Version 7 “Windup Fisticuffs” – By the Numbers

Aes: Brass Revolution Version 7, “Windup Fisticuffs,” has been released! This version, unlike version 6, was about CONTENT. And the numbers reflect this!

  • Pages: 314
  • Faculties: 246
  • Modifications: 519
  • Testing sessions: 7

With 314 pages, that’s a jump of 88! That’s our largest increase to date. Driving that are the new faculties and mods: 86 new faculties and over 200 new mods. This one version accounts for a third of all faculties currently in the game and close to half of all the mods!

There were three area of content we focused on: adding to existing areas with more ideas thought of from testing (new serums, new contraptions); expanding what was already there (range weapons); and, adding entirely new content.

Version 7 gets its name from the major faculty expansion for unarmed combat combined with the introduction of turngears, one of Aes’s signature crafting categories. Explorer’s who’ve wanted to play monks and brawlers can finally do so! Also finally making an appearance are resonators, another key crafting concept. With these, every major crafting categories except charges (explosives) is represented in the book.

Thanks to the system tweaks of version 6, this content is much more solid than it would have been. Wording has been clarified for several older faculties and mods. Generally, version 7 works better because we took the time to focus on gaps in the system rather than continuing to dump new content.

The system was also expanded with this release with talents and savoir-faire finally entering the game. Talents are an idea that were around since version 1, appearing on even the first character sheets. After going through six different rejected iterations, it was finally decided to make talents the jobs/skills system for Aes. Now, explorers can fill in their back story with what they did before they adventured, while receiving both in-game bonuses and a quick way to generate revenue in the process.

Savoir-faire helps add some much needed nuance to the Flair stat in Aes. Flair has emerged as the most commonly used stat in testing, since it deals with non-combat interactions. Now with more of a structure in place, it’s less easily abused and will help explorers be more creative with their applications.

Version 7 will have several very strong testing sessions. It’s premiere is at Ikkicon. Then, toward the end of January, it’ll be at PAX South and then Ushicon the week after. The goal is for version 8 to be ready for OwlCon in mid-February. That will give version 7 a month-and-a-half testing cycle that includes 4 cons – more cons than previous versions.

We’re going to shift gears slightly on the focus for the next version. We’ve had people want to run sessions and requesting more lore so they can create campaign ideas. Version 8 will therefore be lore focused at first. Version 7 adds some lore, in the form of a write-up on augs, the founding of Aeneam, and introductions to each of the five ideals, but there’s much more detail about the world yet to be revealed. We’re also hoping to begin rounding out crafting categories that only have one or two items out of their total, such as concoctions, haberdashery, and turngears.

Lastly, with the size of this book, we’re starting to hit the limits of what coil binding can accommodate. What we may do is start deciding what material will eventually go on to the core book and what will be spun off into expansions. Then we’ll keep the main book as core content with the expansion material having its own, less fancy, volume (nicknamed “The Expanse”). We’ll track the growth of both if we go this route.

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