Monday, April 30, 2012

[Atomic Robo] Super-Secret Playtest

I trekked down to San Diego yesterday to run a super-secret playtest of Atomic Robo as part of a Gam3rcon Game Day. It was advertised thusly:

Super-Secret Evil Hat RPG Playtest
This is an early playtest of an RPG in development, to be published by Evil Hat Productions (Spirit of the Century, The Dresden Files Roleplaying Game). Your name will appear in the credits as a playtester. All necessary materials will be provided. That's, uh... about all we can say about it. Don't worry; it'll be fun. Remain calm and trust in Science.
It was a pretty loose little adventure, inspired by this charming but absolutely bogus "news" article from a few years ago, and my four players and I had a good time. Feedback was very positive. They liked the way skills work. They liked being able to define their characters during play, in the moment, instead of doing everything in advance. They liked collateral consequences. They liked the story. Basically, they thought everything was great.

Normally, that'd be fine, but c'mon! Playtest! Gimme problems! Back to the drawing board... to... look at the drawing board, I guess.
Seriously though, I'm not especially concerned with the lack of issues -- I'm happy everything went smoothly, plus there's enough to do as it is, thanks -- and it's actually even more notable considering that two of my players were 12-year-old twins with no prior FATE experience. They were able to pick it all up with minimal difficulty, aspects and all, and even managed a couple perfectly valid self-compels, so that's encouraging. Maybe it helped that they're already Atomic Robo fans, which, of course, means they're smart.

So when and where is the next Super-Secret Playtest? You're not cleared to know that, Citizen. (Wrong game.)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

[Sword-and-Planet] The Spirit of the Red Planet

Late on mentioning this -- I've been sick, and then other pressing matters just kept on pressing -- but I got to play with the Actual People, Actual Play crew a few weeks ago, and the podcast of our after-game discussion is now available online.

Hopped up on John Carter as most of us were (all of us who'd seen it), we decided to play Morgan Ellis' excellent Spirit of the Red Planet, his sword-and-planet FATE hack. I've talked about it on the blog before, I'm pretty sure. Previously, I'd played Throk, the token Thark-esque Martian. (Perhaps it's no coincidence that my favored Spirit of the Shattered Earth character is Gorlla the Mighty Crorc.)

This didn't happen in our game, but it could've.
Nobody played the John Carter surrogate Cyrus Turner, so, in a weird twist, he ended up an antagonistic character, the third corner in a love triangle between the princess and Kalyan the heroic-ish pirate. Me, I played a Red Martian psychic/shaman-type. There were towering three-legged battle-mechs, an epic sandstorm raging out of control forever, and an extremely Pyrrhic victory, among other things. Great stuff, as always.