We began work on Demonworld: The RPG three years ago. From the beginning, we knew we wanted to distance our game from other beloved Corestep games, like Earthdawn. But doing so proved to be more of a challenge than we anticipated. How do we keep the essence of the system that is so heavily magically inclined in Earthdawn and 1879 while remaining true to our own setting where magic is far more rare and the abilities of player characters are not enhanced by ambient magic? We borrowed a few things to get us started. Some talents, like Woodskin, could be re-worded and the name changed to suit our vision. Others, like Gliding Stride, had to be scrapped entirely. And, of course, we created plenty of new abilities that highlighted our settingand brought a sense of uniqueness to Demonworld, but we still didn’t get that feeling of true individuality that separated our game from other Corestep games.
After much deliberation, we decided to start from the beginning and rethink our approach. How did we want our system to be different? How much freedom should players be given to customize their characters? How can we give them that freedom while still keeping the essence of each Specialty intact? Our development team decided to start from scratch and look at things from a new angle. It took some serious thought and a few sacrifices, but several drafts, headaches, and panic attacks later, we have redesigned our leveling system to better show the flexibility that we wanted for Demonworld.
Now, rather than receiving a set of default abilities at character creation, players can choose from a list of seven Specialty Maneuvers that make up the core of what the Specialty is meant to be. The character starts with a choice of four Maneuvers from this list, and can choose an additional Maneuver at each new Grade up through Grade 4. Also at creation, the player can make two additional choices from the large list of General Maneuvers that consists of 75 Maneuvers at the Recruit level that any character can learn. At each new Grade, the player can choose another Specialty Maneuver from their Specialty list and one more General Maneuver from the larger list. At Grade 5, the character gains access to the Veteran Maneuver lists which include 29 more General Maneuvers (in addition to the 34 Maneuvers that are exclusive to the 13 various Specialties), choosing one Maneuver from each of the Veteran Specialty and General lists. We hope that this advancement system will give players the freedom to make their character whatever they wish while still keeping true to the core premise of each Specialty.
A little note on Specialty Maneuvers. They serve two purposes; to build the foundation of a Specialty, and to allow the character to spend Prime points on these select Maneuvers. Some of the Maneuvers granted in a Specialty Maneuver list are also General Maneuvers, but gaining it as a Specialty Maneuver allows the character the use of Prime on that Maneuver. Prime points allow the player to roll and extra die when spent on these Specialty Maneuvers. In some cases, Prime can also be spent to reduce the amount of Strain damage a character takes from using certain Maneuvers.
Needless to say, these changes have slowed our progress in getting the books to publishing. But we would rather create a game that is the best we can possibly produce, rather than making one that is rushed and poorly thought out. We hope you agree. You can look forward to more blog posts in the future that will give you some insight on the game and setting. As always, you are welcome to head to forums to give your thoughts on these developments. Feedback and constructive criticism are what we live for. After all, we are making these games for you, our fans.
Questions, comments, or thoughts? Come discuss the Demonworld RPG with us in the FASA Games Demonworld Forums