Saturday, June 9, 2012

Playtest Report 06/08

A productive playtest to report!? What is this?

Yeah, we got two solid games of new character playtesting in. Most of the new additions are just about ready to go, while two or three still need further testing before I consider them ready. Still, it feels good to finally make some real progress! More details after the break.

So, like I said, got some good playtesting in. 6 of the 8 characters got good play time, and the results are looking pretty good. That said, let's get into the individual ponies' data.

Autumn Leaf
Turns out being unable to equip armor isn't as big a handicap as I thought it would be. There was a single point of confusion about that rule, but for the most part the constant +1 turned out quite nicely. The +1 to energy weapon accuracy turned out nicely, too; not game-breaking, but exceptionally useful. I did re-word the ability to read +1d6 on accuracy rolls with energy weapons, just to be clear. Scorpion Tail wasn't actually used, but I don't think it'll prove to be too big an issue, since Autumn Leaf's speed isn't quite high enough for good hit-and-run tactics, and hit health is low enough that he'd stand a good chance of getting fragged if he closed to melee range and didn't kill his prey. All in all, I think he's pretty much set.

Ditzy Doo
Ditzy started the day by getting fragged quite a bit, thanks to her meeting enemies while she had no armor. Once she got armored, though, she was able to make quite the run. As I had assumed would be the case, Ditzy couldn't roll high enough to Toxic Rainboom without Speed Boosts. Well, it's technically in the realm of possibility with 4 speed, but the trade-off for doing it is pretty steep, i.e. a nearly guaranteed frag for anybody that can hit her. Of course, no one bothered to attack Ditzy after doing a Toxic Rainboom in this game, thanks to a good deal of smooth-talking. I did modify the range of the attack from 6 to 3, because 6 was far too wide a range for such a potent attack, regardless of the downside. As for her other abilities... Absolutely Everything! works just as well as a pickup bonus should work, and it turns out that Ghoul ended up working against Ditzy, rather than for her (I'll get to that later). Still, I'd like to get some more testing in with her, since Toxic Rainboom could be overpowered; it's not like it's EASY to get 21 on 4d6, but someone with the luck of the dice might just be able to pull off several of them without gadget assistance.

Regina Grimfeathers
Sadly, most of Reggie's abilities didn't get much use, as she was occupied by an inexperienced player. The only thing that ever saw use was Prepared, but that one's a gimme. Theoretically, everything should work just fine. I just need her more thoroughly tested.

Ah, SteelHooves. In our first game, he acquired a Special granting him a near-infinite +1 to all stats (from the PvP set). Let's just say that Special won't be in any of my games anymore. He was a mere mortal in the second game, though, almost exclusively thanks to Xenith's armor piercing ability, which negated his Ranger Armor bonuses. Against everyone else, SteelHooves proved himself a worthy opponent. The +2 to health checks helped him immensely, but the inability to equip other armor kept him to a reasonable level of defense. Heavy Weapons Expert was never used, despite multiple opportunities; SteelHooves was making an awful lot of near-point-blank shots with explosive weapons. And Ghoul actually kept him alive against one of Ditzy's Toxic Rainboom. He did end up taking one point of damage from the attack, but healed it immediately, thanks to Ghoul; again, what I expected to happen. Like Autumn Leaf, I'd say SteelHooves is good to go.

Velvet Remedy
Velvet's Dart Gun turns out to be an awesome weapon. Velvet used it twice, both times on Autumn Leaf. The first time, Autumn's speed was halved. The second time, he was completely frozen and lost his next turn. Now, I'm a little iffy about continuing the 'lose a turn' aspect of this ability. The trade-off for it isn't bad--you're not going to score many kills with a 2d6 damage weapon--but losing a turn seems a bit harsh, even on a 6 only. I'll likely change it to lose movement rather than turn, just to make it a bit more balanced. Anyway, about her other abilities... Pyrelight works swimmingly; 4d6 attack is reasonably powerful, but most often non-lethal. Magic shield is a little worrisome, though. It seems to be a tad bit under-powered. Then again, 1d6 could make the difference between 3 damage and 2, and it is an ability that has no downside to rolling it every attack... I'll just leave it as is for now.

Our first game, Xenith was woefully ill-equipped to fight. Her offensive output, slightly overpowered on paper, turned out to be WAY too little, with her inability to equip weapons or armor. Sure, she had reasonable mobility, but she got killed every turn she decided to attack, because a single attack wasn't enough to bring down any opponents with a reasonable supply of medpacks. So, prior to our second game, I made her Hoof of Fury a double attack. This made her MUCH more potent, but does have the potential of making her TOO powerful. I need more tests before I can try to balance it, though. Invisibility Cloak was of no use whatsoever, so I changed it to Battle Reflexes--essentially a Pinkie Sense ability, succeeding on a 5-6. I didn't make that change until after the second game, so I haven't tested it yet. Lastly, Master of Fallen Caesar Style works well enough. I did add in a clause giving Xenith the ability to jump without penalty, though; it's not a game breaker, but it does help her mobility quite a bit. Anyway, Xenith has a lot of potential, but needs more testing before I'd call her ready.

Well, that's all for this playtest. Hopefully I can get a decent round of testing in on Thursday, as I'd like to see these characters finished. Anyway, I'll keep working at it. Maybe I'll get more character inspiration and what-not. That's all for now. Have a good weekend, and happy FRAGing!

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