Now while I'm sure this would have been enough to incite a lengthy scumbag rant about tossers trying to make passengers pay the correct fare, the driver this time was black, so the entire bus was also treated to a rant about how the scumbag was being made pay full fare in his own country, how black people were stealing our jobs (and from the smell of this fucker at nine in the morning I somehow doubt this particular black man stole any job the scumbag was capable of getting) and how, if the driver said anything to him when he was getting off the bus the scumbag would punch him in the face, drag him from the bus and kick the shit out of him.
Delightful chap all round.
For our anniversary (5 years at Gaelcon) I got metalrabbit warm pyjamas (something she has an unnatural love for) and a sack of Lush stuff to stink the place up with. The stench in that shop is enough to prevent proper breathing... Anyway, she got me a copy of Deadlands Frag! (the best kind of Frag IMO), my own bedside lamp (so I can stop stealing hers) a really nice white and silver one, some sugared,salted peanuts and cashew nuts (which didn't last out the night) and a really beautiful notebook with a silver cover and raised silver letters spelling out "Unholy Wars" which rocks more than words can reasonably convey. I'm tempted to just scan in the cover and use it as the cover image for the RPG when I get it done - that's how cool it looks).
Anyway, I found the old notes on my work PC, mostly character generation stuff which hasn't changed much in all the years that have passed. I believe Ian has changed some of the basic system to implement a sort of system wherby calculating task target scores is a lot simpler (I don't fully understand it but I've not heard of anything like it before and it sounds simple, fast and effective) and the combat notes have reminded me quite how incredibly unpleasant combat is - even in a fistfight there is every chance that you'll be kicked to the ground and beaten senseless in moments with no chance to fight back.
Each hit you take has three checks to be made in response - a death check, unconsciousness check and stun check. Some types of hit (like a punch) don't really require a death check unless you're being punched by something superhumanish (or you have an appropriate disadvantage) but there's a good chance that you'll be stunned, preventing you from acting and meaning you take another punch, then another, then another and so on. Much as in real life, if someone gets the jump on you and you're not all that tough, you're going to take a beating.
Gunfights on the other hand are a horribly lethal affiair, the odds of you hitting someone are quite poor unless you stand still and take careful aim (not generally possible in a gunfight and requires several serious cool checks) but if you ARE hit, there's a strong chance you'll die there and then from shock (no "take fifteen hit points damage and carry on" here) and even if you don't there's a better chance you'll be knocked out of the fight with the pain and a greater chance again that you'll be stunned. Kevlar only serves to convert the damage dealt from lethal into non lethal damage, so what should have been a bullet through the lung becomes a couple of bruised or possibly broken ribs. Melee combat is almost as dangerous and explosions are absolutely wicked naturally.
Character generation is points based, PCs are built using 100 points, NPCs are built using between 25 to 50 depending on the NPC. I suspect I'll have to factor game balance issues into the points used but realistically a 50 point NPC can kill a 150 point PC pretty easily with a lucky shot assuming a few points are pumped into the NPC's firearms skills - any fool with a shotgun can mess up someone's day in a rather terminal manner. I suppose playtests will show us more clearly what a group of PCs can handle. I think Ian has changed some of the stats too, we used to have two or three derived stats from the basic ones but he says he got rid of them, for example there was a size stat and a strength stat, between the two of them you got the derived fitness stat - so a large size and low strength indicated a big chunky guy wheras a small size and high strength might indicate a small wirey person. As I said though, I think the derived ones are gone at the moment.
There are currently around sixty or seventy different advantages and disadvantages to choose from and those are only the generic ones, there will be several more that are specific to different character types - a psychic for example will have several like "Painful Visions" which leave the person with a headache worth a -1 modifier for around half an hour after using their powers.
The basic background remains largely unchanged, the New Crusade and New Inquisition (which natural20 pointed out to me is a term from Unknown Armies but I doubt that changes anything) are still around, the Company is still organising covert strikes all over the place and I'm looking at new factions at the moment, the Establishment - royalty to you and I, is being considered at the moment as a possibility, as are some "independent" organisations who are not so much part of the whole core conflict as the others. Ideally it should be possible to play characters who have little or nothing to do with the major plotlines but the option is still there to include them. One of the supplements noted in my notebook is about the crime syndicates around the world and it would be nice to have the option there for people to play goons sent out to break legs as opposed to Church Inquisitors sent out to kill or capture rogue psychic Evangelists.
Anyway, thanks to the discovery of the notes it looks like the PHB is about 60% finished (to the somewhat higher standards I have these days), I'm considering the inclusion of art into the whole thing but it's a lot of work to get done. The GM's guide on the other hand is a long way off since most of the background was either lost or shite and the Bestiary will have to wait until Ian and I can decide just what exactly exists or does not exist in the game world.