Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bloody Basic: Candidate for an E6 Game

I recently picked up John M. Stater's Bloody Basic – Classic Edition rules from Lulu and I quite like them. They are a "basic version of the Blood & Treasure Fantasy Role Playing Game" that "serves as an introduction to the Blood & Treasure system" (from the cover). My initial impression is that they would do well not only as an intro to B&T but also as stand alone game in their own right for those who enjoy streamlined rules and/or low-powered, low-level games. I definitely fall into both those categories.

Bloody Basic has the usual six abilities (with original-edition-style modifiers ranging from -1 to +1), the four core races, four core classes (with a variety of sub-classes for humans, and multi-classing for demi-humans, allowing for a nice range of class + race choices), ascending AC, three save categories (reflex, fortitude, will), simple combat (including an easy rule for "special maneuvers"), a simple task resolution system, and sections on GM-related material like monsters and treasures. Notable new features that don't appear in Blood and Treasure are the simplified encumbrance system and the automatic acquisition of a (random) retainer sidekick on hitting level 6 (where human PCs max out).

The fact that levels cap at six made me think these rules would lend themselves quite naturally to an E6-style game (if you're not familiar with E6, it's Ryan Stoughton's 3.x edition variant in which PCs stop advancing upward at level six, but continue to advance "horizontally" by gaining new feats as they continue to earn XP). All you'd need to do is create your own list of simple feats and bolt them on. Used this way, it seems to me that anyone who likes a low-power game could get a lot of mileage out of Bloody Basic. Honestly, I'm quite tempted to run a "Bloody Six" campaign at some point in the future.

Author's Description of the Game:

Ebook Edition:

Paperback Edition:

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