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Re: The ALPHA PDF - questions, comments, errata

Posted: Fri 13 Jan 2017, 22:07
by MarstaStaffan
I have a showdown conflict in mind for my Monday night play group, so I'll test the conflict idea there and see how it plays out.
We tried out your conflict idea for the final confrontation during todays play test. It worked out very well. The computer nerd Börje became the hero of the moment, when he, though pushing and getting Scared, managed the final two successes needed for Tinker.

We think adding "Extended Trouble" rules, as Tomas writes, will be a very good addition to the rules.

Re: The ALPHA PDF - questions, comments, errata

Posted: Fri 13 Jan 2017, 22:24
by silentboba
Great ideas for the Extended Troubles and the ideas already outlined.  I was taking a look at some material for inspiration for how to handle something like that narratively, like Stranger Things and the Goonies and it's not usually a straight up fight with the big bad.  I'll try out the rules you have outlined here when I get a chance to play test the finale with my group.

Also, great work on the summary sheets!

Re: The ALPHA PDF - questions, comments, errata

Posted: Fri 13 Jan 2017, 23:43
by Karbonara
We tried out your conflict idea for the final confrontation during todays play test. It worked out very well...

We think adding "Extended Trouble" rules, as Tomas writes, will be a very good addition to the rules.
Any pointers?
What threat level did you go with?
How did they divide up the work/scenes?
Did anyone assist?
Did they get conditions through pushing?

I was thinking about it today and thought that any threat level below 2-per-kid maybe shouldn't be run as an extended trouble, and 3-per-kid feels way high.

That places a 4-player group's threat level at 8-10 successes probably.
Maybe threat levels always span around:
KidsX2, KidsX2,25, KidsX2,5
(4p) 8, 9, 10

Re: The ALPHA PDF - questions, comments, errata

Posted: Fri 13 Jan 2017, 23:55
by Karbonara
I just realised though.
If the extended trouble run the compromise rules:
- successes reached = get your goal
- more than half = get part of your goal
- less than half = fail

...then it's ok to have a high threat level (like 3S per kid) since 4 players still succeed partly if they have more than 6 in a 12S threat level.

They could be allowed to take a complication to their partial victory, OR have to take conditions together to reach the final score (in this case divide 6 conditions among themselves).
They still only get a compromised goal, so it's still better to ACTUALLY reach the threat level by pushing and getting conditions (thus getting a full victory).

Re: The ALPHA PDF - questions, comments, errata

Posted: Sat 14 Jan 2017, 00:30
by MarstaStaffan
  • Any pointers?
We had a TECH challenge as our extended trouble - can you all manage to disable the dangerous machine in time? We ran the primary scenes for Kids rather short to keep up the dramatic pacing.
  • What threat level did you go with?
I picked 6 from your suggestion for a medium challenge. That worked well for us. Todays session ended with a "To be continued" so that was a suitable threat-level
  • How did they divide up the work/scenes?
The Kids approached the task from different perspectives, where the TROUBLEMAKER destroyed some parts (Tinker), the HICK  interfered with her own gadgets (Build) and the COMPUTER GEEK hacked the processor (Tinker). We ran thre quick scenes in sequence for what they planned on doing, three more for rolling and then one more for the COMPUTER GEEKs pushed re-roll.
  • Did anyone assist?
No, it felt reasonable for all to try their own main task towards the common goal.
  • Did they get conditions through pushing?
The COMPUTER GEEK got Scared when he realized the larger threat implied by their trouble, but that also made him push a little harder and succeed with his hacking. That also paved the way for a nice and emotinal end scene for the session where Stellan the TROUBLEMAKER comforted Börje the COMPUTER GEEK. "Don't be scared. We can take on any danger as long as we work together."
So, will Stenhamra prevail against the threat of the robot werewolf1? We will see in the next episode.

1As you might guess, the players introduced this new and weird plot direction. This system really support this interesting co-creation of stories, so why not follow their lead :)

Re: The ALPHA PDF - questions, comments, errata

Posted: Sat 14 Jan 2017, 01:13
by Karbonara
Excellent feedback!
Thanks for that
I'll use it when I consider my monday-challenge.

Re: The ALPHA PDF - questions, comments, errata

Posted: Tue 17 Jan 2017, 01:38
by Karbonara
*phew* that was the finale of our first Mystery in '84.

I planned way too much.
Will structure my scenarios with fewer steps going forward (group '85 and '86 of the trilogy).

We tried out extended trouble and got a nice: "oh shit, we're going up against that?!" Followed by a "okay, I'll do this, and you'll do that... and then you'll finish it with..."
They faced the despair of a 9 threat level opponent (a military robot) and managed, with the last roll, to get from 7 to 10 total successes. So, nailbitingly fun all the way.

The fun of mixing Everyday life and Mystery scenes were great.

Luck points added a fun bonus to rolls.

Healing conditions through scenes is a fun mechanic. I like it that an emotional and well-played scene in the Hideout could restore everybodyin the group. Powerful, but necessary.

We ran into, in our group's opinion, problems with some rules balancing:

1) "Helping others suck"
Making a roll, which you can't push, and will get condition from failing is a lot of risk. And the result are most often 1 to 2 dice, max.
Those are used by the other kid, and are then 1/6 chance of a success.
So. Rolling amaaaazing (3 successes) still only gives you a 50% chance of a successful dice.
These would either 1) have to be more powerful, or 2) less punishing.

2) "Pride should be more strategic"
I realize this comes out of (partially) tge extended trouble rules but... An automatic success is still no bonuses, or only counts as 1 success.
I suggest: pride can be used to EITHER add one success to the roll, OR automatic success – player chooses which bonus to use.
Sometimes you really want one more success to buy bonuses. And sometimes you just want to scrape by and succeed.

3) "Bonus was confusing"
Is a total bonus of +3 the cap of any and all bonuses or just the ones in each category?
Can I have a +2 item AND +2 information AND +2 from assist AND +1 from a Leas skill's dice pool, for a total of +7, or are some or all of these capped at +3 (which would, in the latter case, put the maximum amount of dice rolled, ever, at 13 dice, 5+5+3)

4) "Complications were tough to figure out"
What counts as a complication, or rather, do I succeed if I pick a complication (but have to, at a later point, face the result of that) or do I fail still?

5) "Iconic Item reuse"
(some) iconic items were maybe over-used, but they did feel iconic, and helped establish the characters, so I was fine with that. If they are meant to ONLY be usable once, I'd say that's a flaw. They would be too weak and not be more iconic than anything else. I like the idea of other items being one-use only, but not for iconic ones.

----

I think that was the initial report.
The game looks really promising if a few clarifications can be made and some balancing issues can be ironed out.

I got roleplay out of my players that I've never gotten before, which was great fun.

Re: The ALPHA PDF - questions, comments, errata

Posted: Tue 17 Jan 2017, 02:27
by Karbonara
Also

Re: Helping/Assisting
I think I'd much rather remove the assisting kid's roll and instead put the following rules in place:
* the helping kid must have 1 or more in the skill to be allowed to assist.
* kid gives 1 dice to other kid's dice pool (in addition to any bonuses)
* only one kid can help
* kid is bound by the roll of the main kid - if she fails, the helper automatically takes a condition (not complication or trouble)

That would mean less risk, and fewer dice rolls.

In addition, one could allow the following rule as well:
* multiple kids may assist, but they must all have a skill level equal to or above the number of kids assisting. I.e. 2 kids helping out must both have 2 or more in that skill.

I would also suggest that bonus dice from help AND lead dice pool together can't be more than +3

So, dice available to player is (maximum):
* attribute +5
* skill +5
* items/npcs/info +3
* help/lead +3

Max total = 16 dice

Re: The ALPHA PDF - questions, comments, errata

Posted: Tue 17 Jan 2017, 02:30
by Karbonara
On Sunday I'm playing the follow-up mystery, taking place one year later, with a completely different group of players (and new kids).

This time, I'll aim for a much shorter adventure/mystery.

Re: The ALPHA PDF - questions, comments, errata

Posted: Tue 17 Jan 2017, 15:20
by Countdowner
I have a hint: in the chapter "The School library" the caretaker is called Per "Prutte" Äng. In "The Library" in "Summer break ..." he is named as "Putte" (without an "R"). Probably only one of the two spellings is correct.