I suppose that I haven't really been talkative lately. Mainly due to the fact that I've been watching a bunch of spy-themed movies and reading TSR's Top Secret and Victory Games/Avalon Hill's James Bond 007. At some point, it occurred to me that there should be a retroclone of one or both of those. I'm starting working on notes toward a clone of the former, but I have some areas that I'd like to ask others about.
First, how much change do I need to make to satisfy legal requirements? Am I allowed, for instance, to keep the same names of characteristics, or do I have to give them synonymous names since the game is not, itself, under the OGL? Can I go so far as to use the "Quick Reference Codes" for weapons that were so prevalent in the various modules (this may not be essential, but it could prove useful in converting those old adventures to the clone system)? Can I just paraphrase and reorganize the rules sections, and present the tables in reorganized form?
Second, what do you think that the modern audience would prefer: a retro look at the Cold War era, or a modern, Homeland Security era game, such as the last two James Bond films seem to be attempting? I'm leaning toward the latter, but I can see a retroclone being targeted at the former, with supplementary material covering the more modern era.
Third, should I consider putting my own spin on some of the rules, such as the hand-to-hand combat section? For instance, I'd like to add ways in swordplay to include cuts to the body and legs, which are absent in the second printing tables. I'd also like to change the system slightly so that wrestling is a little less of a foregone conclusion (for instance) by adding a random element based on relative character traits. Is that a good idea at all?
Fourth, I'm interested in integrating the Top Secret Companion and some of the better Dragon magazine articles (especially those by Rasmussen). However, I don't know if there is some reason that might be a bad idea.
So, what do you think?