Continuing work on getting the Player's Compendium ready for playtest. It's still amazing to me how what I thought would be a straight-forward task has turned into a major one. When we looked at the products, our first thought was "compile this into fewer volumes." That, we thought, would be a simple job. Take what he had already published in a number of supplements, compile the content into a logical sequence, freshen up the content with FAQ and errata, and voila! Alas no, this has proved to be not so easy.
The main issue we have struck to date is not that of compiling existing content. Nor the sheer volume of content to deal with. The biggest problem to date has been to ensure that things are presented "consistently," and that has meant looking at the wording of virtually everything and making sure it matches up with both the intent of the original writer and that of comparable mechanics. As I write this blog entry, I am wading through the spell descriptions in the Player's Compendium. One thing that strikes me is that there must have been a number of different authors working on these spells. For some reason, it never came up in my games. But with a writer's (and editor's) critical eye, there's a lot of differences in what is presented.
Let's continue. We are really very keen to take what he has produced and compile it into a comprehensive whole. And a major component of this is ensuring we keep as close as possible to what we think (and with people like Lou Ferigno's assistance, we're pretty sure) we would have liked to have done if they had revised what was already out in print. That means backwards compatibility with existing material, but ensuring we put some hooks in place now to incorporate add-ins further on that will add to the game line as a whole and take it in newer directions. It is, after all, a flexible game system.
So we've compiled a huge quantity of textual content. Now we're working to massage this content, bringing our own touch to the game, and incorporating the feedback and comments from a number of people who have been actively involved with the game since it's release. Once we're past this phase, we will move the drafts out to the playtesters. Their job is extremely valuable, and I suspect some of them may not be aware of how hard they are going to be pushed for feedback and comments. I'm still not sure what sort of commentary you would all like me to post on these blogs, so please do take the time to leave me some comments. Otherwise, I'll cut this short and blog on another time.