Where Are We with this Project? (And Rule Ideas)


Everything regarding B.L.O.O.D. : the Warhammer Fantasy Battle retroclone

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Post Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:40 am

Where Are We with this Project? (And Rule Ideas)

I was curious, where are we with the Oldhammer retroclone? I definitely support this idea, and can see it being published as a free PDF on DriveThruRPG, Wargame Vault or something similar. We could even use open license art from the Renaissance like Pieter Brueghel's The Suicide of Saul or Albrecht Altdorfer's The Battle of Issus (or even Renaissance etchings of Landsknechte). Is there a project lead at this point? I formally can offer my services for layout (I've done layout and design professionally for about seven years now and I have all the software and tools). It seems there are a lot of younger players dissatisfied with the latest edition so it makes sense to offer them some alternative.

Also, I had some rules suggestions. In generally I am for keeping the game as close to the original as possible, but there are somethings we can clean up a little bit to make it more straightforward for new players. I've been toying around with these ideas in particular:

1) Shifting the movement penalties for armour to the Reserve movement phase. Thus, instead of armour providing oddball .5" or 1.5" penalties, I would have a Shield provide no penalty to movement (it is enough that it uses the model's off-hand and is useless against attacks from the rear) and Light Armour and Heavy Armour would respectively provide -1" and -2" movement penalties during the Reserve Movement phase only. Thus, if a human unit with heavy armour is kept from moving in the Reserve phase by nearby enemies, they would still move 4". If they could move again in the Reserve phase, they would move an additional 2" for 6" total (which is the same difference as moving 3" in each phase). Horse barding would provide another -1".

2) Simplify terrain movement penalties. Instead of halving movement, a unit in difficult ground would simply not be allowed a Reserve Movement phase. Thus if they moved out of difficult terrain in their regular Movement phase, they could continue to take a Reserve Movement phase, but if they originally Moved into or within difficult terrain, they would lose Reserve Movement for that round. Combined with the earlier rule, this makes sure that heavily armoured units are not doubly punished for moving through difficult terrain (which may seem logical, but honestly tends to spoil those units in play if they happen to get trapped on bad ground).

I have also considered adopting the random charge and pursue distances from later editions of the game. This means infantry (units with Movement 5 or less) would charge and pursue 2d6" (minus movement modifiers from armour) and cavalry (units with Movement 6 or more) would charge and pursue 3d6". To adjust for this randomness, failed charges would merely make the unit unformed, but would not entail the unit missing it's next turn of movement.
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Post Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:32 pm

Re: Where Are We with this Project? (And Rule Ideas)

Well, it's slowed down a lot. We've had some good ideas and conversations, but the legal side of things is still too much of a grey area for me to get really stuck in. I mean, I'd rather work on my own rules than editing someone elses that I'll ahve to pull because they get their lawyers involved. That said, Benjamin Wrights project looks interesting, and Dreamfishs reference guides are worth looking at, but with the prevalence of illegal PDFs on the internet and relatively cheap eBay prices for 2e/3e the real 'need' doesn't seem to be there.

Bruegel is lovely Oldhammer imagery.

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And how about some Bosch for the Oldhammer: Realms of Khaös?

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Post Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:56 am

Re: Where Are We with this Project? (And Rule Ideas)

I know that the subject has stand by for almost one year, but I'm still interested in having a ruleset, fluff agnostic, usable by others commercially if they desire, and compatible with what does already exists (mainly WFB 2nd and 3rd editions).

I did re-read all the work done last year and we clearly have the base done.

So if noone here objects, I propose to have what we already have here streamlined and formatted to see if we really cover everything. I will work on this and should be able to show something by mid-november.

Regarding the legal issues raised before, for what I do understand there shouldn't be any problems as long as we do not use the same wording and art as I didn't find any patent for the mechanics themselves (GW seems to have mainly patents regarding plastic injection process).

Bruno
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Post Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:29 pm

Re: Where Are We with this Project? (And Rule Ideas)

treps wrote:Regarding the legal issues raised before, for what I do understand there shouldn't be any problems as long as we do not use the same wording and art as I didn't find any patent for the mechanics themselves (GW seems to have mainly patents regarding plastic injection process).

Bruno


Finally, some one brings up the type of law I actually understand instead of pretend to ;) Patents only last about 20 years so any that GW had on 3rd edition rule mechanics should have long since expired.
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Post Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:49 am

Re: Where Are We with this Project? (And Rule Ideas)

I would be really interested in this, even if I don't think I could help much.

A set of rules that newcomers, or old players returning, would mean people dont have to all fight over the same crumbly books via ebay, or "accidentally come across" PDFs.

Tread carefully though! The whole "OSR" RPG scene came out of people officially being able to use the Open Game Licence and Open System License, not just "Yeah, I'm sure it'll be OK" :D
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Post Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:27 pm

Re: Where Are We with this Project? (And Rule Ideas)

zoggin-eck wrote:The whole "OSR" RPG scene came out of people officially being able to use the Open Game Licence and Open System License, not just "Yeah, I'm sure it'll be OK" :D

in fact it's even more complex than that, the OGL is just a license which anybody can use to publish a game with an open system (like open source software), it could have been a Creative Common License or a GNU Documentation license with the same effect, except that the OGL explicitly let you define what is open game content and what is not, even in the same tome.

WoTC did choose to publish the core mechanics of D&D3E (and 3.5) using OGL, it's what figures in the SRD published by WoTC, it was the rules but also the spells and monsters (with some exceptions), and then some folks managed to use this core as a way to bring back something closer to the prior incarnations of D&D, it gave the look and feel of old editions (by using the same characteristics, the same spell names, the same monster names, etc.), but it was not really retro-clones, the problem was that it has to rely on the official D&D Players Handbook, at least for everything that did concerns Character Creation and it was not sufficient but that was the first step, then some folks did search more on the legal side and found that the core mechanisms of a game couldn't be copyrighted as long as it was not a simple copy of what already existed, the exception would have been that, if there was a patent on the rules then the mechanisms would have been under protection. They then were able to put some new games, that did use parts of what was in the SRD (thanks to WoTC for putting it under OGL) but also to rewrite the rules needed to have complete games with more than the look and feel but that were playing exactly the same way that the older editions. Some did even used or create some other license for their part of the game (OSRIC license for example), the OGL part being being only for the part that came directly from the SRD (mainly spells and monsters).

What I understand from all this is :
- we can freely rewrite the mechanisms of the game, as long that this is really a totally new work, the mechanisms of a game being not copyrightable and seeing that there seems to be no patents for them, we first choosed to use a Creative Commons Licence for them, but could opt for the OGL, or any other if needed ; And, as a motivation i would refer to the official IP guidelines GW which incite us to adapt or modify the rules freely if we want(1), that's what we are doing !
- if some of the monsters/spell names/concepts already exists in OGC somewhere for any other game then we can use it freely by using the OGL (and putting this part of our work under the OGL in the same way) without any risks of GW lawsuit as we will be referring to OGC made by other company and not to GW content (Pathfinder has a lot, and I really mean a lot of OGC available as a free source, some other games too);
- if some of the monsters/spell names/concepts do not exists in any OGC of other games then it's better to not use it in any ways or in very different ways so that there is no possible confusion (mainly Zoat, Fimir and Chaos Gods)

Globally, what we have as of now :
- new rules with same math mechanisms
- new spells

As we always said that we would like to have the rules alone in a "book", and all the contents in other "books", we will have to check that everything that is not rules related is already covered by the OGL (or another free license), or only make true original content...

Bruno


(1) from here :
Rules

We encourage fellow hobbyists to invent rules that work for them. There is no need to stick precisely to the published rules. However, if you are thinking about making your own Codex for your Space Marine chapter (in addition to following the other guidelines in this policy), please avoid making it look official as this may confuse gamers and amount to a challenge to our trademarks. Also, do not copy our official publications or documents.
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Post Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:50 pm

Re: Where Are We with this Project? (And Rule Ideas)

Interesting treps, thank you for the detailed reply.

I must admit that much of what I have read has been second-hand, so I'll take your word for it. When I was chasing-up old RPGs, I gave up reading all of the retro-clones and just bought the real thing! Luckily, all the old D&D books are available as PDF now. Don't you wish GW would do the same? ;)

Again, I'd love to see a retroclone, even in it were just to spread the word about older editions, and most of us owned the original books anyway.

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