Jackals: Bronze Age Fantasy Roleplaying

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CRKrueger

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Well, the game is based on OpenQuest, which is an OGL product. If they want to make an OpenQuest game, they have to use the OGL.

To be fair, they’re hardly the first “No Open Content” people out there. If they’re not making any system additions, and the only new stuff is their setting, it makes a lot more sense to say ”No Open Content” then to list three paragraphs of proprietary content.
 

Ronnie Sanford

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Well, the game is based on OpenQuest, which is an OGL product. If they want to make an OpenQuest game, they have to use the OGL.

To be fair, they’re hardly the first “No Open Content” people out there. If they’re not making any system additions, and the only new stuff is their setting, it makes a lot more sense to say ”No Open Content” then to list three paragraphs of proprietary content.
That’s the way I feel about it though I admit I don’t particularly care one way or the other for the OGL.
 

AsenRG

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But in practice it sure sesms like they are making system additions, so it's all theoretical at this point. It's just that those aren't OGL.
 

Nick J

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I'm fairly nonplussed by their OGL/Non-OGL stance seeing as how they seem to want to reap all of the benefits of using Open Content themselves. I'm glad I came here to see if anybody else was having trouble logging into the Osprey Website. Couple the OGL thing with the fact that they don't even throw in a free PDF with a dead-tree book (a 25% discount is pretty meh) and you can color me unimpressed.
 
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Ronnie Sanford

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I'm fairly nonplussed by their OGL/Non-OGL stance seeing as how they seem to want to reap all of the benefits of using Open Content themselves. I'm glad I came here to see if anybody else was having trouble logging into the Osprey Website. Couple the OGL thing with the fact that they don't even throw in a free PDF with a dead-tree book (a 25% discount is pretty meh) and you can color me unimpressed.
Yeah I don’t care much about the OGL but the pricey PDF is annoying. MW (or Delta Green) will likely continue being my favorite but I think there is a definite play for a high quality, supported BRP lite game. I hope it does well!
 

Nick J

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Yeah I don’t care much about the OGL but the pricey PDF is annoying. MW (or Delta Green) will likely continue being my favorite but I think there is a definite play for a high quality, supported BRP lite game. I hope it does well!
No to derail too much, but I just got my backer copy of OpenQuest 3rd ed. today from Newt Newport Newt Newport and it looks great from what I've read so far.
 

RunningLaser

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Just a counter point, but in Osprey's Romance of the Perilous Land, all rules, tables and house rules are stated as open content. The fiction, writing and stuff about the Perilous Land is copyright of the author. So not sure why one is open content and not the other.
 

Teyrnon

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Just a counter point, but in Osprey's Romance of the Perilous Land, all rules, tables and house rules are stated as open content. The fiction, writing and stuff about the Perilous Land is copyright of the author. So not sure why one is open content and not the other.
I suspect Osprey is leaving these things up to the individual authors. The high degree of variation in systems between the games in their RPG and with different authors and illustrators for each one suggests the company isn't exerting an overarching influence over it but is just publishing the work their authors produce. It's kind of refreshing.
 

Lofgeornost

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I finally read through my copy of Jackals this week. There's a fair amount to like about the game, but there are also elements that, frankly, I don't quite understand, and some design choices that seem odd or mistaken to me. P PrivateEye has done a good job of sketching out the system in earlier posts in this thread, so I'm only going to focus on particular issues. I have some interest in running the game, or adapting parts of it to another campaign, so I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions--especially if people can clarify rules or procedures for me. It may seem odd to ask here, but Osprey's Forums seem to focus on their military history books; I couldn't find any threads or posts about Jackals there.

One thing that confuses me a bit are how the rites (i.e. spells) of the hekas (alchemists/sorcerers) work. They don't cast spells, as such, but produce powders, items, etc. with magical powers, which they then deploy. But the rules for rites seem mainly aimed at more traditional approaches to magic-spells you cast that have a duration, etc.--and so it isn't clear how the hekas' rites work.

Take for example their first rite, Powder of Ibn al-Hanef. Here it's clear that the magician, at a cost of 3 Devotion points (i.e. magic points) makes 1D4+1 doses of this powder., presumably in advance and out of combat. The Devotion points are 'reserved' into the powder, and the hekas will not be able to regenerate them until the powder is used, or the caster dismisses the rite. It's also fairly clear what the powder does; it "forces incorporeal spirits into the mortal realm for the duration, which allows the ritualist and their allies to see and harm them with physical weapons. Mechanically, this negates any Protection spirits might possess, as well as rendering them visible. The hekas throws the powder as a ranged attack, up to 3 yards, at a cost of 1 action and 2 clash points. So far so good, but there are some matters left unaddressed in the description:
  • Most importantly, how long does the spirit struck by the powder remain visible? There is clearly some interval, since the description of the rite's effect mentions it, and if the spirit 'saves' versus the spell (so to speak) it lasts only half as long. But how long is it?
  • Can anybody throw the powder, or does it have to be hekas who created it? The fact that it takes both an action and clash points to make the throw suggests the latter, since the clash point loss is said elsewhere to represent the difficulty of concentrating on ritual and the physical world at the same time. But the rite's description is not clear and does not mention that the hekas needs to do anything except throw the powder.
  • How much do the components for the powder cost and are they hard to obtain? The rite description speaks of "lead powders and other esoteric ingredients" but its not clear how much of this powder a hekas could manufacture, or at what cost. The equipment section lists only 'ritualist gear' costing 150 shekels, but this is the same for all magicians, and other types of magic-users will not be using up their 'gear' the way that hekas do.
More generally, since hekas are creating magical objects, how large and elaborate a laboratory do they need to accomplish their goals? How long do the procedures take? Is this something you can do out on an adventure, before entering into the place of danger (rather like putting on armor before descending into the dungeon) or are better facilities and longer periods of time needed?
 
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