Trilogy: An RPG of Epic Fantasy – Playtest Draft!

I have a playtestable draft of my Game Chef 2009 submission: Trilogy – An RPG of Epic Fantasy.

I used the elements Star (the “star chart” mechanic) and Dividers (you use dividers to measure distance on the map when you introduce a new character in a scene and pay a cost based on how far they would have traveled from their last scene to participate in this one — it may not be the strongest use of this ingredient, but it’s in there).

Intrigue is certainly possible based on the situation generation mechanics, but it is not guaranteed so I don’t think the game qualifies for that element. Seabirds and Fleur-de-lis are nowhere to be seen.

Since I am posting this late on Saturday September 5 I definitely qualify for the 7 day achievement.

My 89 character elevator pitch: “A GM-less no-prep game designed to create stories like those found in epic fantasy novels”.

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5 Responses to “Trilogy: An RPG of Epic Fantasy – Playtest Draft!”

  1. Read it through, felt quite solid. One thing I absolutelly did not like was the “McGuffin” bit. Standard fantasy trope name, I know, but using it sounds condescending in regards to stories that use it… Maybe change it to “Item of Power” or something similar?

  2. Dan,
    “Once the you have the characters defined, both the Protagonist and Antagonist need to outline the competing plots that each of them will go through.”
    Typo

    “The tokens bid by the players who didn’t become the Spotlight Player are returned to the central supply.”
    Central supply? As in the player loses the tokens or the tokens go back to the player?

    “Everyone must agree that these requests plausible – if the last time we saw this character was in the middle of a sea voyage, don’t ask to start a scene in an underground tunnel!”
    Typo
    Also, there has to be a balance in continuity. One of the biggest roadblocks to fun play in PTA was an obsession of scene continuity.

    “The tokens bid by the players who didn’t become the
    Adversity Player are traded in for Spotlight Tokens and given to
    the Adversity Player for use in later chapters.”
    Have you tried this? It seems like the group would run out of adversity tokens pretty quick…

    “4 Victory Tokens Captured! The Spotlight Character is captured by one of the characters introduced by the Adversity Character. The Spotlight Character is no longer “traveling with” any of the characters he or she was previously associated with, but with the
    character of the Adversity Player’s choosing. The captured character is only allowed to appear in scenes involving getting away from their captor until they successfully escape or are rescued.”
    On A personalnote, some of the most awful scenes I have had to play were emprisoned scenes. I am not sure if you want to make this a move to spotlight…

    Overall, I am not sure a 1d10 is more powerful than 2d8. 2d8 keep the highest gets an 8 23% of the time.
    Looks cool!
    Dave M

  3. “Have you tried this? It seems like the group would run out of adversity tokens pretty quick…”

    No, I haven’t tried it. This is one of the reasons I need to playtest. 🙂 I tried to play out a few rounds myself, but I couldn’t wrap my brain around how to act in a secret bidding process when I knew what the other players were bidding. The theory is that the flow of tokens into the game after each chapter should be balanced out by the flow of tokens out of the game from players losing the bid for spotlight, but it’s hard to know if that will actually work out.

    “Overall, I am not sure a 1d10 is more powerful than 2d8.”

    2d8 has a higher expected value (5.81 vs. 5.5 for the 1d10) but it also has a higher probability of exhausting (23.44% chance of getting at least one 1, vs. 10% for the 1d10) and a lower maximum (8 vs. 10). I haven’t run the numbers yet but my guess is that the 1d10 works better when paired with other dice, too. There are pros and cons to both.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  4. Dan,
    ““Overall, I am not sure a 1d10 is more powerful than 2d8.”

    2d8 has a higher expected value (5.81 vs. 5.5 for the 1d10) but it also has a higher probability of exhausting (23.44% chance of getting at least one 1, vs. 10% for the 1d10) and a lower maximum (8 vs. 10). I haven’t run the numbers yet but my guess is that the 1d10 works better when paired with other dice, too. There are pros and cons to both.”

    Hm, well, the higher total number is impressive. Since, in most cases, only the highest die matters, there is a lot more wild chance in 1d10 vs. 2d8. So, the trick is, 1d10 works better if it rolls high. But it is completely random, so there is no way to count on that high roll. It might be good for something like nano-wire, where it is extremely deadly, to the user and their victim…

    Also, if a chapter lasts more than 2 scenes, then everyone is boned. Because you have to bid at least one adversity token and you only get 2 back at the end of teh chapter…
    …In Spaaace! has a good solution for this in that the tokens go to another player (instead of the bank) and that the token system is a closed system, you can’t get more tokens except from another player….
    Just my 2 cents (no change please).
    Dave M

  5. Heya Dan, I finally got around to reading Trilogy. I posted some feedback up on my Game Chef blog:

    http://tonydgamechef2009.blogspot.com/2009/09/feedback-on-trilogy.html

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