The previous weekend, I was in Bergen to present Loop ‘n’ Loot at RegnCon XXX (literally the convention of rain, which is accurate given it always rains in Bergen). It was the occasion to see familiar faces, meet new ones and play some games!
I had three pools over the weekend, so 15 hours of play with 15 different players and I used the opportunity to test the latest version of the rules as well as see how the Maze of the 4 Queens is resilient over multiple runs.
Among the positive evolutions of the game, let’s note:
- 2 out of 3 groups died. Several times. Which is by design. The group who did not die had maybe a bit more luck with the randomness and almost always got the better initiative in combat, in addition to playing it safe. The various adjustments have paid off so far.
- The combat seemed to be capped at 2 or 3 turns before one side got obliterated, which is – once again – as per design. So, cool!
- I’m genuinely happy with the randomness and the emergent stories that the Maze creates. A group ended the playtest in a very satisfying way as they looted all the amphoras in a cellar and started a new vintage wine trade company.
- More players got to test the freeform magic system and they seemed to like it.
- The new Attributes and draw mechanics. I remove the fixed hand size to have it depend on the Attributes (putting emphasis on “my character is more sneaky than you”), giving extra cards given tools, environment, time… On paper, it works. Sometimes it felt a bit underwhelming to draw only 2 cards to solve a test. In a way, the new drawing mechanic feels quite similar to the narrative dice from the Genesys system and, as a GM, I need to put more emphasis on how the players intend to revolve an action to give them the adequate hand size.
Among the things that I mixed feelings:
- The new iteration of Soul Traits was not part of the playtest but I’m still thinking about it and what it could be. It seems like the playtesters enjoy absorbing souls a lot, and getting monster traits. I’m afraid the next iteration of the soul mechanics removes that excitement. But it’s a problem of a future playtest to determine.
- I made small equipment cards to facilitate the playtest while giving or switching equipment pieces. It was not greatly efficient. I would need to create color-coded equipment pieces to find what I need more quickly. Or find a different system.
- My brilliant idea of a character sheet pamphlet is looking less and less attractive, especially with all these tiny pieces of paper for representing equipment and flipping the character sheet back and forth. Maybe a boring single-sided sheet will have to be the way to go.
All in all, I can safely say that everyone liked to play Loot ‘n’ Loot. They enjoyed the game mechanics with the cards, they liked adventuring in the Maze of the 4 Queens, they appreciated my NPCs and how I roleplayed them…
Speaking of roleplay, a 1-hour improv’ course was available for those who wanted to know more about that kind of acting. I signed up for it and it was quite fun; it was not really targeted at role-players but I think I got one or two extra tips I could use.
It was a fun convention, with free ice-cream, free pop-corn, free fruits and free cakes! I met new people, got to spread a bit of love around my game and I hope to have something physical to show at RegnCon XXXI.