Hey there, everyone.
While Murders & Acquisitions works its way through layout, I've been diving deep into preparing for the first Capers playtest.
In the past few months, I've squared away the draft version of the game rules. I gave it to a few friends a while back to garner some feedback, made some tweaks, and have sent it to a few other friends recently for one more read and critique. Once I get feedback from them, I'll finalize the first draft for playtest.
The rule set is by no means complete, but it's complete ENOUGH for a first playtest. Full character creation rundown. Enough of he rules to run playtests. Several pages of world setting info, including a bunch of info on Atlantic City, where the playtests will take place. I've developed about a dozen exploits (the powers that "super-people" have). There will be many more eventually, but I don't want to get too deep into that until I see how these first ones play. I've laid out the character sheet and developed six pre-gen characters for playtesting.
And I've written an adventure titled "Rivals." The adventure finds the characters (who work for local boss Nucky Johnson) dealing with a rival gang of bootleggers intent upon edging into Nucky's territory. The adventure is set up with a variety of encounters that can be played out based on character choices.
2016 Playtest Plans
Once I tweak the rules for feedback, I'll finalize everything. I hope to send this playtest packet to anyone who wants to check out the game. This round of playtesting will be the most far-reaching playtest I've done (hopefully) and I'll be looking for feedback from a wide variety of player and GM types. I'll probably be looking for feedback one month after I send out the packet.
Once I have all feedback, I'll incorporate it and develop some more stuff. Again, just enough to keep expanding the game, but not so much as to over-reach things. If the rules change significantly at any point, I don't want to have to revisit many dozens of NPC stat blocks and exploit descriptions. The first couple playtest rounds will be focused on firming up the game system. Then I'll move into expanding even deeper into exploits and the like.
Starting in 2017, I'll narrow the playtest group field from those who tried out the first playtest, specifically seeking groups who are interested in participating in multiple playtest rounds over the course of the year. I want to build consistency from groups who focus on different things so I can get a broad sense of the game from a variety of players.
I'm thinking there will be four playtest rounds in 2017. The first two will focus on players portraying bootleggers and gangsters. The second two will have the players portraying members of law enforcement working to take down gangsters. All of these will be set in Atlantic City, as I continue to develop A.C. as a backdrop for the game. (The final game will feature at least two other cities usable as backdrops, Chicago and New York.)
Another Character Sheet Glimpse
Here's a look at another pre-gen character. Morgan is an icy gangster who doesn't relate well to others but can call upon ice and cold.
Local Playtest Campaign
For local friends and interested parties, I also plan to run a regular, every-other-week Capers playtest campaign. That process is in its infancy right now, but I hope to start early next year. This playtest will have players creating their own characters and advancing them through a mini-campaign or two.
That's it for now. Check some recent blog posts for some info on Atlantic City and another character sheet.