An Idea I Love That I CAN Do Something With

Over the Edge was probably one of the most important games in my personal gaming history.  It was the first really light game I came across that was actually powerful enough to handle a real range of gameplay.  Pervious exposure to things like TWERPS were more jokes or one-trick ponies, but OtE offered a game that could do everything I needed with a character sheet that fit neatly on an index card. Before I encountered it, I would not have thought such a thing possible.

I’ve talked about it before, so I won’t go too far into it, except to say it’s a fantastic game, and a great gateway from the world of D&D into lighter rules without any story-gamey kind of taint.

Now, this became recently relevant when Atlas Games did something awesome, and released the rules for OtE under the OGL as the WaRP system.   They’ve got a perfectly serviceable PDF available, along with the WaRP logo, but I admit, I was a little frustrated when I dug it up and tried to read it.  It was pretty much pure infodump, and while that’s useful as a reference, it’s less useful to point people excitedly at and demand they go read it.

So, predictably, I took the PDF, extracted the text, cleaned it up, and reformatted it all.  Now, I’m not the Evil Hat layout guy, so this is nothing more than nice and functional, but I think it’s a pretty workable copy for sharing.  I’ve posted the pdf here and I’m considering it a draft for the time being.  You spot anything wrong with it, feel free to let me know, and I’ll patch it up.

Now, I hope you all benefit from this, but I’ll concede, this is mostly a selfish act.  Not only do I benefit fromt he world learning more about the system, putting it out in this fashion makes it all the easier for me to start writing a few hacks that are based on the system.  The OtE engine (which I should start thinking of as the WaRP system) has influenced a lot of my designs, so it will be fun to start mucking with it directly.

(Plus, since it’s OGL?  FATE cross-compatibility is no problem at all)

Anyway, feel free to take a look and let me know what you think.

EDIT – Because I’m crazy, I re-generated the doc at 5.5×8.5 for easier tablet reading or for booklet printing. Tablet sized version is here.

 

FURTHER EDIT: Dropbox lost my links, so I had to regenerate them:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/425914/ForWeb/WARP%20Tablet%20Draft%2001%20-%20RJD.pdf

and

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/425914/ForWeb/WARP-LayoutDraft-01-RJD.pdf

 

22 thoughts on “An Idea I Love That I CAN Do Something With

  1. Alan De Smet

    I find it weird Atlas released it as a PDF, a crappy format for other people to work with. It’s not convenient for online reading, it’s not well formatted for printing, and it’s a nuisance to build derived works from. Given the simple layout, a Word .doc or even an RTF file would have worked better.

    Your version is very sharp looking! I had some thoughts; they’re pretty nit picky because that’s all that’s left!

    – It would be nice if numbers in tables were decimal or right aligned.

    – Your bold body text is so bold it looks more like a sub(sub?)heading that your actual headings. Might need darker sub(sub?)headings, or a less-bold bold. Really obvious on page 6.

    – Erratic use of “x” and “X” to mean multiply. “×” would be better in both cases.

    – A dagger (†) might be classier than double asterisks on page 13.

    – The poor “Weapon Ranges” heading and start of table at the bottom of page 15 would be happier on the next page.

    – Page 16: I think the second paragraph “No penalty die” on the second column is meant to be bold, and the text “There are two reasons” to be a new paragraph.

    – Might be nice if the terms were bolded in the glossary.

    – Consider adding a link to this specific article, so people who see my printout can easily find it themselves.

    – Omit header on the first page?

    – Have you considered offering your own source files so that others might use it as a basis for their own works? If the files are something that works well in revision control (I’m guessing not, but I don’t know what you’re using), hosting it on GitHub or similar would be really cool.

    Reply
    1. Rob Donoghue

      Thank you, awesome feedback!

      And to address the last question. I pretty much expect to release the source file after I no longer feel like a draft, ideally in a few formats.

      Reply
    2. Rob Donoghue

      Updated it with most of those fixes. Only change I didn’t make was the table alignment – I tried it, but it got weird in enough places that I backed away from it. Switched the bold to semibold, but that didn’t seem to help a lot, so I also used color. I think it works, but we’ll see.

      Reply
    1. Alan De Smet

      LibreOffice/OpenOffice isn’t bad. It has more than a few areas where it infuriates me compared to Microsoft Word, but it’s pretty good. (And the support for “Character Styles” is totally sweet; Word should steal it immediately!) I used it for my Swords & Wizardry White Box reformat: http://www.highprogrammer.com/alan/gaming/swords-and-wizardry/rules/index.html (Warning: formatting nowhere near as cool as Rob’s! This was a quick-and-dirty job I did in the process of making myself a DM screen.)

      On that note: the key to not going insane doing formatting for long form works is heavy use of styles; learn how your program uses them.

      The hard core solution is one of the TeX children, probably LaTeX or XeTeX. Sweet, sweet revision controllable source files and beautiful output that Word, Pages, and Open/LibreOffice can’t match. But tuning it to generate things that don’t look like and early 80s math thesis is decidedly non-obvious.

      What we both really want is a Linux equivalent to Adobe InDesign. My lust for InDesign high, but not enough to cough up $650 for my hobby projects (plus the nuisance of running under VirtualBox). Scribus the closest equivalent, and it isn’t bad, but its table support is awful. Given the frequency of tables in RPGs, it was a deal breaker for me.

      Reply
    2. Rob Donoghue

      I will reiterate the love for styles. I learned the ropes on (now defunct) FrameMaker, and it taught me the power of styles. At this point, the only reason I’ll do anything _but_ styled text is there’s an effect the particular software I’m working with doesn’t support.

      Reply
    3. Karen in Wichita

      I’ve been using Scribus to lay stuff out. It’s occasionally quirky, but hits a pretty good balance between underpowered-for-the-task (LibreOffice) and nothing-I-can-hand-off-to-a-trainee *TeX.

      Reply
  2. Christian Hollnbuchner

    I bow to Atlas Games for releasing their game engine under an open license. Something I think more publishers should do. Asking other people to write adventures using it in almost the same breath deserves another bow.

    And I bow to you for working some layout magic on the document. Some time during the last two decades I must have developed an allergy to single column text and/or text that is not fully justified(is that the right word?).

    Reply
  3. Marshall Smith

    Given that this is the stripped down central mechanics of the OtE rules, should you call it WaRP system? Shouldn’t you, instead, call it the WaRP Core?

    Maybe not.

    Reply

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