Dead... and Back is a survival horror Role Playing Game. The Anarchy Zones is its official setting - aliens, reanimates, and the ruins of 2055 America.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Next Edition Blues

Fourth Edition. Sounds so lofty. It took D&D a bit over thirty years to do that, for me somewhere between six and seven. Well, I'm sure they had a lot of drafts, and that is what most of my work counts as. Still, the incomplete document I'm revising at the moment surpasses seventy pages, and will likely be over one hundred when its done. The very first released version of this game was twenty pages long.

So what is taking so damn long?!

Well, Altruism Points are one sticking point, since I've thought of a lot of ways to use them, yet don't want to clutter up the game with too many alternate systems. I am also trying to refine the rate at which characters advance and what can increase

A lot of examples need to be rewritten - especially the two page story that serves for a combat example. Initiative has changed, as has what you roll to hit, the number of dice, types of necropoints, and I've recently written up the three characters involved as complete NPCs.

Hand to hand maneuvers have been added and I'm trying to strike a good balance between them. currently they cover things like pinning an enemy to reduce an opponent's SDI, grappling to reduce the target's DR, tripping them to alter initiative, slowing down their speed,and simply trowing the creature across the room to open up distance.

Scarcity has been expanded quite a bit, from just a way of tracking ammunition to possible fear rolls and tracking food.

Have I mentioned there are over 250 stories to edit and consider for inclusion?

Character creation has been reorganized, and more description is being added to most of the skills and special abilities.

GM advice, oh GM advice. When you can think of nothing else, tell the people play the game how to do so...

Vehicles have gotten some new rules, and needed examples since day one anyway. Weapon range and scale might be nice to include next to the new rules for tanks and such - but that might start breaking the simplicity of combat I want to keep.

Examples of towns, outposts, and a whole chapter of sample NPCs to help get the game going quickly once the players have waded thrugh the ever-growing (and hungry) document.

Revising some creature stats for the new rules to make them a bit more dangerous.

Expansion of the alternate settings to make them playable out of the box, rather than two pages of "you can also do this". 2552 is making good progress, Oberous is still pretty thin.

None of this is helped by the sense that I tend to see the entire effort at once, when I should be focusing on small chunks that can be finished in reasonable intervals.

Sorry if this isn't the most elegant post, but hopefully it gives some insight as to where all this will be going soon.


  1. Cool update, CA! Now, I recommend you don't go for the full v4 in the first run. Do a 4.0.0, then add a bit more, do a 4.0.1 and so on. Keep doing that, keep uploading.

    Also, it's big project, how are you organising yourself? How are you keeping track of all these updates?

  2. There isn't much formal organization to the changes "as go to each chapter, start trying to write, get bored, move to the next chapter, repeat". I have lists in my notes as to what needs to be done, and I think most of the editing issues for the older material have been handled.

    Basically, it was the old D&B, a revised one, then FFS edition since people were beginning to get snippy about it and I thought FFS had a different meaning... I began with a 1.1, 1.2 system - but then it jumped to a new line

    Part of the problem, is that a lot of the changes synergize. Revised initiative - once per combat - means hand to hand to alter the order is important, as is using deadening for a temporary boost, which means if AP can boost the size of your deadening pool... (and all that needs an example!)

    Still, I'm hoping for a "Dead of Winter" edition out soon.