Saturday, September 18, 2010

[ctd] Playtest B

Maybe I should summarize the changes we made last week?

Death and Memory: We had some deaths, though we haven't been able to test the Memory system yet because the deaths occurred at the end of the session. We did, however, decide that players should get a play mat, rather than a character sheet, and then use an index card (or I'll probably make a character pad and sell it cheap-like with the book) to make the character. Once I make a mock-up, this will make more sense, but the idea is that the players can make one character at the start of a session, and then make another (just distribute the numbers and define one Scope, but nothing else) that they can pick up in the midst of the session if their first character dies. We also talked about taking over NPCs, and decided that players should absolutely have the option of taking on an NPC (and thus statting him up real quick, with the GM giving some input for Scopes and the like).

We also talked about letting players play a red joker to switch characters without having their existing one die.

Between Points: On that subject, NPCs opening gates does add to the Between point total.

Removal Challenges: Some good changes here.

  • If you've got a relevant Scope during a Removal Challenge, you can draw an extra card during Resolution (this rule worked out nicely, because it gives you a fighting chance and makes burning Memory to remove cards from the deck more useful).
  • We need to nail down the order of players who draw during the Resolution of a Removal Challenge. I'm planning to say "common sense," but it just needs to be addressed in the book.
  • I'm thinking that 8 aces is too much to form the basis of the Resolution deck; gonna try it with 4 next time.
  • A Removal Challenge refreshes all decks for all survivors.
  • We removed the Reserve deck entirely. We're just using two cards from any that the player has access to to form the Resolution, plus the aces.
  • A suggested rule: The GM and the players each choose four cards, one from each suit (if they have 'em) and turn them over at the same time. No escalation unless the GM plays a black joker, or maybe just ditch that rule entirely.
  • Another thing to try out: You can donate a result card if you're involved in a Removal challenge with another player (or request one). So if I draw a heart and that means I'm safe, but another player draws a spade and that means they're fucked and I'm OK with dying but they aren't, we can swap. We have to make that make sense in the context of the game, but that's not usually hard.


Character Challenges: If you go from a four to a king, there should be some roleplaying accompanying that. It can be as simple as "second wind," but players should use that progression to flesh out their characters more.

Card-Caps: Characters can accept a card-cap voluntarily (in our game, Matt's character was blind, and so he had a cap on actions requiring sight). We decided that when such a cap comes up and hinders a character, the GM loses a Between point.

OK, next step: I want to make up a playtest packet that I can send out to other folks.