Posts tagged "sabre"

October 2019 2nd Edition devblog

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

 

Why?

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

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

 

Uniform Rules

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

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

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

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

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

 

Solutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the new manoevures:

A profession n the new layout:

And the race/species new layout, single page!

When will it be ready?

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

 

September 2019 update and devblog

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

 

Advanced Characters

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

 

Animal Training

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

 

Robotics Overhaul

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

 

Parry Overhaul

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

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

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

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

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

 

Weapon Balance Tweaks

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

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

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

 

Bestiary and Encounters Updates

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

 

Space Dragons

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

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

 

________________________________________________________

 

Sabre RPG Scifi Core Rulebook v1.16

 

General 

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

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

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

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

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

* Squires cannot learn the Animal Training skill.

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

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

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

* Arborean species is no longer Vulnerable to fire damage.

* Xarani skin colour now varies according to their mood.

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

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

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

* Added 'Xen' medicine.

* Listed how long it takes to make medicines.

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

 

Robotics Changes

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

* Revised 'Battering Ram' upgrade.

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

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

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

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

* Reduced the Circuit cost for building robots.

* Added 'Robot Avatar' talent.

* Added 'Expanded Memory' robot upgrade.

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

* Positronic Brain upgrade now grants +10 INT.

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

 

Parry Changes

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

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

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

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

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

* Charge no longer increases weapon SIZ.

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

* Removed 'Stronger Parry' melee manoeuvre.

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

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

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

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

* Added 'Iron Wall' shield talent.

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

 

Weapon Stuff

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

* Added upgrades for 'Powered Weapons' invention.

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Removed the 'Martial Weapons' talent.

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

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

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

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

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

* 'Haymaker' Unarmed manoeuvre now also grants Reach.

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

* 'Improvised Laser' invention is now Modern era.

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

* 'Blast Shield' invention is now Modern era.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Corrected the text for 'Powerful Throw' talent.

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

* Added 'Close Quarters Specialist' general combat talent. 

* Added 'Martial Finesse' talent. 

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

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

 

Starship Manual v1.06

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

* Added 'Weapon Turret, Capital'.

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

* Zacharial can take the 'Ravenous' talent.

* Added Heavy Plasma Cannon.

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

* Cruise Missile takes 15 slots.

 

 

Sabre RPG Premium Fantasy Core Rulebook v1.16

 

General 

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

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

* Squires cannot learn the Animal Training skill.

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

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

 

Parry Changes

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

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

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

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

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

* Charge no longer increases weapon SIZ.

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

* Removed 'Stronger Parry' melee manoeuvre.

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

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

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

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

* Added 'Iron Wall' shield talent.

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

 

Weapon Stuff

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

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

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

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

* Removed the 'Martial Weapons' talent.

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

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

* 'Haymaker' Unarmed manoeuvre now also grants Reach.

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

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

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

* Corrected the text for 'Powerful Throw' talent.

* Added 'Close Quarters Specialist' general combat talent. 

* Added 'Martial Finesse' talent. 

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

 

 

Sabre RPG Basic Fantasy Core Rulebook v1.16

 

General 

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

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

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

 

Parry Changes

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

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

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

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

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

* Charge no longer increases weapon SIZ.

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

* Removed 'Stronger Parry' melee manoeuvre.

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

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

 

Weapon Stuff

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

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

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

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

* Removed the 'Martial Weapons' talent.

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

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

* 'Haymaker' Unarmed manoeuvre now also grants Reach.

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

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

June 2019 update and devblog

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

______________________________________________

Sabre Scifi Core Rulebook v1.13 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Added Antacid medicine.

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

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

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

* Updated the base building section with correct information.

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

* Healing skill is now called Surgery.

* Surgery Talent is now called Advanced Surgery.

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

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

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

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

* Added 'Mind Link' psychic discipline.

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

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

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

* Added 'Plasma Caster' modern nuclear invention.

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

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

* Added 'Omnivisor' modern electronics invention.

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

* Added 'Radiation Cleanser' modern invention.

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

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

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

 

Starship Manual v1.03

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

* Added 'Repair Specialist' talent.

* Removed 'Emergency Procedures' talent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sabre Fantasy Premium Core Rulebook v2.94

* Healing skill is now called Surgery.

* Surgery Talent is now called Advanced Surgery.

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

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

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

* Updated monster templates in the Sample Bestiary.

 

Sabre Fantasy Basic Core Rulebook v1.78

* Healing skill is now called Surgery.

* Surgery Talent is now called Advanced Surgery.

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

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

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

* Updated monster templates in the Sample Bestiary.

 

Sabre Fantasy Bestiary v2.56

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

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.

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.

 

January Devblog and v2.21 Patch Notes

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

Magic System Rewrite

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

Armour System Balance

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

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

Art Update

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

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

 

v2.21 PREMIUM EDITION PATCH NOTES

General 

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

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

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

* Condensed the file size of the pdf document.

* Improved the detail in the Weapons Modification section.

* Added 'Expanded Cartridge' weapon modification for crossbows.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Added 'Sneak Shot' pistol manoeuvre.

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

 

Armour Revision

* Removed the 'Endurance Training' talent.

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

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

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

* Basilisk leather is now 3x normal cost.

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

 

Magic System Revamp

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Fixed legacy rules and errors throughout the spell system.

 

v1.51BASIC EDITION PATCH NOTES

General

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

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

* Condensed the file size of the pdf document.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Armour Revision

* Removed the 'Endurance Training' talent.

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

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

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

* Basilisk leather is now 3x normal cost.

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

 

Magic System Revamp

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Fixed legacy rules and errors throughout the spell system.

New Year Devblog and 2.20 Update Notes

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

Combat Damage Balance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Skill Learning System

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

Casting spells in leather

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

Armour spells

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

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

Saerid tweak

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

Encumbrance

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

What's next?

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Fixes

* Fixed some broken and misguided links.

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

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

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

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

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

* Corrected the damage for Short Scythe and Military Scythe.

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

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

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

* Replaced missing 'Deadly Swords' talent description.

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

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

 

General Changes

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

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

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

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

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

* Saerid can no longer take greater magic backgrounds.

* Thick Carapace now correctly grants +2 natural armour.

* Hard shell now grants +3 natural armour.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Removed 'Spirit Surge' action.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Encumbrance

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

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

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

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

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

 

New (general stuff)!

* Added 'Enhanced Bond' wizardry companion talent.

* Added 'Companion Resistance' companion talent.

* Added 'Sentinel' companion talent.

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

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

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

* Added 'Lip Reading' skill.

 

Weapon System Balance

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

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

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

* Removed 'Second Strike' melee manoeuvre.

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

* Added 'Forceful Strike' melee manoevure.

Dual-Wielding Revamp (much more realistic)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unarmed Combat Revamp (long overdue)

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

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

* Removed 'Flurry' talent.

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

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

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

* Added 'Solid Defence' martial arts manoeuvre.

* Added 'Reverse Grip' martial arts manoeuvre.

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

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

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

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

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

* Added 'Roundhouse Kick' Martial Arts manoeuvre.

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

* Knuckledusters are now concealed weapons.

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

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

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

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

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

* Added 'Dragon Strike' martial arts manoeuvre.

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

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

 

Spell System

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

v1.50 Basic Edition Abridged notes

Fixes

* Fixed some broken and misguided links.

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

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

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

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

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

* Corrected the damage for Short Scythe and Military Scythe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

General Changes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Removed 'Spirit Surge' action.

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

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

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

 

Encumbrance

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

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

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

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

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

 

Weapon System Balance

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

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

* Removed 'Second Strike' melee manoeuvre.

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

* Added 'Forceful Strike' melee manoevure.

Dual-Wielding Revamp (much more realistic)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unarmed Combat Revamp (long overdue)

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

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

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

* Added 'Martial Weapons' Martial Arts talent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!