First Draft Done!

29 09 2009

My first Game Chef entry (and actually complete written game), Land of Ill Harvest, can now be found  Here.  Set in the rural area of Kansas, the game tells the story of people attempting to survive a calamity that cuts them off from civilization and reason itself.

If you read it, read it graciously.  I finished the last two chapters at midnight last night, and I think it shows.  Right now I’m working on creating more dramatic and more numerous examples of play and am looking for a chance to playtest the game sometime in the near future.  Right now I’m looking mainly for mechanical questions and concerns in the system and the clarity of the rules.

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2 responses

29 09 2009
Dazmondal

Hey, just read your first draft and I really like the feel of the game. I’m particularly keen on the way you ensure that conflicts are more than just slugging matches between two sets of characters. Challenges and Answers do this very well. I also like the way Scars work, particularly that a physical conflict doesn’t necessarily have only physical consequences.

My favourite part, though, is that the characters and the GM have the ability to Force the Question and confront their Scars. I can see that playing out in really interesting ways, with a sort of internal argument in the characters mind, great for character building in game. I’m not sure it’s something that a character should be able to initiate “at any time”, otherwise some players might try to clear them as soon as they can. I suppose it’s still a risk if they do, as the scar could get worse, but it might be better to encourage them to wait until a suitably dramatic moment. Maybe this is more appropriate to emotional types of scars than physical kinds, I’m not sure.

One thing I wanted to ask is whether a character could Force the Question for another character. For example, if Sam gets a “bruised and battered” Scar from a fight can Pastor Inkfist attempt some first aid and Force the Question? His “Protect my flock” motivation at 5 would probably be more likely to take care of the injuries than anything Sam could bring to the table. Likewise, if Sam had gained “Blames himself” from a conflict could the Pastor Force the Question by trying to convince Sam that whatever it was wasn’t his fault?

I’m also not sure how to handle conflicts that involve multiple player characters or NPCs using these rules. I imagine with some more examples that will become clear though. From a layout perspective, it would be useful to put some sub headings in there to break up the text. It’d make it a bit easier to read and quicker to consult during gameplay.

As I said, I really like the game and I’m looking forward to seeing it develop. Hopefully I’ll be able to run a game of it someday. I hope this post’s been helpful and that further writing on it goes well.

Daz

30 09 2009
noahtrammell

I’m glad you liked it! I figured it would be cool if the GM could Force the Question because of it forces a bit of interaction between the GM and the player, and also for situations where the GM might say something like “Oh, by the way, that knife wound was poisoned.”
The fact is that Forcing the Question is basically a Conflict with rules to make it more dramatic. If you wanted to heal another character, you could start a Conflict with the appropriate Goals. However, your idea for letting other players Force the Question is really cool, especially for Scars that the players don’t want resolved right now.
Conflicts with three or more sides are one thing I haven’t included yet but have thought about a bit. Right now, you could just play a Conflict with three Sides, each with their own win/lose Goals. You’d Challenge either of the two other players. The player that wins comes out on top. The problem with this is that two characters are pretty much guaranteed to overcome one. I like this because it encourages teamwork, but I’d still like there to be a risk for Pain in the Conflict.
Do you have any ideas on this?
I’m still working on layout. This whole thing was kind of a rush job.

Thanks for the input, and I hope you’ll be able to run a game someday, too!

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