Monday, February 28, 2011

GAME System Playtest 1, Part 1


In the last entry on this blog I talked about Low Power Fantasy. That game has now morphed into the GAME System. I'll be discussing my work on that system and its offspring here rather than on Socratic Design.

My friend Brian and I have started playtesting the mechanics for my CC License G.A.M.E. System. This playtest occurred about 4 weeks ago, but I am just now getting around to writing about it. I'm calling this version of the game Solo, since it's meant for one player and one GM. I think that the name will have to change since I believe people will confuse it for a Solitaire game, which it is not.

I sent Brian the rules over email and a character sheet. He had to make his character totally in isolation from me. I was so busy during the week that I couldn't call him or email him about the rules. Much to my great pleasure, when we started playing that Friday night, he had made the character exactly according to the rules. Awesome!

We decided to use a stock fantasy world for the Setting. I'm still in the midst of adapting my Blasted Sands setting to the GAME System (more on that later), so we couldn't use that. He chose to play a Human Sage named Aehlowen. I was expecting something like a firght or ranger or theif. I wasn't sure what to do with a Sage character. Aehlowen is the only character, so it would be challenging for me as a GM and Brian as a player to find conflicts for Aehlowen both engaging and challenging. Unlike a wizard or sorcerer type character, a Sage is interested in knowledge and lore, not blasting and burning everything in sight.

Anyway, Brian creates a really facinating Destiny for his character. He asked me not to reveal it publically, but I'll describe it in generalities. There once was a kingdom made up of two distinct cultures that split many years ago when the king was kidnapped. Aeholwen's destiny is to find the king and mend the rift. That's exactly what I had in mind when I created the Destiny mechanic for this game.

Brian chose to have exploding potions be Aehlowen's main weapon rather than a staff or sword of some kind. Again, this is a great challenge to GM. I designed my system to really support tactical and creative combat. Lobbing potions never really entered my thinking. I knew Brian's character would challenge the system to see if it could support such a unique and creative character. But if it can support this, I know it can support just about anything someone would like to play.

We talk about his character for a while and practice using the resolution system. He catches on pretty fast and we start playing. And I'll get to that in part 2 of this play test, which I'll post later this week (hopefully).


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