Wrapping up the play-test

Hey all, I'm coming down with something, so this is going to be short.

I did manage to wrap up my scenario last weekend. It went okay – the scenario was fun, I just felt less prepared. I was happy with a bit of improv I did.

So Partner was playing a gender-ambiguous character, one who purposely concealed their gender identity. This is unusual for Partner, they are in-person very strongly gendered and so I messed up in-game, about once a session, with characters in universe calling Partner's character by gendered pronouns. And when that happened in the second session I just rolled with it. The non-player character who'd done it realized their mistake, tried to correct it, and was completely terrified of having just pissed off someone who openly carried a sword and was not only socially expected to do so in society, but that was their job. And all of a sudden, a complete non-entity NPC had a little bit of characterization. 

As for the system itself. (Called The Veil, by the way).


It needs an editor. There's interesting ideas in there, but the author needs an editor to help trim back the rest of the system to let those ideas shine through. It needs an editor so things get organized. And presented in a more coherent manner, where one idea leads into the next and foundational things get presented first

It needs an editor so it stops trying to be all things to all players.

Personally, I wouldn't run it again because I didn't feel like there was enough support for one-shot scenarios. Given how much the world needs to be defined ahead of time, either you need a lot of player investment to put in that world (and character) building, or the GM needs to write 20K words to build that system and create characters for the players to choose from. And that's more work than I want to do. If I want to run a cyberpunk one-shot... I'll play my post-apocalyptic transhumanist conspiracy horror system (Eclipse Phase) and find or write a scenario with cyberpunk themes instead.

Partially that's because I've already invested in the system and learned about the setting. But mostly because I don't know what I'd be gaining by using this new system for a one-shot. The mechanical support for relationship seems like it'd only come into play in a campaign. Same for the interesting things with experience and how that promotes characterization and exploration of themes. I just... didn't feel support for one-shots from the system, either as a GM or trying to put myself in the players' position.

Also, I really like Eclipse Phase.