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Thread: A New Direction for Classic Fantasy?

  1. #1
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    Default A New Direction for Classic Fantasy?

    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
    Last edited by threedeesix; August 24th, 2012 at 06:17.
    Join my RuneQuest Classic Fantasy Group at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/RQCF/info/
    Join my BRP Classic Fantasy Yahoo Group at http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/brpclassicfantasy/

  2. #2
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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.
    75/420
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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.
    Simon Phipp - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982.
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    RQ Merrie England (Medieval RPG): http://www.alephtargames.com/index.p...land&Itemid=57 and http://merrieengland.soltakss.com/

    RQ/BRP: www.soltakss.com/index.html
    RQ Alternate Earth: Group: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/alternateearthrq/ Website: http://alternateearthrq.soltakss.com/

  5. #5
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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?
    Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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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.
    Smiley when you say that.

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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.
    70/420

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    What's the status with GORE from Goblinoid Games? Seems that would fit perfectly.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by threedeesix View Post
    ...
    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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