Sunday, July 3, 2022

Let"s Read: MTDAA the RPG Part 2

As I think about the MTDAA RPG, I am greatly inclined to support the game I have (the Legacy edition) rather than design a new one. The game is already holding up quite well - although I already know that I want to release an addendum that cleans up a few things or that provides some updated rules. However, the basic game seems pretty solid in my retrospective. We'll see how I feel when I get to the end of it. Here are my extemporaneous notes for part 2...
  • The need for an external editor has reared its head. I am pretty good at catching the small typos and grammar errors; I am  less effective as a self-editor in seeing the big picture things that another reader might key in on. For this section, it is the word 'make'; that is the go-to for attempt, try, or succeed at. However, the word appears so much that it's a little bit grating. It doesn't affect the rules or playability at all, and this one is entirely about the reader's experience in the text, which is an important aspect of game design and composition that this has a little bit of a swing and a miss on. That said, I did find one grammar error on page 15 - and it includes the word make.
  • I am glad that I went with the cm as the default measure of the game; that was helpful as I think about other things I want to do going forward. My thinking on speed and travel rules in the intervening decade makes me want to simplify these movement rules a little bit. The whole layer of 'minor actions' is probably needlessly complicated; I will keep this on my radar going forward. Basically, as written you can travel 1 cm on your action with a small penalty; Whether I am standing in place and firing my rifle or walking slowly and firing my rifle, I am not really seeing a drop off in accuracy; this is a needless layer of rules and mechanics that can be rid of easily enough. I'll play test a hack for this at some point.
  • Defenseless creatures should have a default resist/feat of 1. They are defenseless. There's no need for a random roll there...
  • I like how dice shifts are used throughout. Instead of constantly adding bonuses, you are moving up or down the sliding die scale. That's a cleaner mechanic in my mind; I like that the game (so far) divides the situational modifiers into dice shifts and the more permanent modifiers (like a skill) into a fixed bonus.
  • Finally, the character sheet seems functional enough, but I like making character sheets, so I assume I'll be making another one before long. The old GI Joe file cards are so iconic that I have to go with that format again to at least try... 

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