2012-02-29 Dramatic Rules Playtest


The plan is to test method A Simon's Bid & Challenge and method B Chris's Bidding Rounds. Both methods will use the Universe Deck idea.

This will be done using three characters, two cops and a criminal. (TODO: create and reference decks) The cops have the goal of proving the guilt of the criminal. The criminal has the goal of getting away with his crime.

This scenario should show how different goals can be achieved or failed and how the mechanics help build a coherent story.


Simon Gill, Ben Jackson, Faye Lampshire and Chris Treganza were involved in this playtest.

Simon took the role of Brawny Cop. Ben Jackson took the role of Clever Cop. Faye took the role of Silver Tongued Conman. Chris Treganza took on the role of the Universe Deck for the playtest of Chris's Bidding Rounds.

[[:open:settings:bid_challenge|Simon's Bid & Challenge]]

Simon took the active role first to show how the mechanic worked. Ben passed and allowed Faye to challenge. She used the Universe deck and created two temporary cards (a Nosy Coworker and an Interference) to represent someone else getting involved and making Simon's characters action harder. Simon then responded with cards to encourage that co-worker to not see anything.

Ben took an action next, he used the element of the coworker in the room as a target for his characters goal of getting a date. This was not challenged.

Ben described this system as very similar to standard 6d6 but he liked the idea of allowing the players to add challenges, conflict and story elements.

None of the testers liked the idea that you could easily get 1 or 2 dice more as the initiator of the action. Ben was also concerned that cards flow back into the deck too easily. Both of these factors made for a lack of challenge.

[[:open:settings:bid_dice_rounds|Chris's Bidding Rounds]]

The testers followed the sequence of play as described in the document. It was quickly apparent that the rules as written make for a longer mechanical resolution to conflicts. There was also little attention paid to narration and the particular cards used in the dice action. For example, rotating Distinctive Looks to sabotage a Distraction card in the Universe Deck doesn't make much sense on the face of it.

Ben raised the concern that like many indie games, these rules may not be suitable for long-term games because they are more complex to use and understand. He also considers the idea of presetting the resolution and available elements in a scene before narrating it or narrating the scene and then trying to resolve it using cards (which may lead to nonsensical results) to be poor ways of playing.

Faye was happy to play with this rule set.

Simon believes that there are possible tweaks that can balance the story with the mechanics. He agrees with Ben that story then mechanics and mechanics then story are not ideal situations.

Chris was reasonably happy with what he had seen and wants to see the results of the tweaks.

Next Actions

  1. Consider using the Risk/Reward table with standard narrative actions for identifying possible action effects and mechanical collateral.
    • Interleave narration with cardplay
    • Play cards from deck as needed
    • Drop the dice rolling part of the sequence and add Roll a d6 to the list of actions (play a card to your pool and roll a dice)
    • Possibly remove the limit on number of cards played.
You could leave a comment if you were logged in.
open/settings/2012-02-29_dramatic_rules_playtest.txt · Last modified: 2012/03/02 11:59 by somori
Recent changes RSS feed

The 6d6 RPG tabletop store is owned and operated by Chris Tregenza. Who also owns and runs Myomancy, a site about ADD / ADHD medication, Autism and Dyslexia Treatments and also site called Poosk. Chris also provides copy-writing, web design SEO advice to sites like Dingles' Games pathfinder rpg resources.