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Subject: Basic rules project rss

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I've looked at the 70+ rules beast for this game several times. It's ugly and intimidating to most people and I can easily see why most people wouldn't even bother. So, my project has been to take those rules, strip out everything that deals with magic items, promos and other oddballs. I want to end up with a ruleset that would allow someone to grab a handful of basic dice and a couple of monsters and start playing in a few minutes.

It's not been easy so far. A lot of the sections in the turn order just say "see this section somewhere else in the book." And when you do find those sections they're not really what I would define as helpful. Way too much of the book is given to examples for promos and weird expansion dice.

I'm confident I can squeeze the base game into about 10 actual pages of rules, but I'm open to any suggestions anyone might have. Please keep in mind I don't want to explain how to play the Eldarim, just the base game. I also plan to make race sheets to spell out racial abilities, icons and racial spells. So none of that needs to be crammed in the book either.
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So it goes.
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I personally would love to see this. I'd love to see the absolute minimal ruleset for a minimal army, perhaps something like what you'd find in the available kickers?

Thanks.
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fogus wrote:
I personally would love to see this. I'd love to see the absolute minimal ruleset for a minimal army, perhaps something like what you'd find in the available kickers?

Thanks.
That's my goal.
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While I'm at this, I personally hate some of the terminology. The biggest one for me is common, uncommon and rare units. Would it be a grievous sin to use rookie, experienced and veteran instead? It seems more thematic to me.
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Cat O\'Mighty
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A noble quest! The little rules sheet that came with the original game was quite digestible.

When I put together my play sheets, I'm pretty sure I got all the essential of the rules laid out on them, minus nuances of weird timing issues and math equation order for modifiers, etc.

The top 3 Army location sheets have the outline of play in operative sequence. Following that sequence for rules presentation makes the most sense. The Reserve sheet has all the basic info for Elemental Spells, Terrain Faces, and Dragons' Breath. Then each Racial sheet has all the unique stuff for each race.

Feel free to grab anything from this layout that's helpful: http://goblinhall.com/2014/04/26/dragon-dice-playmats/
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cold_fuzion wrote:
While I'm at this, I personally hate some of the terminology. The biggest one for me is common, uncommon and rare units. Would it be a grievous sin to use rookie, experienced and veteran instead? It seems more thematic to me.


I always call them Small, Medium, and Large ^,^
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Travis Dean
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Cat_O wrote:
cold_fuzion wrote:
While I'm at this, I personally hate some of the terminology. The biggest one for me is common, uncommon and rare units. Would it be a grievous sin to use rookie, experienced and veteran instead? It seems more thematic to me.


I always call them Small, Medium, and Large ^,^


I do the same.
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Charles Bame
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You could just start with the original rules from 1995 (16 page leaflet) and add to it only what's absolutely necessary.
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Conrad Ross
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Very admirable!
A while back I made some reference sheets and did a quick pallete swap on the old army placement dragon icons so that I had all six of the basic dragons and used those to make reference sheets for what I thought were some of the more important things to keep in mind. You can access the PDFs that I ran with those rules here if you're interested.
Dragon Reference Sheets

I made some printable Basic Spell cards
I also made some basic printable cards for the various Racial Spells.
Finally I did also make a series of cards using the same format as my spells for each race's Special Action Icons

Feel free to make use of anything from these if you are so inclined.
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Cat O\'Mighty
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cobame wrote:
You could just start with the original rules from 1995 (16 page leaflet) and add to it only what's absolutely necessary.


That's certainly a good starting point for how to layout introductory rules!
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cobame wrote:
You could just start with the original rules from 1995 (16 page leaflet) and add to it only what's absolutely necessary.


Better yet, what can be removed from those 16 pages?
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They were tiny pages.
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cobame wrote:
You could just start with the original rules from 1995 (16 page leaflet) and add to it only what's absolutely necessary.
That is one of the sources I'm using. I don't think the newer rules are terrible, they're just padded with a lot of extra junk.
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Conrad Ross
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If you need scans of the other sets of rules that were put out by TSR aside from the original pamphlet I believe I copies of all of them in my computer somewhere.
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Travis Dean
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Loligarchy wrote:
If you need scans of the other sets of rules that were put out by TSR aside from the original pamphlet I believe I copies of all of them in my computer somewhere.


By chance do you have scans of the commander's manual? That is something I've wanted to recreate (and I've heard is to some degree redone in the current rules), but I don't have a copy to base anything off of.
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Conrad Ross
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Dolus wrote:
Loligarchy wrote:
If you need scans of the other sets of rules that were put out by TSR aside from the original pamphlet I believe I copies of all of them in my computer somewhere.


By chance do you have scans of the commander's manual? That is something I've wanted to recreate (and I've heard is to some degree redone in the current rules), but I don't have a copy to base anything off of.


There is a bit of what the commander's manual had in the current rulebook but its mostly resolution order and the like. A lot of the commander's manual was statistical analysis and a very light touch of fluff for each army.
Not sure if I have it scanned. I definitely have a hard copy, might even have two. I will check to see if I have scans for you. If I've got a second copy and no scans I might break the binding and scan it in anyways
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Cat O\'Mighty
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There are some cheap used copies of the Dice Commanders Manual right now at ABE.com and Amazon. I just ordered mine.

A little while ago, I also got a pretty cheap copy of Cast of Fate at ABE that still had the Dragon Slayer die in it!
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Cat_O wrote:
There are some cheap used copies of the Dice Commanders Manual right now at ABE.com and Amazon. I just ordered mine.

A little while ago, I also got a pretty cheap copy of Cast of Fate at ABE that still had the Dragon Slayer die in it!


Ordered! You are awesome! For some dumb reason, I've only been watching eBay in the past for the book and they're ridiculously priced. $5 is awesome and it'll be here Wednesday.

I'm pretty sure I have Cast of Fate, maybe 2... I wish it were clear how many of those books there were. Hmmm... I'm gonna do some research on isbndb.com, but if you happen to know off the top of your head, I'd be much obliged.

EDIT: Found references to 3 books according to Wikipedia. I need to look up which books I have. I think I only have 2...
almight wikipedia wrote:
Three paperback novels were written for the game. The first titled Cast of Fate by Allen Varney in 1996. The book was 310 pages and contained a new ivory Dragonslayer die contained in a hole cut through the pages of the book in the bottom right corner with all text arranged to accommodate the hole. The second was Army of the dead by Edo Van Belkom in 1997, also with a dragonslayer die in a hole in the book. A third novel titled Time of the Champions by Ed Stark was advertised but apparently never published.
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Cat O\'Mighty
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You're welcome, and thanks for the tip!

I have no idea how many copies were published. Don't recall seeing that in Chuck's listing of dice rarities. I presume there's a boatload of them out there since his trade page lists the die at a mere 28 pts.
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I don't mean how many copies, but how many different books.

According to Wikipedia, there is
Cast of Fate
Army of the Dead
Time of the Champions

I also have Tome of the Tavernahl and... Stone of Fate? But I've never seen in person the first three that Wikipedia mention.
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Ah, Army Of The Dead was published after SFR got the rights along with all the IP and passed the publication rights along to the author. I hear it's really bad...

Time of Champions was announced, but never published. And probably never written. It was given an isbn number, and so it pops up on book stores' inventory lists, but never available.

I have a copy of the short story booklet Heart of Stone and Flame by Lester Smith and published by TSR, 1995. This was packaged with the Battlemat.

Recently got my Cast Of Fate w/die from ABE for $10 with shipping.

That's all I'm familiar with.
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Ah bit of googling later, "The Tome of Tarvanehl" comes with the Dragon Shield. I don't have that one.

I haven't been able to find a trace of any other booklets.
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Quick update: I'm about 70% done with the copy/paste step. What that means is I'm pulling parts from about 8 different sources and trimming out the excess junk and standardizing the wording. I've paired the turn sequences way back, but not quite as simple as the original rules. I've got to whittle down the sections on the marches and that seems to be the biggest overly-complicated mess so far. After that I expect the rest to fall together pretty quickly. After I get that done I'll post it for everyone to pick apart.
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Cat O\'Mighty
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Sounds like a good plan.

And congratulations on starting a topic that's kept Dragon Dice in the Hot Topics list on the front page for several days! Keep those thumbs flying people =^,^=
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Sheridan Kelly
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Good to see that you're doing this. I have the original basic rulebook somewhere, but when I couldn't find it earlier this year I had a look at the full up-to-date rulebook to see if I could print that out and take it along with me. Not with that many pages I couldn't!
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