We playtested Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate last night and it went very well. We noticed a few things that need cleaning up and we found some areas where more abilities are needed. On the whole it works well.
One big change to Ogre Gate is to Defenses. Because the genre really doesn't emphasize armor, and the Sertorius core rules do emphasize armor, we had to make adjustments. This is reflected on our character sheet to the right (still has the old name of the game, but otherwise it is updated). As you can see, unlike other Network character sheets, the Defenses can be raised to 10 (whereas they can only be raised to six in Servants of Gaius or Sertorius, with armor being needed to take you higher). Instead, characters can take up to three ranks at character creation, plus they may increase individual defenses by 1 for each level of Qi they possess (and Qi goes up to 6). This allows you to make a character who is walking around with 10 Parry at Qi Level 6, for example. In the play test it seemed to work well. That way you can forgo the armor, and wear something lighter and more genre appropriate.
Another change is your health increases by two for every level of Qi you possess, giving characters between 2-12 wounds. This is different from all other Network games we have made.
We have been hammering out Kung Fu Techniques lately. These are divided into four groups: lightness kung fu, martial kung fu, internal kung fu and pressure point (we give them fancy names, but these are the four basic categories you see in most Wuxia television shows and movies). In addition every Kung Fu technique has a type: Block, Counter, Stance and Normal. This just indicates some of the basic things a technique can do in a round. For example, a counter can be used to interrupt another person's attack, when it isn't yet your turn. Like counters, blocks work off turn, allowing you to deflect incoming attacks. Stances are like stances in real martial arts, you adopt a stance and that gives you certain advantages and disadvantages while you maintain it.
Another feature of the game are the sects. These are the clans, cults, sects, orders and gangs you see in so many martial arts films. While we draw from a number of films and genres, our sects are most strongly influenced by television shows based on Louis Cha and Gu Long, like the Condor Heroes series. We have a master list of sects and are developing them further as things progress. They are becoming much more important to running the game than previously expected. I will go into this in a later blog entry though.
Fate is also important. We added a Fated flaw, and two players took it last game. Again, I will explore Fate in greater detail in a later entry, but for now I can say it is becoming more important than was previously expected. A large section of the GM advice will be devoted to managing Fate and Sects.