So, Theo and Linda helped me out with a bit of Alpha testing the other day. Theo approves of the "Dice Game" and actually seemed to be getting when he needed to roll and when it was a good thing by crowing "I win!". So, at least one of them approved.
Linda and I (with Theo rolling) set two characters against each other. This is standard procedure when we are running an initial test of a system (either one of our own or someone else's).The Chars (PDF 400K)
Jane Houston is an MP and deadly. Jack Vole is a Pastry Chef and not so deadly. Cole is a 12 year old boy. I have to say, char gen went well and I don't think Cole was terribly disadvantaged but not the equal of the adults. I like the skill classifications (Childhood, Mature, and Professional) which allowed the adults to be differentiated from the child without making playing a child useless.
So, Linda played Jane and she was able to kill the boy and Jack most of the time. When Jack got lucky he would critically wound Jane before she finished him. Body armor made all the difference on this. Cole, with his baseball bat had little chance but occasionally would get a whack in. Also, numbers made a difference. When Jack and Cole attacked Jane she would have to split her bonus and that would give Jack a chance to use his gun. So, the combat works pretty close to how I want it. An individual would be a counter to any one infected or even a human with less training or an inferior weapon but runs into troubles when facing large numbers of opponents.The Quickie Mart
So, we ran a little adventure where the "Family" needed groceries. They decided to try a quickie mart in the small Illinois town of Frankfort. It looked deserted but that is the way these things always look before they go bad. Jane used Stealth (Move) at a difficulty of 20 to approach unseen. The difficulty was set at 20 as a moderate difficulty since it is located on a cornet without much cover. She had a skill total of 9 and rolled a 12 which equaled 21 and made it. Once up to the store, she climbed the ladder to the roof and her Hunting skill (TOT: 5) to spot any Infected nearby. Difficulty 15 (Easy for the same reason the Stealth was hard) and spotted no one. She waved Jack and Cole in.
She climbed down and met them at the front door. She asked if they could see anything and Jack said it was too dark. They cautiously open the door and proceed in weapons at the ready. Most of the store's food is either gone or rotted. They decide to do a search more in depth for food and Jane uses her Hunting skill while Jack and Cole make unskilled attempts. The Difficulty is 18 (Moderate) and Jane has a TOT:5 while Jack and Cole get no bonus. Cole gets lucky and rolls two 6s (allowing him to roll again and add) and gets a total of 24. Jane also makes it and they find a locked storage room door. Jane shoots the lock and the door opens.
On the other side are 2 Infected. They entered through a window that has had the bars ripped out. They have a half eaten corpse with them. Jane, Jack and Cole, although prepared, need to make a check for surprise. They all roll and add their Mind. Jack and Cole make the Difficulty of 16 but Jane misses and she will be unable to act this round. Jack takes a -2 to his Ranged Combat leaving him with a TOT:2. He goes first and shoots his 9mm in one hand and holds his Pastry Knife ready in the other. He rolls a 15 + 2 for total of 17 against the Infected Defense of 15. The difference is 2 which is less than the 3 designated for the 9mm and makes the resultant wound a Light Wound. He consults the 2 locations dice (at the beginning of play, the player designates 2 out of the three d6 as "Location Dice") and the total is 4 hitting the Infected in the right side of the chest. Cole goes next next with his Baseball bat. He has an Athletics (Baseball) TOT:3 and rolls a 16, hitting with a 4. The bat is rated with a Light Wound up to 5 so it is a Light wound that is dealt. His Location Dice read 10 and he kneecaps the Infected in the right leg.
Now the Infected attack. The one Jack shot attacks him. Jack rolls a 15 plus his Dodge TOT: 5 making his Defense 20. The Infected has a TOT: 4 of Unarmed Combat and rolls a 17 for total of 21 but with a -2 for 2 Light Wounds adjusting to a 19 and misses. The second one attacks Jane. She rolls Dodge TOT:10 and rolls a 12 for a total of 22. The Infected Unarmed TOT: 9 (ex-Boxer) and rolls a 15 for a total of 24 making it be 2. This equates to light wound and 2 Infection levels.
Next round Jane, Jack and Cole go first (players go first on ties) and Jane takes the lead. She splits her attacks with her M-16 (she has 2 attacks with it meaning she can split her bonus 2 ways and attacks 2 targets). Her first attack is a 15 plus Ranged Combat modified TOT: 6 of 21 but she has a -1 for the Light wound so it goes to 20. She makes it by 5 putting the damage into the Moderate Wound level. Jane has the Crack Shot Schtick so she places the hit in the head. He second shot is on the already wounded Infected. She rolls a 16 plus Ranged Combat Modified TOT: 6 for a total of 22 modified to 21 for her Light wound. Because the Infected has 2 Light Wounds his Defense drops to 13. She makes it by 8 dealing a Critical to the Head (Crack Shot Schtick) killing him. Jack jumps in and shoots the remaining Infected with his 9mm. He rolls a 12 plus his Ranged Combat TOT: 4 for a total of 16. The Moderate Wound on the remaining Infected drops his Defense by 2 making it 13 and meaning Jack hit by 3 doing a Light wound to his 9 (by Location Dice) or left arm. Cole swings away with a roll of 18 plus his 3 for Athletics (Baseball) to get a total of 21 against the Defense of the Infected (modified down 3 for wounds received) of 12. Cole makes it by 9 enough for his baseball bat to do a Critical wound. His Location Dice are 2 6s and that allows him to pick the location. He cracks the Infected's skull open.
In the aftermath, Jane gets patched up by Jack. He cleans the wound thoroughly and reduces Infection by 2 and allows the Light Wound to heal up over the next day. The Questions Raised
1. Wounds: Do we want one pool or to have totals per location?
One pool, to me, seems reflective of how the body takes wounds. Remember, it is a -1 to all rolls for each light wound, -2 for Moderate wounds and critical disables to ares (-8 if applicable). Currently, each area can take Body in Light Wounds, 1/2 Body in Moderate Wounds and 1 Critical wound before being disabled. So, currently, we could have upto a -170 with a person who has a 10 Body and still be "functional". Yes, that would make any skill/stat check impossible many times over. Alternatively, with one pool, you would get the same Body=10 person at -17.
2. Initiative: Should it be a bid and keep as in you state it and it can go higher but you can never drop it or should it be flexible? This came up when Jack had taken a -2 to make sure he went first but then the Infected were running at 0 so he could have dropped it down. I am inclined towards, Bid and Keep as in you state what you are bidding, the GM rolls, and if you are ahead of them, great, if not you can increase, but either way, you cannot get it back.
3. Should First Aid heal infection wounds? I am inclined to say yes if they are treated within a few minutes of receiving the wound.
4. Should Schticks be powered by Karma (Mind + Spirit;recoverd by doing something related to Code)? I like this idea but Linda does not. She notes that something like Crack Shot would suck if you burned through all your Karma using it.
Hopefully I will have a copy of the Alpha rules up within the next couple of weeks.