Hitting a convention is a good way to test out your game engine “in the wild”, and this circuit of the conventions was no different. I have been working on the Advanced Story Point System for a little while now, and the last year helped me to refine what I had been working on, with May providing me the chance to really push hard on the system and find where it needed improvement. What I learned at the last two conventions was this:
1) Changing Conditions from dice modifiers to Difficulty modifiers was exactly what was needed to alter the chance of success and to add more tension to each die roll. The tempo changed hands more fluidly, and there was a lot more back and forth in the game – which means everyone gets more involved.
2) Making the Difficulty “slide” was also an improvement. Allowing the game master to shift the base Difficulty from 7 to a range between 5 and 9, before adding modifiers, was a good touch.
3) The Aspect System in the game is not needed. While it was intended to help players get into the feel of the game, the players seem to understand what to do without it, and it is more of a distraction than a tool. It will be removed.
4) ”Invoking” Edges is really not a good thing. People forget they can call on it if it is a limited resource, and providing the bonus for ‘playing to character’ should be always available. So the rules there are going to be changed, so it is an “always on” bonus.
I think this game system is a success, I had a full table at both conventions, and players were asking for additional sessions afterwards – that tells me that the game engine is one that engages players, and that the game lines are also something that interests those taking part – both very good things.
Once I’m a bit further into the writing, I’ll be looking for game masters willing to help run these games with their local groups, and to come back with feedback for me. Right now, I need to focus on getting the core engine written out and refined, and make the game a lot clearer – a problem with the original Fox Magic was that the system was there, but how to play and run the game was a little murky. Sure, once you’re in a game, and have someone who knows what they’re doing run it it becomes clear as day, but the rules should be easy to read and make everything clear – something else I learned from the convention tour.