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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 200 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Critique my quickstart playtest rules?  (Read 1559 times)
Narf the Mouse
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Posts: 96


« on: November 06, 2007, 08:44:49 AM »

Quickstart Rules v2

Purpose of the game: Generic, flavourful play in any genre. Play should be quick and effective. Also, death shouldn't be something that 'Just happens'.

Thanks.
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Filip Luszczyk
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Posts: 746

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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2007, 11:27:16 AM »

Why only the GM has anything to say when it comes to vetoing inappropriate abilities? Do you specifically want the genre expectations to be set by a single person? If so, what are your reasons? Otherwise, why not invite the whole group to the process?

You have a rule that says the GM can provide a bonus for flavour, but you don't give any specifics.

It's possible to start with 60 very narrow innate abilities, or 120 item abilities. Never mind the effectiveness of such a build, that's a whole lot of possible traits. Did you take it into account? Do you, possibly, have an unspoken assumption that the characters will be created in a some specific way? If so, why not formalize it within the rules?

You mention a possibility of selling abilities for Fate Points. However, you don't explain how it works.

What's your reason for limiting the equipment with tokens, if it is just for color? Wouldn't it be easier to just describe the character's belongings, giving him as much of them and of as good/poor quality as befits the concept?

Your conflict resolution rules lack clarity. I advice a rewrite.
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Narf the Mouse
Member

Posts: 96


« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2007, 01:25:54 PM »

That's a very good point. A group veto would improve the game.

As they are quickstart playtest rules, I decided to go with the bare minimum. However, adding 'Give one to two bonus points to the roll for adhering to the flavour when doing so would be difficult' and 'Give an extra point if more than one flavour is used or two for three' or some other such guidelines would be helpful.

There's an implicit assumption that characters that would be an annoyance are disallowed; I'm not certain it really needs to be made explicit, but perhaps it does...Opinions?

Yeah, I should add something like 'Innate abilities can be sold for the same price they are bought'.

I'm kinda wrestling between 'You get the character you want' and 'You build the character you want'...It's a short enough ruleset that I could maybe write one of each, but for now this is 'You build the character you want'. Which means I forgot advancement rules...

I'm not sure how to explain the conflict resolution rules. Basically, if you want to hack off someones' arm, you set permanent stakes of 'I hack off his arm' and the other player sets stakes of, say, 'I cut off his kneecap'. Then you roll and the loosing player gets either 'Hacked-off arm' or 'Hacked-off kneecap', with a penalty determined by the roll. The penalty determines how much actual damage is done.

Maybe I could just do what I just did - Add in a step-by-step resolution example for the major resolution conflicts - Character versus character, character versus danger, character versus difficulty.

Thanks. I posses the amazing ability to miss the obvious, sometimes.
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Filip Luszczyk
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Posts: 746

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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2007, 02:20:28 PM »

Out of curiosity, by "playtest quickstart rules" you mean that the document is intended for whom exactly, and for what purposes?

Cause, if these are your personal system notes and you intend to use them in your own inside playtesting, run by yourself, then, well, these are your notes. Otherwise, I'm not sure how it could serve playtesting, or how playtesting conducted on the basis of it could be useful to you.
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Narf the Mouse
Member

Posts: 96


« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2007, 02:29:26 PM »

Notes that I can use to run a game. But then, if they aren't sufficient to allow someone else to run a game, they probably aren't sufficient to give out to players, either...

...Ok, I think I have to go back to the drawing board...

...Is there some sort of questionare or other such 'Format' document to help someone know when they've got enough written down for a playtest?
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2007, 03:11:08 PM »

I don't suppose there's such a thing. Creating it would be difficult in the first place, I believe. Basically, too much depends on the needs of a specific designer and of a specific game.

If you feel confident running your game with just a rough summary, go for it. I'm playtesting my stuff from a pile of notes written in my personal code, and most these only serve me as reminders about some rules I have in my head. A single playtest can give you more than weeks of writing the rules in void, anyway. And if by chance you find yourself completely changing big parts of the game between your initial playtests, you won't be wasting the time needed to put it all on paper.

As for the players, you probably can explain them the rules directly just as well.

I'd suggest writing down only as much as you actually need to conduct the playtest. Once you think what you have is solid enough, you can safely move to writing a full playtest document, and searching for outside playtesters (and this is more or less where things start getting tough).

Of course, it's hard to provide concrete feedback on the basis of rough design notes only. At the same time, chances are it won't be easier with two hundred pages of untested draft. For eliciting feedback, general overview (possibly Power 19) or discussing more narrow aspects of the game should be more effective.
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