Thursday, June 19, 2014

611 views and Stuff of Legends progress report

I did not expect this. Somehow, since the last time I checked my statistics, this blog had a sudden influx of views. Allegedly, a third of my total of 611 views are from January, but a full sixth is from the last month. I am pleasantly shocked.

So I have some news to report, particularly on the Stuff of Legends front:

First Playtest
I ran a first playtest for a friend, solo session, last week. He rolled up two character and the process proved to be several things:
  • Quick. In under 20 minutes, one player rolled up both characters. Random attribute generation works well (roll 3d6, take middle) and the skills are clear enough as to make putting points into them a simple task.
  • Clear. During that time, I needed to explain fairly little, as the mechanical bits were clear and self-explanatory. Those mechanical bits grew a little in size since, but more on that in a moment.
  • Missing things. Mainly those I've yet to write. You can create complete characters, but there's nothing particularly definite about the entire thing.
The player had some experience with RPGs, so that contributed to the overall speed, so something to consider that, if not for the following entry...

 Not-Really-A-Playtest (Second Playtest)
I had gone to visit a friend of mine who's in the hospital for a little while. I had suggested that maybe I could run a solo session for her and she was psyched. Two birds with one stone! Her prior experience was a single session of Warrior, Rogue & Mage (by +Michael Wolf , aka Stargazer) with a pregenerated character and then a session of BareBones Fantasy (by +DwD Studios / DWD Studios) with a character she made herself, although inexpertly. In short, this playtest didn't test the system's finer points as much as how friendly it was to newbies.
The findings:
  • Viscerally fun. The game now relies on rolling a dice pool that can reach 9 to 10 dice easily for starting characters. Despite what might turn out to be a bit heavy, she found the mechanic fun and satisfying. Also, adequately suspenseful when her thief was getting attacked by guards.
  • Needs a rule reference. I kept slipping up some rules that are somewhat important. I need a rules reference printed out for the next playtests.
  • Clear character creation. The volume of skills had increased ever so slightly between one playtest and the next, from 12 to 16, and their dynamic shifted a bit. Despite the fact, I had to explain very little and a character was created quickly and easily even by someone with less experience. Due respect for this questionnaire for providing a viscerally fun time in figuring out what kind of character she should make.
A fun time was had by both of us and the lessons from the first playtest remained while other were added, as can be seen.

I must say that I'm pleased with the game I have now. It's interesting, fun, viscerally satisfying (rolling many d6s always is) and most of all - simple and intuitive. I have other playtests with other players lined up, although lacking dates, and a distinct want to test out group play before Aethercon III and the session I'm planning on running (Rite of the Black Keep, there).

An Open Invitation
My schedule is clearing up soon and with all this free time I will need some way to occupy myself.
So I would like for you, the reader, to do one of two things:
  1. Find me on Google+, or contact by Hangouts if you already know me, and ask about playtesting via Hangouts.
  2. Spread the word about the first thing, so might be that you are not interested, but another person may be.
Either of these being done would be greatly appreciated, as I really want to run this game some more and work out the kinks.