Monday, May 4, 2009

A Board Gamey New Version

I finished a quick outline of the v0.7.0 rules last night. I haven't playtested them yet, so I can't say much about them. It does stand out, though, that it seems much more like a board game. Putting the entire game on one map, like one game board, might have a lot to do with that. I don't necessarily think of this as a bad thing, though. Board games, after all, have other properties that I think RPG's could learn from, like well-defined, easy rules, which eliminate the need for a GM or umpire because they eliminate the need for judgment calls, and possibly a wider audience appeal. In the case of The Fifth World, I haven't eliminated judgment calls entirely, I've just made who gets to make the judgment call part of the game itself, something you play for. People who've played earlier versions remember the map most of all, so I've simply made that a bigger part of the game. I think it helps reinforce the bioregional themes, but I'll have more to say once we've had a chance to playtest.


Willem said...

you know i love the "boardgame" part. I wouldn't even call it that; maybe a "mapgame" fits it better, because you could play it on a piece of rolled-out cloth marked with sharpie or fabric pens or whatever.

anyway, i've read the playtest doc and love what i've read; i have a hard time getting a sense of how it will play, or how to learn to play it. have you considered giving it a really bare-bones, bite-sized pieces treatment?

Jason Godesky said...

Absolutely--though for now, I've just concerned myself with making a set of rules that work. Once I've got that, I want to turn my attention to how I go about introducing them in the game—as you've put it, in "bare-bones, bite-sized pieces".

Willem said...

hmm. you've got me thinking.

i wonder if those two goals really separate in that way? perhaps one will help the other?

of course you understand your game better than i do - it just makes me think, i've run across a couple games that break if you try to introduce them one piece at a time. i, in fact, think Ben Lehman "playstormed" (in the unofficial sense) his polaris rules, adding one piece at a time, so that it naturally submitted to the bite-sized treatment.

the captcha code word today: "oxama"; coincidence?