A quick update about Rumble in the Jungle, the text is in copy editing and will be going to layout soon. The novella has a nice appendix with character bios, maps, and glossary to go along with the fantastically fun story by Nigel Wong. Our second novella has started and the first draft is nearly done. Red Giants covers the Nova Red Riders during the War of the Alliance, and the regiment’s sacrifices during the bloody conflict.
Since making the announcement that we are reviving the Heavy Gear roleplaying game, Greg and I have received a tremendous amount of feedback from the community on the future of the game. Initially we presented the idea that the new 20th Anniversary book would be 2nd edition compatible and our decision at the time was based on the wide popularity of the system during its initial run during the nineties. Of course in twenty years, the roleplaying market has changed substantially. So what does this mean for Heavy Gear fans? Greg and I want to give you, the community, the game you want. I had mentioned the inclusion of a GM’s Toolkit in an earlier post, and I wanted to go in depth on that part of the 20th Anniversary Edition.
The GM’s Toolkit will give the players and their Gamemasters the ability to streamline or expand the depth of the ruleset to suit their playing style. The GM will be able to implement the rules he or she wants to make the game as gritty or fast paced as the gamers want. The goal of this section is to address some of the common critiques of the original system, and to provide the gaming group with an solid system that they can enjoy. This section of the book is also the part of the book that Greg and I want to hear from you the fans. What can we add to the Tool Kit to make the game better? I outlined a few of the changes I had planned in an earlier post, and the feedback that we received was excellent! Please keep posting your ideas and we’ll look through them and prioritize them based on community response.
To get the ball rolling, here are some of the ideas we’ve talked about or seen in the community:
Simplified Stats: The original Heavy Gear included ten primary stats and five secondary stats. Some of the stats were under utilized or redundant. Stats could be combined into a single stat for simplification and ease of use. This is especially useful for combat where quick reference to stats makes the game flow easier.
Career Ladder System for player characters: One commone complaint in the original system was the wide availability for growth into anything. The lack of character classes or themes allowed players to create some crazy skill combinations, which lead to a player losing focus on their character’s natural development. Character Ladders would let players advance naturally, with added benefits tied to their classes such as perks and discounts on skills in their profession. It would make skills outside of their profession a complex skill.
Stats split off from Skills: GM’s can attach an appropriate stat to skill. Agility in the old system was the dominant stat that players gravitated towards. To be successful in combat, a high agility stat was paramount. The old system of tying a stat to skill meant that all of the lucrative skills were limited to a few stats, while others were practically useless like Willpower or Psyche. GM’s using this tool can assign apporpriate stats to individual skill rolls. Dodge could suddenly rely on Psyche representing sheer luck keeping the character alive. Survival could be tied to Willpower to demonstrate the need to keep your spirits up when your marooned in the harsh deserts. Options abound and would be detailed.
Refined complexity system: Silcore had multiple levels of complexity, but unfortunately the system was ill defined. We would like to look at the possibility of refining and explaining the system in more detail.
All of these options are possibilities, and we want to hear from you, the fans, on what rules you want see expanded, changed or modified in the 2nd edition. Post your comments below and let us know what you want to see in the GM’s Toolkit.We do ask that write your most desired changes to the top of your wishlist so we can gauge overall interest and we can start constructing testing materials.