Thursday, August 4, 2016

Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes - First to Second Edition

I have a few minutes today, so I want to get a post out on the changes from the first to the second edition of Blood & Treasure. I won't swear that this is exhaustive, but it's pretty close to it.

  • Messed with multi-classing a little on races, tried to relate them a bit more closely to their original incarnations
  • Classes each have their own XP chart now, and some were re-calibrated
  • Assassins don't cast spells anymore, but can cast spells from scrolls at high levels
  • Got rid of bard, paladin and ranger spell lists - they now cast off the magic-user, cleric and druid lists respectively
  • Added some abilities to classes around 6th level to make the game a bit more distinctive and to hit some fantasy tropes missing in the original:
  • Assassins can brew their own poisons
  • Bards can carouse their way to valuable rumors … but may end up in the stocks or making enemies
  • Clerics can temporarily convert sentient creatures to their own alignment – not always easy, and doesn’t necessarily last long, but I thought it might be a fun non-combat way to get through encounters
  • Druids can harness greater bits of power by sacrificing the despoilers of the natural world
  • Fighters can subdue monsters and use them as mounts (as in every cool 70s rock album cover and van art ever produced)
  • Magic-users get access to little bits of arcane knowledge, ranging from something as simple as making phosphorous to making hot air balloons or understanding the healing arts
  • Paladins gain chivalric badges that give them access to royal and ecclesiastic courts and tournaments (a minor bonus, but the paladin already has some pretty cool abilities)
  • Rangers can pick up a loyal hunting beast (again, inspired by many pieces of fantasy art – particularly this one 
  • Thieves can assemble teams of rogues for capers – bypasses the normal henchman rules … but can the thief trust these guys?
  • Changed the way a fighter's multiple attacks worked, since lots of folks thought it was too powerful; also beefed up the barbarian a bit, as well as the sorcerer (see below)
  • Got rid of the basic/advanced/expanded concept to make B&T more its own game than a reference to old games, but I did keep the idea of basic and advanced spells; to learn or prepare advanced spells classes have to make a quick roll under their Int or Wis minus the spell level; specialists get free access to certain advanced spells, but treat others as though they were a higher level
  • Made some big changes to the sorcerer to keep it from being just a variant magic-user - they can now sense magic and do impromptu casting of spells they don't know (with dire circumstances for failure); they might also choose bloodlines, and might be related to other magical creatures (got this idea from Bewitched I'm proud to say)
  • Changed some of the class variants, added a few - the monk has a ninja and ronin variant for example
  • Tweaked the equipment charts - more weapons because I like cool weapon names, got rid of some 3E alchemy I never liked
  • Worked on the adept spell list to better reflect its origins
  • Tried to streamline rules wherever I could; fixed errors in time and movement, changed reaction rolls a bit (simpler, based on alignment), made task checks easier (roll 1d20, 18 or over to succeed, add bonuses, add level if "skilled")
  • Changed saving throws so that it's now just one number, but you get a bonus to save vs. stuff that takes your character out of play (death, paralyzation, polymorph), magic from magic items (wands, etc.) and spellcasters get a bonus vs. spells - so a little like the old D&D saving throw categories, but streamlined
  • Different disease system - I think better – focused on the effects and overcoming them
  • Added a table of the mass of different materials - helps when adventurers want to pick up a golden idol and carry out of a dungeon and you need to figure out how heavy it is
  • Got rid of a few spells (not many) and streamlined the rest when possible; I also got rid of 0-level spells, bumping them up to 1st level (sometimes with modification) - I never liked the 0-level thing
  • Redid the treasure tables (I'm still not satisfied completely - I think I'll add some alternate scheme in Esoterica Exhumed)
  • Streamlined the magic items, especially weapons and armor, and added some items that might be familiar from movies and cartoons; also added some sci-fi items as optional magic items for those who enjoy that – includes a mutation chart (for the mutagen capsules)
  • The appendices cover inspirations, conversions (other systems, and notes like these for 1st to 2nd edition, though not super extensive), a couple additional "specialty mages" to show how one can devise their own lists of advanced spells, did some racial classes for folks who like them, made a list of all the spell components and foci for quick reference, and then made a quick reference chart of common dice rolls in the game
That's all that comes immediately to mind. I'm working diligently on the Monsters book now. Stay tuned, true believers!


  1. I like Nod a heck of a lot, but I use the various incarnations of S&W almost exclusively; it was actually the early issues of Nod that got me into S&W so I blame you. Reading this post really makes me want to check out the new edition of B&T. Ist it a very close rule set to snw?

    1. Actually, S&W is why B&T exists. As you know, I started writing all my stuff for S&W, but found that I was spending too much time converting monsters and spells from the SRD that I wanted to use. So I conceived the idea of writing a free PDF of all the SRD spells converted for S&W, and another with all the monsters so I could just reference them. After I got started, I realized I also wanted all the classes (which I'd sort of done in the early issues of NOD), and I finally realized with all that I had done, I had practically written a game of my own. So, to make a long story short (too late), it's not too far from S&W.

  2. It's nice that there's a second edition, but why delete the first edition (it's no longer on lulu)? Given that there are differences between the first and second edition, don't you think some people might still want to buy the first edition? I mean, some people still like playing 1st edition AD&D, even though there's a second, third, fourth and fifth edition.

    1. I will likely return 1st edition to the market someday. At the moment, I think it would be confusing to people to have two versions of B&T for sale at the same time - folks might by the 2nd edition rulebook and then buy the 1st edition Treasure Keepers Tome without realizing they don't go together. After some time has passed, I think I can put it back out there without risking people buying things they don't need.

  3. buyed the pdf, hope to have some small discount when the print copy come out ;)

  4. Will there be another print option for 2nd Ed on Lulu?

    1. Yes sir - just waiting on a review copy so I can make sure it looks okay. I'll do hard cover and paperback. Hopefully pretty soon.

  5. Excited about 2e (eyeing a copy on Lulu), but: does this mean the NOD Companion is pretty much not compatible with the 2e rules? Will things from the Companion (say like the Curmudgeon class) make an appearance for 2e?

    1. It's still broadly compatible, but would take a little work. I'm going to do a new version of the Companion called Esoterica Exhumed, that will include a few additional classes, races, spells, etc.


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