What Changed?

by Solomoriah

One question I get asked all the time is what changed between editions of the Basic Fantasy RPG Core Rules.  This is my attempt at answering the question.  If you see errors or omissions in the following material, please click here to visit the Workshop thread on the Forum.

In The Beginning

In the beginning the game was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of Dragonsfoot.  Then Solomoriah spoke, saying “Well, I’m going to bite the bullet and post this.”

January 20, 2006 was the date of the first public release of the document; it was very much incomplete at that time.  On February 28, 2007, release 62 of the 1st Edition was released on Lulu.com in print.

Changes in the Second Edition

The rules for wrestling were rewritten by a group of interested individuals.  I’ll try to get a list together sometime.

The presentation of Maneuverability was redesigned; the rule remained the same, but I changed the way we wrote the stats down from a letter code system to a distance in feet.  Much easier to understand this way.

Nick Bogan, the contributor of the Stronghold rules, provided a substantial rewrite of that section.

A bunch of art was added, and a bunch of errata was corrected.

Changes in the Third Edition

Added the missing “stench” ability for Troglodytes.  Not sure how it evaded notice for so long.

Several monsters were imported and rewritten somewhat from the Field Guide.

More errata was fixed, and more art was added.

Changes in the Fourth Edition

The license was changed, and SRD text was located and removed or rewritten to make this legal.

Monsters were reorganized with some changing names; for example, dragons are now named and sorted by terrain instead of color, and jelly-type monsters are grouped together.  Some monsters were redesigned, then we discovered we didn’t have to do that, so we ended up keeping both the original and the redesign; examples of this are Barklings (vs. Kobolds) and Ironbanes (vs. Rust Monsters).

Addition of 20% bonus XP Human ability as an optional rule.

Subduing damage was clarified, but not actually changed.  Some found the original rule misleading.

Rules for rolling up random magic items were changed, allowing a broader range of forms.  A few items were added, in particular additional devices for summoning elementals.

A small amount of errata was fixed.  In particular, the Sleep spell rewrite fixed a “hole” that made it unclear as to whether or not you could put an Ogre (or other 4 hit die monsters) to sleep with it.

More art, of course, including artist-provided redrawings of some monster art.

Coin weights were cut by half, after extended discussion (not just for this edition but over years).

Leave a Reply