Survival Games – Playtest

We finally got to playtest the Survival Games premise and mechanics. We did a short trip through a Cold Dessert of only 20 km and then a 60 meter Rock Wall.

I don’t have the pacing right yet. I kept just letting the players roll repeatedly to progress instead of putting in the random hazards. Even then, I think a random hazard on every survival turn is a bit much. I’m not sure about all of them but especially for the Rock Wall obstacle, I’d only insert a random hazard once every 1D6 turns.

Still it did go well. The players kept expecting to handle things the old way we used to handle this kind of obstacle. One wouldn’t climb the rock wall after failing a few rolls because she was afraid that a failed roll would mean she fell. I think they got the idea after a while though. The fatigue seemed to happen at the right pace. It felt a little fast until I realized the players were still in all their gear climbing a wall. Maybe I should have a slower fatigue mechanic for if a character removes their gear and hauls it up later with a rope.

One thing that did throw me was the fickle nature of the dice. One player kept rolling very low and aced the rock wall with very little fatigue. Another player failed a few rolls right off the bat, got fatigued and then couldn’t make a successful Con roll to recover. Maybe recover should be one point plus the roll’s value? I’ll have to play with that.

I think that I’ll keep playing with it and see if there are further adjustments that need to be made. My playtesters weren’t the most cooperative group I’ve ever had. This was an experiment and it went reasonably well. I can’t expect more than that.

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