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OpenQuest what would you change?

What approach would you like me to take with a new edition of OpenQuest?  

34 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of the two approaches to a new OpenQuest do you favour?

    • A single book polished up OpenQuest 2 with new art
      14
    • A new edition called OpenQuest 3, with new art, split over three books: Book 1 Rules and Magic, Book 2 D100 World Builders Book, Book 3 Bestiary.
      20


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OK I'm gearing up to a tenth-anniversary version of OpenQuest in 2019, probably Kickstarting it over the summer.

Obviously, I've got my thoughts on what I'd like to change. I've got two approaches I could take which fall broadly between two extremes.

Approach 1. OpenQuest 2 tidied up.  Minimal changes, another editorial pass/proof, all new art from the current stable of D101 Artists, reintroduce the Empire of Gatan overview that was taken out in the last version and release the book as an all in one inclusive rulebook. Emphasis on polish rather than big rules changes. 

Approach 2. OpenQuest 3 a more radical revision of the rules and presentation. Spilt the current 8 by 11 inch 250+ page book into three 6 x 9-inch books: Book 1: Rules + Magic, Book 2 D100 World Builders (GM's book) Book 3  Bestiary.  Under this approach, OpenQuest Basics (the current free pdf/lo-cost 6x9 inch book) becomes a free artless Book 1 in pdf only. Rules would also get a good going over and it would be a proper new version, called OpenQuest 3 - where there would be big changes such as elimination ot the three approaches of magic. 

So as well as voting for which approach would you favour, see poll above, what would you want to see changed or sorted out in this version of OpenQuest?

Edited by Newt
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First of all, it's always good to hear some news on OpenQuest!

I'm really in three minds about the question - I think I tend toward the OQ3 option, simply because I already have OQ2 and while it is close to my sweet spot for a go-to d100 system, it's still not quite there (not that I'd know where exactly that sweet spot lies ...). So getting something a lttle more revamped simply means a chance of getting something new out of it. I've been playing RQ:RiG lately and reading a lot of Mythras, and while I like both, I still want something more lightweight for my own GMing needs. OQ2 works, but OQ3 might turn out even better, so let's have that!

However, I guess I'd also prefer to get everything in one book ... still, this is a secondary concern, and I'm a sucker for bestiaries, so of three books means an expanded bestiary, I'm all for it.

Things I'd like to see changed:

Make it a little more consistently customizable - it has awlays bugged me that the idea that you could specialize a little more in magic or in general skills seems to come in only as an afterthought ... also, it never really made sense to me that you just get skill Points in divine magic or sorcery for free by choosing that you are a priest/sorcerer. Why not pay for that with build points?

That's the minor thing that comes to my mind first - there's also major stuff like taking a page out of Delta Green and removing SIZ, or a return to the "learning by doing and by finding teachers and spending seasons on training" approach that I thought I loathed, until I recently found out that it's quite intriguing. But I guess most of these ideas would mean turning OQ3 into a different system, which in the end might make little sense ...

 

EDIT: And if you ask me, make it B/W. For some reason, most black and white books by d101 games look great (especially C&T 2nd), while I don't really like the design of the color books (RoH, OQ).

 

EDIT 2: I also quite like the renaissance take on major wounds/hit locations (though not necessarily on hit point totals before you die). Basically a "get a hit location when it matters, and without an extra roll of the dice."

Edited by Jakob
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As someone who is using the OQ OGL and making my own changes, I feel a little weird even commenting. I am however, firmly in the OpenQuest 3 camp. I do not think OQ needs a tone of changes, but I am eager to see what an updated set of rules would look like. Certainly it could also be open to an entirely new audience. 

Now I will get back to work :) 

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OQ 3 would be a great addition to the stable. I’d like to see something that shows the other clever ways the system can be used. I’ve run OQ for god only knows how many genres, used the battle magic to represent feats, psychic talents, natural abilities and computer programs. It’s always been a clean and very adaptable system, which is quick to learn. I think that’s it’s strength over all the other BRP games. 

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BTW, the notion of a unified magic system for OQ is at the very least interesting - it seems like a big break with RQ/BRP traditions, but I'd still like to see OQ3's take on it.

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I would love to have a OpenQuet book hard copy.

I would prefer option 3

I like the OQ2 rules and think that they are pretty sound as is... so revisiting them with new art and rule tidy ups would get my backing - so I would buy that one anyway.

But on balance I prefer the three book approach. I personally want to use OpenQuest as an introductory game with the legs to go the distance for a long form campaign, if there is the take up. Having a free no frills players book pdf and a hard back with all the things you actually need to run the game is the ideal solution. It fits well with a world of tablets and smart phones with free dice apps and pdf readers.

The World Builder Book would be a welcome addition as one of the strengths of OpenQuest is the way it was always supported by some evocative campaign settings - Life and Death being a case in point. 

The idea of a unified magic system is something that now that it has been proposed I like the sound of too. I don't know if it is even possible, but a unified magic system that can handle Glorantha lite, D&D 5e conversions and perhaps even a bit of grim dark would be wonderful. Not asking for much I know.

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This was hard to wote on. I choose the three book aproach, but I do like that openquest 2 is so easy to lug around. But I feel that the two is done, sure it could need moore polish but it will get that automatic as number 3.

For suggestions: 

an magic item randomizer would be nice. ( like witch spell magic effect does item x have)

Random spell generator for npcs/ monsters.

I really liked the demon generator from the dragon book setting ( getting old/ tiered) crucible something...

An how to use adventures and stuff from other systems with openquest..

 

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I love the refreshed edition. The Gatan setting material deserves it's own book, and keeping the page count below 200 was a great decision. For me, OpenQuest is a game I run when I feel Mythras is too much for me and my players. That's why I voted for Option 1.

But the best scenario that I could envision would be updating the current version of the rules with new 6x9 layout and new B&W artwork (Jakob is spot on saying the B&W layout of Crypts & Things looks excellent). The book would likely be around 250-280 pages long, and available in hardcover. This re-refreshed edition could be followed by a Empire of Gatan setting book, refreshed digest editions of Savage North and Crucible of Dragons (the latter being my absolute favorite) and an OpenQuest Companion book containing new gameplay systems you could bolt onto the core game if you need extra crunch. This would keep the game at an entry level of complexity, with the Companion being a toolkit covering the whole spectrum between OQ and Mythras.

Some other books I would love to see down the line:

- Adventures in Pherae - a set of published adventures to go with Crucible of Dragons

- OpenQuest: Mythic Earth Companion - guidelines on using Mythic Rome, Mythic Constantinople and Mythic Britain with OQ (or just Non Semper Erit Aestas expanded into a full setting book)

Edited by blindluke
typo fixed
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I really like the idea of the three book approach for OQ3. I have the OQ Basics book in hard copy and love the format.

The one thing I personally am not wild about in the OQ3 proposal is eliminating the three approaches to magic. I really like that OQ has three distinct and different sorts of magic, almost four if you cont the demon summoning of Crucible of Dragons as its own thing.

I have never liked that in D&D all magic is really the same. The only difference between clerical magic and wizardly magic is in the spell lists. Otherwise all the mechanics are exactly the same. This makes me question why even have Druids, Magic Users, Clerics, and Illusionists as separate classes with separately delineated spell lists. Why not just have one spell casting class? If. setting is going to have different sources of magic I think they should be differentiated mechanically.

I have played and enjoyed games where all magic is the same and comes from a common source. Unified magic can work well. But it needs to made part of the setting that it all comes from the same source and works in the same way. Not the priests get their magic from the gods, the shamans bind spirits, and the sorcerers study arcane secrets of intellectual and formulaic magic, but the mechanics are all the same.

If you decide to unify OpenQuest magic into a single system perhaps the original three systems could make an appearance in OpenQuest Companion volume of optional rules and expansions as Blindluke suggests above.

Also a reminder that you were going to remove "Flex" and "Set" from the category of "spears", but keep the "Long Spear" special rule for long spears. A rules clarification and streamlining that will help update things.

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This vote had me registred here after years!

I have to say, that a OpenQuest Edition 3 will have lost me. There are already so many good Systems out there for every niche. Hell, I own many more systems than I want to play or could...

Openquest was this nice, not so big and complicated D100 System, with very small basic rules and a slim book where all (and I mean all not setting specific rules) were in it. That was the actual reason to get into OpenQuest for me. Another Edition, in the worst case not 100% compatible with older setting and adventure books would just be a reason to walk away.

And there is more to consider: If I go to a tablesession, there is so much to carry. That´s why I love rulebooks where the autors got everything into one book. Because added to this one book are other books: A setting guide, an adventure book, a gm screen, some big pictures and maps, bottles, some dice, paper and so on... Bigger sets of rulebooks aren´t always better...

And like I told before there are very good, big rulesets out there for every taste...

So I would like a cleaned up Version with maybe another layout and some other pictures (I did not like those, but that is a very personal thing...). What I would also like are more settings and adventures (at best setting and adventure in one book, like other D100 productions do it), but not another ruleset, again.

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2 hours ago, blindluke said:

The Gatan setting material deserves it's own book

(...)

This re-refreshed edition could be followed by a Empire of Gatan setting book

I think Newt mentioned somewhere that he wouldn't get around to writing more Gatan material in the foreseeable future. But I suspect the three-book option might involve folding Gatan into the d100 worldbuilders book as a kind of extended example.

 

EDIT: to be honest, what I consider most important is that whatever ideas come out of this thread don't create a "River of Heaven Companion" situation for OQ, where some new element that is planned for a new edition/refresh becomes a roadblock to the whole thing (and maybe further OQ products). So while I'd love a new edition, it's probably important to keep the project managable.

Edited by Jakob

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Going through the book, I've found a few more things that I always thought could be changed slightly - most of these are simple matters of preference and probably not very important, but nevertheless:

Modifiers for skill tests: I'm a big fan of the "use only significant modifiers" philosophy, but I don't like +/- 25 as a step. It just makes the math a little more complicated - why not stick to modifiers dividable by ten, like 20/50, 20/40, 20/40/60 or something like that. Calculating 38+20 is just a little bit easier than calculating 38+25.

Also, I'm wary of suggesting "good role-playing" as a factor for granting a bonus on a roll. People tend to view all kinds of different things as "good role-playing", from good problem-solving to cooperative spirit to playing you character to the hilt, possibly at the expense of everyone else at the table. In the end, a bonus for good role-playing is simply a bonus the GM can give if he likes what a character is trying to do for one reason or another. This doesn't quite ring true with the BRP rules principles for me. It's a very small thing, basically a sentence of little consequence to the rules, but I have made horrible experiences with discussions about "good role-playing", and I feel a little rush of panic everytime I read those words.

However, I'd love to see player-controlled passions as an optional rule (if I remember correctly, RoH has them, but OQ2 doesn't). I'd suggest having them work similar to RQ:G, where the player can decide to roll on them and they have a positive effect on a success and a negative effect on a failure.

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5 hours ago, Jakob said:

But I suspect the three-book option might involve folding Gatan into the d100 worldbuilders book as a kind of extended example.

This is a wonderful suggestion, and it would be the best use of Gatan material as presented in OQ2 if it's not to be expanded upon in the foreseeable future. A sixty-four page long gazetteer would make the core rulebook much heavier than it needs to be, while twenty - thirty pages don't offer enough meat to serve as a campaign setting. But those same twenty pages would serve as an excellent example in a book on worldbuilding.

I agree that it's vital to keep the project managable. Some polish, slight changes and revisions, new artwork and improved layout, all of this is already something that makes a great game even better. But it would be great to hear about a vision for the product line, even if it's stretched over the next decade. I'm pretty sure that I will still be playing OQ those ten years from now.

The 20/40 modifier rule is already something I use at the table. Simple math is something that sits well with the idea of OQ being a simple system.

Edited by blindluke

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I'm not seeing an option that suits me...
I do like smaller digest-sized books, and the idea of having a version of Openquest like that, B&W with some new art, is appealing. But I really don't see the need (or feel the desire) for an OQ3. More content for the existing game... adventures, settings with suitable rules variations... are more what I'm in the market for vs. yet another take on the core rules. Some of the suggested changes, such as reducing the magic systems or bonuses for 'good' role playing would lessen my interest.

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3 hours ago, Simlasa said:

or bonuses for 'good' role playing would lessen my interest.

Well, the bonuses for good role-playing are actually in the 2nd edition, even though in a very minor way - I was actually suggesting to do away with them.

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@Jakob can I ask you to refrain from commenting on others posts. I'm asking for people's opinions on what they would like to see in a new OpenQuest. Discussion about the details comes later ;)  Thanks.

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41 minutes ago, Newt said:

@Jakob can I ask you to refrain from commenting on others posts. I'm asking for people's opinions on what they would like to see in a new OpenQuest. Discussion about the details comes later ;)  Thanks.

Of course, sorry about that!

 

Another rules comment:

I think fighting with two weapons has already been discussed as rather advantageous with its extra action. I'd suggest just dropping any specific rules for it - two weapons simply give you flexibility, a shield has the bonus advantage that you can use it to parry missiles; also, if you're disarmed, you still have the other weapon. For attacking with both weapons in one round, you can simply use an all-out attack.

 

Some thoughts about the bestiary (whether as a book on its own or as a part of a cleaned-up version):

Maybe some more advice on how to handle typical player character races like dwarves, elves or ducks - especially how to use the point-buy characteristics method for them. Regarding that, it might be useful to not only list the average characteristics, but also their range in the monster stats.

What I would really love to see, if there is a separate bestiary, would be spot-lights with immediately playable additional material related to some of the creatures. For example, give us a generic dragon, but also a specific dragon with stats, a map of his lair and a list of his treasures. A specific werewolf along with a sketch of the village he lives in and how he keeps his dark side a secret from his friends and familiy. Nothing in-depth, just a page or two each, but with a focus on adventure hooks and practical play-aids like maps and short descriptions of places and people. Keep it true to "monsters are people, too."

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18 hours ago, Jakob said:

Well, the bonuses for good role-playing are actually in the 2nd edition, even though in a very minor way - I was actually suggesting to do away with them.

I'd either forgotten or missed that bit in 2nd. But I was agreeing with your opinion of them, and assumed they were a suggestion for OQ3.

Since I wished for an option of digest sized (but largely unchanged) rules booklets, what about keeping the variant magic system(s) to separate booklets? Pick the one you like.
I think I'm just really liking smaller, digest-sized, books these days. The whole OSR 'zine thing.

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Heya Newt!

One of the things I enjoy most about OQ is the ease at which I can make any changes/additions/revisions my preference, need, or taste requires. In some ways, I feel that's my part, so I can make the game my own. Therefore any suggestions I offer should be taken with a grain of salt, and because of that, I'm only going to offer one ;-).

In the end, though I voted, I really want you to pursue the option you're most excited about--the one you think about when you wake up in the morning--the one you look forward to working on--the one that's going to make you feel the most happy and creative while doing it--the one you'll feel fulfilled about when you're done. That one will be the absolute best! Damn the torpedoes and full steam ahead. Create like your hair's on fire, and you can't stop laughing!

Cheers mate!

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Since you're asking, here's my opinion.

Personally, I see OQ as a lite, inexpensive option for playing Runequest (or BRP). And the more it resembles a lite RQ2, the more likely I am to buy copies for all the players in my group.

Unless an OQ3 was going to get more like RQ2 lite, I wouldn't be interested. There are way too many BRP variants as it is.

And in general, I'm strongly opposed to re-written editions of any game. Supplements, sure. Additional options, sure. But not re-writes. That just fragments the player base.

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One of the things I will be doing with OQ, polished OQ2 or full-blown OQ3, is taking it away from being an RQ lite (either 2 or 3) in both terms of presentation (which I confess I did in the early days of OQ) and content. If you want RQ you've got the new RQ for that :)

As for more d100 varients fragmenting the player base, I will vigorously disagree with you on that front. There will be players who stick with their prefered ruleset, be that Mythras, RQ, BRP Gold book, or even OQ (which frankly I am humbled by). Then there's the vast majority that pick and choose from their library of D100 games and supplements, mixing and matching to their heart's content :)

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I voted for an update rather a new book. In my experience the key issue to be addressed is the logic and layout of the book as it applies to new players. For those who know how to play d100 already the layout is clear and logical. I’ve observed new players really struggling to build a character, however. The answer was crib sheets: but it would have been nice to have had these provided.  I would suggest playtesting that does not involve old RuneQuest/BRP hands. 

As to other matters: no new rules, remove alternative spell names, more scenarios, yes to black and white, although a Hodgson colour cover remains obligatory, yes to as much distance from RQ and Glorantha as possible. Above all, as much d100 (rather than d20) as you care to develop.

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