Post playtest Design Meetings

Torchbearer_SagasBack in the saddle. Thor and I met on 11/11/15 and 11/15/15 to review an exhaustive list of changes I wanted to implement based on feedback as well as questions for how things should work.

Topics covered:

  • Conservation of NPCs (linking Ankit to the missing climbers, tying the Thewsdays to Sampat, and otherwise tightening up connections)
  • Relationship maps. Figuring out how everyone on the mountain is related to everyone else. Stone Dragon’s Facebook status is “it’s complicated”.
  • Layout design review (where to put wandering monsters, where to put stat blocks, how to break up the outside of the mountain).
  • Important NPC Development: Pasang – more than just a beggar on the mountain. The gods areĀ finally punishing the Sharwa for their impiety.
  • Important NPC Development: Jhala – Her motivations to maintain the status quo, and how that is challenged.
  • Important NPC Development: Salt Nomads – Completely re-thinking their role (was very much background fluff) and making them the spiritual conduit for the PCs and the Sharwa. Giving them relationships across the board.
  • Discussion on handling twists like “you fall off the mountain…” (either give them the dead condition of injured or sick, or make it a complicated twist and give the GM some suggestions for how to adjudicate it)
  • Other NPC nuances: Diamond Tooth, Mingmar, and Deepti. Little things, but good stuff.
  • New mechanic I’m going to create: Duress. The pervasive attitude in an area, it’s effects on the PCs, and how it can be changed. The intent is that this could be pulled out and used for towns and other locations as well.


Still more work to do. The biggest challenge for me right now is taking these very nuanced characters with long histories and condensing them down to a short entry in a list of wandering monsters. I think this is why designers always know more about their stories than they share with the audience…because you can’t fit it all in there!

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