That's right, I'm going ahead with it. Sometime in the next week or two, I plan to post R76 of the Core Rules.
Here's my plan:
1) Collect the whole rule system into one file, then hammer out the known formatting issues. R75 was created in July 2008; since then, changes to OpenOffice.org, and then to LibreOffice, have screwed up my carefully-planned layout.
2) Correct the known errata, from the errata thread here and from the Dragonsfoot.org Core Rules thread, plus anything else anyone points out.
3) Add some stuff that I think would benefit the game. A handful of new monsters and one or two magic items are what I have in mind right now.
What I WON'T Change:
1) Player-facing rules. Except with respect to the errata, I won't change anything players need to know to create and play characters. No new combat rules, no additional classes or races. I'm considering adding the Magic-User/Thief combo class, but that would be the biggest planned change.
2) Organization. Don't whine about it, okay? The rules stay in the same order they are in now. Consistency was the reason when I wrote 1st edition (consistency with the coverage target, that is), and with the 2nd edition I made just one change (swapping races and classes). For the 3rd edition, everything stays in the order it was in the 2nd.
I will NOT invalidate anything substantial from the 2nd edition, whether by changing rules, omitting rules, or adding sufficiently to the rules to change their nature. My games are run with two copies of 1st edition and two of 2nd edition on the table; I don't want to have to throw any of them out, nor do I want anyone else to do so.
To the Italian Translation team: Take heart, guys. All the above means is that your efforts will not have been wasted. I'd like to ask you to finish translating R75 as is, and turn it over to me finished. I'll deal with getting it into a single file and fixing the formatting, and we'll probably publish it that way. It may take a few iterations back and forth between myself and you guys to get everything right (for instance, I won't know if a piece of art is inappropriately placed after reformatting without one of you reading it) but we'll get it done. Then, at your convenience, you can read through this thread to find the changes, translate and apply them, and with any luck we can keep the Italian version in sync with the English version so that 3rd Edition can go to print in both languages at the same time, or at least, within a few days.
I do not see the cover art changing substantially; I will maybe add a corner-banner identifying it as 3rd Edition, so you can tell at a glance what you're holding.
However, interior art is welcome. I'd love to see monsters not illustrated in 2nd Edition get their mugshots into 3rd. I'm expecting newly minted Art Director Shonuff to be busy wrangling artists and drawing some himself for the new release.
When I released 1st Edition, I used the tagline "make mine Basic" a lot. The 2nd Edition tagline is "Adventure Lurks Within." Both are worthy, but if someone should think of something cool to say about 3rd Edition, this would be the thread to air it in.
Well, that's what I have to say for now. Thoughts?
When it comes to what will be in the edition, here is some of my wishlist:
More Monsters ... but I would not want the Field Guide gutted too much. Take some of the regular stuff, leaving weird/cool for the Field Guide to remain. I would like the Field Guide to keep a sort of "Fiend Folio Weirdness Vibe" rather than hanging onto all the standard fare. I would like the Field Guide to eventually be expanded to the point (even after moving some material to the core book) where it could perhaps become a print edition (perhaps even a Hard Cover edition).
More Magic Items ... including perhaps more types or the material for "sentient" items.
More Equipment, .... and specifically, I would really like to have more Armor than just 3 pieces and shields.
More "guidance type material" with regard to Saving Throws (as mentioned a few times here and there in the forums). Perhaps more such guidance material with respect to various ways to resolve stuff like Ability Checks, x on d6 type rolls, or others.
Contrary to what you mention about races, I think you could consider Gnomes, Half-Elf, and Half-Orc as options. Just an opinion, but these are pretty standard fare, often House-Ruled into Basic Edition games.
As always, just my humble opinions of what can be accomplished in such an edition without breaking from the spirit of the game as it stands now. Definitely do not change actual Rules substantially... this is not necessary and I agree, it goes down that road of invalidating the previous editions.
I agree with Smoot on this. I would like to see more monsters,without gutting Field Guide, more equipment, armor, and weapons. I do want to ask, are you going to keep it all one book or are you going to break it into 2, a players guide and a DM's guide? I just thought I'd ask. I am cool with it either way. I just know that some might like it broke up and others wouldn't and and I am of two minds of it. Anyways, I look forward to seeing the new rules. I had been thinking about ordering a hardback rule book, but now i will hold off till the 3rd ed comes out.
Smoot, I agree with you on the monsters and magic items. At present, the list of monsters to be added is as given in the Field Guide thread; for magic items, my only firm addition is the Horn of Doom, a personal favorite which I don't think is too weird. I also agree with you regarding the eventual development of the Field Guide.
I really, really don't think I'll be adding spells. IF I do, it will be no more than 2 per level (and no less either, as I want to keep the Core Rules spell lists "rollable") with no level having more spells than any lower level (the pyramid rule).
More equipment... I'm torn. The Emporium is just too much; I don't think I'd ever use it in my game. Adding even one more item needing a description will blow a hole in the layout that can only be filled with more items. Sort of an "equipment crapstorm" which I'm loathe to start right now. But I will think about it.
Specifically regarding armor: I really don't want to get into an "advanced" game here, so I'm not interested in the sort of comprehensive armor list that would accompany that. I am willing to consider adding a few armor types, though.
NOT adding races, much as I'm tempted to add the Gnome. See my notes about "advanced" games above.
Blazeguard: Not bloody likely. Your suggested tagline implies the previous versions weren't right somehow, and frankly I'm darn proud of what we accomplished there.
Jackel: Breaking the game up serves no purpose. When printed on Lulu, adding a few pages, even doubling the book size, makes little difference in the price. It's basically X price plus Y per page, where X is much and Y is very little. So producing a few large books makes more sense than a lot of little ones. Of course, if you print it yourself, you can print exactly as many pages as you want; this is why I focus on the other side, where you are buying printed copies, even though the downloads outstrip the purchases by a large margin.
It's also why I put all those little modules together into one bigger one for AA1.
NOW: Regarding the first release in the 3rd Edition cycle... I'll probably post R76 tonight. It's a single file, with a few errata applied (which I started a long time ago, so I'll have to review the errata thread to figure out what exactly is fixed). It's 156 numbered pages plus four more for the title and TOC pages, so 160 even. Of course, it's going to get bigger. I'm not at home right now, and I can't post my updates until I get there, but watch this thread for a notification.
OK I think your idea is perfect (for the Italian translation)
indeed the 2nd is a very balanced edition
ON 3rd edition: additions: maybe in the GM section one or two pages to give guidance on different gods/cults for clerics (now there are only hints here and there)?
instead for additional classes, races and spell (and all the other "more" things) could be collected in a companion tome (the material is not missing but could be reorganized and given more an unified feel)
PS: a bookmarked pdf would be nice.... but I have to understand how to do it ():-)
sorry for the earlier post I hit the send button before wrapping my mind on what I wanted to say
o.k. Solo, It doesn't matter to me. I will watch this post. As for the spells, I would be fine as is. We have Smoot's Libram Magica for more spells. Now, if there is a spell or three that maybe should be in the main rule book, then fine.