My playtest went really well last month. I was Utility and my two friends played the other roles. They had played my earlier version of Glowquest and this playtest went a lot better. The game was much smoother with the fat trimmed, ability cards, less passives, no interrupts, simpler monster presentation and management (monster power was great!), etc. I think one or two more substantial passes of polish to the game and it should be close to done. Then I can worry about tacking on expansion pieces. Remember of course that while I want anyone to be able to enjoy the game, realistically I’m making it for me and 2 childhood friends who used to play Advanced Heroquest together. Just sort of a nostalgic nod to that game and an excuse to bust out the old tiles.
TODOs from Playtest
Anyway here’s a rough list of the TODOs I have from both the playtest and previously. It’s straight from my notes so might be a bit disorganized:
– Whoever opens door gets to place Glow
– Different name for “Instant” type card, seem too much like an interrupt. Maybe “Action”?
– Reorder Monster Card to have Grit, Defensive Layers/HP, Speed
— Easier to reference than two similar sized boxes side by side
– Need to specify there is a minimum Grit of 2
— For cards like Tear
– Try Features in the base game instead of Glow, to add some variety to rooms
— Maybe place a token, not knowing what feature it is, THEN generate it and put where the token is
— Helps prevent min/maximizing the feature placement
– Rename Grit to Guard and Shield to Grit, and remove/rename Guard Basic Benefit
– Get rid of +1 Resolve passive
– ALL passives need a downside/trade off, no straight out better ones (like the existing +1 Armor, +1 to-hit, etc.)
– Offense gets Line as a default? Then has Slide in some Benefits
– More Monster Power spending options
— New Basic Benefits?
— Three checkboxes for each Level Up, so you could do +1 base damage 3x
— Bonus with only a single creature to make a “boss type”?
– Give up on re-rolls, they make original roll feel less impactful and are too tedious/rare to bother tracking
– No more passage fights? Rooms only?
— Then slow pace gives +MP to next Encounter?
– Note that Setup Distance is maximum, for hallways and the like
Biggest notes from playtest are my buddies wanted more room features than just Glow. They also enjoyed the “monster army building” aspect of spending Monster Power, so I might add some more options there. Also I’m probably going to rename some of the core stats, such as Grit to Guard and Shield to Grit, since Shield has been somewhat confusing to everyone I mention it to (as they think it literally means a wooden shield, which is fair).
TODOs from Before
So those are the playtesting notes. My other TODO stuff from before is:
– Add the Quest goal to the Reference Sheet or Monster Sheet?
– Likely need to insert example sheets throughout the rulebook (such as Monster Sheet)
— Also should have example card with arrows pointing to elements
– Need to style “For example” differently in the rules so it stands out in a big block of text
– Compress dungeon generation in Rules to 1 page somehow? Landscape with columns?
– Finalize tokens and markers and write/show in rulebook
— Need to make markers for higher values, like 1-3 Unsteady/Fragile/Weak
— Wooden are fine for Unsteady/Fragile/Weak. DC Litko are fine for Stun/Immobile
— Need 1 set of mini D6s for magnitude of Effects and to track Ongoing (which is just a D6 on it’s own)
– Should “Try to Recover” while down be 5+ instead of 6+?
— Realistically the punishment is losing Resolve for going Unconscious, don’t want to death spiral entirely
– Finish missing Equipment types (other Weapons, Armor, etc.)
– Figure out a way to do a simple card back. The easiest is probably a preset back that is inserted AFTER export to PDF?
– Can use “on hit” to balance some better 1↝ weapons and Benefits, especially around Shield/Reflect generation
– Also can use some “on miss” cards that do something better but only if attack missed
– What about an “aura” type effect (doesn’t need a special keyword) such as War Drums that gives bonus to allies in X squares?
– “Limited” use cards such as Potions and Bombs, that are 1 use per encounter
– Dungeon features, like gargoyle statues, pits, etc. that have different abilities and rules and cards for each
– Quests and different objectives
— Maybe even different lose conditions?
— Different “Class Cards” that have different base abilities
— Very small but distinguishing differences
— For example Duelist (Offense) always rolls 2D12 and picks highest for attack,
whereas Gambler (Offense) rolls 1D6 damage instead of a set amount
— Could combine Role cards into this, so like “Barbarian (Defense)” on your card
— Realistically only want 1 card for who you are
— Most likely move Hero-Sheet to Nandeck and pull Class/Role data from a CSV file above the fillable stuff
– Cross Class expansion (discard 3 Benefits to gain 1 from other Role deck?)
— Also promotes a bit of discussion on re-shuffling the deck with the secondary player asking the primary player
— Could limit to only 1 other Role? So Offense/Utility, but not Off/Util/Def on a single guy
– Campaign (grow/keep characters, town stuff in between)
— Probably need to add money/currency, but keeping to use Benefits as a pseudo-currency would be awesome for simplicity
— Could allow for choosing specific cards/Passives to make exactly the character you want
— Have an “expedition level” that makes enemies more challenging since heroes will ever so slightly/slowly get more powerful
– Interrupts (Belt/Gloves – encounter start, Helmet – ally unconscious)
– Reserved Surges, can put some aside to save for interrupts or other effects
— Maybe replaces Interrupts entirely? And makes every Benefit you have an Interrupt? Could very, very quickly get out of control that way for minimal benefit
— Similar to Classes in that you can choose 1 card that gives a special bonus that really sums up a Race
— Generally just makes starting a new game more complex/overwhelming unless experienced
– Elemental damage
– Large creatures that take up multiple squares
— How to move?
— Effect of Momentum?
– Difficulty modifiers
— Kind of like totems from Bastion or relics from Risk of Rain. New monster Basics? New passives?
— Could add back in Champions (second tier monster between Minion and Lord)
– Dungeon creation rules
— Certain races only allowed, certain buffs given to all monsters, certain environmental factors
– Add an optional “Escalation” choice (maybe in an expansion?) that the party can agree to do
— Primarily designed to break up boring fights (ideally this is solved another way, like changing boring enemies or tweaking to-hit/dam numbers)
— But anyway idea is EVERYONE gets +1 attack dice and chooses highest, so basically like Offense (who is now 3D12!)
— Theory is fast and deadly combat with tons of hits. Harder on Utility likely?
– If players tend towards this mode ALL the time then maybe there is a more fundamental problem with the base math