24 hours later, and I am still digging out

So anything neat happen yesterday? :)

As you probably know by now, yesterday I released Colonial Gothic Second Edition, or CG2E, and as I should have realized, I have been hit with a ton of things. Namely keeping up. This post will bring you all up too speed as to the why’s and what’s.

So first question, why Second Edition?

The game needed it. Revised had a lot of bugs, and my attempts to correct them were nearly impossible. The reason is that the original layout files for the book was corrupted, and I could not open the files on my Mac. This made correcting errata next to impossible, and even though I wanted to update the PDF, I just could not unless I relaid out the whole book. So I started to do that, and after the first chapter, I gave up. Not because I hated the work, but, because I realized the game should be better. Thus, I decided that if I was going to relayout the game, why not really clean it up?

I was on the fence about this for awhile, and then I was pushed off the fence after Graeme came onboard. He voiced the concerns I had, and really gave me the nudge to get off my butt and clean up the game. This was in 2010, and for the next year I wrote, rewrote, revised, rewrote, and cursed the game. Finally it was 2011 that the game was in a state I was happy with. I sent it to Graeme, and his criticism was harsh, but it was the right harsh. He said it could be better, and he was right. Thus, I started from scratch. I killed everything, and rewrote the game from page one.

Doing this, I rethought things, and took the lessons I have learned with Shadow, Sword & Spell, and applied them to the game. The result is the game you see today.

Still this was not enough. I wanted to make sure that this was put through the paces and was thoroughly playtested. The playtesting ran from July 2011 to about August 2012. During this time, every rule was tested, questioned, pulled apart and retested. The result is that the game changed because of this and changed for the better.

So the second question, anything change?

To be honest, not really. This game still plays, runs, and is compatible with what has come before. You can easily play and use the previous version and not notice anything. That being said two things have changed.

First, Social Combat has been totally rewritten. It runs smoother, it is quicker and it actually is a lot easier to use then it was before. Because of this, Resolve is no longer in the game. This is not a bad thing, because the Resolve stat always pissed me off.

Second, there are no longer rules for Specialized Skill use. This is one of the major areas that has caused confusion, and no mater how much I tried to clear it up, I failed. So I killed it. Why? How the game works, there is no need to allow for specialization. Since the TN is based on Stat + Skill, there is no benefit to specializing. Because of this, it made no sense to keep it. Since dropping it, play has been smoother.

The third question, is it edited?

Yes. For me, this was the most important thing that needed to be done. If I was going to do CG2E, then I needed, no, required, that better editing was needed. I went with an outsider, someone who was not in the inner circle, and that someone is Tom Cadorette. This was my first time working with him, and the work he put in on this game was amazing. This game reads better, and is so much cleaner, that I could not be more proud.

The fourth question, is it backward compatible?

Short answer. Yes. Long answer, yes. :)

The only changes are mentioned above. You can use what has come before with this game. I made sure of it.

The last question, does it look better?

I hate to toot my own horn, but yes. I laid this book out, and I did so to make sure it read easily. As many do not know I do freelance graphic design, book design and ebook programming, and I wanted to make sure this book looked as good as it could. The body font is easy on the eyes. Headers are clear, and the organization is there. The book is 282 pages, but does not feel thick. In addition, is hardcover. This is the best looking book I’ve put out, but this is the first time I am proud how the Rulebook looks.

So there you go.
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