The Almanack is Dead

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Re: The Almanack is Dead

Post Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:17 pm

same here. I love comprehensive indexes
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Re: The Almanack is Dead

Post Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:04 am

I spent a little time thinking about the Almanack this morning, and I realized there are basically three things that hold me back from putting it together:

1. Classes
2. Skills
3. Oddball Stuff

I've said before, the fastest way to screw up a game is with a bad class. An overpowered magic item could always just "run out of charges," or be stolen or burned up or whatever; a bad spell is more of a problem, but usually you can tweak the spell until it's okay without too much complaint from the players. But a class is the identity of the character in many ways... tweaking it might be possible sometimes, but outright removing a class after you've added it is generally out of the question. So while I like the Necromancer and Pyromancer and so on, I really don't like the idea of an "omnibus" publication with all those classes in it. As I've said before, I'm afraid some GMs will decide they're all "canon" and blame us when their game self-destructs.

Having two different approaches to the fighter subclasses makes this problematic as well.

Skills are another issue... there are basically two different sets of skills in the supplements already; there would be three if I published mine (the skills from Project 74). Ultimately, skills are a 2E-era thing (with respect to the target material). So, I don't like the idea of publishing any skill system in the Almanack, for the same reason.

Oddball stuff... 0 level spells, alignment systems, the New Races supplement, Spell Channeling Items. These things are cool, but in one way or another don't "fit" the "generic" nature of Basic Fantasy. Maybe not "generic" so much as "universal."

IF I CHANGED MY MIND and did a combination work, I'd probably include:

-- only classes found pre-UA-era
-- ditto for races
-- Combat Options, Thief Options, Armor and Shields, and probably the promised Weapons Supplement
-- the New Spells supplement

But you know what? I don't think I'll change my mind right now. Let's say the concept is evolving.


Here's a thought. Perhaps we should begin by combining related supplements. For instance, Equipment Packs and Quick Character Generation would make a nice combo. Armor and Shields, Combat Options, and the promised Weapons Supplement would work well together also.

What do you all think?
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Re: The Almanack is Dead

Post Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:54 am

I don't feel the same about 'Bloat' of materials, as I have never felt that any certain material was 'official, sanctioned, or whatever'; even core material is subject to modification by me for my game. There has always been tinkering with games, added material, new races, classes, spells and what-not since the begins of the role-play experience. It is a subjective choice to decide what is 'in or out' of anyone's game.

That said, I clearly understand how some might get the feeling that material is 'cannon' if it is published. I think steps can be made (mostly in presentation or introductions to the material) to explicitly command that 'no material is official' (except perhaps the core-rules).

I think that Monsters make a good "book". Perhaps a Spell/Magic Supplement could as well. I think the various classes can be consolidated into one or more books, such as Fighter Options, Thief Options, Magic-User Options, etc. but still with explicit language stating that the Game Master has absolute decision making power over the contents of his or her campaigns/game. I don't even mind having multiple approaches to concepts in one book, because it would be even more apparent that one or more methods should be Chosen by the Game Master, and not all.

Overall, I think the idea to scrap the Almanack as a Book is OK. I don't mind individual Supplements, because I can put together just the material I want into a package for myself and my players... in fact, it seems better this way.
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Re: The Almanack is Dead

Post Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:06 pm

Re The Almanack is Dead: On something that is a living project prone to changes, keeping major supplements split out by subject rather than in one main megabook makes sense.
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