First, thanks for keeping a clear head and assuming the best. We do, and we find it really helps the process.
Second, I'd like to point you back to our original Mastercraft announcement
, and reiterate a couple things. While there were some early exploratory attempts at full compatibility you'll notice that the announcement never once uses the word. That's intentional. What we found in that process is that it ends in nothing but tears for everyone - a fully compatible system bed renders every
game less than the sum of its parts, creating unnecessary and in many cases extremely detrimental restrictions in terms of language, rules bloat, complexity, and utility. Everything suffers, and no one would be happy.
Instead, we've always approached Mastercraft as an evolving rules set that allows portability
. As we mention in the original announcement, the plan has always been to adapt the system on two fronts with each new game: first to the genre and second to the market. The needs of both evolve over time - as you can see respectively by watching the Bond movie series in order, and reading gaming blogs over any stretch of years. We also grow as designers, and choices that once looked best may not always yield the sweetest fruit in light of that growth and experience.
The intent has never been to create a GURPS-style rules set, but rather a broader, less generic, more useful bed for all our games, and to evolve each game's system on top of that. Some games will look more similar than others - for example, Spycraft Third and 10kB, which are intentionally being developed in tandem so they're as close to 100% compatible as possible (and there will still be differences, because some pieces of each game simply won't belong or make sense in the other). The Mastercraft logo doesn't signify compatibility as much as consistent design strategy, focusing on the same heroes first / genre second / utility third ethos we've always striven to present. It lets you know there are commonalities between games - enough to encourage and assist kit-bashing but not so much that it stifles each game on its own merits.
So what does this mean for individual rules in future games, including Spycraft Third and 10kB? We're not ready to say, and probably won't be until this summer - likely around Gen Con, after we've run our current thoughts through the playtest tumbler. We can
say that we're not abandoning Fantasy Craft - and are indeed factoring it directly into our discussions of the broader Mastercraft family, every step of the way. You don't have to worry about your game going away, though as is usual with a toolkit system we think you'll probably find that a lot of stuff from newer games will improve the older titles (and sometimes vice-versa). That's the way creativity and game design work - it's an ongoing, evolving process, and benefits from room to breathe.
So, back to the discussion at hand... I can say that AP and DR got a wee bit of a face list at the Summit, but nothing so severe that you wouldn't recognize the rules or be able to easily decide how they operate in a merged 10kB / Fantasy Craft campaign (for example). That said, one of the things Alex and I do regularly on the forums is watch what you guys are saying - not merely with idle curiosity but rather critical analysis. When folks raise a topic, unless it's something we know
isn't an issue, we're likely to listen, and when valid points come up and substantial improvements are posited, we consider them. That's why I asked about AP and DR - there might be something game-changing in here - a better way to do things that will benefit every Mastercraft game from now on.
So go, talk. Let us know what you think of the rules as they are, what you'd change, and how. It can't hurt, and it may very well help.