Playtest, thoughts

  • 3 Replies
Playtest, thoughts
« on: March 06, 2014, 06:56:39 AM »
We played yesterday. I thought it would just be a one-off playtest between campaigns of other games, but everyone wanted to play again, so we're going to do a mini-campaign of it (2-5 more sessions, say).

I was the MC. The players picked the Wicker Wise, Outlaw Heir and War Herald. We might have another player joining next week.

Character creation went faster than expected, especially for the WW and WH. The Outlaw Heir took a bit longer with his lands.

We were a bit unsure about those. We decided that his aunt had murdered his parents and his sister (the rightful heir according to old blood) and taken the throne. The title "outlaw" implied than he was in hiding or otherwise persecuted while she ruled the land, but then he also has a town of 12.000 people that's his by right, and it seemed to be the largest settlement on the map by far, leaving his aunt almost nothing to rule over. I'm assuming that as the MC I should throw in many lands and holdings that are outside the PC's rights in a situation such as this?

I noticed Tim's group rolled Fortunes at the start of the session. We didn't because it says "change of seasons". I guess both are fair.

Like I intuited on my first cursory readthrough, there's a lot more to keep track of than in regular AW. In AW you probably have only one or two characters that have any kind of holding or following. Here everyone has lots of lands and people, and it's awesome. Everyone was excited by this. It's definitely more work, but it didn't seem too much of a burden. As a MC I liked that I could handle their lands and people as part of their character. When the War-Herald proposed a suicidal battle plan to his people, I did the typical AW "tell them the possible consequences and ask", which resulted in 5/6ths of his people leaving before the battle (take away their stuff etc.). It was a very cool moment.

I think I definitely want some sort of worksheet to keep track of all the PC's allies and resources.

I'm not entirely sold on Battles. We had a few, but it seemed that when everyone was suited up and ready, they always defaulted to 0 harm (because of armour, size of units, PC moves etc.). In other cases the harm was of such magnitude that "battle" wasn't really an option that I would consider triggering (like when the Outlaw Heir cut down an unarmed, unarmored NPC by simply dealing 5 harm).

Pray was also weird. The 10+ result makes sense, but on 7-9 we were like "huh?". Reading your comment about scaling difficulty I think I understand better how it's supposed to work, but it still doesn't seem right.
On 10+ the gods take your sacrifice and tell you how you might get what you want. On 7-9 the gods either take or don't take your sacrifice, MC's choice, with no word on what you're asking for. The Wicker-Wise sacrificed an enemy to the god of war, asking for divine support in the upcoming battle. He got a 7-9 and I decided the sacrifice was accepted and the support would be provided (and then treated it as a Helping roll on the War-Herald's Battle roll). But that didn't feel right as the 10+ result implies you still got work to do before you get what you're asking for. Clarifications?

The Take Stock and Take Bearing moves almost always resulted in custom questions being asked (mostly just slight modifications to the core questions though).

Another thing that came up was custom moves and XP. After running lots of AW, MH, Sagas, etc. it's second nature to me now, and I made two custom moves during the game (I can't remember them now, because I didn't write them down, stupid). My instinct was to have the player mark XP for rolling on that custom move (we decided against it for the time being), but I'd like your opinion on it.

On the subject of XP, are the playbooks meant to have different advancement rates? The War-Herald advanced twice during the evening (he seemed to have more stuff to mark on the back of the sheet compared to the other two, plus going into battle alone nets you at least 3-4 XP by my understanding (marking the move, probably armour, harm and fates). Going into battle with your wolf-pack is all the same except substitute your warriors' armour and harm plus it netted him another mark because one of his pack's Better Qualities was relevant to the roll. The Wicker Wise advanced once towards the end of the session, and the Outlaw Heir only advanced at the very end of the session when we revised his sheet and noticed he forgot to mark something. But I think the Outlaw Heir was also failing to use his NPC supporters to any great effect (that might have been a failure on my part as MC, too).

Oh, and the "take a normal name and change one or two letters" rule - we applied it to places and gods to. It got really really silly, but oddly enough it worked pretty well. The old gods all have changed Kaiju names (Mothrag, Gothila, King Fedorah...) and places are all fake European locales (Bospar, Londar, Troaste...)

That's all for now.

Re: Playtest, thoughts
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 06:59:03 AM »
Oh, and I can write more about the setting and fiction, if anyone is interested.



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Re: Playtest, thoughts
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 07:38:21 AM »
Thanks, Gregor!

The Outlaw Heir's rights are what the Outlaw Heir should have inherited, stolen and held by their enemies. At the beginning of play, the Outlaw Heir has supporters, but instead of choosing holdings, chooses what they've lost. I'll clarify that on the sheet.


Re: Playtest, thoughts
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2014, 02:11:02 PM »
about "Pray" move: as far as I understood it provides only one thing - guidance, the same as "open your mind" in base AW. If you roll good MC will give you a good advice. If you roll not so good (7-9), you should hope you did nice offerings, as in this case gods at least won't be mad at you for bothering them (I suppose on 7-9 you sorta get either "gods accepted your offering" or "gods refused your offering" tags, and MC will take it into consideration while doing his other moves, no mechanical effect)