Actual Play – 15 Minutes (8/26/2009)

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 26th Play-test:

We didn’t have long to work, so we really only covered two topics. Wagers and the escalation of fame.

Regarding escalation of fame:

This is a pacing mechanic, but how much do we throttle it. My goal is for the overall level of fame to be changing frequently, but thinking back now, maybe not always up. Maybe if nobody makes their roll, it should go down. The characters are starting to loose their stardom and need to do something to get the public’s eye again. We settled that the person with the least cred would get to have the first personal scene and thus the first opportunity to raise the bar for everyone else. This seems like a nice bit of balancing. Also, we agreed that that the fame rating can only go up once per round of scenes, but again, I’m not sure how I feel about that. What if it went up (and down) all the time?

Travis mentioned that the fame difficulty is inverted between the private scenes and the public ones. Thus early on it is easy to forge relationships but hard to stand out in the public eye. As the game progresses these flip-flop. I like that A LOT.

Regarding Wagers:

We’re still on the fence about this and I’m starting to feel like we might be putting in wagers because they feel like a “oh this is so cool” mechanic and not because they actually add to the game. I mean, yeah, celebrities take chances all the time, but is brining in perks and/or haters not enough of a representation of this?

Assuming we do use wagers we were having some uncertainty of how it it would actually work. Remove cred dice (the most valuable kind) to gain what? Narrative Control? Other kinds of dice after the roll? Yeah, I want to talk this again. I think there is something here, but it isn’t groking with me like the other dice mechanics are.

4 thoughts on “Actual Play – 15 Minutes (8/26/2009)”

  1. In regards to Wagers, I would say that they are an awesome thing… but only if you are trying to give the feeling of competition, otherwise why not just use a number of successes to determine a threshold of success?

    1. The idea as it stands is that wagering is how you open up new groups to like you. So you put some of the dice you get because, say, Geeks like you on the line as you try a brand new style of performance to get, say, Rockers to get interested in you.

      The question is what happens when you fail?

      1. I feel like we need a better “container” (for lack of a better word) that holds all your cred groups and make it explicit the benefit of having more than two. Right now I feel the best mechanical strategy would be to have two groups, one you use as your primary group and the other you have as a trait.

        Thus wagers don’t make any sense there either as getting a new cred group wouldn’t help you as much as bumping up your existing one (which you make less likely because you’re wagering your existing cred). Anywhodle, lets talk about this offline and run through a few more iterations of dice rolls.

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