Slayers 1.5

As Slayers gets closer and closer to its 1 year birthday, I've thought about going back and updating the game. I've had time to reflect on the game, and I've certainly changed as a designer.


This doesn't mean I'm ready to make Slayers 2nd Edition (if that ever even happens). Instead, I'm calling this Slayers 1.5. There are things that need adjustment, clarification, or simply need to be added to make Slayers the game I really want it to be.


So, with the Slayers Almanac getting closer, and Slayers about to turn 1, I've got a proposed list of changes. Think of these as patch notes, or rather, possible patch notes. I'm always curious to know what folks think, and none of the stuff below is set in stone. But here are my current thoughts based on my most recent read through of the book:


Overall & General Changes

  • Have the text edited by a real editor (hard to read sometimes)

  • Update the Layout

  • I like the cleanish look, and wouldn’t want to deviate from it

  • But, walls of text could be spread out, more room to breath

  • Page count is no longer limited, as it was when first being made

  • New art style

  • Mike Rieman (illustrator of Dust) would provide update

  • New assets and templates that could be used to make the book

  • Possibly updating the character and monster art in the book to the new style

  • See Dust for example. Would create a unified art style

  • Address the Style section of the character sheet

Combat

  • Every class will have a “Start of Combat” move or action

  • This essentially already exists for two classes (Gunslinger and Tactician)

  • The Blade would choose a starting fighting stance

  • Arcanist would do...something like maybe picking a favored spell?

  • Move is no longer an action, but something that can be done for free during a Slayers turn

  • Consistent with how monsters work

  • Frees Slayers up to consider using things like Skills during their turn if they don’t need to worry about half their actions being movement

  • Change Slayer death conditions

  • Tooooooo harsh right now

  • Allow a Mend roll to bring the Slayer back to the fight, instead of just stabilizing a corpse

  • Failed just means they are out for the fight, not dead

  • Have tables decide if they want to include character death, and how they would implement it

Gunslinger

  • Increase Harm per Hit to 2 from 1

  • Brings them more in line with being scary like the Blade

  • Would rather do this than bring Blade Harm down to 1

  • Considering removing Trigger Limit

  • Unclear if it is an interesting or necessary limitation to put on the Gunslinger. If they shoot all 6 bullets at once, they will nuke something, but then be out of bullets. Why put a limit on it?

  • Would need to change Advances related to this if removed

  • Runes that deal no Harm instead will deal 1 Harm

Arcanist

  • Increase Speed die to d6

  • Increase starting known spells to 4

  • This will allow them to learn all 8 spells after taking all possible Advances

  • Plus just gives more utility in the beginning

  • Need a “Start of Fight” thing

  • Favored spell ideas:

  • Roll d8 when using the spell

  • Automatically has Boost effect

  • No corruption when using non-Boosted

  • Purge Quick Action: is rolling to make this successful good? The Gunslinger just reloads successfully, so why is this by chance?

  • Siphon spell: Increase healing +1

Tactician

  • Considering moving the Expert Advances that are related to the other classes to their own section, and creating more general purpose Expert Advances as well

The City Lore

  • Removing Inquisitors. I don’t like them

Districts

  • Add Factions and NPCs to the Slayers Row and Wych Wood districts

  • Spread these out so they aren’t so smooshed on one page

  • Will allow me to go back and add things from districts that had to be cut

Monsters

  • Move the Ongoing and Reaction “Actions” to other places on the statblock

  • These aren’t actually actions, and confuse the list with their current placement

  • Ongoing renamed to Passive, and listed alongside HP and Turn

  • Reaction listed below Actions, just not in Actions list

  • Statblock example

  • HP

  • Turn

  • Passive (if present)

  • Actions (#)

  • List of actual Actions they can do on their turn

  • Reactions (if present)

The Hunt

  • Make it clear the 3 Act structure of the example Hunts is not a requirement, but a format used to help create guided Hunts for new players

  • Give clearer advice on how to design a Hunt, especially leaning into the non-combat and investigation side of things

  • Create tables for generating stuff for Hunts

  • Add text from the guest written Hunts that had to be removed for space reasons


Advancement

  • Want to include non-combat advances as well

  • EG: Advantage when rolling Skills, Learn something when you enter a District, etc.

  • Possibly remove the Basic and Expert Advances distinction

  • Combine them into Combat Advances

  • Certain previous Expert Advances would have a “require X” to get them

  • Advancement would now have 2 lists: Combat and City

  • When you advance (end of Hunt still?) you:

  • Increase HP. Considering removing the rolling and making this a flat value

  • Increase a Skill die size

  • Take 1 Combat Advance

  • Take 1 City Advance

  • Alternatives to above:

  • Switch between Combat and City every other advance

  • Incorporate Beats for City?

  • This might get confusing to have two different ways of advancing (Beats to get City Advances, completing Hunts to get Combat Advances)

Reference Page

  • Updated based on any of the above changes that are made


When the time comes, I'll make these changes and update the PDF on itch for free for anyone that already owns the game. And then I'll start looking into getting a nifty second print run done with these changes.


For now, feel free to share your thoughts. Best way is on the Gila RPGs discord, or reaching out on Twitter. Till next time,


-Spencer

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