Welcome back, adventurers!
It’s hard to believe that 4 months have already passed, since we released the first version of the Quickstart Rules. A lot of things happened since then and we received a great amount of feedback, both from our internal playtesters and from you, dear readers.
This revised version of the Quickstart Rules is the result of the past months of intensive playtest and of our work on the feedback received. We focused particularly on the areas of the rules that received more comments or seemed to cause more confusion, and tried to make the game as accessible and easy to run as possible.
So, here’s a quick rundown of what we changed in this new version of the Quickstart Rules. As you’ll see there’s a lot of small fixes here an there, but also a few major changes, particularly in the character creation rules and in the Passions mechanics.
However, the core rules remain the same. So, those of you who already gave it a trial run will find that the game plays mostly as it did before, only a bit more smoothly.
- Changed the standard pronoun through the text: from “he” to the singular “they” for indeterminate gender.
- Adjusted some Kin bonuses and Cultural Skill Ranks.
- Removed Vocational Special Abilities: Vocational Special Abilities were something we made with the Quickstart Rules in mind, a simple way to characterize each Vocation and give PCs something more to play with, especially at higher levels. However, some of our playtesters found them confusing (as there’s nothing else that works quite like them in the game), while others felt they “forced” each Vocation into a specific stereotype (like the heavily armored warrior or the backstabbing rogue). So we decided to remove them for now. But don’t worry, the full rules will contain plenty of options for customizing your character’s Vocation, as we hope to show you during our beta playtest program.
- Fixed some minor mistakes in the Vocational Bonuses.
- Clarified some of the skill descriptions.
- Revised some of the Background Options: Elven Training, in particular, was just too good to be left as it was.
- Slightly altered how the Passions/Drive mechanics work: the basic concept behind the Passions mechanics is still the same, but we made some small adjustments to the Drive Points rules. We tried to make their usage more intuitive and disincentivate Drive Points “hoarding”.
- Revised the “Helping” mechanics: help and cooperation are big tropes in Epic Fantasy sagas. Heroes often succeed because they act together, while the servants of darkness seems unable to cooperate and fail because of that. For this reason we think that help should be a big deal in VsD. Heroes should be helping each other almost all the time! The previous rules were very simple, but in the end they also felt a bit dull. The new rules make Helping more dynamic, forcing the players to actually do something to help their companions, and creating more interesting situations in game overall.
- Revised the Surprised condition.
- Revised the Stunned condition: the TSR to remove the condition was a bit too random for our tastes and needlessly slowed the flow of combat down.
- Made the Encumbrance Levels slightly more forgiving: since most of our playtesters felt they kicked in too soon, forcing heroes to be too careful about what they bringed with them.
- Clarified a few points on Spell Casting and Spell learning/acquisition.
- Revised a few spells.
- Added two Kin Spell Lores: Spell Songs and Elven Lore, since they can be developed by characters with the Elven Training Background Option.
- Revised the Equipment tables and the Creature Stats Table: in particular, we made higher level creatures slightly more threatening, and added a few paragraphs explaining how to read the Creature Stats Table.
- Fixed several typos.
And that’s it! We probably missed something, and you’ll surely find (few, hopefully!) more typos, but this will, in all likelihood, the final version of the Quickstart Rules, at least for a very long time.
You can download it now from our Download section, and check all the changes we made from the first version.
Does this means that the playtest is over? Absolutely not! In fact, you’ll soon have a chance to participate more directly in our testing process. We’re about to launch a dedicated forum, where all VsD fans will be able to meet, discuss the game with the authors, and gain access to our playtest material.
So, stay tuned for more news and come to say hi when the forum goes online, we’ll be waiting for you!