Playtesting in Portland: The Mists of Madness

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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 6:18 pm

Playtesting in Portland: The Mists of Madness

Post by caveman »

I tried out the game yesterday with some friends and we had a stellar time!
We usually play 4e D&D, but attendance was going to be spotty so I offered to run DCCRPG.
Three players showed up. I handed them the four-character sheets and they started rolling dice, making do without the specialty dice (I do have a d30). Just making the characters was a ton of fun, letting the dice dictate process always spurs creativity. The players were into it, coming up with different accents for each one, but of course, the ones with the best personalities died...
I had a great idea to use Mists of Madness. The set up was that the characters all lived in this frontier town, and that a Witch had come through and tempted a passel of young folk to come dance with her in the forest. The PCs are the mob that went to get their people back.
The party took their time getting through the swamp, carefully getting across the slippery log bridges, only encountering one Crocodile, which did NOT manage to slay a the Gravedigger! Upon entering the large courtyard where the Lord Warden's daughter was about to be sacrificed the party charged in and a huge battle ensued. Half the characters died and a great time was had by all. My friends have all said how keen they are to continue the adventure, though they are fairly certain that they will all die.
Notes: I played it fairly straight, though of course I had to wing my monster conversions. I made basic D&D stats and gave the 10 Fanatical Villagers 1hp and 1 damage on a hit. Minions, but brutal since half the party had only one HP also. The Drummer I gave 2 +2 attacks at d8 damage and 8hps. Pretty damn tough it turned out. The witch had 6hps and a dagger or blast +3 that did d4 and carried a Curse. Her blast kept killing people, so I missed out on a lot of Curses! Only one survivor is cursed in the end. I rolled on the Corruption table from the Beta.
I used minis. I always have. I did not use a grid. I pulled out a ruler for measuring movement, but didn't sweat it too much. This was sort of a loose table top battle, but I couldn't help myself from imposing opportunity attacks when characters ran by their foes. I had foes get in the way and stop the movement rather than make attacks. Maybe unnecessary. I have played only 4e for so long, getting out of that mentality may take a bit.
One guy had only a sling and was bummed on the firing into melee rules. He hit a friend. I ruled it did minimum damage. That guy did not die. The same player wanted to pick up a dagger only to discover that he had the same penalty. Not stoked. "Wait til 1st level" I said. I can't wait til first level as well, its like 0 level is one game, and then there's all these other rules just waiting.
The first houserule I made was to say that Luck replenishes when you make a new level. This encouraged everyone to use their Luck, which was really the only advantage they had. That and Pitchforks are rad...
So I really like the game, it has more flair than the other retros, but i can see using old modules with these rules (My other favorite is AD&D3). This could make a great gritty Conan game.
I dig all the crit/fumble/spell tables. I can see a lot of fun being had making up new and exciting tables for Occupations and Luck Manifestations as well as alternate spell tables, Corruption Mutations (WFRP Chaos manifestations!) and all that.
One thought I have is about player agency in leveling. Players will want to take control of their characters. They do get to pick their class, but I was thinking it might be fun to continue with the random rolling.
One idea is to have players add one to a stat each level or alternate level by rolling a d6 (1=Str, 2=Agility etc). Might power up characters too fast, but on the other hand it seems like ability scores are being lost all the time also. One character was Cursed with Obesity which took 1 from his agility.
Other random things to do when leveling or between adventures would be to roll on something like the PC events tables from Beyond the Black Gate. ... thief.html
All in all, great job, and I look forward to the final iteration. I'm sold.

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