Friday, 27 January 2017

Swift d12 and Saga of the Goblin Horde

I'm currently splitting my time between two projects (the Saga of the Goblin Horde setting, and the Swift d12 system), with the eventual goal of merging the two together into a single book. Recently I've been focusing on the setting, as it's gradually getting close to completion, but I hope to get back to Swift d12 again soon, and plan to do some more playtesting next month.

Saga of the Goblin Horde was originally written for Savage Worlds, and I do still intend to release a Savage Worlds version under the fan license. However I'd rather not work on two versions of the book at the same time, so I plan to complete the Savage Worlds version first, and then convert it to Swift d12.

Book Structure

Anyone who's looked at the Swift d12 document may have noticed that it's divided into three main sections: Character Creation, Game Rules, and Magic. That might seem a bit arbitrary, but there's actually a method in my madness.

The Saga of the Goblin Horde setting book is divided into nine chapters: Introduction, Characters, Equipment, Setting Rules, Gods and Magic, Gazetteer, Game Master's Secrets, Adventures, and Bestiary. The Introduction, Gazetteer and Game Master's Secrets don't contain any mechanics, so they won't need to be changed for Swift d12. The Equipment Table will need to be converted, but the rest of that chapter is mostly descriptive, and can be left as it is. The Adventures and Bestiary will also need conversion, but I've tested the waters with Bone of Contention and the Archetypes, and I think the process will be fairly straightforward.

The biggest challenge will be the Characters, Gods and Magic, and Setting Rules chapters - and that's where the aforementioned Swift d12 sections come in. Those three sections will be turned into replacement chapters, after merging in any flavor text.

So in summary, three chapters will be identical, three will be converted, and three will be replaced. But the overall structure of the two Saga of the Goblin Horde books will be the same, and that will hopefully help to keep the workload fairly manageable.

Player's Guide

One advantage of the way the book is structured is that the first six chapters are intended for players, and the last three chapters are for the GM, so creating a player's guide would be a simple matter of chopping off the first six chapters and releasing them as a separate PDF.

I created a couple of polls (one on G+ and the other on FB) and it seems there is a general preference for offering a smaller player's guide with the GM content removed, so that's the approach I'm thinking of taking. This would also allow me to release the player's guide much earlier (as those chapters are pretty much complete), giving me the chance to incorporate feedback prior to releasing the full setting.

Next Steps

The first release will be the Savage Worlds version of the player's guide. After that I'll work on finishing the main setting book for Savage Worlds. If I've managed to get Swift d12 into good shape by that point, I will convert it and release both versions of the setting at the same time, otherwise the Swift d12 version will come out a little later.

The Campaign Deck will also be released at around the same time as the setting books, but after that I'll have a bit more breathing space, and I can decide where to go next. I have plans for more adventures for Saga of the Goblin Horde, a generic version of Swift d12, new settings for Swift d12, and so on. But I'd rather not make any firm plans until I see how things work out with the main setting.