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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 70 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [The Pulse] Playtest Kit  (Read 4343 times)
Levi Kornelsen
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Posts: 210


« on: February 22, 2006, 08:56:49 AM »

Several of my other projects has undergo a kind of recombination, and are becoming a single project.

That project is The Pulse.

I've got a rough version of the playtest kit, which will also act as an introductory kit after changes from playtesting, and is here:

http://members.shaw.ca/LeviK/DemoRough.pdf

I'm editing for clarity at the moment, not for content.  So...

My question is, is there anything missing that you'd want to know before playtesting?  Anything that I simply failed to put in?
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Andrew Morris
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Posts: 1233


WWW
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2006, 09:26:16 AM »

Well, I can't really comment, since the characters are all gibberish, mostly boxes with some random shapes. I'll try in on another computer when I get home tonight.
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Levi Kornelsen
Member

Posts: 210


« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2006, 09:29:20 AM »

Bwuh?  Works for me; font embeddded, yep.  Anyone else having it work/not work?
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Andrew Morris
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Posts: 1233


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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2006, 09:41:15 AM »

Ahh, got to the bottom of it. I'm on a Mac running OSX, which uses "Preview" as the default PDF viewer. I opened the file in Adobe Acrobat, and it worked just fine. Now, I'll just have to print this out and read it over.
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StefanDirkLahr
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Posts: 79


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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2006, 12:48:30 PM »

I'm really liking the looks of this game! I have to give the kit a more exhaustive read-through, but a couple things stand out:

The section of filling needs & "bookwork" is great; I think you might have actually managed to make all those old "survival essentials" that every classic game includes matter. You're constantly asking "what you have" and "what you need", and it forces your hand. That strikes me right away as being awesome.

I love the idea of the Hideout sheet. As i see it, if the characters always get sheets to keep track of their player's resources, why shouldn't their world get one as well? The Hideout is a good start on that.
(I'd almost be tempted to move the rules explanations to a new sheet, and add a section for Relationships, or other sort of NPC resources for the Tribe, but i imagine that is too much of an expansion for the game idea you have here. It'd take a whole new set of rules to handle, and it'd probably distract from the core issues. I'm a sucker for the "snowballing problem"!)

Also, the flavour text really does work in the game's favour; Nice and post-apocalypticy, but still gritty, serious.



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Stefan Dirk Lahr, dreaming the impossible dream
Levi Kornelsen
Member

Posts: 210


« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2006, 01:13:41 PM »

The section of filling needs & "bookwork" is great; I think you might have actually managed to make all those old "survival essentials" that every classic game includes matter. You're constantly asking "what you have" and "what you need", and it forces your hand. That strikes me right away as being awesome.

That's the hope, exactly.  I haven't seen any play on this, yet - I have some tentatively scheduled - but that's exactly the idea.

I love the idea of the Hideout sheet. As i see it, if the characters always get sheets to keep track of their player's resources, why shouldn't their world get one as well? The Hideout is a good start on that.
(I'd almost be tempted to move the rules explanations to a new sheet, and add a section for Relationships, or other sort of NPC resources for the Tribe, but i imagine that is too much of an expansion for the game idea you have here. It'd take a whole new set of rules to handle, and it'd probably distract from the core issues. I'm a sucker for the "snowballing problem"!)

Hideouts are among my favorite ideas, as well.  I intend to expand on the idea, but not in this introduction.  Clarify, maybe.  Expand, no.

And relationship-numbers are something I've been really, really tempted by.  I'm not sure I'll need them, though, so I'm passing for now.

Also, the flavour text really does work in the game's favour; Nice and post-apocalypticy, but still gritty, serious.

Good to hear.

If and when you've gone all the way through, though, please make sure to remark on anything that needs more clarifying - or anything plainly absent, if you spot anything.  That's what I'm most worried about right now.
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xenopulse
Member

Posts: 527

Heretic Forgite


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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2006, 02:35:21 PM »

Levi,

This looks great. Reading the document really made me want to play and gave me some good ideas on what I would want to do with it. I also thoroughly enjoy the way that the whole group is walked through the learning process together.

Some questions:

About Conflict. Spencer loses one extra health chip for each rank he's beaten by. Does that mean he loses at least two chips, i.e., one ante and one for being beaten by one rank, or is it one additional one for each rank above one?

Conflict, Applied. Why can you not have two different chip types as stakes? It seems that the example in About Conflict does that to a limited degree (with the ante). I'm not sure why you wouldn't allow that to the full degree.

The Daily Grind. Talk and Planning. Where do the rumors come from? I see them on the Situation page. Maybe a cross reference would be good, because I was wondering about it until I got to the next page.

Speaking of... how do you make up new rumors? I assume, from you saying that the GM has the usual responsibilities, they just make them up; or do the players have to wait for Brimstone to continue?

And the GM, how does s/he balance GM duties with playing one of the characters with their own needs?

How many players can attempt to improve a resource during the same timeframe? Seeing that each player needs their own exchange, i.e., there's no helping, can all four characters try to beef up the well during the same 12 hours? If only one character can do it at one time, it seems like players will always have one of them work on it while the others seek out the river.

Finally, did I understand it right that a need and a fix can simultaneously be triggered by the same effect, i.e., the territory's two turf points fill up everyone's need, but they also give up to two fixes for the characters that have turf listed as a fix?

Again, I'm really liking this.
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Levi Kornelsen
Member

Posts: 210


« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2006, 03:58:54 PM »

Conflict: Always at least two chips are lost on a beatdown, and up to ten at most - one for being beaten, another for being beaten by one hand rank, yet another if beaten by two hand ranks, and so on.  Yes, that makes a one-hit-drop possible, though generally quite unlikely.

Applied: The reason for this is to avoid the archetypal character that responds to every situation in the exact same, highly agressive, way.  The combat monster that always smashes, and the like.  It's a limit on that type.

The Daily Grind: Noted.  I'll stick a not on there to see the situation sheet.  And, yep, the GM can just make up new rumors and spurs.  But Brimstone will go into making ones that hit the moment, often in a slightly predictive way, and give a whole half-ton of examples.  The GM and their character actually tie into this; it isn't required that a stable GM have a character at all.  That particular piece is part of the general lead-in to Brimstone, which will also go into the idea of rotating the GM position.

Beefing up sources and how to schedule that is up to the group and the narrative - the "Rule of Lame" applies.  If it's lame in this case, don't do it.  If it sounds right, do.

And a given action can certainly trigger my fix and your need, or your need and mine and that's cool. 

If it triggers one of my fixes and one of my needs at the same time, though, I pick only one of those.

Basically, a single thing can only hit one box on my sheet in the end.  But it *can* hit a box on mine and a box on yours at the same time, and that's awesome.
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