Posts

May 2018 Devblog and Update

Hi everyone! Today (technically yesterday) I finally released the scifi edition of sabre, after a heavy development burn for the past 10 months. It turns out I needed all of that time to give it a thorough testing, and I want to send out my thanks for the development test groups who gave it a proper going-over during this time. 

Development could have gone on for another month, as we came up with another species to add (an energy creature), plus I still want to add genetics to the science area too, but they would both require extensive testing and it was time to get it out there. These items will come along in the future, once we've sorted things out and given them a good test! 

So today, we've just got an update for the fantasy system to bring it into line with the usual core rules development. I've expanded the abilities for athletics and acrobatics manoeuvres, and added a new backpack system to let you carry more than before. Spirit Surge received a tweak, and I improved the artwork for the saerids too. 

My artwork evolved steadily over the development of the scifi system, so I'm now looking at the older style in the fantasy manuals with mild disgust! Okay they're not that bad, but I'll eventually have to come back and do something better. The first priority now is to continue work on the bestiary art, which is still roughly half-way completed. I think I'm going to change styles at this point, eschewing the backgrounds and focusing on the creatures themselves, in accordance with my current skill level. The results will be cleaner and more realistic, and yes this means some of the earlier works will be redone too. At least I don't have any other major projects on the horizon, so I can just focus on the art for now! 

I might start my next novel in the near future too, but I would like to get a free introductory adventure done for scifi as well. I have something lined up, one of the adventures I ran for the test group in the not too distant past. In the long term, once the manuals are complete, I'd like to just make adventures for both systems, translating some of the modules I still have written up from the last ten years of running stuff (using a computer, prior to that was all on paper or improvised on the spot, and therefore I don't have records of). 

So if scifi rpg's are your thing, check out sabre scifi - I actually prefer running this over the fantasy setting these days, which is surprising since prior to two years ago I didn't have much interest in sci rpgs! Peace out.

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v2.82 Premium Fantasy

* Updated the Example Character with current rules.

* Added a spot on the inventory sheet for backpack type and bonus.

* Removed the pet background event (if you want a pet, take animal training!)

* Removed 'Quick Dodge' acrobatics manoeuvre as it's already under Evade.

* Added 'Free Running' and 'Wall Run' acrobatics manoeuvres.

* 'Spirit Surge' action can only be used in combat.

* Added a new backpack system under Tools which combines with the 'Strong Back' talent to allow you to carry even more. 

* Reduced the bonus from the 'Strong Back' talent from +3 to +2 ENC.

* 'Spirit Abilities' section is now simply 'Manoeuvres', since Magic has its own heading.

* Added 'Fast Jump', 'Standing Start' and 'Agile Avoidance' Athletics manoevures.

* Updated the saerid artwork.

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v1.67 Basic Fantasy 

* Updated the Example Character with current rules.

* 'Spirit Abilities' section is now simply 'Manoeuvres', since Magic has its own heading.

* 'Spirit Surge' action can only be used in combat.

Fantasy 2.81 Update and April Devblog

Hello there, it's time for the monthly update for Sabre! We'll start with a quick overview of the tweaks for the fantasy system, which of course came from core improvements to Sabre developed while I'm running the scifi version. 

Dual Wielding

Last month, I made some changes to the Bestiary with regards to the number of attacks a monster could get, and after some discussion, we've come up with a smoother way to apply two-weapon fighting rules as well. The basic idea here is that extra attacks slow down the combat, and by streamlining the process it yields more time for roleplay, problem solving or even more combat! 

You can think of an attack roll as a sort of montage, taking place over a few seconds where multiple attacks can occur in sequence. So while using two weapon fighting styles, instead of making a second attack roll, you use the same result as your primary attack roll -20%. Therefore a roll of 84 becomes a 64 for your off-hand attack, and the defender applies their single defensive roll to both numbers. In this example, they could roll a 71, which fails to avoid the first weapon but succeeds in stopping the second weapon. Damage is still applied separately of course. And naturally, there's a talent to reduce that -20% penalty as your skill increases. Mmm, streamlined!

This applies to unarmed fighting, fencing (blades) and shield bashing, which itself has been streamlined a little more. Check the notes below for more specific details, and a bunch of other tweaks that have filtered through the pipeline.

Scifi!

Getting close now! I've ceased major developments (after restructing some of the invention system) and now I just have to finish the artwork to get this online. Well, there's a couple of sections that need writing embelishment, but it's not too difficult to complete that. Here are an alien race based on the 'Greys', and a silicon-based species. Mmm, adequate! I also have another picture half-completed, but that can wait until next time. Basically as of writing this, I have three and a half pictures to complete, then tweak the cover art for both manuals before it's ready to go. I'm improving, though it'll take a few more years before I'm really decent at this sort of thing. At least I'm getting the hang of lighting!

Anyway, that's about all for this month. I'm starting to feel creatively spent from all this intensive developlement work over the last six months, so once I get this done, I'll be taking time off before doing more work. 

 

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v2.81 Sabre Fantasy Premium

* Clarified that 'Leaders Luck' can only be used on rerolls you are using for yourself.

* Leadership can only be used by one character in a group.

* Removed 'Heavy Bash' shield talent, regular shield bash now adds Damage Modifier.

* Added 'Shield Slam' talent.

* Off-hand weapons in two-weapon fighting styles use the primary weapons' attack roll -20%. Updated 'Two Weapon Fighting' section to explain how it works.

* Revised the wording of the 'Shield Bash', 'Twin Shooters' and 'Dual Wielding' talents.

* Added 'Two Weapon Expert' talent.

* Simplified how to recover spent ammunition.

* Removed the reference to Young age characters still getting -1 to all attributes.

* 'Impact' weapon trait now reduces AP by 1 on a successful hit (shield AP comes first). 

* 'Drunker Master' is now correctly spelled 'Drunken Master'!

* Partial Block now counts half the shield's AP on the Threat Level table.

* Added Bowyer/Fletcher and Glassmaker to the Craft skill.

* Listed the craft skill required to make tools from the tools list.

* Removed first aid kit, replaced with Bandages.

* Tools for given skills are now listed under a separate section, with details on kit qualities.

* 'Stock Slam' talent now also allows ranged weapons to be used to parry.

* Invisibility and similar spells now allow for going stealthly without needing cover.

* Added 'Restrain' animal training trick.

* Auldsteel now grants +3 AP and +3 damage to armour and weapons.

* Iron Fist martial arts talent now increases dice size by one step, instead of fixed damage increases (i.e. now gives its bonus to corvid unarmed damage).

 

v1.66 Sabre Fantasy Basic

* Removed 'Heavy Bash' shield talent, regular shield bash now adds Damage Modifier.

* Block Magic shield talent now correctly listed as requiring 99% skill.

* Off-hand weapons in two-weapon fighting styles use the primary weapons' attack roll -20%. Updated 'Two Weapon Fighting' section to explain how it works.

* Simplified how to recover spent ammunition.

* Removed the reference to Young age characters still getting -1 to all attributes.

* Revised the wording of the 'Shield Bash', 'Twin Shooters' and 'Dual Wielding' talents.

* 'Impact' weapon trait now reduces AP by 1 on a successful hit (shield AP comes first). 

* Added Bowyer/Fletcher and Glassmaker to the Craft skill.

* Listed the craft skill required to make tools from the tools list.

* Removed first aid kit, replaced with Bandages.

* Tools for given skills are now listed under a separate section, with details on kit qualities.

* Added trap kits to the tools section.

* 'Stock Slam' talent now also allows ranged weapons to be used to parry.

* Invisibility spell now allows for going stealthly without needing cover.

* Iron Fist martial arts talent now increases dice size by one step, instead of fixed damage increases (i.e. now gives its bonus to corvid unarmed damage).

Sabre Fantasy Update and March Devblog

Hello, I hope you're well! I've been heavily focused on developing Sabre Scifi, but as usual there's a few updates to the core rules that affect the fantasy system. Also of note is that as the scifi system approaches completion, I've been looking at how the two systems work together, with particular attention to how they're named. So there's a change to the core fantasy system, which is now referred to as the Sabre RPG Fantasy Core Rulebook, which will go alonside the Sabre RPG Scifi Core Rulebook. The term 'Codex' won't be used anymore, as I didn't feel the word was appropriate for the scifi rulebook, and I wanted them to have similar terminology. This comes along with another iteration on the logo and cover art. As my digital art capabilities continue to improve, I'm looking at doing something more elaborate for the fantasy system cover, but this will do for now. The bestiary is looking much sharper, with the simple yet evocative 'beast on a cold stormy night' thing happening :)

I've also got a little scifi art here to show off. I'm slowly moving forward with the species images, and almost finished a 2nd one before I decided I needed to get this monthly update out of the way first. I hope to have more of these for you next month, as I'm about halfway through. Behold, androids! This was actually surprisingly difficult, in order to make them look human, but not. Hence, the android detective on the left has obviously been battling some kind of space-bear, and lost.

Scifi

As for the system itself, I'm glad I didn't try to push it out sooner as I identified some core issues and had to do a bit of an overhaul. I won't bore you with the details, except to say that it's working better than ever, and I'm just finishing off the section on how to make your own starship in-game, with science. Its accompanying manual, the Encounters book, is also nearly complete, as I've added more helpful information, tables and such that as a GM, I find indispensable for a smooth game. I still have to do cover art for this one, so my to-do list still has quite a bit on it! And then of course continuing with the bestiary artwork - I'm confident that my improving skills will make the 2nd half of this project look even better than the first (and I'll probably have to redo a few of them to keep the quality consistent).

Bestiary

So, I have a few adjustments to the bestiary I want to address. In order to keep the game streamlined (a core design rule for the system), I want to keep the number of attacks creatures and players get capped at a reasonable level. A saerid making off-hand attacks, using a manoevure and some sort of speed spell can get to 6, which is definitely at the upper range I want to allow, but since this is an edge case, I'm not making any changes to the way player attacks work. Some monsters, however, get this many and more, so I'm adjusting the Vicious and Multi-limbed and Multi-headed talents. Vicious now simply adds extra damage to one attack, which can be much more effective than multiple attacks as it helps to punch through armour. It's a real time-saver too, which is the whole point! The other two talents are capped at 4 attacks each, even for the hydra and giant octopus. Making 8 separate attacks is a bit ridiculous ;)

Anyway that's all for this month, I'll keep working away at the scifi system to get it released as soon as I can. It's pretty awesome actually :D

 

v2.8 Premium Edition

* Summoner's 'Aspect of Speed' spell power improvements are now increasingly more expensive.

* Summoner's 'Giant's Strength' spell now applies a basic damage improvement, not a Damage Modifier improvement.

* Summoner's 'Bestial Ferocity' spell now requires Concentration to maintain.

* If 'Leap' Manoeuvre is used to get inside an enemy's Reach, Leap is treated like a Charge attack, allowing the use of the Counterattack Reaction.

* Clarified that the 'Fire & Steel' pistol talent gives its free attack immediately after the first.

* Updated the cover art & logo.

* Clarified more detail about result bonuses and difficulty bonuses in the Skills section, and tweaked the language on resolving equal roll results. 

* 'Tactical Combo' and 'Tactical Master' talents are now 'Skill Combo' and 'Skill Master', can be applied to manoeuvres from any skill.

* Adjusted the Encounter tables to be more efficient.

* Page numbers now begin at the start of the document, which should make it easier to navitage the pdf.

 

v2.4 Bestiary 

* Updated instances of 'Body Slam' ability.

* The 'Vicious' talent now allows Reactions spent to grant +3 damage to one hit. 

* The 'Multi-Attack' and 'Multi-Headed' talents are now capped at 4 total attacks and reactions.

* Added the now standard 2x Damage Modifier result bonus to the Brawn skill where appropriate.

* Updated the cover art & logo.

 

v1.65 Sabre RPG Basic Edition

* Page numbers now begin at the start of the document, which should make it easier to navitage the pdf.

* Added missing 'Animate Cadaver' spell to the Raise Dead talent.

* If 'Leap' Manoeuvre is used to get inside an enemy's Reach, Leap is treated like a Charge attack, allowing the use of the Counterattack Reaction.

* Updated the cover art & logo.

 

* Clarified more detail about result bonuses and difficulty bonuses in the Skills section, and tweaked the language on resolving equal roll results. 

Sabre 2.7 update and February Devblog

Hello all, this month we have a few tweaks and additions to the core system, and an update on that pesky scifi system that refuses to be ready for release. 

Leadership is something I've wanted to expand upon for some time now, so I've added a bunch of new talents pegged to using Luck Points, which are themselves linked to high Charisma. They let you play a party support role and make high CHA characters very useful (it's not always a dump stat!)

In addition to this, I've modified the penalties for playing a character of the Young age category. Now they're just lower on Strength, which makes more sense, but to compensate for this and their lower starting skill points, they can learn new skills at half the usual time and cost. This should make younger characters more interesting to play, instead of having to deal with a lot of negatives to stats and skills with no upside.

Finally, I tweaked the bonus you get from your Damage Modifier to your Brawn skill. It was a bit bonkers having a +10% result bonus per point, so I've pegged that back to 2%. Soon, I'll be going through the Bestiary to update the monsters with this and a few other tweaks, but for now this will do.

Scifi

So, I nearly gave up on releasing the scifi game, as the art issue was really bothering me. My style isn't yet professional quality, and pushing myself to lift my style is wearing me out. With all the projects I've been juggling I decided to delay further development indefinitely, until I could scrounge together enough money to pay a proper artist to get the art done. Creating a Kickstarter campaign to generate the money needed to pay an artist to do the job was very appealing too, but after I had some time to think about it, I realise I'm not too far off in terms of art quality and I just need to keep practicing and get these done. There are ten species, so that's ten pieces, and I have three completed as of today. 

 

This third piece I just finished is an alien race and it's been very challenging, as I have been designing the look as well as creating the image itself. So much for getting all this done by the end of the month! Some species will be easier than others, such as androids (basically human in appearance) while others will be very challenging indeed. At least my style is evolving, no longer needing the heavy outlines I've been using in earlier works. So when I get all of these done, and a cover for the Encounters manual, then it's ready for release. I'm hoping that'll be before April but I'm not going to give hard dates anymore! I now understand why developers of games often miss release dates or just give a generic Soon(TM) for when it's going to get done. Rest assured it's being worked on and it's going to happen in the near future!

 

v2.7 Premium Codex Changes

* Brawn skill bonus when grappling or other contests of strength is now +2% per DM point.

* Herbs and Poisons moved to their own section in the manual.

* Replaced mentions of 'Tincture' with 'Tonic' (basically the same thing, more commonly used word).

* 'Strong Back' talent now requires 50% Endurance skill, and can be taken additional times.

* The 'Engineering' skill is now part of the 'Lore' skill.

* 'Assault Formation' and 'Defensive Formation' Leadership manoevures now have a 5 metre range.

* Removed 'Leaders Luck' leadership manoevure.

* Added 'Leaders Luck', 'Battle Hardened', 'Comrade in Arms', 'Legendary Leader' and 'Not on my watch' leadership talents. 

* 'Blind Sense' talent now also reduces unopposed perception check difficulty penalities by 10%.

* 'Blunt Trauma' club talent causes Hit Point loss, not damage.

* Clarified in the Career stage of character creation that you can't put points into background OR species skills, only new skills that you buy (the idea being to spread skill points around).

* Characters of the Young age category now only have -2 to their STR attribute, and can learn new skills at half their normal cost.

 

v1.64 Basic Codex Changes

* Brawn skill bonus when grappling or other contests of strength is now +2% per DM point instead of 10%.

* Herbs and Poisons moved to their own section in the manual.

* Replaced mentions of 'Tincture' with 'Tonic' (basically the same thing, more commonly used word).

* The 'Engineering' skill is now part of the 'Lore' skill.

* 'Blunt Trauma' club talent causes Hit Point loss, not damage.

* Clarified in the Career stage of character creation that you can't put points into background OR species skills, only new skills that you buy (the idea being to spread skill points around).

* Characters of the Young age category now only have -2 to their STR attribute, and can learn new skills at half their normal cost.

January Devblog & v2.6 Fantasy System Update

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

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

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

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

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

 

v2.6 Premium Fantasy Codex Changelog

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

* Added 'Renowned Surgeon' healing talent.

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

* Slightly revised the text on the Blind condition.

* Tweaked the language on 'Blind Sense' talent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

v1.63 Basic Fantasy Codex Changelog

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

* Slightly revised the text on the Blind condition.

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

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

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

November Devblog & v2.5 Fantasy System Update

Just a short blog post this month, for the main part of this update is in the form of pictures! 

My style is slowly evolving, and I'm starting to push the boundaries a little further each time. I'm very proud of the little hedge dragon picture, I actually managed to capture both its cuteness AND dragon-ness! 

I'm almost halfway through now, having just hit 51 out of 117 pieces. Yeah, there's a lot to do but I'm enjoying it immensely. 

Codex

As usual, there's a few tweaks to the core rules which develop over the course of running my local games. The beauty of Sabre is the fantasy and scifi systems interlink almost perfectly, so issues that pop up on one can be addressed in all. 

One of these was swapping out weapons during combat, which wasn't written very well and made the 'Quick Draw' talent pointless. That's been addressed in a way that I feel adds to realism, where lighter weapons are much easier to draw and sheath than heavier ones (very important when wielding a minigun!)

Corvids

This is a little embarrassing. The corvid race was always supposed to be more intelligent than others, and it even says this in the flavour text, yet I'd used the raelani pages as a template for the corvids and forgot to move the listed attribute bonus from willpower to intelligence! All fixed now, sorry for any inconvenience. 

Stealth

More and more people in my games have been using stealth much in the way invisibility would work, which isn't right. So I've clarified the skill description to ensure players understand that even if you make a successful stealth check, moving right in front of someone is going to result in you being seen *unless* they're distracted, or looking the other way. So there's a few things in there to address this, such as the 'Distract' manoeuvre, and a 'Quick Spot' manoeuvre for Perception to make it easier to spot them. Still powerful, but now has to be used intelligently.

Advanced Characters

In a modular system like Sabre, it has been a little tricky to implement a system for creating more advanced characters to begin with, those with more experience under their belt. Just adding big blocks of skill points sometimes resulted in starting with maxed out skills, so a better way has been created and my numbers people tel me it looks good. 

Scifi!

My two gaming groups are still playing the system and enjoying it greatly. I've made good use of this time to tweak things as we go, even as I work towards completing the manual. I'm not far off finishing the starship design system, at which point I'll be making NPC templates for vehicles and starships, testing it all out in-game and see how the numbers look. Then my groups will be facing suitable challenges to really give it a test run.

So until next month, farewell!

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v2.5 Premium Codex

* Corvids now correctly have Intelligence as one of their bonus attributes instead of Willpower.

* 'Haggler' commerce talent now gives a 5% bonus to opposed haggling checks each time it is taken.

* Added 'Commodities' talent to give haggling bonus and information about trade.

* Clarified that the Stealth skill primarily reduces noise, and requires shadows, cover, or avoiding direct line of sight in order to work. It's not an invisibility spell!

* Added 'Quick Spot' Perception manoeuvre.

* Added 'Distract' Stealth manoeuvre.

* Sheathing or drawing a weapon is now an action.

* 'Courage' manoevure now stipulates that it removes the frightened condition, so you need to have it before using this ability.

* Added a maximum age in the age categories section.

* Revised the method of creating characters of higher experience, under 'Advanced Characters'.

* Death Blow action can no longer be used on Stunned creatures.

* Quick Draw' talent is now listed under Combat Talents, and has no effect in surprise rounds.

* 'Twin Shooters' talent limits the size of the off-hand pistol to Medium.

* 'Stock Slam' talent now allows any sized ranged weapon to be used.

 

 

v1.62 Basic Codex

* Clarified that the Stealth skill primarily reduces noise, and requires shadows, cover, or avoiding direct line of sight in order to work. It's not an invisibility spell!

* Added 'Distract' Stealth manoeuvre.

* Sheathing or drawing a weapon is now an action.

* Added 'Quick Draw' talent.

* 'Courage' manoevure now stipulates that it removes the frightened condition, so you need to have it before using this ability.

* Added a maximum age in the age categories section.

* Revised the method of creating characters of higher experience, under 'Advanced Characters'.

* Death Blow action can no longer be used on Stunned creatures.

* 'Giant Slayer' sword talent is now 'Sword Specialist'.

* 'Twin Shooters' talent limits the size of the off-hand pistol to Medium.

* 'Stock Slam' talent now allows any sized ranged weapon to be used.

 

October Update & v2.4 Fantasy System Change Notes

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

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

Unarmed Fighting 

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

Manoeuvres

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

Price

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

Scifi!

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

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

 

v2.4 Premium edition changelog

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

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

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

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

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

* Evade manoeuvres require light or no armour.

* Removed 'Sidestep' evade manoevure.

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

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

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

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

* Revised the icon for Lightning damage.

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

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

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

 

 

v1.61 Basic edition changelog

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

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

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

* Added Thrown Weapon manoevures.

* Added 'Shield Push' shield manoeuvre.

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

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

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

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

* Updated the Lightning damage icon.

September Update & v2.3 Fantasy Codex Change Notes

Hi everyone, hope you're keeping well :)

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

Want to have wizards on starships? Done.

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, my checklist is:

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

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

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

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v2.3 Premium Edition Change Notes

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

* Tweaked the rules on suffocation.

* Added 'Jewellers Tools'.

* Revised the Weapon Modification section.

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

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

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

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

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

* Revised the Leadership manoeuvres and added new abilities.

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

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

* Tweaked the language for the Quick Draw talent.

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

* Removed 'Hard Shell' Saerid talent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Added 'Zen Master' martial arts talent.

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

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v1.6 Basic Edition Change Notes.

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

* Tweaked the rules on suffocation.

* Added 'Jewellers Tools'.

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

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

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

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

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

August Update and 2.29 notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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v2.29 Premium Edition

* Added 'Teleporter' artifice spell.

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Added names to the background events.

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Added 'Heavy Mace' melee weapon.

* Removed Vanish from the TL calculation.

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

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v1.59 Basic Edition

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

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

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

* Added names to the background events.

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

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

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

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

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

* Added 'Heavy Mace' melee weapon.

* Removed Vanish from the TL calculation.

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

July update and 2.28 change notes

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

Bestiary

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

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

Codex

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

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

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

Scifi

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

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

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

v2.28 premium codex

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

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

* Added 'Chirurgeon' background.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Added 'Pocket Dimension' spell to Summoning.

 

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

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v1.58 basic codex

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

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

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

* Added 'Chirurgeon' background.

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

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

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

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

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

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