Monday, January 10, 2011

[Kerberos] We Like Change

Yesterday's chargen playtest at DiceHouse Games really opened my eyes to a few problems in KFC. For one thing, just being in the midst of six people completely new to the rules (mostly) and trying to make characters was an experience. Even better was the fact that it was six people of varying experience with FATE: We ran the gamut from Tony, who's barely touched FATE, to Morgan Ellis, my oft-mentioned platonic FATE mate and frequent Strategicon scheduling determinant.

My primary concern with this all along has been whether (or, to put it more optimistically, how much) it would appeal to the FATE community, so I took Morgan's fist-shaking during character creation and mutterings about crunchiness as something of an answer. Admittedly, this version of FATE doesn't really have your standard three-aspects-and-go character generation. I mean, there's nothing stopping you from doing that, I suppose -- Archetype aspect, Social Class aspect, and Conviction aspect, then figure it out as you go -- but it'd take quite a bit more familiarity with the quirks of this particular system before you could, say, slap together a Strange skill on the fly.

Desmond was another one. He spent the better part of two hours trying to put together four Strange skills to represent a suit of power armor (coin-operated power armor). I'm still not entirely sure what the hold-up was, but I know of a few things changes I can make and things I can clarify that should speed up the process significantly.

And that's the good news, really: We spent a few hours making characters and, more importantly, talking about making characters, and that discussion was full of little revelations and insights that have already made this a better game. I implemented a number of changes to the already-extant 50+ pages of playtest material, and I'm ready to move on to some more setting-specific stuff. Not that I've forgotten about writing the, y'know, the actual rules at some point -- how conflicts work, how long things take to accomplish, how hard it is to break down a door, etc. -- but that's coming too. I'm trying to take it three things at a time.

If you're interested in this, it's not too late to get in on the playtest. Email me or contact me on Facebook or on RPG.net or something. I'll send out a new Playtest Packet sometime this week that will include a link and password to our KFC forum on the Arc Dream website so you can join the discussion.
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