Friday, March 11, 2005


A post on the ENWorld boards (where I probably spend time I should spend working- but I call it "advertising" and "connecting with the fans" so it feels more productive) raised an issue that I tried to address in Blood and Guts, 2nd edition and that I have spent a lot of time thinking about.

See, the first Blood and Guts was good, but it was TOO MUCH.

What do I mean by that?

Its like inflation. Have you ever noticed how Greenspan at the Federal Reserve juggles inflation rates around every now and then? Sometimes he raises them, sometimes he lowers them... he's looking for that sweet spot.

You want the economy to be hot, but not TOO hot.

Before you think this has turned political, I do think that anology applies.

BNG had good classes, but too many. Good skills, but too many. Good feats, but too many.

I was once of the opinion that you could never have too much STUFF. If you recall, back in an earlier post in this very blog I promised my books would always have nice crunchy STUFF. And they will.

However I am beginning to realize that if one new class is a good thing, 15 new classes is not 15 times better.

Here's an example: In BNG there was one development path that would allow you to enter Delta Force by level 10. One.

And that meant you had no class or feat choices available until 10th level.

That's too much of a good thing.

In some ways, Blood and Fists and Blood and Guts, my 2nd and 3rd Modern books respectively were experiments. I had taught myself the game writing and running Blood and Relics, and now I was ready to take it for a spin.

Looking at BNF and BNG its hard to imagine they were written by the same guy. I was experimenting with different types of design. BNF was very modular... very adaptable. Sure it has a few classes, but they're optional. You can ignore the classes and make use of the other 95% of the book.

BNG was very tightly woven together. You couldnt make use of one part of the book without the other parts of the book.

While this allowed you to run certain kinds of campaigns well, it forced you to either ignore the military or make it central. You couldn't take a little of the book and use it to make your Blood and Vigilance character have a more military feel (say a Capt America wannabe).

After using the books for over a year, I started to notice that BNF was always out, in my player's hands to add a feat or a skill use. BNG wasn't and I started to see the interwoven nature and complexity (dare I say density) of the rules as an impediment.

Basically, the flexible martial artist and rigid soldier fought and the martial artist won. So now the soldier is adapting


1 comment:

Larry Clapp said...

The Fed sets interest rates, not inflation rates, although I bet they'd love to just set inflation rates directly. :)

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