Friday, April 26, 2013

More Five by Five

I am happy with the current state of the Five by Five playtest document. Chris is going over my copy with a fine toothed comb to look for grammar and spelling errors and to suggest clarifications where needed.

The work is compact in 32 pages and I don't plan to mess with that. But, it's about time that I add "more" to the game, and I have some specific ideas about that.

I want to write some sample adventures that I can format as separate documents to act as companions for Five by Five. I would like to do a "fantasy" adventure in the sword and sorcery vein, a "sci-fi" adventure in the space opera vein, a "monster hunter" adventure in a contemporary horror vein and a "super hero" adventure in the silver age of comics vein.

I already have some ideas about small rules additions / changes for the fantasy and superhero games that will serve those genres without impacting the basics of Five by Five and should serve to show the expandability of the system. The adventures will include example characters and maybe some "suggested character traits" to round them out.

I plan to confine each sample adventure to as concise a package as possible. There are plenty of games out there that already cater to these genre's specifically. Five by Five's strengths are simplicity and concise presentation. I need to remember that and not work against it.

These are my plans going forward. If you haven't looked over the Five by Five playtest document recently, give it a quick read through. Feed back is welcome.


Jeff Moore

Friday, April 19, 2013

Five by Five version 3

Five by Five version 3 is still in play testing. But, I am so happy with the way this game is shaping up that I couldn't wait to share. Please, try it out. I really do think it's the best this game has ever been.

I could write about all the changes and improvements here ... but why not just take a look for yourself?


Jeff Moore

Monday, April 15, 2013

Defiance Tonight!

So, in celebration of the television premiere of Defiance tonight, I thought I would share a recent picture of my girl friend.


Jeff Moore

Friday, April 12, 2013

Play Test Report 1st Session

I am play testing Five by Five on with two players. Right now the small group allows me to relax into things and pay attention to how the rules are playing out. The 5x5 roll mechanic is solid and easy to teach. It was strong before and seems just as good now.

Successes and failures seemed to happen in about the right variation. No one felt like they were hampered in what they wanted to do, nor did the roll of the dice feel anti-climactic. The possibility of success or failure felt right for these novice adventurers.

My main interest was in the combat system that is completely new and untested. I was pleased by the way the first combat went and I hope future encounters only improve on that trend. I did find flipping from the game screen to my document to check the Critical Damage table to be cumbersome and have since changed the rules to eliminate the need for the table.

We are playing a Monster Hunter game set in the Buffyverse. Because the Buffy series had made a few references that there was a Hellmouth in Cleveland, I set the game there. The players are freshmen in college. One is a book worm type obsessed with knowledge of the occult, sort of a junior Giles (who has also trained in Martial Arts.)  The other is a practicing witch, sort of a junior Willow.

The witch character is named Maggie. The Bookworm Martial Artist is named Aaron. The two had seen each other before as they both frequent the rather substantial occult section of the college library. Today when they happened to arrive at the library at once, they find police cars outside and the librarian murdered.

They talk to the cops and learn that the librarian was apparently decapitated (and there is no sign of the head.) They sneak around to peak in a window and see the body laying in the center of a protective pentagram made of salt. But the edge of the pentagram is broken, the salt looks pushed in as if broken intentionally by someone outside the circle.

Aaron makes a Occult Knowledge roll and tells Maggie that Bone Snapper Demons are known for taking the heads of their victims.

Maggie makes a Spell Casting roll and tells Aaron that demon summoning rituals can't be done from memory because they are far too complex. The tome used to summon the demon should have been laying on the ground near the body, but no such book was in sight.

The pair decide to break into the deceased librarian's office to look for clues. Maggie successfully uses a spell to unlock the door, but the use of magic awakens the room's guardian, one of those polished bone anatomy skeletons on a stick. It jumps off its stick and launches itself at Maggie and a combat ensues.

The combat was a lot of fun, but I hit Maggie with a critical right off the bat causing her to be dazed and it took her a while to recover. I had only given the skeleton 2 wounds though and the players were able to defeat it after Aaron had an unfortunate run of rolling 3 doubles in a row (but got good AP.)

We wrapped things after the skeleton's defeat and everyone (myself included) had a good time. The characters are copied below for those who are curious.

Maggie O'Toole
Dodge (2)
Welcoming Demeanor (3)
Recovery (4)
Spell Casting (5)*
Magic Club (6)*     -as Arcane Arrow ... but a club.
Fast Action (2)
Wound Level: Unharmed.
Sessions: 1
Advancement Points: 2
AP Cost Multiplier x1

Aaron Reynolds
Recovery (2)
Computers (3)
Martial Arts (4)*
Occult Knowledge (5)
Dodge (6)
Fast Action (2)  +1RS for Martial Arts = (3)
Wound Level: Unharmed
Sessions: 1
Advancement Points: 4
AP Cost Multiplier x1

I have already applied the boost to their Fast Action Traits for completing their first game session, but they haven't spent any AP yet.

The evolving play test doc is now available on the link bar at the top of the blog page just under the Dreams and Dragons banner. Click on it to take a look at the latest revision of the playtest. I will be updating the document regularly.

I feel pretty good about all the changes. The game is different but the same and all the changes are (in my opinion) for the best, moving the game as a whole towards a more streamlined uniform game play experience.


Jeff Moore

Friday, April 05, 2013

Five by Five Revision Notes

I have been working on an updated version of Five by Five. I have enough basic notes on the changes that the game is playable and I will begin play-testing next week. I thought there might be an interest in seeing what has been changed so I have made the play-test document available.

The notes include the changes to the Five By Five dice mechanic and a new Weapon/Armor/Damage mechanic that replaces the older one that quiet honestly was a blatant steal from Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. I also updated the Doubles Advancement mechanic to recognize different styles of play and I believe that it will be a big improvement.

I am really trying to make everything work with a 5x5 roll. I think I am getting there. All player characters have 5 wound levels ... you can be a tougher hero if you want by buying up a recovery trait. Non player characters and monsters will be different. For example peons that go down with 1 hit might have just unharmed and incapacitated as their wound levels. Or another weak monster might have unharmed, bruised, and incapacitated so that you would have to roll your critical damage in order to one-shot them. Other tougher monsters will have a lot more wound levels than the players to represent more epic battles. I have this stuff in my head and will eventually add a Bestiary to the rules to show how that all works. Right now, it's bare bones ... just 5 pages ... but I think it has all you need for now.

In making changes my design goal is to streamline and clean up and make everything use the 5x5 roll. I had also been playing around with introducing a fixed set of ability scores. I have abandoned that idea opting for the original trait only design.

I would love to hear any feed back that you may have, especially now in the development stages.



Jeff Moore