Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Making hay while the sun shines

Just another quick update on Chanbara.

I had a fairly light load of readings for grad school this week, so I've really been trying to crank out the text for Chanbara.  Today, I revised the monster XP tables, lowering values quite a bit from Flying Swordsmen.  FSRPG is all about the kung fu, so combat XP is high.  Chanbara will be about getting the loot as well as kicking monster ass, so XP for GP will be in it, and monster XP needed to be toned down a bit.  Of course, that means I'll also need to devise some treasure tables...  Hmm...

Anyway, I managed to write up seven or eight of the approximately 20 new monsters in the game.

And for those who wish to take score at home, Chanbara will feature:

13 Character classes, 66 spells, around 45 combat Maneuvers (I'll have to count them to be sure), a similar number of ninja Tricks, the above mentioned 20 monsters, and setting information for those islands up at the top right corner of the Zhongyang Dalu map in FS.

I've decided the major samurai clans will be named after sumo stables.  Originally I thought I'd go with famous samurai actors' names, but decided the sumo stables sound more interesting (or at least to me).  Other than that, I'm still not decided on whether I want a "warring states" political free-for-all setting for maximum action and social mobility, or a more stable "Edo-Jidai" human lands with encroaching monsters to go for a traditional Law vs. Chaos thing.  I considered adding notes for both, and I guess that will depend on how long I want this ebook to be.  Still shooting for 64 pages, but it may end up 120 or so like Flying Swordsmen if I'm not careful.

[If you don't mind waiting, I can go full bore on this thing.  If you'd like it sooner rather than later, like me, 64 pages is the way to go.]


  1. I'd prefer the 120 page version, please

  2. You may just get it. We'll see, though. I'll have to decide just how much "running the game" stuff I'll need to include, and how much I can safely assume readers know (like designing adventures, dungeons, etc.).

    Would people be upset if I directed them to other games or the internet for those sorts of things? I figure most folks that read this blog would be fine without yet another set of instructions for stuff like that, but Flying Swordsmen has made its way beyond just the OSR, if slightly.

  3. I think having it be somewhat complete would be best. Especially considering the interesting cultural aspects that are not covered by other sources.

  4. If you double the text, can you double the artwork? And as you say, how much is really going to grab a grognard by his beard? I assume after nearly a year of work you'd want to at least sell a polished pdf. I think the age of the "free OSR treatise" has been kind enough to fans...

  5. Luckily, I've collected 200 public domain images and counting. I might not need any extra images after all.

    And yeah, I think a nice, affordable .pdf will be the way to go on this one.

    I may end up splitting the difference. 96 pages looks like about the size this game wants to be. No need for me to reinvent the wheel, but enough space for me to put in all the important information that deviates from standard OSR-style D&D, plus enough setting information to get the feel of the game across.