Monday, March 12, 2012

Slayers Playtest Report

We had another playtest for Slayers yesterday and things are coming along very well. As some of you may know, Slayers is a gritty game of anachronistic fantasy in the spirit of films like Excaliber and Dragonslayer. We have spent the last month conducting inhouse playtests (and getting playtest reports from external playtesters). Now that we have seen the system in action, here are our basic observations:

1) The system is quite lethal, but in a good way. Because hit points range from 6-12 and some weapons can inflict up the thirteen points of damage, death from a single blow is entirely possible. It is also easy to hit targets in combat. So this makes for some deadly battles.

2) Armor matters a lot. Because it provides Damage Reduction up to DR 5 (when combined with a shield) armor frequently means the difference between losing 12 HP or losing 7.

3) Slayers works well without a battle mat. We designed Slayers for gaming without miniatures. So we avoided things like tactical subsystems and tried to keep combat relatively light weight to achieve this goal. Every playtest so far has not involved any miniatures and this hasn't posed any issues.

4) Magic is dangerous and flavorful. These aren't meant to be D&D style combat wizards (though I personally love hurling lightning bolts and casting polymorph). Magic in slayers is very powerful but less useful in a pinch. It is also a double-edged sword. So far we have seen wizards suffer casting consequences such as coma and disease.

These are the most significant things we observed. We have also discovered and fixed some minor mechanical issues. The rulebook itself is likely going to be fifty pages or less. We want to keep it light. If people like the PDF we hope to incorporate feedback into developing it for a larger print release.

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