08 May 2006

Three Dooms - First Playtest

Tonight I ran the first playtest session of Three Dooms. It was fun, which is the main thing, but highlighted a few issues.

The big thing was that it ran way shorter than planned. Two elements fed into this. Firstly, two players couldn't make the game so we played with just three (which is less than the minimum - four). Secondly, I did the job of Doom Master (DM) badly, going straight for the conflict rolls rather than setting up scenes to get a lot of roleplaying going before doing the conflicts.

The first I can live with, obviously with not enough people the game will go faster. The first doom was also very tough on just two heroes, amd they did not defeat it. This is to be expected, because the mechanics are calibrated carefully for a minimum of three heroes. I'll put in some notes about playing with less - the aspects will need to be significantly weakened.

The second was just me being tired and forgetting how to play, really. The text even says the DM should build up to each conflict and how they should do it. I think I was playing it like Badass Space Marines, where a brief pause between fights is all that is required. I'll check the DM instructions to make sure this is covered properly. I think I'll also put in some more about how to build up stories for each aspect that give cool scene ideas.

What worked well was the driving and supporting emotions for the heroes and the way new specialties are gained (after losing a fight). The emotions gave an instant personality to each hero, built up by specialty gains in often unexpected but always pretty cool ways.

Our doom and aspects were fairly silly, but still had a kind of primal feel to them. So the ancientness was working okay there too.

Overall, I am pleased. The game as written is playable and fun, albeit with some flaws that need work.

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