Here's the progress so far.
Our stalwart playtesting crews have worked they way through character creation, skills, equipment and combat chapters putting each to the test, suggesting revisions, identifying problem areas and highlighting what's worked very well for them. The input has been great and Pete and I spent time during the recent Petecon to address each point and challenge and integrate them, where necessary into the rules fabric.
The above chapters, along with Creatures, are nearing completion and will soon be sent for editing after we've completed some minor additional revisions.
RQ6 will have five very different magic systems: Folk Magic (Common Magic as was), Animism (spirit magic), Mysticism (brand new), Theism (Divine) and Sorcery. Initial writing is complete on three fifths of these and will form the next round of playtesting.
Folk Magic is a radical revision of old Common/Battle Magic. We've de-emphasised the combat aspects and vastly increased the more utilitarian spells. Old favourites are still there, but every spell has undergone a substantial degree of revision. Mysticism is completely new and aims to allow characters to replicate all manner of wuxia, martial arts, ki, and other powers that focus on self-realisation and potential. Its not a spell-based system, but it does have a very wide range of different effects/talents to offer considerable flexibility. Animism is a complete overhaul of the old spirit magic rules to clarify, expand and explain the system in detail. Theism and Sorcery are next up and these will, again, be overhauled with an eye on flexibility.
A huge chapter, there's a wide range of beasties and mythical monsters along with playable races - each with character creation guidelines. Old favourites are in there (but no specifically Gloranthan critters) along with some new additions. We've tried to give each creature or race a unique spin making for more rounded creatures than simply things to butcher and steal from. Expect extensive rules for how creatures react and fight, along with guidelines for creating your own.
Art and Layout
Art is commissioned and we have a team of three very talented artists working on illustrating the book. Having seen some of the sample art, I'm very impressed and once we're in a position to share some of it I'll post samples on the DM website. But work is still underway, so patience please!
We have also commissioned a professional layout guru to work on the book's presentation. Clean, readable and easy on the eye is the overall theme. There'll be no intrusive borders, good use of white space, consistent and recognisable design elements, and a book that should look good in dead tree and PDF versions that remain printer-friendly.
So a lot has been happening and RQ6 has taken several bounds towards realisation. There has been some project slippage due to personal lives and Real Life intrusions, but nothing that has significantly delayed our progress.
Thanks for bearing with us.
Some more information from the Design Mechanism forum:
So, with some of the sting taken out of Folk Magic will another magic system carry the weight of combat-focused spellcraft? Will we see Bladesharp, Speedart, Disruption, Multimissile shifted to another magic system? Or will they remain "Folk Magic" with a more limited effect?
Some of them remain in watered down version. The more potent effects will achieve apotheosis to a higher level of magic. A lot of the problems I saw in long running RQ2/3 campaigns was the out of control magic inflation which eventually rendered weapons and armour superfluous. So we're reining that in a bit.For those that are worried about Glorantha backwards compatibility we will undoubtedly make a Battle Magic supplement/conversion available for free download.