Tuesday, March 01, 2005

You should never go grocery shopping when you're really hungry...

This is one of those old sayings.

You know, like don't mix beer and wine. EVER.

Maybe I need to make a new maxim for role playing design: "Don't design a game when you're having a nostalgia jones".

See, when I designed Blood and Guts, I was on a serious nostalgia jones. Remember those old Danger International and GURPs special ops campaigns I mentioned? While running those, I always thought about how cool it would be to do it under a class based system.

I thought about what a cool campaign it would be to run a Special Forces unit with each specialty represented by its own class: Special Forces Medical Sergeant, Special Forces Engineering Sergeant, Special Forces Weapons Sergeant and Special Forces Communications Sergeant.

It really had a vibe that I liked, like when you were running D&D out of the old red box and you have a Fighter, a Mage, a Cleric and a Thief.

So when I started work on Blood and Guts, despite the fact that the broad range, infinitely adaptable model of Blood and Fists was being very well received, I decided to do something old school.

It would have a ton of classes. Each of them very specific.

Over time, I started to realize that wasn't as good a model as what I had done in Blood and Fists. But hell, the book was already out, it was selling well, and people seemed to like it.

So screw it.

Except that, as time goes on, your first inclinations of a design problem seem to grow on you. Doing a book about terrorists required its own classes. That was ok from an old school point of view- bad guy specific classes have a certain vibe. They make the players a little uncertain.

However, when I realized each military from around the world would need its own book, and actually assisted Fraser in the making of one (In Her Majesty's Service), I realized that I didn't care for that. I wanted something more flexible.

But again, the book was out. Nothing I could do then.

However, there came a day, a day like no other... oops sorry that's the Avengers isn't it.

I was talking to the boss one day, and he mentioned a Blood and Guts hardcover would be cool, a compilation of all the books we had done, big and small.

And of course a rules revision.

So I asked him... what would you think about an actual, honest to god new edition, done the way I'd do it if I were starting from scratch?

Perhaps not surprisingly, he liked that idea. I was asked to come up with an outline and then we would revisit the topic.

So one outline later, and we had something both Chris and I thought was a winner. A longer product. More ambitious in many ways. Able to handle militaries of various cultures and times with relative ease.

Yet despite the fact that the book was longer, the individual PDFs would be shorter. This would leave me more time to attend to my growing list of responsibilities like the Modern Dispatch adventure ezine and the promised adventures for Legends of the Samurai (mmm I can't wait to get started on those).

So, having just wrapped the first draft, a process of more than a year's worth of thought and playtesting is finally going to come to fruition, Blood and Guts II. Or more appropriately, Blood and Guts 2nd edition.

I really hope you guys *like* what I've come up and look forward to hearing your thoughts on it as you see it, read it and run it.



Jeremy said...

Sounds like one step closer to my dream of Twilight:2000 for D20M :)

Steve Peterson said...

A nice sturdy hard cover sounds great -- looking forward to it.

I think having a fewer classes but more customization is a good idea -- enough to make each class distinct while avoiding making the player feel like he's on rails when he takes the class.

barsoomcore said...

A hardcover Blood And Guts? Am I dreaming?


Chuck said...

Nope not dreaming.

Btw this decision has nothing to do with it being a 2nd edition as opposed to just a revision/compilation, we were going to do a HC either way.

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