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Playtest report - Chargen & "Crates of Krayts" episode 1

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#1 Venthrac



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Posted 05 November 2012 - 02:12 AM

 I got together with five players on Saturday night to kick off the intro adventure from the EotE book. We spent three hours creating characters. I have to say, Gribble's reference sheets were indispensible for this task. Thanks, Grib!

We played for about two hours and were able to get through the entire first episode on Tatooine. On the whole, everyone picked up the mechanic pretty quickly and the PCs had no trouble at all with the Tuskens. One of the group members had an Auto-fire weapon and used it to wipe a group of three tusken raider reaver minions with a single attack. After loading the crates of krayts onto the ship, they set course for Nar Shaddaa and were off.

All in all, it pretty much went to script.

Specific items of feedback:

There was a bit of grumbling that the talent trees feel arbitrary and gamey. I agree with this, it is the gamey-est element of a largely non-gamey system. However, I understand the design purpose of gating more powerful talents with trees. It was not a huge point of contention, but more than one person rolled eyes at being limited by the connecting lines. It smacked a bit too much of World of Warcraft for them, I suppose.

Confirming all my suspicions, Auto-fire feels a bit overpowered. I made it a point of spending destiny points to upgrade the difficulty of the dice pool every time the PC with the heavy blaster rifle used his gun, but the player quickly caught on to how powerful it was and everyone started to use their advantages to buy boost dice for the Auto-fire attack. At a bare minimum, I think this weapon quality should cost two advantage to activate, as most other weapon qualities do. Even then it might still be too strong.

Oddly, we kept forgetting to take maneuvers. When a player's turn came up, they went right to rolling the dice. I had this problem, too. I could have put my tuskens into cover and had them aim, but the mental effort that and focus the dice require tended to grab all of our attention. This is not a flaw with the game, it's simply an aspect of us needed to get used to it.

I saw one failed roll that generated a lot of advantage (four I believe), but otherwise I didn't see any other flukey rolls like this. I didn't feel like there were any significant issues with the dice faces and symbol counts, but this was only two hours of play, so I'm not going to rush to any judgement. (The Auto-fire character also had a roll with 4 successes and no advantage, which was a funny irony.)

The destiny point mechanic was fun, and added some spice to the battle. I had found an Othello game set earlier in the day and the playing pieces made ideal destiny points.

As a veteran FRP3E player, I was glad to have the narrative dice system without all the components. Very glad the design team decided to go in that direction for the game.

My group has a starting obligation of 75, and every player used their additional obligation to gain more credits. I don't think the additional XP rewards were enticing enough to lure anyone in that direction, especially given the very low default starting credits.

The encumbrance rules definitely made everyone think carefully about what equipment they bought. I was happy to see that. The game's rules for encumbrance are simple and intuitive. That's a positive.

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