Tuesday, September 24, 2013

R&D Update

Dev Diary:
Got plenty of playtesting done today.  Got a lot of experience working with Surprise Rounds, Flat-footed and Flanking and plenty of me forgetting attack bonuses for different weapons, a rather essential change from the last revision.  Fixed plenty of little nuances in game language that otherwise I would not have predicted without running head first into them during playtesting.  The biggest triumph has been a recent overhaul of the weapon type system which is speeding up combat and removing a few hard to remember effects which, while realistic, impeded the flow of play.  I'm satisfied with their more streamlined counterparts although more tweaking may be necessary.

I'm sincerely glad I've taken the modular approach and many layers of complexity can be removed without harm.  Running a few NPC's in addition to the hordes of enemies the player's face is a daunting challenge.  I get the impression that if you have only character to worry about the amount of depth is not overwhelming but we'll see with further play testing.  At the moment the game is very robust before taking on Class features or any sort of character customization.  It's shaping up to be something greater than I imagined.

Still further refinement and pruning is necessary, back to the old grindstone.


Scenario:
The PC's are invited to peace talks with the opposing general.  They are unarmed talks, unfortunately for them the General plans on killing them at the peace talks.  His two advisers at the table are soldiers with short spears lodged under the table, two crossbowmen hide behind wood pillars in the back of the war tent and two guards stationed outside will rush in and seal their exit.  The PC's have the option of busting their way out or taking out leadership now.

Class Codenames
Landshark: Performed admirably, his class feature is memorable, simple and to the point.  It fits well.
Brock Sampson: Despite being the hardiest character died before the second round even began, poor rolls and the supremacy of flanking were enough to deal the final blow.  His class feature was unable to be used due to extremely poor initiative on his part, this led me to revise the ability to be start of the round rather than start of his turn.
Spah: Caught on to the treachery early, noticing the scarred hands of the generals advisors and managed to double cross the general first.  Using both of his concealed knives and class feature to devastating effect.
Quickman: Have some hiccups to deal with regarding movement and vaulting over enemies.  Proficient in unarmed combat he got a chance to shine as well as showcasing how well a mobile fighter can work.  Acrobatic fighting and dishing out damage to both of the vexing flankers, unfortunately not enough to save Sampson before he bit the dust.

The scenario highlighted how important it is to define the distinction between who the attacker and who the defender is, otherwise battles get lobsided fast.  The system is also showing its teeth because before the end of round 1 and factoring in a surprise round we had one player death and two npc deaths, while the remaining combatants were all on their last legs.  Combat seemed to drag on towards the end of round 1 but that may be because of the amount of combatants I was operating.  Still it may be a good to keep in mind that the system is optimal for no more than a dozen combatants at a time.  Or it may just be that humanoid enemies are a bit too complex.  We shall see.