Just for the record, me too.I would really love a published copy of the rules.
And the question which version is easy as well. Both of them, of course!
Wait, what? When did you write the Outlaws? 80ies? I've always believed it was a product of late 90ies at its most early!I was doing it in the 80s, remember. A lot of the decisions in the game were based on a compromise bridging the vast gulf between what I believed about role-playing, and what the overwhelming majority of role-players seemed to believe.
To be quite honest, all that business of coming up with stats for characters and monsters and stuff, while being of immense interest to me when I was 16, had little to offer me in the 1990s when I was looking to complete the game. And my total lack of interest in it now worries me slightly. So don't be surprised if I take your post as an excuse to avoid doing much along those lines...
Also, feel free to use me as an excuse to not do the work of statting up the Water Margin characters. The most you'd achieve is people arguing with your interpretation, anyway!
So let them come up with their own.
That's exactly the reason why I adopted Referee and trained myself to use it instead of GM!I don't much like the term 'storyteller system' as it seems to imply precisely the ref as auteur approach that I dislike. The original Outlaws is moderately rules heavy (actually too rules heavy for me, which was why I didn't use those rules too obsessively, and eventually came up with a set closer to what I actually did), But all incarnations have been based on the idea that there is a creative tension between the ref and the players, which benefits from balancing mechanisms.