Intrepid: The Rebellion Playtest

The new name for Quest – ‘Intrepid! A Storytelling Adventure’ – is now decided upon so I can get on with writing about it.

Intrepid took shape over 2 years of playtesting and iterating on the original idea. But once the rules were done and I’d stopped fiddling the real work on writing began. Along with Indie Pete as editor, I wrote down and developed a version of the rules that we were pretty happy with and at this time I ran one last playtest, not of the game mechanics but of the book itself…

I gathered 5 people from work who hadn’t been exposed to the game (or indie RPGs in general), gave them a copy and watched what happened. Unlike previous games I wasn’t facilitating or playing, they had to work it out themselves.

They set the game on a space station (I did say it was a fantasy game but never mind) with a motley crew of deranged robots, peculiar sanitation engineers and ‘entrepreneurs’. All a little Red Dwarf but it was a good old romp anyway.

I did learn a few things about writing rules as well…

  • Introduce everything in the order it will come up in play. People who are unfamiliar with the rules will read through the book as they are teaching the others and you don’t want to send them hunting through a book mid-session.
  • Including some improv advice would be good, just to stop people being scared of contributing. This is especially true of people coming from traditional RPGs who are often afraid of stating the outcomes of their actions or revealing secrets out of character.
  •  If you include 2 instructions on a paragraph, the second one will be ignored. People reading through rules quickly will try and get the gist of a paragraph and move on, which obviously causes problems. One instruction and then clarification, advice and examples. The only problem we’re finding now during layout is that it produces some very bitty paragraphs that don;t look good on the page.

I also found that you can play Intrepid in 1 hour sessions (during our lunch hour) which I thought was neat.

Anyway, stay tuned next time when I will hopefully have some maps to share…



2 thoughts on “Intrepid: The Rebellion Playtest

  1. I think there’s some definite room for more “mid-form” RPGs, between short-form poems (10-30 mins) and full 3+ hour games.

    Some sage advice there on how to lay out instructions. I’m always going in response to playtest feedback “But they didn’t do what the rules said!” ^_^

    Especially if we’re going for a model where the book can actually teach how to play (so it -must- have improv guidelines, for example) and even more, we’re going for the book being able to teach the game as you play it at the table then… That wording has got to be -tight-.

    Bullet points or numbered lists are good if things are getting bitty?

    • As a 1 hour game you still need to play it as a campaign, it’s just it breaks itself up into 1 hour chunks very nicely.

      The Crossroads section has bullet points already, they is a very mechanical list of things to do in order. I guess we’ll see about the other bits when ends up looking good and making sense.

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