On Tuesday, the regular D&D crowd came over for some slightly different fare. Used to the elegance of D&D Next, I subjected them to a system that has more in common with Star Fleet Battles than good old d20. They had a ton of great feedback from the get go, before the first die hit the table. For example, allocating power is really difficult when you use the same color tokens for newly generated power and reserve power. I had an elaborate vision in mind for yellow and green tiles placed strategically across the sheet, but using coins made it clear that this could be complex. Also, combining Tactical Advantage (no relation to 4th edition’s rule of the same name) with Initiative was too much–our heroes blasted the modified freighter pirate ship with impunity, having gained both.
Ultimately, there were a lot of features that they didn’t like when they heard about it at first, but liked in practice. I came away from the session with ideas for refining the system. Since this is meant to support a spacefaring RPG, not constitute the bulk of it, starship fights need to be exciting. I want the players to think “Ok, how are we going to handle this assault” or “Oh, if we do this side mission we can upgrade our plasma cannons!” What I don’t want is “Ugh, that’s going to take forever. Let’s just board them immediately/jump away/do whatever it takes to NOT shoot at each other in space.”
Working now with one of my long time co-conspirators to overhaul this, and we’re looking to take it in a Dominion-ish deckbuilding game. I’m realizing that if this looks good, it’s going to take a ton of time to prep. Makes me want to start on some other project that can get off the ground sooner, because my huge freaking I-swear-I’m-not-a-sex-toy-but-kinda-look-like-a-sex-toy Yeti Microphone just arrived, it sounds amazing, and I wanna DO something with it!