A'n'SR -entertainments is making a new version of our role-playing game, -U- the Game of Stories. As part of the process, we are sharing our thoughts and insights. This time around... our first real playtest of our first completed book.
When we started making the new version of -U-, we started with the rules. We were playing a campaign of our game Angels, and between adventures, we changed to the new -U- system so that we could fiddle with the mechanics. This was kind of our first playtest. We were solely working on mechanics and character sheets, and the overall feel of the game as a rules-lite system. We made some changes to how characters are created (a whole article on its own) and to the dice (I think we have finally decided on six-sided dice), but overall, we worked out a lot of bugs in the system.
While we were working on the mechanics, we were also writing our first book, -U- Angels: The Demon's Hunt. The adventure in it is a bit of a departure from the adventures we have previously published. In fact, it is a lot different. So, when we sat down to run through the adventure, we were truly testing a new game system with a new adventure style. So how did it go?
The first time we ran through the game, we decided to do a duet game (1 Main Character player, 1 Game Narrator). Character creation went very fast, but then again, we had a player familiar with the rules doing it. Still... the longest part was thinking of the character concept.
Next came the actual adventure/story. The Demon's Hunt book is made for a fast fun adventure that plays out like a TV show. The Main Characters are introduced, they come across a conflict, they search for a resolution, and the adventure ends with them back where they started, only more experienced. It is written with lots of read-aloud text and some key Character Checks and moments where Main Characters do stuff.
The game, honestly, went very well, with only one poorly written, yet key part of it falling flat. A quick rewrite, and it was solved, though. Some things we found out during the session, both about the game and the rule set were:
So, the first round went well. We are looking forward to running this story a few more times and working more bugs out with it. The read-aloud text parts worked very well, and helped keep the story moving and the tone of the tale in place.
Next time, we talk about the the idea of the 3-hour RPG... no, really.