Hero Wars playtest

From: Ian Thomson (arkat@primus.com.au)
Date: Thu 30 Sep 1999 - 06:32:14 EEST


Disclaimer: these are all initial comments only, and I wish Hero Wars the
very best of luck, reagrdless of whether I like the finished product or not:

Well, I can't comment too much anyway, it was just a run through we played,
and my interpretations of the rules might be innacurrate, so what follows
is based purely on what i perceived

The combat seemed to take for ever, but then I certainly didn't know what i
was doing, so if we played another few games that might be a problem that
went away V quickly

It also seemed really wrong that my character (skill of 22) goes up against
a guy with skill of 9, and I sacrifice a bunch of fate points on the
outcome - then I roll 7 out of 22 on a D20 and he rolls 6 out of 9, and he
wins!!! I admit that this is my problem, but altho I'd love to be entirely
unique and original I know I'm not - so this point might also be a thorny
thing for a lot of others

I may be wrong about Fate Points (can't remember exactly what they were
called) but the bidding system seemed a little bit munchkinish, and for me
was no big shakes on replacing HP

Also there are no MP, so you can just cast spells forever, not a problem if
you are a Carl, like I was, as few spells would be relevent to cast
continually, but what about a sorcerer? I imagine the spells would also
have to be linked to fate points in order to restrict them

BUT - in that case, having a rules-lite system surely would not be greatly
inconvenienced by having MP, HP and character stats up at the top of the
sheet??

I do recall on the Glorantha site that Greg said Hero Wars is compatible
with any rule system (I think that's what he wrote), however does this mean
I take my House Rules along combine the two, and only then can play?
Perhaps I can use their rules as a V simple version of game play if I want,
and then adapt easily with my own House Rules to fill in the gaps?

Such an idea appeals to me immensely, but then I have had tons of
experience in creating a rules system, over the years, that flows quickly
in game play, minimising disruptive dice rolls

What about the kids the game is supposed to be marketed to?
I think they really need a little more of a framework and recommend
bringing back in HP, MP and Stats

I can understand that for simplicity the stats would be left out, and I
liked the description of the character at the top of the sheet, outlining
strengths and experiences and loyalties. This was presumably the
replacement for stats and was a nice touch

Also, there was no clear idea of when to apply the other special abilities
we had, so various silly players - well one particularly :) (and not me)
was applying his 'resist fear' to each and every situation and it all
seemed to get out of hand (although was certainly funny at the time). But
remembering our tendency as kids to take the piss ruthlessly out of rules
that didn't seem to make sense (to the detriment of the game), I'm not sure
if the phrase "up to the discretion of the GM" is enough.

It seems that the H Wars version I experienced was aimed at
GMs/Storytellers and Players with experience and savvy in gaming, and
especially requires a Storyteller who can quickly write a few extra rules
for clarifying and explaining

But of course, if its aimed for kids, these extra rules should be clearly
included in the finished product in my opinion

Finally, the characters were good. despite the lack of stats making us all
wonder how smart, tall, good-looking we were.

I truly hope H Wars doesn't throw out the baby with the bathwater as
regards the beautiful cults system already in place, and at least the
essence of the Spirit and Rune magic systems. I was an Orlanthi worshipper
of a Hero Cult, which seemed to make absolute sense instead of worshipping
Orlanth specifically - I really liked that

There was also a mystic/pirate dude who was pretty cool except his powers
dropped every time he failed (permanently I think!). And there was a healer
from Pavis who had draconic abilities, which was really cool and has given
me a radical rethink on something I'm writing at the moment

After all, who in Pavis still knows Draconic Lore to teach it????

Anyhow, all this is just first impressions, and I believe it to be a
relvent topic, as the success of Hero Wars is crucial to a healthy future
for Gloranthan gaming

cheers

Ian

- -------------------------------
Ian Thomson's Home E-mail
(NB: computer clock has been corrupted
by chaos and may be up to 2 days out!!!)
Glorantha Site at:
http://home.primus.com.au/arkat/runeq.html

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