I attended PAX Unplugged for the first time this past weekend! It was a little overwhelming to be honest, but it was wonderful to run into folks I met at Metatopia earlier this year and also make some new friends and play fun games.
I was privileged to playtest my game in ManaPot Studios’ NYC Indie RPG room with a ton of designers waaaay more experienced than me and it was wonderful. The organizers did an amazing job making sure I had everything I needed and was prepared despite being very overwhelmed and lost that day!
If you’ve played Derby Drama in the past through one of the Discord playtests or at Metatopia, I made some changes for PAX. I redesigned character sheets to have a clearer table of strategy options and wrote better explanations of strategies and trade-offs. I also added notes on respecting the agency of other players when you’re Boosting Morale and Stirring Up Drama - thanks Lauren McManamon for suggesting that improvement!
The biggest change is to drama tokens. At Metatopia, Jeff Stormer suggested some sort of exhaustion meter for characters. This gave me ideas for how to make drama tokens feel more important.
During the PAX playtest, I decided to incorporate a new drama token rule - you can voluntarily take on drama tokens to get extra dice. This like how in Forged in the Dark games you can “push yourself”. I may even steal the terminology from those games and just start calling them stress tokens instead. Somehow, despite never having played BitD, I’ve accidentally made a FitD game…
I thought these new drama tokens rules were really fun when we tried it out! There was a lot of suspense as we watched the pool of tokens dwindle. Then I took a gamble on an extra die, failed my roll, and had to take the final token! I had the most drama, so my character had a meltdown when she failed her apex jump and started arguing with the ref. It was very dramatic scene and just what I want from this game!
Posted December 11, 2019