight Shield' can now be mounted on a longarm or heavy weapon, allows Block reaction with a penalty.

* 'Remove Viewing' discipline now specifies it doesn't reveal a target's location, only that you can see them.

* Added 'Psychic Mastery' talent.

 

v2.92 Premium Edition Fantasy Manual

Core Changes:

* Revised the method for applying Buff Points to Attributes during character creation. 22 Points, no more tiered point calculations, just add straight on (max of 10 per Attribute).

* Removed the Career stage of character creation, and simply folded extra skill options into each background.

* All backgrounds have been revised with the new system, some with more fixed skills than others. Some other bonuses have been revised as required.

* Added Imperial units alongside metric units. Revised some of the numbers along the way, such as boat speeds, some species height etc. 

* Added the concept of 'Squares', used to denote either metres or yards on a combat grid map, and for abilities which list a range, whichever is preferred.

 

General Tweaks

* Added a table near the start of character creation to show how to lay out your skills on the character sheet.

* 'Wall of Ice' spell no longer has invulnerability to mundane weapons.

* 'Brawler' background event now gives the option to add skill points to Martial Arts.

* 'Sleep' spell is now correctly listed as C1 duration in the quick detail table.

* Mentioned that the Seduction skill usually has a -20% penalty when used against members of the same sex, subject to GM's determination on a case-by-case basis.

* Concentration effects are now re-rolled every time the subject tries to break free of the effect, instead of going back to the original roll.

 

 

v1.76 Basic Edition Fantasy Manual

Core Changes:

* Revised the method for applying Buff Points to Attributes during character creation. 22 Points, no more tiered point calculations, just add straight on (max of 10 per Attribute).

* Removed the Career stage of character creation, and simply folded extra skill options into each background.

* All backgrounds have been revised with the new system, some with more fixed skills than others. Some other bonuses have been revised as required.

* Added Imperial units alongside metric units. Revised some of the numbers along the way, such as boat speeds, some species height etc. 

* Added the concept of 'Squares', used to denote either metres or yards on a combat grid map, and for abilities which list a range, whichever is preferred.

 

General Tweaks

* Added a table near the start of character creation to show how to lay out your skills on the character sheet.

* 'Brawler' background event now gives the option to add skill points to Martial Arts.

* 'Sleep' spell is now correctly listed as C1 duration in the quick detail table.

* Mentioned that the Seduction skill usually has a -20% penalty when used against members of the same sex, subject to GM's determination on a case-by-case basis.

* Concentration effects are now re-rolled every time the subject tries to break free of the effect, instead of going back to the original roll.

October Update & v2.4 Fantasy System Change Notes

Hello everyone, hope all is well with you! We've got a small update to a few things for the premium and basic fantasy manuals, and some news about the scifi system's development too. But let's start with the Bestiary update coming later this week, because ART!

This is the Sa'quaarin artwork, appearing pretty much as it has in my head for the past ten years. There's a few other pieces coming along too, though they aren't quite done yet. I also need to update manoeuvres on the npc templates with the new additions and changes, and properly recalculate spirit points which will probably go down a little. So keep an eye out for that.

Unarmed Fighting 

At the end of last year I revised unarmed and martial arts abilities, effectively shunting much of the potential high-level damage and size over to magic spells such as Psi Warrior or Spectral Gauntlets. I think that went a little too far, and I'd like to see non-magical martial artists using unarmed techniques a little more, so the Iron Fist talent has been buffed, and those spells can no longer increase effective SIZ of the unarmed attack. There's also a few new manoeuvres for Unarmed (and Martial Arts) that can buff damage some more.

Manoeuvres

There are manoevres for the Resistance skills, but only 3 each or thereabouts, and they weren't particularly useful. They've now been revised and expanded, with lots of interesting options to enhance gamplay. I've added some of these to the basic edition too, which was a bit spartan in this area.

Price

Since the system is very much out of beta now, and settled in nicely, I feel the time is right to increase the price of the premium edition to $9.99 US, as it's a big manual with plenty of gameplay options, and art! Plus all updates for the future are free, so I think it's a pretty good deal. Same goes for the Bestiary, which is getting artier by the month, though still not as fast as I'd like because...

Scifi!

The system is developing at breakneck speed, due to other people in my groups running their own games and identifying areas that needed addressing, such as automatic weapon use and other new rules. They've been ironed out now, and I just need to get the vehicle design system finished, and then use that as a basis for starship design. Up until recently, these areas had only basic pre-made templates, but now you really can make your own car, tank, jet, grav vehicle or boat. It's fun! Also, a little on the complex side, but I'm streamlining as I go. I'm also making an encounters manual, sort of like a bestiary but it's made up completely of NPC templates from all the species, from ancient, modern and future eras, plus vehicles and soon, starships. It makes setting up encounters a lot easier and I will be releasing both of these side-by-side when the time comes.

As demands on the development subside, I have more time for artwork and I'd like to get 8 species artworks done for release. Lots happening! Okay, I better get back to it. Game on!

 

v2.4 Premium edition changelog

* 'Second Wind' manoeuvre is now a Quick action to use, can only be used in combat. 

* 'Covered Retreat' Endurance manoeuvre is now 'Vanguard', can be used on any attack.

* Added 'Adrenaline Surge', 'Brace for Impact', 'Heavy Lifter' and 'Unbreakable' Endurance manoeuvres.

* 'Tower of Will' Resolve manoeuvre ony affects Terrified, Stunned and Paralysed conditions.

* Added 'Courage', 'Mental Fortress' and 'Mind over Matter' Resolve manoevures.

* Evade manoeuvres require light or no armour.

* Removed 'Sidestep' evade manoevure.

* Added 'Quick Dodge', 'Dervish', 'Narrow Escape' and 'Fast Mover' Evade manoeuvres.

* Mail gloves and Gauntlets have had their damage bonus increased by +1 each.

* 'Glancing Shot' pistol manoeuvre now only requires a hit (not damaged) to work.

* Added 'Thunder Fists' Unarmed (and martial arts) manoeuvre.

* Revised the icon for Lightning damage.

* Added Expanded Fumble and Resistance Skill Expanded Criticals to the Threat Level Calculator.

* Reduced the option to increase unarmed SIZ from 'Bestial Ferocity', 'Spectral Gauntlets' and 'Psi Warrior' spells.

* 'Iron Fist' talent now provides better damage and effective SIZ at higher skill levels.

 

 

v1.61 Basic edition changelog

* 'Second Wind' manoeuvre is now a Quick action to use, can only be used in combat. 

* 'Covered Retreat' Endurance manoeuvre is now 'Vanguard', can be used on any attack.

* Added 'Dervish', 'Substitute', 'Evasive Attack' and 'Fast Mover' Evade manoeuvres.

* Added Thrown Weapon manoevures.

* Added 'Shield Push' shield manoeuvre.

* Added 'Courage' and 'Mind over Matter' Resolve manoevures.

* Added Unarmed manoeuvres (these can be used with Martial Arts too).

* 'Iron Fist' talent now provides better damage and effective SIZ at higher skill levels.

* Mail gloves and Gauntlets have had their damage bonus increased by +1 each.

* Updated the Lightning damage icon.

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.

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.

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.

 

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).

November Update and What's Next

So ends the most prolific month of Sabre development I've ever done, and hopefully, will ever have to do. Basically, there were a number of issues that came up only when new players tried out the system, which is why none of this was done before the initial release. But as of version 2.18, those issues have been dealt with and I'm happy with how it's all sitting. So happy, in fact, I won't be doing any more updates until at least February, and any that do happen will be once per month, usually towards the end. So, please accept my apologies for the crazy update schedule! I was concerned that parts of the system were too broken for it to be easily understood and was rushing to fix them.

This month has been so dense with work on Sabre that I can't remember everything, except to say that the manual is much more refined, easier to navigate, has less broken links, spelling errors and incorrect references. Just as importantly, the character creation process is much simpler and results in a nicely balanced character ready for adventure. With no more adjustments in the near future, you're now free to actually read the damn thing and get a handle on how it works (with new GM reference sheets too)! So what's next?

Atlas

I've been working on the Feydwiir Atlas, adding a few more countries to the list of those completed but hadn't quite managed to finish off when the time came to fix the Codex (the new name for the main manual). I just need a couple of days to finish off what I have there, then I'll get that online. It should be worth noting that I removed specific references from the Codex concerning the campaign world, to make it a bit more generic and therefore adaptable to other campaign worlds as needed. 

Bestiary

As part of the 2.18 update, I revamped the monster tables in the Sample Bestiary section of the basic Codex and added it to the premium Codex too, giving new GM's some templates to use without having to bother with the separate Bestiary. Further to this, I added the Threat Level calculator which helps determine the overall power of a creature, so GM's can figure out how powerful their party's characters are, and provide (and make) adequate challenges. I'll be looking at a sort of custom template that might make it easier to create an NPC on the fly, a sort of modular concept but this isn't my highest priority just yet.

To get the new monster tables done for the Codex, I began revising the relevant entries in the Bestiary to closely resemble the new character sheet, making it much easier to find out what you need to know about a monster's abilities. Since the ruleset has settled into place, I need to go over each monster's abilities and make sure they're accurate too. So that's coming up after the atlas, basically going through and updating each monster, with quite a few of them already done. It'll probably take a couple of weeks to get this completed, hopefully before the holiday season hits. And next year, I finally get started on...

ART!

I've been eager to get on to this part for weeks now, ever since completing the cover art to my novels (click the novels tab on the menu above to take a look, also some of tha art has been splashed around the site's background). I have a pretty good handle on digital art now, having developed a few techniques to aid the process and getting some practice. The character art for each race will come first, and it'll be challenging but I think I'm up to it now. I'm determined to get it looking good so the first couple of pictures might take me a little while. 

You see those 'placeholder images'? I was originally going to do just a little portrait around that size, but I've decided to go bigger, devoting two pages to each race with the image covering almost all of one page. I will depict a man and woman of each race, in a scene suited to their culture. i.e. forest elves will be in a misty forest (I'll probably do this one first, I love doing fog and distance effects!), acadian elves will be in a library etc. I can't wait to get started but the basic functioning of the system has always been more important, which is why I've waited this long in the first place. There will be more flavour text, and I'll make each race's page more 'visual' and easier to read at a glance. 

A new intro module

I almost forgot, I've started making a 2nd intro module. I'm basically taking one of my game sessions and turning it into a story that helps explain game mechanics, but this one is practically all underground in the search for loot. The players enjoyed it thoroughly but I doubt I'll get this online before the holidays.

Enjoy!

That's it for this month's update, thanks for taking the time to read this and of course, for your patience with my scattershot development schedule - it's all good now, all settled down, no more updates I promise (and I'm sticking to my once-per-month update plan from now on).  So go have a proper read-through and test it out. Sign up to our forums and give us some feedback, as I'm very interested to read how it's working for other groups and you may have noticed that I'm always keen to iterate and streamline processes (but not until February!) Peace out.

October Update

Well it's been a busy month for me, finishing my current novel and working towards revising my first book as well. Since I shelved development on Sabre Scifi, I've been able to focus some more on actually finishing the fantasy system first, and it's nice to have less projects hanging over my head. The system has had a lot of little errors corrected and a few additions I developed for scifi, including increased Spirit Points through a revised calculation and some new talents. 

The Saerid race, also a development from the scifi game, has received some balance as well. An exotic four-armed race was challenging to balance, but I think it should work out well. I'll be starting a new local playing group soon too, and naturally we've got a couple of players using the new race so it'll be good to give it a thorough test run.

I've also been painting new cover art for those first six novels, which is giving me a lot of experience for when it comes time to create more art for Sabre! 

 

I'm getting more confident working with silhouettes, which as it turns out, is important for creating character pictures. As soon as I'm done with these new covers, I'll be done with novel-related work for a while and will turn my attention to Sabre full-time for a month or two.

Atlas: I've nearly finished two countries for the atlas, done in my spare time, but I decided to wait until I had my current work out of the way and make it a decent update, wherein I add four new countries instead of two. Most of the data is done already, I just need to lay it all out properly and add flavour text as needed.

Sabre manual additions: I want to add some more talents, specifically to sorcery and divine magic, and probably add one to each of the weapon catagories too. Unarmed combat has seen a lot of development recently (8 talents!) and I want to improve capabilities with other combat styles as well. Right now I'm doing an overhaul on Alchemy too, as it's a little convoluted and probably not powerful enough - this is the only magical system in the game that hasn't had a proper test until now. Edit: Just updated the system with revised Alchemy!

Website: We need to modify the site to allow people who have bought premium versions of the game to get the new updates for free. Currently, this is only possible if you purchase Sabre RPG products from DriveThruRPG.com and we need to do that here too. 

Portraits: I like to mix writing with art, so I plan to begin work on the race portraits for the main manual very soon. I'll also add a picture or two in places where there's space in the manual, as this sort of art is simply an extension of what I'm doing now with novel covers. We'll finally get the sabre manual looking professional!

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!