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A New Direction for Classic Fantasy?


threedeesix

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I wanted to start a seperate thread for this subject so it doesn't get lost in the main one.

This has been weighing on me heavily for the last couple months now and I thought I would put it before my friends here at BRP Central in the hopes of getting some direction.

Classic Fantasy was released almost three years ago through Chaosium, and in that time has continued to be one of their best-selling monographs. At one point this even had them considering publishing it as an actual distribution product, but this seems to have fallen to the weigh side. With no real communication from the powers that be on this possibility any more, and with the up-coming publication of Magic World, I tend to think this will more than likely never happen. Obviously Chaosium really doesn’t need two competing game lines.

Now please don’t take the above as representing disappointment with either Chaosium or Magic World. I have the utmost respect for Chaosium as a company, publishing to me the best role playing games on the market. Nor do I harbor any ill will toward Magic World. I myself have been invited to contribute to the line in a small way, and having read much of what is to come, I am very excited about the future of that line in general.

But, back to Classic Fantasy; needless to say, this is my baby. I have countless hours invested in CF I as well as both CF II and III. I have what I believe to be, some awesome and original ideas to share with the community while continuing to present a better system with which to play a game that presents a nostalgia not always captured by todays settings or systems.

Future design goals…

• Classic Fantasy will continue to be a D100 roll under system. It’s what I love; it’s how it will remain.

• Classic Fantasy will continue to be an adaption of 1st edition dungeon crawling.

• Much of what I have written already will remain unchanged, hoping to find a current system that will easily accept modification. I would obviously rewrite any of Classic Fantasy that needed to be brought in line with a new system as well. Edit: Obviously, I would get rid of or rewrite Chaosium tradmarked information.

• It would be awesome if any new system would allow me to reprint ALL the rules to play Classic Fantasy under one set of covers; character creation, skill use, advancement, combat, etc. Its much easier for the players to only have to refer to a single “players” book during play, however this isn’t absolutely necessary.

• A “free-to-use” or “open system” would be ideal, as I’m not in a position to lay down any capital at this time. Retaining the rights to Classic Fantasy is a must as I have so many plans for the line down the road.

• With any of the above methods, Classic Fantasy would more than likely start out as a PDF publication, more than likely through the likes of RPGNOW, Drive Through RPG, etc. However, print-on-demand would not be out of the question down the road.

I’m very interested in hearing more about OpenQuest, Legend, etc. and whether any of those lines would fit the bill, as I really don’t know enough about them. Any input from you guys would be appreciated, as would any suggestions of other systems I may not know about.

Classic Fantasy II: Game Mastery and Classic Fantasy III: A Manual of Monsters are both about 80% finished, maybe more. However I just can’t bring myself to sit down and do any writing with this weighing on my mind.

Thoughts?

Rod

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Hmm. Well, dang. I was really, really looking forward to seeing CF II and III as BRP-proper books (monographs or "real" books), so this is a sad post to read for sure. But I definitely understand where you're coming from, Rod. It seems to me that OpenQuest is probably the way to go, though waiting on whatever comes of the OQ2 Indiegogo project would probably make sense (it looks like it's all good stuff). I say this because OQ feels closer to the BRP CF was intended for than Legend or any of the other options.

That's all I've got for now. But if I think of anything else I'll chime back in.

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I can understand your frustration and it would be a real pity if Classic Fantasy's particular brand of, uh fantasy wasn't catered for. Looking at the various BRP alternatives available, I'm not sure any of them would be a perfect fit. Open Quest strives for simplicity, to cut down on as much extra stuff as possible which may not be Classic Fantasy's way of doing things. Legend and RuneQuest 6 would require quite a bit of changes as well I think. What about Aeons? I don't know all that much about it to be honest, but the impression I get is that it will be close to Chaosium's RQ2. If I understand things correctly, that is one of the main points of the system so we can run all the old Gloranthan Classics without having a copy of the old rules od do any conversions. It seems to me this may be closer to Classic Fantasy? The drawback however would be that Aeons is still being developed.

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Legend would be a perfect fit for Classic Fantasy II (CF2).

In fact, if you were careful, you could make CF2 into a more generic beast that could work with Legend, BRP or RQ6.

By using Legend, you can publish under the OGL, can amend rules etc and can add rules without a problem.

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Sounds great! Very best of luck with it, whatever you choose.

I am disappointed with Chaosium and do (now) harbour ill-will towards their so-called "Magic World" product, as they've obviously decided to keep new Classic Fantasy goodness from us in favour of that de-moorcocked Elric! re-hash.

That aside, why tie CF and yourself to any particular published rules-set? The necessary basics of BRP can be expressed very briefly, so why not do that, and become totally independent, yet compatible?

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It is both kind and sensible that you wish to share these thoughts with us at BRP Central, Rod.

I can understand the reasons behing Chaosium's decreased interest in Classic Fantasy. There are several flavours of "Fantasy", and historically BRP has never been so great at doing Dungeon Crawling. Chaosium is trying to leverage what BRP does best, and that would be Moorcockian Fantasy. They have to choose, and they will clearly go where the expected ROI is higher.

That said, repackaging Classic Fantasy could be an awesome idea!

However, I encourage you to reflect and consider, before choosing a new system upon which to rebuild Classic Fantasy. There are some things that you should focus on in your mind - and I suppose you have already focused on most of them - before proceeding. What is Classic Fantasy designed for? CF is, in game jargon, an Old School game based on D100. The characteristics of Old School games have been described in a gazillion different ways, but what I like the best is this article by Luke Crane - a guy who is the author of a game that is definitely neither Old School nor Simulationist - which explains a lot of the characteristics that an Old School game should have. Interestingly enough, RuneQuest has never been an Old School game, not even back in the 70s!

I think that Classic Fantasy (maybe renamed) may appeal to the same user base that Labyrinth Lord or Lamentations of the Flame Princess address: old schoolers. You should really address some issues that are not liked by this user base (skill rolls above all: they are usually anathema for OS players) but CF could become a hit in this particular niche of gaming.

That said, I suggest that you choose a possible OGL candidate only after evaluating the important elements that make a game "cool" for retrogamers. That is for those people who would not prefer Magic World over Classic Fantasy.

I would really like to say, at this point, "Please, Rod, use my own OGL available for download here". But that would not be wise: it is designed to be the exact antithesis of Old School play. It would not work at all!

In my opinion, your best choice among all available OGLs for d100 is currently OpenQuest. RQ/Legend is great, but it has already gone a totally different way. Aeon is the clone of a game that is indeed old, but it was not Old School even when it was released. OpenQuest, instead, is simple and straightforward, designed to work withoug hit locations and weapon proficiencies, and leverages playability over simulative detail. All characteristics that promote Old School play.

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You might want to put together your own D100 variant. It isn't that hard-you just have to drop the trademark Chaosium stuff, and descriptions. Just take a look at how many companies have done that, starting with Mongoose and going down the line.

The advantage of making your own version of D100 are:

1) Nobody can pull the rug out from under you. It's your system.

2) No license fee

3) You could customize it from the start to the needs of the gaming style you are going for. So you could make CF even more like the old dungeon crawl RPGs. For instance you could switch to the use of a 20 sided die, but with D100 mechanics, if you wanted to. Or even a D20+modifiers method.

4) You hold the reins, so you don't have to rely on another company to make decisions about the future of your game.

But if you don't have the time or inclination to do you own D100 system then I'd say Rosen has the right idea with OpenQuest. You don't want to get locked up in the same sort of relationship you have with Chaosium, so go with the D100 system that gives you the most freedom and control.

Good Luck.

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I've said it elsewhere, but I'll say it here. I think this is an very smart move for you, Rod, and a missed opportunity for Chaosium. There are two main things that Classic Fantasy brings that are not present in other Chaosium publications. Classic Fantasy plays with archetypes in really cool ways. Similar things were hinted at in the original Magic World, but Classic Fantasy really pushes it into something special. The second is the Magic system, which is really well developed in Classic Fantasy and could easily be ported to other systems.

Additionally, had Chaosium pursued a bit more aggressively they could have had two fantasy systems that address two different fan factions. There would be others, like myself, who would pick up both CF and MW because they like BRP and fantasy. Chaosium would also have two game systems on the market which actually support high powered play!

Regardless, I think it's important that you has some autonomy to develop CF. It really is a gem.

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...

I’m very interested in hearing more about OpenQuest, Legend, etc. and whether any of those lines would fit the bill, as I really don’t know enough about them. Any input from you guys would be appreciated, as would any suggestions of other systems I may not know about.

Really sad that CF isn't likely to remain part of the immediate BRP family, but there are several options for you to look at. Personally, I cannot recommend OpenQuest highly enough - it's a flexible, stripped back core that emulates the feel of Chaosium's RQII really well and would make a fabulous basis to build your own stand alone version of "Classic Fantasy" that would remain fundamentally numbers compatible with most BRP / D100 family games.

Cheers,

Nick

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Well, I have to admit that I do not like "old school" fantasy roleplaying and dungeon

crawls at all, and therefore are no fan of Classic Fantasy's style, it is just not my

taste. That said, it is doubtless an excellent product, and I very much hope that

you will find a way to continue the line. I agree with others who mentioned it that

Open Quest would probably be the best system for Classic Fantasy, it would give

you a maximum of control as well as the flexibility to design the new Classic Fan-

tasy the way you want it to be. I very much doubt that Legend or RuneQuest 6

would be a good choice, the "feel" of both is rather different from "old school".

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In all honesty, CF has so many cool features that in a lot of ways feels like a different game than BRP. OQ does have the simplicity that could easily be built upon. Legend has the advantage of the Mongoose distribution machine, so Legends of CF would have a potentially larger audience. The OGL has the advantage of all those OGL monsters, spells, magic items that could be converted over to CF. There is always the option of publishing your own BRP licensed product with the help of an established publisher. I can see why you need time to ponder the options. :)

My suggestion once you decide which way to go is a Kickstarter/Indiegogo. Sounds like the fans of CF will be lining up to help you out.

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Rod,

I have to agree with all the others, and throw some other things to consider.

Your support for your BRILLIANT system has been tepid. You're available greatly for a while, then you disappear. Promised updates to CF owners don't materialize. In short, your care and feeding for your rabid fans is weak. Despite that, I'd happily buy anything in this line but, well, its been three years.

Make your move...whatever it is...but do so with commitment. If you can't do it all, have a team help you; your fans are out there but they are drifting away b/c you don't take care of the relationship.

(I'm in direct sales...contact, continued contact is critical).

Mark

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Rod,

Your support for your BRILLIANT system has been tepid. You're available greatly for a while, then you disappear. Promised updates to CF owners don't materialize. In short, your care and feeding for your rabid fans is weak. Despite that, I'd happily buy anything in this line but, well, its been three years.

Mark

Did I kick your dog or something?

I'm truly mystified by this post. These comments should be submitted to Chaosium's customer service contact. I have personally e-mailed out over 400 updated PDF copies of CF because Chaosium after three years has still not replaced the incomplete PDF with the one I sent them just one month after CFI was released. Incomplete because they left out tables that I included. I have asked them repeatedly if they would please update the PDF and I'm always told it will happen soon. Please, someone contact Chaosium about this, I don't know how I can be more accommodating than I have already been.

Some peoples e-mail providers do not accept attachments over a certain size and they don't get them. If I hear that they do not receive them I try again, but if I don't hear I assume it went through. Again, this is something I do as a service to my fans, but it is something I should not HAVE to do, Chaosium should. I don't work for them. You say you’re in direct sales. Whose shoulders should customer service fall on? The people who distribute the book or me?

As for my weak care and service to my fans, I have sent out so much information from upcoming books (monster write-ups, new NPC classes, the complete treasure chapter) to people that have just sent me an e-mail asking. Can other writers actually say that? I have even taken requests and designed monsters just for people’s home games.

Yes, it's been three years. I'm not a full time writer; I do it when I can while working a full time job upwards of 50 to 60 hours a week, third shift. I tend to work all night and sleep all day. That's the nature of the beast and may not be changing anytime soon. Even then I TRY to get in one or two hours a day writing.

So thanks for the complements, I did notice one or two in there.

Rod

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Don't reconsider. Scrap it. Better product out there by better people. Very disappointed by this comment.

Did I kick your dog or something?

I'm truly mystified by this post. These comments should be submitted to Chaosium's customer service contact. I have personally e-mailed out over 400 updated PDF copies of CF because Chaosium after three years has still not replaced the incomplete PDF with the one I sent them just one month after CFI was released. Incomplete because they left out tables that I included. I have asked them repeatedly if they would please update the PDF and I'm always told it will happen soon. Please, someone contact Chaosium about this, I don't know how I can be more accommodating than I have already been.

Some peoples e-mail providers do not accept attachments over a certain size and they don't get them. If I hear that they do not receive them I try again, but if I don't hear I assume it went through. Again, this is something I do as a service to my fans, but it is something I should not HAVE to do, Chaosium should. I don't work for them. You say you’re in direct sales. Whose shoulders should customer service fall on? The people who distribute the book or me?

As for my weak care and service to my fans, I have sent out so much information from upcoming books (monster write-ups, new NPC classes, the complete treasure chapter) to people that have just sent me an e-mail asking. Can other writers actually say that? I have even taken requests and designed monsters just for people’s home games.

Yes, it's been three years. I'm not a full time writer; I do it when I can while working a full time job upwards of 50 to 60 hours a week, third shift. I tend to work all night and sleep all day. That's the nature of the beast and may not be changing anytime soon. Even then I TRY to get in one or two hours a day writing.

So thanks for the complements, I did notice one or two in there.

Rod

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Hey guys! What's happening here? First a post "disappears" (did the author regret what he posted?), then a perhaps-not-so-appropriately-phrased comment pisses the author off, then someone writes a definitely-not-appropriate comment about scrapping the supplement. Man, you have made me agree with Frogspawner. It usually happens once in three years or so. Be happy, you just hit the spot!

Classic Fantasy got a lot of love when it appeared, and people are playing it a lot. Chaosium cannot support everything on the list for a well-known matter of limited resources and manpower. So Rod wishes to revamp the game as self-published because he keeps his fans in a great consideration. This is what this thread is about.

And the reason for all this bile would be...?

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Better product out there...

Not in my opinion. Classic Fantasy is the one d100 game I can recommend to

people who like that "old school dungeon feel" but got tired of the problems

of D&D and its clones and are looking for what I consider a much better game

for their preferred scenarios. In my view this makes Classic Fantasy a unique

and very important member of the d100 family, and it therefore deserves all

the support it can get. If Chaosium is unable to provide that support, I am

very happy that the author is looking for ways to keep it available and even

to expand and improve it.

... by better people.

Frankly, this part of the sentence turns your post into obvious trolling.

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Disregard any criticism unless its civil and constructive I reckon.

Getting back to the initial post topic, I think Rod's best options for CF are Legend or OpenQuest.

Legend is OGL and already has a large following over at Mongoose, but it isn't the best fit for Old School, so perhaps not as many Legend fans would cross over to CF.

OpenQuest, on the other hand, seems very much in the spirit of the earlier rpg scene and I think it would be easily adaptable for CF. Their company, D101 Games, tends to be quite in sync with Old School gaming and has some other products compatible with systems like 'Swords And Wizardry' (early style D&D retroclone). CF is doing pretty much the same style but with BRP related mechanics, so its certainly playing in the same ball park.

In fact, the more I think about it, OpenQuest is definitely the logical place to go unless Rod creates his own system off the bat. Having said this, there are only some many BRP related product lines that the marketplace can support, and linking in with an existing product line would be a better move than starting a completely new one.

So I'm another one who reckons OpenQuest is the best fit for building Classic Fantasy.

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Hey guys! What's happening here? First a post "disappears" (did the author regret what he posted?),

That would be me, posting a rather grumpy post at 2 am in the morning, thought no one would notice if I quietly deleted it. Foiled again! :P

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Ok here's my calm opinion on this. Bear in mind I've also had dealings with Chaosium as a publisher, and we've got a book in production that was going to be published by them but never went anywhere. So this is based on actual experience rather than heresay ;)

First off make sure that you've not exhausted your options with Chaosium. Get in touch with Dustin, and send him a polite email explaining where you stand with Classic Fantasy. You might be pleasantly surprised with their response, but at least give it a go to put to bed any of your suspicions.

If you still want the book to come out as a BRP supplement I'd recommend get in touch with Cubicle7 (info@cubicle7.co.uk) since they have released products under license from Chaosium before. Angus Abranson from Chronicle City (Chronicle City Webstore - The New Capital of Gaming and check out the contact page ) might be interested, he was part of C7 when they released various licensed books, but I don't know 100% whether his current plans include releasing any BRP books.

Legend. Two ways forward here. Get in touch with Matt Sprange and see if he is interested in publishing it. Or Self publish and tap into the Mongoose forums as well as here to publise.

Finally

OPENQUEST (the crowd goes wild ;) )

Again like Legend, two options.

1. Self publish. The world is your oyster, you can do what you want, change what you want from a nice straightforward clean base (which is about to get even more cleaner with OQ2). You can either do a supplement or a self contained game. You could start now, today, and there's already the loving bunch of OQ fans to cheer on your efforts :)

2. Drop me a line at D101. With RoH and OQ2 ( and related adventures ) out of the way by the end of the year I'll be looking for another OpenQuest game/supplement to put out. No guarantees, we'd have to have a good chat first and make sure both sides are happy ;)

People have been pestering me about an OQ/D&D version, since alot of my customer base comes from the D&D OSR and they find standard D100 a bit impenetrable. I've always refused, I like my D100 dungeon crawls small and deadly like early Stormbringer, and pointed them in your direction. OQ2 will have a small amount of guidance on how to do Dungeon Crawling , both in D&D blanket of HP style and in the harsher world of D100 Old School RQ, but I know for fact it won't have the level of detail that some people want.

Ok that's my 2p ;)

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Well, now that that bit of page 2 weirdness is out of the way ...

If you really decide you must part ways with Chaosium, and given that you clearly have no more time than the rest of us, my inclination in your place would be to self-publish. Again, because of that lack of time, you are probably right in going for an OGL system rather than writing your own (it's fun, but boy it takes time). Legend and OQ are the obvious contenders, and I don't think there's that much difficulty for you in adapting them as you'll presumably keep the BF magic systems.

I'm flattered that people mention AEONS (it has an "S" now), but it is still in production and will probably be so for a little while yet. I'd love to help you get an AEONS Basic Fantasy line out there, but you'd probably have to wait another year. Still, if you haven't made up your mind by then ... ;)

By the way, let me just clear up that little bit of a misapprehension there - the D100II System Reference Document is a retro-clone of the second edition of our ancestral game, AEONS is a brand-new system.

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