One For All: A Game of Swashbuckling Adventure, Deadly Intrigues, and True Camraderie.

One For All is both a setting and a heavily modified d20 system in development here at Spilled Ale Studios. The two are entangled. One wouldn’t exist without the other, and they’re going to be packaged together in the same book. When it’s ready, it’ll be released as an Open Gaming License product.

As you might guess simply from its title, One For All takes inspiration from The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, but builds around that concept a unique fantasy world. It focuses on a specific part of that world, the Kingdom of Gallian and its closest neighbours. While the most obvious way to play in the setting is as members of the King’s Musketeers, there’s quite a lot going on in Gallian and numerous factions to fight against or on behalf of.

A Map of Gallian.

One For All makes numerous mechanical changes and is fundamentally quite a different game than D&D 5e, despite its core rules being based on the System Reference Document. I’ll mention one of the biggest changes here. One For All strives for genre emulation, so one of the bigger changes made to the system is the replacement of hit points with an alternative means of measuring damage. Characters possess a number of close calls, which explicitly measure near misses, minor scrapes and abrasions, and other effects that aren’t dangerous in and of themselves but increase the character’s overall combat fatigue while at the same time decreasing their morale. Some weapons deal additional close calls, and critical close calls are especially nasty. When criticals occur, characters in One For All are at great risk. Combat is therefore a hectic back and forth of dodging, weaving, parrying, and ripostes—right up until it isn’t, and in that moment death or maiming are brutally likely possibilities.

Beyond mechanical changes, a lot of thought has been put into building a unique setting worth playing in. The theme of musketeers is naturally attractive in its own right, but there are plenty of other intriguing elements to the world. In addition, one of the core design goals for the world of One For All is to subvert fantasy tropes or, where they’re left intact, try to build upon them in new and interesting ways. There are no wise and kindly Elves here; the elves of Espera are known to be vain, cruel, and warlike. The rodent-like dremund* aren’t known for being thieves and scoundrels, they’re known for being ferocious negotiators and exceptional merchants to whom fairness and family are the most important concepts of all. The hoeflin (halflings) are a proud warrior race who don’t take insults lying down.

I’ll talk more about One For All and dig into more specifics over the coming weeks. Since One For All isn’t available yet, I’ll also be providing you with suggestions and new options for using the setting with your D&D 5e game.

*If you’d like to learn more about the dremund and perhaps use them in your own game, they’re available on DriveThruRPG.