Friday, August 19, 2011

Being playtester is suffering

Some things have been coming up recently but I have finally gotten some things started with a friend that we have had planed for a while. He'll be running a 2nd edition Mutants and Masterminds game soon themed around Puella Magi Madoka Magica anime that had come out recently. To do this he's been messing with some systems in it to better fit the thematic ideas.

Basic idea is a constant need for energy to power the attacks, defenses, healing and all that so we looked into the energy system from the mastermind manual splat book. It gives a pool based on constitution of energy points to use and everything that isn't straight up hitting someone with your fist has some power points invested in it to come up with a number of these energy points to fuel it. The one twist was to not allow energy points to regenerate naturally To not ruin his plans I made up a character and a boss to see where the chips fall and it was very interesting.

First off friend was willing to do this to see how it is from the GM side of the Mutants and masterminds screen. He's been in three games so far from the players side one of which I run, so seeing how it works from behind the all concealing and powerful DM screen was a new experience. The second part was to see how much this energy system will work for game along with some other homebrew ideas to work around low energy points.

So for this I made the Maiden of despair via a quicker tarot card method I shown earlier. The fluffy results was this.

Hunched over a form that roughly looks like a long black haired women who is crying. Her form is made of monochrome pictures, diary, and letters about a man she loved yet kept a distance from. The man eventually moved onto a women whom he found attractive and actually shown interest in being his lover. This rough exterior is easily torn away by talking about the situation. Doing so reveals a shriveled child like figure inside who desperately tells itself everything is fine as it tries to patch up the holes others leave when trying to reveal her faults. She is at her worst when she conflicts with her self seeing herself at fault and tries to tear away her own memories and throw them at those around her to make sense of while she pastes up up extras to fix the holes.

Twisted and fitting for the game ideals. Made a character ins a similar method only with less ideas behind it, more focused on a power set which went very weird. From the looks of it the way she worked was going to be very energy efficient. All her powers were ones that boosted up her ability to deal damage and take damage with a few rule bendy ways to add an extra effect to them. The Not witch made was meant to take on groups so it would be an intersting fight.

Cut to it and we found out even with her energy point approach she blew through the energy point restoring the witches provided without actually wounding the thing. between a combination of missing and damage saves the character was solely on the losing end. The abilities I set up as part of her fluff were very effective against a melee combatant due to throwing her out of melee range on a failure again the trip effect. I originally was making a blaster magic user before realizing the monster didn't have a single way to deal with range so I switched to melee, and did that back fire.

So the first play test ended with retreat, 4 wounds, and 30 energy points of 120 expended. So the thought expenditure of energy was vastly underestimated especially if this would be a character who was running very energy light. The drops were estimated to only recover 20 energy points per boss defeated. He said he learned a lot .I feel I made a mismatch that may not be the best to learn from but we'll see. I'll probably try again later with some learned in character strategy but I plan on making a few more scenarios for him to work with. Either way he gets experience and possibly more foes/allies for in game use.


  1. It's always good to test things out, and to build experience, both of the literal and figurative kind. Remember, you aren't retreating, you're advancing in a different direction.

  2. It takes a lot of trial and error to get everything just right.

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  4. I really like the description for the Maiden of Despair.