It’s been a busy five weeks of testing and iteration since my last post. Thank you so much to my testers—Rice, Daniel, Lance, Lila, Adriane, Jinx, Joe, and Paul—for their sense of fun and smart feedback!
The spellcasting system has been radically improved and streamlined. The resulting core concepts and method of assembling spells from a variety of “Knacks”, including in collaboration with other spellcasters, have been demonstrated to work with players at the table.
The character creation process has also been streamlined, incorporates the essentials needed to play, and is possible to complete with a group of new players in a reasonable amount of time for a Session One game.
The world details are generating player fun and prompting great creative ideas which expand the story beautifully. Kabalor is “Yes, and…” compatible!
So, what comes next?
- Test the Altercations mechanics and Situations mechanics (for non-combat moment-to-moment scenes)
- Test the Challenges mechanics (for connected activities toward a goal which take place over a longer stretch of time)
- Test the Healing mechanics
- In conjunction with all testing, confirm the Complexity (Cx) mechanics for dice rolls (These are already looking pretty good from testing so far.)
- Run a Session 2 in which characters will have some adventure and at the end advance to Level 1 (from Novice to Apprentice), gaining new magic
- Synthesize all the existing rules content into one place (my website content master draft in Scrivener) and make sure everything is consistent
- Synthesize all the existing spell content into one place (ditto) and make sure everything is consistent
- Synthesize into one place all the existing world-building which I want to carry forward from the past D&D homebrew setting into this new indie-rpg Kabalor
- Create a starting map for new GMs of Kabalor (which will be used in playtesting)
And after that is all tested, iterated, and improved, it will be on to actual Alpha Testing. This will start with a short story of probably 5 sessions to bring the characters to Level 2. (This might only take 4 sessions if players decide to continue with a character they already made.) The second phase of Alpha Testing, after iteration from that short story’s lessons, will be beginning an ongoing story with a group of regular players.
Opening up to a broader group of testers—including other GMs—will come after that has been underway for enough time to learn the lessons of play at Levels 2 and 3 and to begin building out the official website, thus probably not until the end of the year at absolute earliest.
The worsening situation with regard to COVID-19 (and my continued concerns as an immunosuppressed person) suggests that I’ll probably need to spend some time on the necessary references for remote players sooner rather than later. Those may wind up needing to be password-protected parts of the future public website, so my sequence of work on Kabalor may get slightly shuffled as I go. On the one hand, that’d be a further delay, but on the other, it would open the possibility of easier scheduling with a wider pool of potential players.
As with planning stories as a GM, the way it actually unfolds is always going to throw you for a loop, but you can still end up roughly where you thought you were headed. 😉