Tuesday, July 09, 2024

First Play-Test of New RPG

I finally ran a playtest of my latest RPG project. While the results were a bit mixed, I have to say that overall I was really pleased. 


Even though I had said that we would make characters at the table, I also said that players could go ahead and give character creation a try if they wanted. To my surprise everyone made characters. No one had any trouble with character creation, and everyone liked their characters. This was a win, win, win. Awesome. 

The game went smoothly. The character creation includes a bit of world building, and all of that worked. People were role-playing, because the stuff put in there to support role-playing was working. However, actual task resolution tended to stall the game. So, I may need to scrap and completely rewrite my primary resolution mechanics. While that may seem bad, I feel pretty good. 

Resolution mechanics aren't that tricky. They're a dime a dozen. Getting players engaged with your game and its world is HUGE. That's way harder than the resolution mechanics, and it felt like I nailed that. Okay, I still need to find the right resolution mechanics that don't interfere with the role-play. I still need to do that. 

I've written a bunch of rules-light RPG systems that were all about playing around with the resolution mechanics. It's not my first rodeo (or even my second.) But … world building. That's new for me. The fact that everyone connected with the Little Colony on the Big Moon and hit the ground role-playing was huge for me! 

I'm already writing the new mechanics for the next play-test. If they don't feel right, I already have an idea for a third approach. In the meantime, I had players jump in and make characters (without any questions) just by reading the rules that I've written so far. Those same players all had a great time living in this new world and playing their characters despite the awkward task resolution issues. 

My dream is to have this game ready in time to participate in ZineQuest 2025. I think that if I can get a good mechanic in place and tested, that all the really hard work is already done. I feel like this game might be something special, and I'm proud of what I've accomplished so far. 

Wish me luck. 

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