Actual Play – 15 Minutes (8/25/2009)

15 Minutes is a game that Travis and I are developing together. It’s a game about what people do to become famous. Mostly he thinks of the ideas and then I act as a sounding board and first run play-tester. It might be more accurate to call me an editor, but my damn name is going on the cover.

To keep up with our development as it happens, check out the wiki:

Notes from the August 25th Play-test.

We tried out a single roll and moneyed the dice to show every possible variation.

Basic mechanic: Roll Dice looking for success that match or beat the current fame rating. Success means you looked good and gain a cred die, failure means you looked bad and gain a hater die. Either way, you are more famous.

Specific mechanics. You always get one cred group to roll for free. Bringing in a hater group makes the scene more volatile, but adds their dice as well. Bringing in a Perk means relying on some vice to help you out, and forcing you to frame the next scene around that vice.

We rolled and saw there was some decent reason to bring in at least the haters, possibly the perks, but at low fame they didn’t seem necessary (plenty of successes without them). We also tested out the “trait” group which allows you to bring in another cred group.

My observations:

  1. As noted, perks didn’t seem necessary on the first roll.
  2. I don’t like the name perk, it doesn’t fit for me. How does vice sound? It seems like that is what they are. Plus vice dice sounds cool.
  3. I like the way perk dice grow (like exhaustion in DRYH) and inform the next scene.
  4. There isn’t mechanically any reason why you would want to have a bunch of cred groups at low levels, having one really good cred group does you much better. I think we need a mitigating factor (like forcing you to rotate out groups each scene).
  5.  We talked a lot about rewards and had lots of different ideas (merging cred groups, switching cred groups into haters, etc). I think we’ll need to play with this more.
  6. I really like the idea that when you exceed the current fame rating, the fame die goes up one, making it harder for everyone else.
  7. I’m torn between wanting a successful roll to indicate that you are noticed (which is critical to the game) or liked (which is less so, people get famous from having haters). I’m thinking that it’s better if you are always getting more famous, but if your hater dice exceed your cred dice, that should force another kind of scene, one where the celebrity reshapes themselves (going into rehab, breaking up with band and going solo, joining another political party). After doing that a few dice are lost but the cred/hater equilibrium is re-established. This prevents the failure monkey mentality of “I’ll just fail every roll because my hater dice make me famous too”

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