Shards of Thimbral, Laying out.
Making some decisions.
I have decided on the basic lay out for the shards of Thimbral game.
I plan on opening the game with “Ten steps to playing this game NOW” which will pair the game down to the bare bones, and get players playing as quickly as possible. (cause Players gotta play.)
After that section I will expand each part of the 10 ten steps in it's own chapter. Lastly there will be a fluff section expanding the setting framework that I posted earlier.
My goal is to have people actually playing as quickly as I can. It sounds simple, but it's really not. considering one of the pillars of the game is the set up stage where characters are created and the foundations for the characters locations and relationships are set up, takes time.
In our second play test the charter creation and set up phase took roughly two and a half hours. That was with some joking around and general B.S. But still it was a chunk of time. I want to at least half the time with a streamlined introductory system, after that I would encourage players to dig into the expanded chapters.
Don't get me wrong, if there are four players all sitting around a table making characters I want them to take their time and bounce ideas around. If character creation takes a whole session, as a designer I'm 100% fine with that, as long as the resulting characters are worth playing. I just don't want the games set up to take too long the first time the players sit down with the game. I want people playing this sucker, not tossing it on a bookshelf for latter. (we still use book shelves right? PDF's go there?)
I have my reasons. I have been noting a drift lately towards faster playing games, things like “Project Ninja Panda Taco” and the like. The one shot game seems to be the thing right now. I want to capture a bit of that spontaneity, while maintaining a game that is very much built for the building of complete story arcs. I know they are kind of divergent ideas, and I'm not wholly sure that I have it nailed down yet.
My next stage before play testing will be the writing and streamlining of the getting started process. I think this will be my main focus until the next play test, where I will …. you know.. test it...
This implies that I'm going to ask the guys who have tried the game to make fresh characters and get a game rolling using the streamlined system, so it should be interesting.
Now for the fleet of quick questions..
Do any of you have any thoughts on the speed of game set up?
Playability the first time your group sits down with a game?
Ideas on how to facilitate that kind of playability?
As always thank you for reading
Questions Comments and shenanigans are welcome.