My editor and I both put together notes on the recent playtest. I’m presenting rewritten versions of them here, both to make sure I heard what was said, and to formulate a plan of action.
- The rule about “if you need a rule or ruling, write a card” needs to be up front and clear
- It needs to be clear who has authority to do this
- The card prompts were helpful in kickstarting character ideas
- Creating a custom character card instead of using the stock cards worked great
- The cards work well as prompts for “how does your PC view/interact with this thing?”
Temporary or add-on character cards
- Address questions about how, why, when, etc. new character cards come into being
- Address emphemeral or situational benefits like “X person likes us now”
- The GM role cards need better names, to clearly indicate what they do (e.g. “NPC guy”)
- The divisions of responsibility might not be the best ones - we’ll reconsider
- The functional distinction of roles feels hazy right now
- “Spotlight” is a good start
Introduce post-Forge concept of scene and scene framing:
- The scene’s overriding source of tension
- The scene’s location (place, time, etc.) and occupants
- What closes the scene out?
- Encounter generation is a good start
- The specific cards need tightening
- The open-ended nature of the cards is a strength. Find ways to yoke that strength into a generator without giving up the free-form nature of it.
- Encounters should come with some kind of stakes
- Difficulty resolution is vague - how many times can we pose a challenge before we say “yeah that did it”?
I think the next steps are as follows:
- Write up the meta-rules clearly (“you can create new cards at any time”)
- Start looking for new terms for the GM role cards
- Start looking at other divisions of labor for those cards
- Write an article on how to frame scenes using encounter cards
- Think about how to pace or manage difficulty