Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Beacon on Roll20

So the Beacon character sheet is up on Roll20 and if you want you can go there right now and start a campaign and use this sheet - all squeaky new and modern gaming style.  I am pretty jazzed and hope that it gets a lot of use.  My changes for the next draft are not in there yet but they are minor changes anyway and I'm sure there will be updates to the sheet in the next few months as in all new web things.

The sheet looks like this:

Tab 1- holds all the stats and skills - nicely laid out.

Tab2 - the combat tab where you track AC,  fatigue, also list weapons.

Tab 3 - Spell Book and Magic roller widgets.
Go play the piss out of it and tell me what works for you and what doesn't work for you.  Have some happy d20 based adventures.  Fill yer boots as they say.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Like School On Saturday

"Skilled" it turns out is an even worse idea than "Savant" for a class name.  My wife who has played maybe three RPG sessions in her life and doesn't even understand why I bother messing around with this stuff told me that it was a stupid name.  At game night I was told it was a bad change to a bad idea in the first place.

So time to cut the Gordian knot.  I am going to suggest giving the option to not choose a class during character creation and instead get additional skills every second level.  Do you see what I did there?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Sayonara to the Savant

I believe I'm renaming the Savant class to Skilled.  Savant has bothered me since I added it, but the class is nether a generalist or a specialist or a sage or a trader which were some of the other terms I considered so it was the least evil choice I thought.  The class is about skills - someone with a lot of good skills or fewer but really exceptional skills, so saying that they are Skilled seems reasonable.  I also considered dropping the class all together but I hate to do it because this class is my concession to the part of me that played MERP* way back in high school.

I don't think I could go back to using the Rolemaster system but I do admire the way it let you build characters with strange skill combinations.  I think having a way to model a character who is just really good at cheese making and has a deep understanding of the cheese trade and who can go on adventures where those skills win the day is a desirable feature.

*Well made MERP characters anyway, we never got an actual game together.  Great books though.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

a short one

Yes I am updating the book.  No I'm not done yet, thanks for asking.  I'm only on page 6 or something but since it's only a 44 page book its a happen as the kids say. No big changes as yet, I've tried to clear up some of the wording on starting Hit Points as well as a slightly better explanation of how to assign stat and skill bonuses and difficulty.  The real changes in this draft are going to be the damage modifiers for stats and making weapon ranges simpler to handle with a quick short/medium/long range modifier instead of all this increment stuff.  I was also toying with the idea of getting rid of dual wielding all together since it takes up so much mechanical space and there isn't much return on it but I'm not sure I want to revise all that this late in the game.  Someone out there probably wants to duel wield claymores I'm sure.

I also wanted to give a shout out to Stork at Happy Jacks RPG podcast.  I was listening to their last podcast* on my way to Hamilton and heard him mention Beacon in a non-derogatory way.  I always like that.  Stork has often said kind things about Beacon - so my thanks to him and all the Happy Jackers.  One point I'd like to clear up however: Stork did happen to say that Beacon was an AD&D clone and it isn't.  Beacon is based on Microlite M20 and both are derived from the d20 OGL so its closer to 3rd edition or Pathfinder in it's core mechanics than AD&D.   That means rolling d20 vs Difficulty Class as a unifying concept instead of just one of many resolution mechanics.  This makes it pretty easy to convert d20 materials into Beacon use.  It also happens to be a rather close to 5th edition D&D although that wasn't around when I was designing Beacon (and no I didn't check out the play-test material - I had low expectations of D&D Next which I am happy to have been proved wrong about).

Beacon does have a lot of modern game mechanics but it is definitely an old school inspired application of those mechanics.  So if you came here looking for AD&D you should go check out OSRIC or the Labyrinth Lord Advanced rules.  However, if you came looking for a light and fun free D20 system you could do a lot worse than trying Beacon.

OK, my nerdish diatribe is over.  I do have one last update however. The Roll20 character sheet for Beacon is looking pretty good.  I hope to put it through some paces and see it roll out soon.

*it was the Swords & Wizardry Day episode I believe.