I am pleased to announce we are working on a line of PDF games and supplements to both support our print products and offer exciting alternatives to our regular products. These will mostly be fifty pages or less, cost efficient and experimental. We will continue to put out regular print material, this is just a way for us to get more stuff out there while remaining within our budget.
Last week Bill and I started work on a game called Slayers, our first PDF mini-game. It developed very rapidly after our initial discussion on the premise and I am very excited aout it (if it does well, we will eventually put it into print). The concept is very simple: gritty fantasy in the style of Excaliber and Dragonslayer. The first fantasy movie I fell in love with was Excaliber and the news of Nicol Williamson (who played Merlin) made me think about why I like it so much to this day. So alot of those conclusions have made it into our design objectives for Slayers. What are our goals?
1) A simple and sleek system that focuses on imagination over tactics. We have a really solid core mechanic in place and will be playtesting it over the next couple of months. It is very different from the Network System, but similar in its core approach to games. So far it feels right. Slayers will not be written with miniature play in mind. Battlemats are great but sometimes it is good to build a system without them.
2) Deadly combat and mysterious magic. Combat in Slayers is unforgiving. This is a game where sizing up your opponent is important because skill weighs the odds heavily in your favor. Characters have a small pool of HP and many weapons are capable of eliminating them all in a single roll.
Magic is deeply inspired by films like Excaliber. It is dangerous to wield, hard to obtain and difficult to use in combat (though not impossible). Miscast spells can unleash shades, damn your soul and age your body. Use them at your own peril.
3) Anachronistic Dark Age Setting: One of the things that made Excaliber work was it embraced the anachronisms of Le Morte d'Arthur and works like it, which were written in later periods and often projected high and late middle age elements onto an early middle ages setting. So we intend to do the same. Or setting will be fictional, but vaguely resemble the early middle ages with lots of later developments thrown in for flavor (knights, chivalry, full plate armor, etc). I am still developing this part of the game.
There is much more to Slayers than this, and things could always change as we playtest it. As soon as we feel it is ready, we will release it in PDF.