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9littlebees
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Joined: Sat 18 Feb 2017, 14:22
Location: Rural Germany
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Beta Playtest Feedback

Thu 14 Jun 2018, 11:51

I ran my group through the first part of a two-shot. The idea is to start them off arriving in The Hollows, freshly arrived to the Ravenlands from Alderland. Here's my feedback:

  • The Hollows is quite an unusual choice to start a party off. As written, it's an awfully human-centric village. My party is made up of a Dwarf, Orc, Goblin and Wolfkin. While it would be easy enough to simply change a few of the village NPCs to be non-humans, I decided to run it RAW, since I'm playtesting. The villagers were naturally suspicious of new arrivals, but the fact that they had an orc, goblin and wolfkin made them a bit more hostile than otherwise. My party's response was that they are going to burn the village to the ground when they leave it. [SUGGESTION] Include a little text in the chapter intro talking about how the village will react to non-human travellers and maybe how to tweak some of the NPCs to not be 95% human, as I think many groups are going to have a fair number of non-humans.
  • Following on from the above, I think giving advice on how to start a campaign off en media res would be a much better idea than starting in The Hollows. While there's a lot of cool things to see and do there, it does make for a rather slow start to the game. Maybe they're en route to The Hollows and their camp is attacked, or they come across a ruined tower that they decide to explore. That sort of thing.
  • They all found the lack of Willpower Points at the start to be a bit unfair, despite me explaining why. Also, one player commented that gaining WP from suffering Misery on a pushed roll seemed counter-intuitive or unrealistic. He said that if he pushed himself so hard that he hurt himself, he'd not want to do that thing anymore, not that he'd get the will to do better (or cooler) things. Maybe the term "Willpower" in WP is not the best word?... Food for thought, anyway, as he didn't have any issues with MPs when we played MYZ.
I'm an English game designer working on Nordsaga, a career-focused dark Viking game, powered by the Year Zero engine: https://9littlebees.com
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