Monday, September 30, 2013

In-Class Game Testing

While I did not have much revision to do since the previous testing, other than the balancing of characters and rewriting rules for clarity, it was still important to test it again, even if that was something I was supposed to do in class. I paired up with Terry and we got cracking.

First off, for a pen and paper prototype, the rules were still quite extensive. I knew it was going to be hard to read it and understand it in one guy. The fact that Terry had to play as three different characters did not make it easier. Terry still had problems with understanding the rules so I just ran through the game a few turns to show him how it works. It was then that he got the hang of it.

Allow me to explain the core rules in detail though, which I neglected in the previous post.

Like most pen and paper RPGs, actions are resolved via dice rolls. The game system requires only the six-sided die, otherwise known as the D6. A character rolls a number of D6s equal to his ability rank. Instead of counting up the results like one does normally, success is determined by the amount of dice that rolled a 4 or higher. For example, if I had an ability rank of 4, then I rolled 4D6. If the dice results were 5, 2, 4, 3, that would mean I have a success of 2, the 5 and 4 counting towards my success count. The number of successes must equal or exceed a target number in order to succeed.

The second key feature of the game is the stamina system. Stamina is used as a form of combat resource, such as mana for most games with magic. Stamina recovers over time (2 points per round), and stamina is spent every time a character does an action. Some action requires more than 1 stamina. When a character reaches below 0 stamina, they go into the negatives and receive a penalty for every negative they have. This forces players to consider what sort of action should they execute. The kinds of action a character can do is move, attack, rest, and special ability. Special ability encompasses a grand list of different abilities, each will tell you what they do.

The last key feature of the game is the combat. The attack sequence of the game is pretty simple. It is broken up into 3 steps: attack, protection, and conclusion. When a character attacks another character, they roll dice and compare the result to the target number, which is mostly the target's defense value. If the attack hits, then damage is dealt to the target. The target is allowed a protection roll and each successful roll reduces the damage by 1. The difference is then subtracted from the target's health points. When a character reaches 0 health points, they are removed from play (i.e. dead.)

Here's an example of an attack sequence. An attacker attacks a target. The attacker has an attack score of 4D, the defender has a defense score of 3. The attacker rolls his dice, and he gets 3 successes, landing a hit on the target. The damage dealt is 5. The target has a protection score of 3D. He rolls his dice and comes up with a success of 2, reducing the damage to 3 instead of 5. The target now decreases his health points by 3. Now, onto the play log.

Terry seemed to be the kind of guy who likes to win so he was really thinking carefully on how to position his men and which abilities to use. He used the Shield Knight extensively to defend his other characters, but his stamina dwindled so low that he had to give him a break.

The glorious Shield Knight protecting his comrade-in-arms.

Unfortunately we had to end the game early. Time was running out but he knew how to play now. He described it as a hack'n'slash kind of game, which it sort of is. I suppose when somebody describes your game in a way that you agree means it's a good design.

That's it for now. I think I am going to focus on character progression and a list of equipment now that I have a reference point for dice rolls and combat values. The next test session might just be about character creation.

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