Just want to start by giving a special thanks to Leland Andercheck, who playtested with us and spent the next day revising my game doc. He’s an excellent RPer and I am hugely thankful to have his help. Leland is working on his own game called Akroydiesel Age, a Dieselpunk game where players can control entire units or play as a single soldier carrying out orders. I am looking forward to playing soon!
Playtesting last week was really gratifying for me, mostly because all the players seemed to really enjoy it. The problems that had given such sour feelings one week before have, apparently, been solved, leading to a fast-paced and roleplay heavy experience that rarely got sidetracked.
Also, only one bug on the character sheet this time. We’re getting closer.
Despite all that fun and joyousness, a couple of key issues were highlighted during gameplay:
- Archery is OP. Like, way, way OP.
- Speed skill being used for initiative is just not working.
Both of these problems, and their theoretical solutions, will be discussed below.
Archery is OP
Luckily, both of these are somewhat related. Archery is mainly OP because, as a player pointed out, it doesn’t restrict movement. Meaning a character can run around at full speed firing arrows. Might as well be skating down elephant trunks at that stage. Not only does that lack of restriction make an archer too good at offense, it also makes him or her too good at staying out of reach.
One player suggested a great fix to this: Have any player movement made during the turn prior to shooting cause a -3 to the shot’s roll. This will encourage players to take aim before firing and discourage overloading on the archery skill. I’m not sure that -3 is going to be enough, but that’s going to get tested and tinkered with on the next playtest.
The goal of this mechanic change is to make archer’s more vulnerable- this game prides itself on being very unforgiving to mistakes, and archer’s should be equally prone to consequences.
Speed for Initiative
In the game’s design, I wanted to use a speed skill to determine who goes first in battle- replacing the standard Initiative check. It didn’t work at all. Almost every player (four so far, but still) has ended up with the same or almost the same speed skill number. Meaning we ended up having to roll for initiative anyway.
Personally, I hate rolling for initiative because it doesn’t really reflect, in a meaningful way, what would determine movement order in a real situation. What about skill, reaction times, movement speed? Rolling a die seems… weird.
But oh well. It needs more thought.
Regardless of how Initiative is done, one thing is clear: Speed can be used better. Again taking a suggestion from a player, I’m going to try using the speed skill to determine combat mobility; your speed will determine how many spaces you may move per turn. For now, I am going to try a simple system that gives +1 to mobility for every 3 points in speed. We’ll see how it goes.
My speed skill was broken so I’m going to change its function, using it to let players move more during combat. Archery was also broken, so I’m going to try giving a big debuff when player’s move before shooting.
Thanks for reading! Comment with any questions, etc.