About Me

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Seattle, Washington, United States
I'm an old time roleplayer who became a soldier who became a veteran who became a developer who became a dba who became a manager who never gave up his dream of a better world. Even if I have to create it myself.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Another Playtest

Whoa wait remember me?

Yep. I'm a slacker. I have to admit I have been distracted from my tabletop gaming a bit lately thanks to a certain Star Wars MMO that me and BabyBat have been enjoying together. I firmly blame the Hutt Cartel.

But back to work.

This weekend I finally had another playtest for the Phoenix: Monstrarium game I've been working on since before time began (or at least it feels that way).

More good feedback, more good ideas. Even picked up a new player this time. Parts of the system feel very good but there are still parts that don't feel streamlined enough or aren't invoking the feeling I want from the gameplay. Werewolves are close, but... not close enough.

Hey, at least I didn't kickstarter this two years ago like some projects I know that were in even worse places ......

photo credit: Caro Wallis via photopin cc
I certainly respect the experienced game designers like Monte Cook who can pull off a game like Numenēra hitting budget and timelines pretty head on without (perceptibly) breaking a sweat. There really is a clear difference between folks like that and folks like.. well..  some of the other kickstarters a few of us have supported.

One of the things I discovered in the most recent playtest is that I don't like the linear nature of single die throws. Now, to some degree, I've always known this; it's why GURPS uses 3d6, for instance. But I'm missing the probability curves and the benefits it brings, such as more frequently hitting around the character's "average" performance. Swinging back and forth from critical misses to critical hits isn't what I want. I'd prefer if most rolls are normal hits, and then a few are horrible misses or fantastic gutsplatters. That way I can make those gutsplatters really... splattery... or something.

Also, throwing more than one die for something like an attack lets me have a bit more play with things like Defense, where I feel very restricted at the moment in my design.

Also, throwing more than one die is FUN.  See Rule 1.

So it is, that the core mechanic evolves more towards that funny feeling in my head on what it is I'm trying to get out of it.

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