Hello and a belated Happy New Year to you!
Well last year was a DUD in terms of new HOW stuff, and as personally disappointing as that was to me I am working to make 2016 much better. Developing Blades & Black Magic is taking quite awhile as developing a world to play in takes a bit of time. Then I have to decide what to add or leave out.
For example, I have worked on a "city" generator. It is a series of d6 charts that let you flesh out a city. Like any random table exercise, things sometimes seem not to "connect" but I have always liked the oddities and variety of such things. So I am not sure if it goes into BBM or maybe it is a better fit in a Cauldron issue--along with a sample city.
In addition--I am looking at adding "abilities". Think of them as favors or feats or that sort of thing. Again--not sure if I add it into BBM as a part of character creation--or save it for Cauldron as a test/optional rule.
Last, as the BBM rules are just a bit different--I am thinking of making the setting/world rules a separate Gazetteer--as well as including it all in BBM. So if you are playing HOW and just want a setting? You got it. Want the whole thing? You can have that too.
So what's different in BBM?
Skills have three levels: Inexperienced, Trained and Expert. No bonuses/pluses.
Inexperienced rolls: 4/attribute-all skills start here
Trained rolls: 3/ attribute
Expert rolls 4/attribute--but only uses the lowest 3 rolled
Why change? I wanted a simplified clean system that would allow someone to jump in quickly. Also there is no EN attirbute in BBM. Don't like it? No worries, just play straight up HOW rules! All the stats, magic, weapons, damage etc. and are completely compatible and really the same.
Want a basic conversion back and forth?
HOW skill +1 to +3 equals Trained in BBM
HOW skill +4 to +6 equals Expert in BBM
Magic--BBM adds ward magic and circle magic--and all magic in BBM taxes ST--there is no EN in BBM!
I transported my own HOW players into Rodinia and wizards suddenly having spells not work because they require blood/ST to work was quite fun--at least for me!
Last but certainly not least, Art Kid Luigi is working on new illustrations I will use in BBM so the work continues!