Demo Kit

Discussion on the 1879 roleplaying game.
TarlimanJoppos
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Demo Kit

Postby TarlimanJoppos » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:19 pm

This topic is for discussion of the official 1879 Demo Kit, as premiered at GenCon 2014. Please, no plot spoilers.

As a result of the demoes, we're revising the Improve Vision spell to run for Rank minutes instead of Rank rounds.
Andrew Ragland
Line Developer, 1879

Slimcreeper
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Re: Demo Kit

Postby Slimcreeper » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:49 pm

No spoilers, no spoilers, but I'd like to read a bit about how it went. The reception the game got, the feel of the demo, and so on.

TarlimanJoppos
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Re: Demo Kit

Postby TarlimanJoppos » Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:08 am

Really well. We noticed some preferences in character choice that will influence how we develop the game. For example, the Priest and the Shaman were just not very popular, but every session, someone took the Weird Scientist. The Big Game Hunter was preferred over the other fighter types. Most sessions, someone took the Doctor. We'll need to provide some equipment to make the Doctor more interesting.

As far as the adventure, all the demos I ran completed the adventure. Only one sabotaged the enemy. Generally, the Gentlemens Code was adhered to, and the adventurers worked things out with the Russians.
Andrew Ragland
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Kasbak
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Re: Demo Kit

Postby Kasbak » Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:42 pm

My sessions went well. My groups all completed the mission, and I also only had one attempt a sabotage, though it was veiled with a good luck toast before the launch.

In my groups, I did see the Engineer taken each time (one with utterly brilliant use that unfortunately I can't say much on without spoilers), but otherwise pretty much the same selection pattern Tarliman had.

Roth
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Re: Demo Kit

Postby Roth » Thu Oct 23, 2014 2:23 pm

Were you surprised that the Priest and Shaman weren't popular?
Had you expected the Big Game Hunter to be the preferred fighter type?
Did you assume someone would most likely play a Doctor?

TarlimanJoppos
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Re: Demo Kit

Postby TarlimanJoppos » Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:15 pm

I was surprised that the magical healer / combat buff Priest wasn't as popular. The Shaman is a little complicated, what with the spirit summoning thing, and so I didn't expect it to be as popular in the demos. I expected the Weird Scientist to be well received, but the response was much more enthusiastic than anticipated. I'm already at work on expansions for the Weird Scientist - new potions and creations and devices for the existing Schools, a new School or two, and expanded mechanics on how they work.

I had expected the Big Game Hunter to be popular because of the trope. Given that the Pioneer had a troll variant with an axe who was the strongest close combat fighter, and the Cowboy had both close and ranged options, the choice of the primarily ranged Big Game Hunter was interesting.

I expected the Doctor to be chosen in about half the groups. The character isn't much for combat, but is critical in the aftermath. What I did not expect was the selection of the Doctor over the Priest, and the uses to which the Doctor was put, such as establishing diplomatic relations with the Russians by tending to their wounded.

This all goes back to a very basic rule of GMing: If you prepare X number of resolutions for a scene, the players will come up with X+1.
Andrew Ragland
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Roth
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Re: Demo Kit

Postby Roth » Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:07 pm

People travel hundreds to thousands of miles to go to Gencon. Why would they want to play a typical standard class when there is one that is more unique?

A game like 1879 I would be surprised if the Priest was played more than a Doctor. Same with Pioneer over Big Game Hunter.

I would caution trying to add more to what will be a popular class like Weird Scientist. Priest and Shaman will need something to make it an actual choice for players.

TarlimanJoppos
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Re: Demo Kit

Postby TarlimanJoppos » Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:36 pm

The Priest and Shaman both have strong possibilities as player characters. The Priest (regardless of faith) gets banishing, healing, and protective abilities. Dependent upon the tenets of the faith, the Priest may be able to do quite a few other things. The Shaman gets the ability to summon both spirits and elementals. The Shaman can consult the ancestors for knowledge, and direct the forces of nature. My expectation is that both will receive attention outside of a Gencon type setting. However, as you pointed out, the Weird Scientist is =different=. I see the Weird Scientist as one of the factors that differentiates 1879 from other games. I'm playing to our strengths by looking at ways to expand the Weird Scientist. There will also be expansions for the Priest and Shaman. They're not being ignored. They are, however, getting a lower priority than the character type that sets this game line apart from others.
Andrew Ragland
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Roth
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Re: Demo Kit

Postby Roth » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:23 am

To reiterate
"I would caution trying to add more to what will be a popular class like Weird Scientist. Priest and Shaman will need something to make it an actual choice for players."

If banishing, healing, and protective abilities or summon both spirits and elementals doesn't impact the game was consequentially as Weird Scientist/Engineer does. They wont be popular/played.

Slimcreeper
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Re: Demo Kit

Postby Slimcreeper » Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:54 am

"Capture the imagination" is more important than "impact the game".


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