For the past 7 months, Legends of Anglerre has been my daily routine. First, a bucket load of new writing, then a careful process of editing, condensing, rewriting, polishing, testing, proofing, until the manuscript hit just the shape I wanted to consider itself finished. And it's looking so cool.
First is the old school feel. Like Starblazer, Cubicle 7 have gone for a clean black and white interior with minimal decoration and plenty of luscious 80s art from the fantasy issues of the Starblazer comics. Just crack open the book and it breathes high fantasy, sword and sorcery goodness. All the familiar chapters are there - character generation, game system, races, occupations, skills, equipment, magic items. It's in the "Powers" chapter that the twinkle of something different begins to spark. Not "Spells" - but "Powers". In Legends of Anglerre, your supernatural powers can take on any manifestation you want. You want a Sorcerer casting bolts of flame? No problem. You want a dragon breathing gouts of fire? Same rules, different cosmetics. And here's where it gets sexy: the advancement system works for both. You can play, as a PC, a young fire dragon, and track his growth and advancement as he adventures, getting larger and more powerful. Hell, you can even play the doomed heir of a dead race with a Fire Demon bound into his sword - and the same advancements apply, as the hero discovers greater and greater powers in his demonic sword.
It's a tiny shift of mindset, but suddenly the old school vibe has gone all multi-faceted, and the rules morph into whatever your game requires, while still fitting comfortably and snugly in the palm of your hand.
It goes further. The second half of the book includes rules for creating, fighting, and even *playing* sailing ships, star boats, castles, war galleys, war machines, kingdoms, guilds, temples, and more. These "constructs" and "organizations" have character sheets, statistics, skills, aspects, the whole thing: they use the same rules (with minor tweaks) as characters. Everything slots together like a well-made jigsaw, and you can zoom in and out from character level, to castle level, to kingdom level, and back again, without any sense of changing "game system". You can even use your personal experience advancements to improve your castle - or your kingdom!
This gets me really fired up. All within the same, simple, elegant system, with no added complexity, suddenly it becomes possible to play the complete plot of, say, Stormbringer or Lord of the Rings. All the sieges, mass battles, soul-searching, angst-ridden moments of despair, the mental battles with demons and arch-villains, the elation of supreme power. Legends of Anglerre even provides rules for becoming a god!
My pet project immediately following Anglerre's release: I want to write an old-school D&D style "module", for the Legends of Anglerre game. It starts off homely, familiar, comfortable - just what you'd expect from a "module". Then it takes off in an explosion of possibilities, bringing in all the innovations of the FATE Anglerre rules, and your old school adventures go where they've never been able to go before. And cram that into 32 pages ;)