|Dark Stars Map|
The Open Playtest has been underway for about 3 weeks now and we have had some 200 downloads to date. So far I've some feedback, most of it privately, but a couple of people had posted comments in the Vagrant forums for which I am very grateful. But I need more! I need more people testing, and most importantly I need more than 1-2% of testers to give their opinions, even if that opinion is negative.
As a result of the feedback I have had so far I've made a few changes already, and I'm currently floating a revised version of the rules in the Vagrant Development boards. This includes some radical redesign, dropping the d20 mechanic and replacing it with a new core mechanism that uses small pools of d10s.
Yes this is a radical design, but it servers two very important purposes. Firstly, it addresses many of the issues inherent in the old system that have lead to complaintes about the high degree of failure, or why do characters have to have such high stats and skills at the outset leaving little room for development potential. Secondly, It allows me to make a clean break from Fading Suns for which the basis of the current system was originally developed.
The basics of the revised system are very simple. Every skill is ranked from 1 to 5, and this is the number of d10s that a character must roll when he attempts an action. Once rolled, one of those dice are selected as the 'lead' die, the die which gives the result, the others can be used as 'matches' to bring about a critical. Rolling high is good, and modifiers are applied only to the lead die. The basic one action, one dice roll ethos remains.
I'm waiting to see what my friends at Vagrant think of the revised system, if it gets a thumbs up, I will update the playtest documents accordingly.