Last night, Jared and I skimmed the document for the game system we’re going to be playtesting in the coming weeks. I wish I could be more positive in my mind state here, but things look bad. It seems as though the writers have a chip on their shoulder and are locked into a bad state of mind. The style smacks something unprofessional.

We poked and prodded the system, found a couple weak points in the design. We figured out what the easy dump stats are, and where the weak points are. We haven’t found any real gamebreakers, but there’s something very ho-hum, humdrum about it. There’s something “safe” about the design choices that went into the system.

The multi-classing system looks astonishingly unhelpful. I understand a desire to prevent players from exploiting the system and spoiling the fun of others, but if one is to make a multi-classing system, shouldn’t it be useable? Individual class features don’t feel like something to write home about. Why impose such heavy restrictions?

Jared and I did find some things within the system that we admired. I still enjoy the broad, generalized fantasy archetypes used to create the world’s background while also leaving it malleable and up to the game master to modify as they see fit. We like the shared resources of the party — and one shining gem in the combat system.

One problem faces by lots of games that feature beefy monsters and lots of combat powers, is winding down combat and reaching a satisfying conclusion. Sometimes you’ve slain the necromancer and are left dealing with some of its beefier henchman, long after the battle’s climax. This system has a way to deal with that problem.

…But only if you can find it among the snarky, unhelpful comments and allusions to other game systems. Most of the humor was in poor taste, and both of us skipped large sections of adolescent, inflammatory text. It read and felt like an angry note jammed in someone’s locker at school. Still, … the game must go on!

We’re looking forward to out first playtest session with a mix of apprehension and excitement. The system doesn’t look like much on paper, but it might prove to have some surprising perks. The only section I bothered printing was monster creation.

See you next time, Dungeon Crawlers!