Playtest concerns and questions

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Playtest concerns and questions
« on: September 22, 2014, 04:42:39 PM »
These are the concerns or questions we've come up with while playing. I'll put the ones I haven't seen addressed by other first and the ones I have seen second just so you know what is and isn't effecting multiple groups. At end I'll put overall impressions.

-Looking at ask for judgement it feels like sometimes the 7-9 is the preferable outcome. If I'm socially or politically well connected I'd much rather have them judge me according to that than according to customs. It feels like it should say on 10+ they choose whichever is more beneficial and on 7-9 whichever is least beneficial. Either that or I'm missing something about the way Peoples move's work.

-The war champion, war leader, and war captain all sound very similar. It gets confusing talking about which is which at first.

-Should the MC only perform a hard move when it says be prepared for the worst or anytime a 6 rolls?

-Is there anyway to deal harm when you are unarmed, and not in Single Combat? Like choking someone or biting them?

-Similarly, can you ever directly kill someone in armor, when not in single combat? The max harm output appears to be 4. If someone is wearing armor you'll never be able to tick off all meeting death lines in a single exchange.

-Is armor piercing a thing? I assume yes. If someone takes the position blade at opponents throat and that opponent does not have a gorget, they should be able to deal harm un-prevented yes?

-Can a Male Peasant beauty have Queens of the old blood right?(This one may have been asked. apologies if repeated)

-Our Troll hunter doesn't feel like he's that good at hunting trolls(This may be a problem on our end)

-I'm having trouble bringing the Outranger into the story(Again, may be a problem on our end)

Things that others have said
-We'd like a sneak option. It feels weird using strong for undertake great labor. Personally I'd like it to be more than use wary to undertake great labor, but even that would be nice.

-Making a stronghold was a little unclear. Also stronghold is not used universally throughout the playtest docs(I think instructions is where we noticed it)

-It's a good idea to have multiple peoples and stronghold sheets for all the players. I'd suggest one for each. Two pages, one with playbook and household, one with stronghold and peoples, including peoples options.

-The lack of mechanical difference between expensive and cheap weapons threw us. There seemed to be no narrative benny either. Overall we didn't like that.

-Rights, they're confusing. Specifically, can a person perform a move granted by a right, if they do not have that right? If so under what conditions?

-Can you deny a mechanical right? Like preventing a person with the right to Confront Their Betters For Justice from rolling strong instead of good to win them over?

-Not enough to start play after season moves. Need more guidance

-Size Someone Up and Win Some One over seem to occupy the same space

-There is some worry over the lack of a clear Act Under Fire Analogue. As the MC I've yet to really feel the need for it, but the worry still exists in the mind of some players


Overall Opinion

WE LOVE IT!! Of 5 players 2 have voiced that they haven't been this excited for a game in years, 2 have voiced great enthusiast but not quite that much, and 1 seems to be pretty happy. As for me, currently my favorite AW hack and possibly my favorite system.

We love single combat, especially the spend blind. We love how scary harm is. Both Single Combat and Warfare are quick, exciting, bloody, and fun. They feel like real battles(I should know I fight both SCA and Live Steel).

Rights are tricky. We lost over an hour to a debate on how narrative vs mechanical rights work and what it means for a person without a right to claim one. However we think we've made it past that bump.

We haven't played enough with season and peoples moves, but Battle and Basic moves seem pretty damn good so far.
It still feels a little rough, in need of some polish, but we're thrilled with it and can't wait for the final version. We've decided to play this campaign to it's natural close instead of moving onto a new game.


I'll have a few more comments and questions in the next day or two, as I finish my second write up and listen to our last session, but I think that's it for my spam for now.
There is some things after life. It's called death.
-Ringo

Re: Playtest concerns and questions
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2014, 05:20:09 PM »
If you only lost an hour to debating rights, you're ahead of the game :)

Re: Playtest concerns and questions
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2014, 12:49:12 PM »
If you only lost an hour to debating rights, you're ahead of the game :)

Well only an hour of in game time and that's just the one argument. It probably would have gone longer but I felt I'd made my point as clear as I had the ability to and the other person was unable to see what I was driving towards. We agreed to put it behind us and just try and deal with shit as it came up
There is some things after life. It's called death.
-Ringo

Re: Playtest concerns and questions
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2014, 05:18:28 PM »
Only a couple more thoughts and questions from the last session.

Question
-If a character is at the I will see another sun rise point is it too late for them to take a season to rest?
-Does the war move, Drive enemy back force the enemy coming under attack to take a maneuver option

Comment
-having some real trouble trying to figure out when to just give information and when to trigger take stock
There is some things after life. It's called death.
-Ringo

Re: Playtest concerns and questions
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2014, 04:24:14 PM »
So alot of stuff to chew on from the last session. In no particular order

-With gaining new rights, how does that work narratively? Should we address a scene to it? Should it happen between sessions off screen and they just start with it? Should people in the setting know and react to the change?

-Does the Right to a Title imply respect? We lost some time to this debate

-The encounter unnatural thing right, does that only refer to living things? My troll killer was presented with an unnatural thing, a man's face flayed by the hand of a troll. Should that have triggered the move?

-Having a lot of trouble figuring out when to trigger take stock and when to just give them information.

-The single combat rules are really really brutal. Despite knowing that I don't think we were really ready for how brutal they were.

-For the dragon herald should shields count as armor?

-Can the peasant beauties rights that effect someone effect trolls?

-Can I use war parties against trolls? How would I go about that?

-On take stock, Win some one over, or size someone up, can all the questions asked be make one of your own?

-The cover your distance option in leap into action, I don't like it. My players keep using it regardless of whether they would really be at distance that would require them to cover it.

-It is difficult to bring in new character into the game if one loses a character. Considering how likely that is some direction on it would be nice

-Some defined wealth system would be good. Hard to really tell what a bounty is and who is rich vs poor.

-One of the players thinks the ease of death and the fact that harm becomes permanent is at odds with all the Rights you have to choose from. The giant lists of rights implies a game about improvement and becoming more. The high likely hood of death implies the opposite.

-Would love some direction on how to run seasons or possibly a set of MC moves specific to changing seasons

-should the harm for shields apply against things like giant trolls? I know this isn't a game about tracking simulationist minituea but I really don't see how a shield helps you hurt a dragon.

-Again, the lack of a clear act under fire came up and was awkward. It felt very railroady, Gm fiat, and just went against all my instincts.

- The I still draw breath, seems like a great mechanic that should be more formalized. I had two players there in the last session and they both kinda went, "eh, guess I'm dead." Some sort of mechanic that deliberately calls for pausing the game to focus on this characters last moments seems appropriate and will push the drama

That's it for now. Still loving the game, though we hit more stumbling blocks last session.
There is some things after life. It's called death.
-Ringo

Re: Playtest concerns and questions
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2014, 08:54:32 PM »
Woop Vincent didn't answer for a week so I'm going to tell you my dumb thoughts and maybe we could muddle through it together.

-Looking at ask for judgement it feels like sometimes the 7-9 is the preferable outcome.

I think this is working as intended. Rolls aren't ALWAYS better the higher a value is. If you're politically well connected, you will get more results asking justice from a people with less order/formality than with high order/formality. Asking for justice from a people with no order/formality is asking for trouble though.

-Can you deny a mechanical right? Like preventing a person with the right to Confront Their Betters For Justice from rolling strong instead of good to win them over?

The way I've been playing it is that all rights create triggers for the denied your right move when something stops them from doing the fictional thing (So say you ask to talk to your betters for some justice, and the guard who hates you tells you they're busy, he's denying your right to Confront Your Betters), but I don't think it makes sense to negate someone's mechanical benefits willy nilly. Maybe it'd make sense if someone had a  Right that was like 'You have the Right to make people roll Weird to win you over instead of good (this trumps substituition)' then they'd be denying your right like that.

Re: Playtest concerns and questions
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2014, 11:12:38 AM »
All these questions are super useful! I know it may be frustrating not to get answers right off, but know that we are mulling over what you ask. Also, sometimes my answers and Vincent's will differ! Given that, here are some answers to some of your questions:


-With gaining new rights, how does that work narratively? Should we address a scene to it? Should it happen between sessions off screen and they just start with it? Should people in the setting know and react to the change?

All those "shoulds"are fine options - pick the one that feels most authentic to the instance.

-Does the Right to a Title imply respect? We lost some time to this debate
Not necessarily. Someone might be the Rightful Heir but also a right bastard who nobody likes or trusts. Earning respect might bring a title, but the other way doesn't always work.

-The encounter unnatural thing right, does that only refer to living things? My troll killer was presented with an unnatural thing, a man's face flayed by the hand of a troll. Should that have triggered the move?
Is it outside the natural order of things? Could it be part of the Weird? If it was in AW, would it make you think about the psychic maelstrom? Then it could be considered unnatural. Trigger the move as you and/or the player see fit. You may decide that while it's weird and creepy to see a man's flayed face, this is a known thing that trolls in your game do, and thus not unnatural; while and animated flayed face is all kinds of unnatural.

-Having a lot of trouble figuring out when to trigger take stock and when to just give them information.
Don't hold info back just in case they go for that move. If there's an increase in tension or the opening situation of the scene changes, that's a good indication that they may want to Take Stock.

-The single combat rules are really really brutal. Despite knowing that I don't think we were really ready for how brutal they were.
:D

-For the dragon herald should shields count as armor?
Hmm. That makes logical sense to me; I'd say if it makes sense to you as the GM, then fine. If there's a reason for it not to, make sure everyone understands why not.

-Can the peasant beauties rights that effect someone effect trolls?
Are trolls people? Do your trolls respond to things in the same way humans do? Does the peasant beauty view the trolls as people who could be affected by their moves?

-Can I use war parties against trolls? How would I go about that?
I certainly would not recommend single combat with a troll! Make your war party, treat the troll as an opposing war party.


-On take stock, Win some one over, or size someone up, can all the questions asked be make one of your own?

Yep.

-The cover your distance option in leap into action, I don't like it. My players keep using it regardless of whether they would really be at distance that would require them to cover it.
If they are not at distance, they can't use a move that lets them cover a distance. If you are at sword range, you are not going to get out your longbow.

-It is difficult to bring in new character into the game if one loses a character. Considering how likely that is some direction on it would be nice
Agreed! For now, look to the people on the dead PC's sheet and pick one who cares that the first PC died.

-Some defined wealth system would be good. Hard to really tell what a bounty is and who is rich vs poor.
I hear ya. For now, Bounty can/should fall in line with your PCs. What is a feast to a poor person is an afternoon snack for a wealthy person. So, if your peasant beauty receives a bounty of rabbits, that might be 3 or 4 rabbits. If your liege lord receives a bounty of rabbits, that's more like 10 to 20 rabbits.

-One of the players thinks the ease of death and the fact that harm becomes permanent is at odds with all the Rights you have to choose from. The giant lists of rights implies a game about improvement and becoming more. The high likely hood of death implies the opposite.
Yeah, that's a really useful thing to come out of this round of playtesting.

-Would love some direction on how to run seasons or possibly a set of MC moves specific to changing seasons
For now, do a character-specific short scene (and really, I would time them to be 10mins) where you see a little bit of what happens. Is there a wedding? Cool, let's see what you say as a blessing to the new couple. Did you travel? Cool, let's see you stopping at a new place - what is noteworthy here that makes it memorable at the next season? Did you spend time healing? Cool, tell us about the worst part of the process. MC moves here are a thing we're thinking about too.

-should the harm for shields apply against things like giant trolls? I know this isn't a game about tracking simulationist minituea but I really don't see how a shield helps you hurt a dragon.
They sure don't help you hurt a dragon, but they could conceivably help you survive one.

-Again, the lack of a clear act under fire came up and was awkward. It felt very railroady, Gm fiat, and just went against all my instincts.
Noted.

- The I still draw breath, seems like a great mechanic that should be more formalized. I had two players there in the last session and they both kinda went, "eh, guess I'm dead." Some sort of mechanic that deliberately calls for pausing the game to focus on this characters last moments seems appropriate and will push the drama
Noted.

Thanks!

 

*

Ich

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Re: Playtest concerns and questions
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2014, 11:04:16 PM »
-Can I use war parties against trolls? How would I go about that?
I certainly would not recommend single combat with a troll! Make your war party, treat the troll as an opposing war party.

What does that mean for the Troll-Killer?

Re: Playtest concerns and questions
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2014, 10:40:53 AM »
-Can I use war parties against trolls? How would I go about that?
I certainly would not recommend single combat with a troll! Make your war party, treat the troll as an opposing war party.

What does that mean for the Troll-Killer?

This was a thing that came up after our first session. My troll killer player did not feel all that prepared to kill trolls and thought that his moves and right were less suited to it, than say, the war champion, or with this idea, the war captain. After fighting two trolls, one significantly scaled down, I disagree. Fighting trolls head on, even with a war party, is a BAD IDEA. That's what gets alot of people killed. I do not see the troll killer as Beowulf, waiting to fight the Grendel 1 on 1, abandoning sword to make it fair. No I see the Troll Killer as Perseus gaining tactical advantage through knowledge and slaying the Medusa while she sleeps.

That archetype seemed to work really well for him, fit the moves presented, and actually seemed like the smart way to fight trolls.
There is some things after life. It's called death.
-Ringo

Re: Playtest concerns and questions
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2014, 12:39:22 PM »
Well yeah, if you have a Troll-killer, naturally you'd lead with that! And yes, tactical advantage makes solid sense here. After all, the Troll Killer knows about killing trolls.

Re: Playtest concerns and questions
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2014, 12:43:53 PM »
Also thanks Meg(is it cool to call you Meg? Mrs. Baker? Margolotte?) for the answers. Sadly I don't get to use them. My group decided to switch games when I told them the official play-test was over and that we'd probably be venturing more and more into house rule territory. I'm hoping to revive it when the next beta or official release comes out. I'm glad the feedback was helpful.
There is some things after life. It's called death.
-Ringo

Re: Playtest concerns and questions
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2014, 05:55:08 AM »
Meg is fine, and I hope your group is down for round two when it happens. Thanks!