29 March 2005

First Playtest Of My Game

Well, we did a first playtest of my game last night.

Basically it all went well, people had fun and so on (although I felt like it took a little while to get going).

Lots of changes to be made to the rules, of course. I expected a fair amount of that - some of the changes are ones that I thought I'd need to make, even. A couple of things didn't work out as expected but should be easily fixable.

My big problem, which I don't have a solution for, is that I'd like to reward in-character interaction with the crew, other player characters and assorted people all over. However, I'm not sure how to do that. Maybe giving a free new/changed relationship with the character concerned for doing this interaction would be easiest, but it's not terribly exciting. Hmm... perhaps something more like, if you play a scene with another character, the next time they are involved in a crisis you are sorting out, you get a bonus from them? Any thoughts/suggestions in comments will be appreciated.


hix said...

Uh, ... maybe use something like fanmail in PTA? Each player has a pool of gift dice - the higher their rank, the less dice they get (if being higher in rank confers other bonuses or is contested over at character gen). They can't use these starting dice themselves.

In a scene with other players, you can give your gift dice to whoever helps you (or whatever the behaviour is you're trying to reward).

Maybe the receiver of dice has a choice of using them or of passing them on.

Would you - the GM - like to be the one to reward in character interaction? Or would you like it to be handled by the players?

Can you define what you mean by "I'd like to reward in-character interaction with the crew, other player characters and assorted people all over"?

The Gamester At Large said...

Okay. Here's the more clear version.

During the playtest, and also in my mental idea of the game, one of the most important things is the PCs talking to each other and to other characters about what is happening. This might encompass humourous banter, discussions about the meaning of duty or talking about the job that's being done. Anything, really.

I want this to be mechanically supported in a way that rewards this sort of play without depending on any player's judgement (i.e. not the GM either).

Currently my idea is this:
- If you interact with another character you gain a relationship with them if you don't already have one, or add a tick next to the relationship you already have.
- A tick next to a relationship can either be used to change the relationship (e.g. "I hate Bob" might become "Bob isn't so bad"). It is then erased.
- A tick next to a relationship can be used to gain advantage in a crisis (that's my jargon, essentially we're talking a moderate bonus to the roll). The tick is then erased.

This takes the judgement out of it, although there may need to be a specified 'minimum interaction' level to qualify. Perhaps give and take in the conversation (so that "Jones, a point to starboard" "Aye aye, sir" wouldn't count, as there isn't actually any give and take there).