As these forums are closing down on January 17th, we were forced to come out with the news earlier than we had intended. Here's the short of it:
As the TROSfans forums are closing down, we suggest you to head to http://www.songofsteel.net
and sign up on the forums if you wish to receive any future updates regarding to this project. The website is barebones right now, as the events have forced us launch it long before schedule, but having signed up, it gives us means to provide you with major news, such as call for playtesters and the eventual launching of the game.
Be sure to leave the "Administrators can e-mail me information" checkbox ticked. FAQWhat will be the main features of the game?Song of Steel
- a d10 dice pool system tailored for historical military drama
- arms and armour from antiquity to the early modern period
- matchlocks, wheellocks, flintlocks and hand cannons!
- the divided dice pool combat system that we all know and love
- a revamped ranged combat system, making use of maneuvers, initiative dice and cover
- a maneuver based mounted combat system that goes far beyond jousting
- a battle system that lets large-scale conflict happen dynamically in the background, while keeping the focus on character action
- player defined Story Aspects that drive the game by outlining the important bits
- more variety in the wound descriptions with less bookkeeping than ever
- back wounds, wing wounds, tail wounds... animals right in the core rules
The core book will NOT include:
- a default settingHistorical military drama? What does that mean?
- a magic system
- repeating firearms
- weapons and proficiencies strictly related to Japan
. Think Troy
. Think Braveheart
. Think Kingdom of Heaven
. Think The 13th Warrior
. Think Rome
. Think Spartacus
, both Kubrick and the new series. You could even go four colours and think 300
. Think Uhtred of Bebbanburg and Richard Sharpe. Think The Count of Monte Cristo
. Think A Game of Thrones
. Wait, you lost me at the end there. The Count of Monte Cristo doesn’t have anything to do with the military and then you actually listed a fantasy novel?
That’s true. We put great emphasis on personal combat and the theme of battle, but all the tales we listed here have more in common than just that. They all focus on characters with strong passions and goals, and those are the things that drive the very heart of our game. Without passions and goals, there’s no conflict, and without conflict, there’s no drama. You could play Song of Steel
without any duels or battle, and the game’s generic conflict resolution system would work just fine. Nothing would be broken, but it’s the armed conflict that makes our engine truly shine. So, while The Count of Monte Cristo
has indeed nothing to do with the military, the passions of the main character make it more than a good source of inspiration for a Song of Steel
Regarding to the fantasy novel... The one we listed has no protagonists that wield magic. If that restriction is acceptable for you, our rules work fine -- making up a special skill or two for an antagonistic or allied NPC sorcerer is easy, but the core doesn’t include detailed rules that would make the development and use of magical skills game-mechanically interesting for the players. But... No katanas?
Nope. It makes no sense to mix up the fighting techniques of the isolated area of Japan with the rest of the world in the core book. To do that culture justice, we will either explore it in a dedicated supplement, provided there's sufficient interest, or not at all. And no setting, magic or six-shooters either?
Setting is a tough issue to tackle. I mean, what do you want to play? We provided a wide variety of examples for which our game would be a good fit for, but all of those were vastly different. We have just no way to tell what your main interests would be and how they might change in the future. Perhaps we’ll compile some setting sourcebooks later, but for now, we’re sticking to providing a toolkit.
The magic issue was already somewhat addressed, but... When we say that our core is supposed to be the core, we mean it literally. As long as the players wish to play humanoid characters, the core should apply. If a setting has an additional set of natural laws compared to Earth, those laws should be added
to the core to keep the whole game system modular. So, magic just doesn’t belong into the central rules, but if you guys really-really want it, I’m sure we could compile a supplement or two.
On the firearms? Don’t worry. All those AKs, ARs and .50 cal anti-materiel rifles are totally coming. Story Aspects? Are you rebranding the SA's from TROS or is it a word play on the FATE Aspects?
Well, the core concepts of those two things aren't really that different if you think about it. So, it's going to be both of those things and more. If you loved Spiritual Attributes in TROS, but the lack of support has driven you away, or if you like the concept of Aspects in FATE, but are turned off by the FUDGE dice or the rest of their system, feel free to check us out. Okay, real question now. When will SoS be available?
As we've pushed this news out sooner than intended, it's hard to say. The initial plan was to give out playtesting materials at Christmas 2012, but we fell behind the schedule at the end of the summer and we also decided that the ranged, mounted and mass combat mechanics needed to be more thoroughly tested before their public release. Right now we’re aiming at the first round of community playesting to take place in the summer 2013, but there are too many variables to make certain promises about the final product release date at this point. It sounds like the game is almost done. Is it so?
Yes and no. The vast majority of the rules have already been written and the hard design decisions are behind us. It’s playable, but not consumer ready yet, needing polish and further testing on our part. Drawing up the art will also take time, but as you can see from the promo poster, we have a very talented artist on our team. Will the .pdf be free?
No, but it will be affordable. More affordable for the playtesters, than for the others. Will you be publishing hard copies?
That's the plan. Will you answer more questions?
As long as we're not delving into the rules mechanics at this point? Sure. Head over to songofsteel.net/forum
and ask away.
"Brothels are a much sounder investment than ships, I've found. Whores seldom sink, and when they are boarded by pirates, why, the pirates pay good coin like everyone else.
- Lord Petyr Baelish, A Game of Thrones