Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On Fantasy Heartbreakers, New Games, and You... No, I mean "and Me"

So I'm hard at work on LotFP: Weird Fantasy Role-Playing, due in 2010, and I've got a lot of things on my mind. Retail distribution has been put on the table, and I'm currently crunching factors concerning that. How the two previous sentences will impact the overall module release schedule needs to be determined. Hammers of the God artwork is done and will be delivered this week, and there are other things both good and crap happening with LotFP as a publishing entity.

A couple things ahead of time, because I'll know they'll be coming sooner or later.

"Fantasy Heartbreaker." As much as I hate Forge-derived terms being used in actual conversation, internet or otherwise, using them wrong is even more maddening. All I have to say about the matter as it relates to my game is that my goal is 500 copies sold, and I don't intend it to be The Next Big Thing or take over the OSR, let alone gamerdom. The design goals for changes to the system are to satisfy two things from my point of view: Explaining traditional game elements so they make sense, and power issues. Oh yeah, and Things Never Actually Covered by most versions of the game.

It'll basically be The Game, just from my own point of view. Full compatibility with other OSR systems is a must; I will make no changes that cause compatibility problems. What will make this product (for I don't even believe that I am creating a new game at all) distinct and hopefully appealing is that point of view and the fact that it will be made with complete beginners in mind (well, at least the Introduction booklet). Only one part of the package will be "The Rules."

In keeping with OSR traditions, the rulebook will be available as a free download. It will be 100% Open Game Content, barring trademarks and artwork of course. The other portions of the box set won't be, but I don't think that will be a problem once you see how it's all laid out.

The license to declare compatibility on products will be very liberal, but I hereby declare that if just talking about compatibility on blogs and message boards, other makers of OSR games and material have my permission to discuss similarities and differences between their products and mine (an OGL Section 7 issue, for those wondering). I'd appreciate the same courtesy in return!

I'll post whatever I have ready on Friday (Character Creation rules at least) as Version 0.01, and then update that whenever a new section is done. I expect critique and comments all along the way! Discussion has already started here.


  1. Sounds very interesting. I think 2010 will be the year of Weird Fantasy! :)

  2. Sounds like fun. Already anticipating. Just make sure it looks nice on the Kindle DX ;)

  3. I'm probably not old-schooled enough on this issue, but I will make a lone quiet plea for a bookcase sized box rather than A5, realizing in advance that there are significant financial disincentives to this choice. Just dreaming :)

  4. I'm not sure that doing full-size would be that much of a financial disincentive. What it would be is a practical disincentive.

    I greatly, GREATLY prefer A5 or digest sized books at the actual table, because they are not so much in the way and you can handle them easily while in the middle of play.

    But the real problem is if I do a full-size box, that will be A4-sized, which is a bit taller than standard size in the US... and a lot of bookshelves aren't set up to deal with those. I ran into that problem with many bookshelves unable to properly hold my Warhammer 1e RPG books. Pain in the ass, that was.

    And the US is still my biggest market by a margin of over 10:1 by my not-checking-exact-stats-right-now estimates.