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A Comment on the "Companion"/Advanced Question

Posted: Thu May 11, 2017 5:10 pm
by Solomoriah
I've been asked a bunch of times about creating a compilation of supplements as a "Companion" book, providing more "Advanced" play, and I think you all know why I'm against that as an official publication.

EDIT 2/12/2019: I'm finding a lot of people who DON'T know why I'm against an "Advanced" rulebook or an official "Companion" supplement... so here it is: If I were to publish a combined supplement, classes, races, spells, etc. all together in some form, and put it on the Downloads page, it would acquire an air of being "official." I don't want that. I don't want an "official" way to play an "advanced" version of the game. I want GMs to feel completely free to use, or ignore, whatever supplements make them happy. I also like that the narrowly-focused supplements we have now allow GMs to announce games like this: "I'm running BFRPG, with Druids, Half-Humans, Rangers and Paladins, and Thief Options." Easy. Everyone now knows what supplements they need to have on hand to join your game, and there is no need for anyone to mark up a book... "let's see, we're using this, and this, but not that or that..."

... and now, back to my original post:

But I realized my players have to shuffle a lot of paper sometimes to keep up with the different supplements I am using, so I decided to create my own "house rules" document containing the supplementary material I'm using.

It goes like this:

Half Humans
(most of) Thief Options
(some of) Magic-User Options
New Spells
(most of) Combat Options
Sentient Weapons

I think that's all of it. Anyway, I laid it out in a similar fashion to the Core Rules, and right now it weighs in at 41 numbered pages (plus title page and TOC).

41 pages. That's it. Plus 2 pages, as I noted, but two of those numbered pages are the OGL, so it's still kind of a wash.

The answer to the "Companion Question" is: It's barely big enough to print... not really worth buying.

Re: A Comment on the "Companion" Question

Posted: Thu May 11, 2017 9:34 pm
by Longman
I think a supplement on "campaign design" would be more useful.

What sort of additional races do you want in your campaign? (Links to various race options on the website).
What sort of additional classes do you want and how will it affect game balance? (Links to website).
Do you want additional spells? (Links to 0-level spells, New Spells and Libram Magica)
How detailed do you want your equipment and encumbrance to be? (Link to equipment emporium).
How to make new monsters, design new classes and races, advice on game balance, etc. (Links to exiting material on those subjects).

I'll offer to make this if you think it would help.

Re: A Comment on the "Companion" Question

Posted: Thu May 11, 2017 10:31 pm
by Solomoriah
I'm not sure there's much need for it as of right now, but thanks for the offer.

... are you interested in access to the blog, Longman? Because that DOES sound like an excellent blog post.

Re: A Comment on the "Companion" Question

Posted: Thu May 11, 2017 10:53 pm
by Longman
Sure. I will write something soon-ish and pass it by you.

Re: A Comment on the "Companion" Question

Posted: Fri May 12, 2017 5:11 am
by vskull
To be honest, a Basic Fantasy Guide to Player Options would be cool to see in the future that is tailored to optional races, classes and sub classes, including spells for each. In addition to what was already listed, a Monk class and a Half-Orc race could be added. To flesh out the Companion even further, add a section on Basic Fantasy Deities for players to follow if they wish. Leave the deity descriptions basic, and then later their stats could be added to another Basic Fantasy Field Guide for high level adventures. Just typing out some ideas. 41 pages is short, but if content could be added to increase page count to 60 or 70, it would be worth a print copy.

Re: A Comment on the "Companion" Question

Posted: Fri May 12, 2017 7:30 am
by Solomoriah
See, here's the problem. As soon as I discuss doing a Companion, someone jumps in with things I should add. But the next guy probably won't agree with you, and if I add everything everyone wants, it will be a circus.

This was something I dealt with a lot when writing the Core Rules. I limited the game to things the "coverage target" game published in 1981 covered. If that game had it, my game had to have it; if it did not have it, my game probably wouldn't either. I only made exceptions for things I felt strongly about.

Doing a "general" Companion or Advanced supplement or whatever would always run into that issue, but unless I declared a new coverage target, I'd never be able to justify including or excluding any particular thing.

My "Glain Companion" will be in the Showcase at some point or another, but will never be on the Downloads page; it will never be official, in other words. The "coverage target" is entirely in my head... all the things I want, and nothing I don't.

INCIDENTALLY... the Half Humans supplement mentioned above includes Half-Orcs. Monks? Never in my world.

Re: A Comment on the "Companion" Question

Posted: Fri May 12, 2017 7:33 am
by Solomoriah
Oh, and deities never have stats in my games. That's a 1E feature I never really liked.

Re: A Comment on the "Companion" Question

Posted: Fri May 12, 2017 7:53 am
by vskull
Sorry, I didn't realize this topic was about your Glain Campaign; I read into it as a companion for the Basic Fantasy Core Rules. I didn't even know it was for Glain until you replied to my comment. My bad.

Re: A Comment on the "Companion" Question

Posted: Fri May 12, 2017 12:57 pm
by Dimirag
The problem with doing a file containing info on every optional thing is that it would be needed constant upgrade as soon as something new is added, plus, it has the risk of putting untested or unbalanced things in an "official" perspective and that's what we always try to avoid.

Same for a guide of how to create worlds or campaigns that is focused on the rules, not everyone will want or use the presented rules and not everyone will agreed that a specific optional rule is the best approach.

I think the best way, if Solo approves it, is to present personal house rules in the way the person making the file feel more comfortably, but in a way that shows that the presented material is the personal take of an individual or specific gaming group.

Re: A Comment on the "Companion" Question

Posted: Fri May 12, 2017 2:10 pm
by Hywaywolf
all of it already exists on the showcase and the downloads page. Why does it need to be in an official book? Just cherry pick what you like.