So, over this weekend, I started doing a little bit more with Privateer, my game idea basically taking some themes of the Napoleonic War/War of 1812 and placing them out in the stars. This sounds like the sort of thing Flying Mice would be all over, but I've actually been toying with it for a while now.
Why the Napoleonic Wars? I truly think that as horrible and bloody as wars inevitably are, those struggles were played out on such an epic stage with such unforgettable participants. Considering the forgettable ship-to-ship actions of day makes it a good fit for naval or imperial sci-fi. (David Weber evidently thought so as well).
Looking back, I see that I have done notes for several systems, to include Savage Worlds, FATE, and Iridium Lite, one of HinterWelt Enterprises's in-house systems. FATE and Iridium Lite are probably less well-known than Savage Worlds, but both are open-source, something that's always nice to work with. For right now, I think I'm going to work on tweaking and trimming Iridium Lite--I have the most experience with it (Squirrel Attack!), and I think it will be a little more forgiving of my mistakes.
So, we'll see how this goes. Like a lot of people in our hobby, I get projectitis, so I won't commit to anything. But there are a few common-sense design benchmarks I want to follow:
-Clear, unconfusing layout, complete with character generation checklist.
-Everything needed to play in a single book.
-That book's rules should be only around 20 pages with starship rules and examples included, and should be separate from the setting material (the latter point being a key point of HinterWelt's products, too). Look, if an RPG needs more than that these days, I get discouraged. I'm after simple but robust.
-An introductory scenario or adventure should be included.
-A good table of contents and a good index to round things out.
-Character sheet included.
So, we'll see what comes of it. If it takes off, expect some blurbs here and there as I get things underway.