Sunday, October 14, 2012

Volant, Chargen, and the Cards

Tonight we set up for the third - and last - phase of the Volant Alpha playtest. We created the home nation, created the association, then began character generation. Normal chargen in Volant is extremely fast - consisting as it does of stacking templates, and incidentally creating a lifepath as you go. This time we were using the cards to mess with each others' character!

I explained the cards before. - draw five cards, play a club to prevent a character from taking a template, play a heart to force the character to take a specific template, play a spade to force all players to give the character to the player on the right, play a diamond to stop any other card provided it is of higher value - and we were making three troupe style characters each.

The first was a scrounger - a character who goes to the surface to find treasure or alchemical ingredients and such - of around 34 years old. We played with the option of taking one card from the deck whenever we used the last card. Action was furious for over two hours. We had to reshuffle the deck twice, and characters went around the circle at least three times. coincidentally we all ended up with the characters we started with. Some of us found it vastly entertaining, others not so much, but all agreed the single last card should be the most profligate option, and I dropped plans for an option where you kept your five card hand full at all times. That would have lasted forever!

Instead, for the ~24 year old sailors we used a five card hand with no redraws. This proved simpler and far quicker. The ~50 year old Officers we created without the cards, and this proved fastest of all.

One of the players came up with another option. Include the Jokers in the deck, which may be used at any time. use of the joker ,means the player collects all the player sheets face down, scrambles them up, and the players roll off to pick. Highest picks first, then picks go clockwise around the table. We all loved the chaos that would entail!


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