Hostile Sun Playtest: Scandal on Demeter VI

The tabletop RPG I am developing, Under a Hostile Sun just had its first recorded playtest (the game as a whole and individual mechanics from it have been tested prior to this one).

My good friends Arwynn, Amara and Dennis had a great time testing this system and I hope clicking through this video makes you curious about the Hostile Sun RPG system yourself. Throughout the video key ideas from the system are explained. Whether you play the game as a whole, or import these ideas back into your favored system, there should be plenty of ideas in Hostile Sun for intense exploration in the RPG world of your choice.

This is a real playtest. So you will see things go well. You will see things go wrong. The aim is that seeing both the good in the bad in this draft will help potential players see what works and help explain the logic behind future rewrites of the system.

A Group of Plasma Miners have gone missing – is it an accident for foul play?

What Players Loved

  • Players loved D6, their loveable six-legged dog.
  • Players enjoyed the tension the ticking clock mechanics provided while in a Hostile Environment
  • They enjoyed how many options players had while in a Hostile Environment (Should I take the risk to mine more? Should I break for it and run right now?) and the strategic decisions that opened up.
  • We noted that each Hostile environment can feel radically different in this system.
  • Players noted the increased clarity (it wasn’t recorded, but they had play tested with me before) regarding what tamed creatures could do.
  • They loved how efficient the system was in terms of rules and ease of use.
  • They complemented how creative the premise was and how it explored in depth other areas of Table Top RPGs besides combat. They said they had never encountered a tabletop RPG quite like it before!
  • They had a lot of fun interacting with the weird creatures on the planet and exploring the mystery.
  • They had fun interacting with each other’s characters and roleplaying – the rules served the roleplay, not the other way around.
  • They also loved the galactic komoto dragon.

Things Being Adjusted in the Next Revision

  • Map grids spaces will be smaller and player speeds correspondingly increased to allow for more positional choice. Movement mechanics in general provided the most hiccups during play – so I will be increasing the rate at which players move so that it feels more familiar to former RPG players and they do not feel overly constrained.
  • Better mapping conventions will be used by the GM to ensure clarity as to what features impact which spaces.
  • Mining rates are being set for different resources – it will be harder to mine rock than pull herbs out of the ground. In general rewrites will help give each Basic Resource more its own feel and characteristics. Players will also be able to decide to spend a single action on mining, or to forfeit their movement and devote their entire turn to mining to get more resources.
  • Player space suits will have a “RED ALERT” alarm that will warn the player when they are low on opportunity, and thus need to leave the Hostile Environment. Players will not know how much opportunity is left for most of the encounter, thus still requiring risk-or-reward choices. However, the alarm will help give them some more information to work with in the 11th hour.
  • Increased clarity as to the rolls of the different resources in alchemy will be provided.

Adventres Ahead

Two more playtests with these players are planned, I hope to release more content after that as well. So stay tuned for more updates on Hostile Sun and more fun antics with this loveable cast of space explorers. Remember, Hostile Sun has a Creative Commons SRD license, so feel free to build on and expand the system.

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