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playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition 
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
walkerp wrote:
I really like the mechanic in the StarPers system where you can "sell" your place in the initiative order to buy greater chance of success or to improve the success itself. It seems like it makes a certain amount of common sense, but would be also a fun toy to play with as a player.

This is one of my favorite things about In Harms Way. I'm looking forward to digging into this.

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Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:31 pm
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
While watching the first two episodes of Haven last night with my wife, I snuck a peek at the opening of starCluster 3rd. The spacey font is funky, a tinge hard to read, but since you only use it for headers, it isn't a problem. The layout is clean, but the lack of an intro intro was odd. I mean, maybe it was just me, but you jump right into company info straight off.

I'm sure it will make more sense when I can really read it, last night was just a skim of the fist few pages.

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Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:25 am
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
MountZionRyan wrote:
walkerp wrote:
I really like the mechanic in the StarPers system where you can "sell" your place in the initiative order to buy greater chance of success or to improve the success itself. It seems like it makes a certain amount of common sense, but would be also a fun toy to play with as a player.

This is one of my favorite things about In Harms Way. I'm looking forward to digging into this.


Cool, Ryan! Can't wait for your feedback!

-clash

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Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:01 pm
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
orklord wrote:
While watching the first two episodes of Haven last night with my wife, I snuck a peek at the opening of starCluster 3rd. The spacey font is funky, a tinge hard to read, but since you only use it for headers, it isn't a problem. The layout is clean, but the lack of an intro intro was odd. I mean, maybe it was just me, but you jump right into company info straight off.

I'm sure it will make more sense when I can really read it, last night was just a skim of the fist few pages.


Hmmm - maybe I can cobble something together. I have some stuff from previous editions that explain a lot. With a little editing it should fit. There's also this, which was at the front of the last version - a beautifully evocative piece of writing by Marco Chacon:

Everyone knows about the slow-boats - multi-ton
metal encased habitats hurtling through voids
at speeds that shift their colors into the nearly ultra-violet
shades of doppler-blue. The voids they traveled through
are so vast they might as well have been flies stuck in amber.
Everyone knows about the slow-boats.
Everyone knows that Rome could have risen and fallen
before they found the sanctuary of their distant suns.

And everyone knows about the Diaspora.
Escape. Transition. Exodus.
Humanity exploding like shrapnel across a sea of stars so big
that the center of the galaxy is a hole in space
itself far vaster than the solar-system that birthed us.
Everyone knows about the Exodus.
Everyone knows about leaving The Garden.
It's our oldest story and like any old story it gets told
over and over and over.
Everybody knows.

But then there's the Cluster.
And maybe you *don't* know about the Cluster.
A tiny stain of stars on the expansive fabric of the Milky Way
and the even larger cloth of universe itself.
The Cluster--if every Exodus has its Promised Land,
for some of the fragments of humanity this was it.
And it's yours.

This is the Cluster.
Over a hundred suns
over five hundred worlds

The cluster is an aggregation
of races, species, societies, peoples --
a place bigger than any city,
any nation,
any single *world* you can imagine.
It's teeming with trade. It's bursting with possibilities.
It'll surprise you. And if you take it too lightly, it'll kill you.
But it's everything--
everything those sleepers on their slowboats could've hoped for.

Lucky you. You're there first.


I'm putting that into the beginning of this one as well.

-clash

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Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:50 pm
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
flyingmice wrote:
Hmmm - maybe I can cobble something together. I have some stuff from previous editions that explain a lot. With a little editing it should fit. There's also this, which was at the front of the last version - a beautifully evocative piece of writing by Marco Chacon:
(SNIP)


I really dig that piece, Clash. Thanks for sharing, it NEEDS to be in this version. wow.

OK, I really want to read this now, not in proof mode but in "could I convince my local group to *play* it" mode.

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Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:04 pm
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
orklord wrote:
flyingmice wrote:
Hmmm - maybe I can cobble something together. I have some stuff from previous editions that explain a lot. With a little editing it should fit. There's also this, which was at the front of the last version - a beautifully evocative piece of writing by Marco Chacon:
(SNIP)


I really dig that piece, Clash. Thanks for sharing, it NEEDS to be in this version. wow.

OK, I really want to read this now, not in proof mode but in "could I convince my local group to *play* it" mode.


Awesome, Orklord! I love that piece, and can't believe I forgot to put it in. I think it's inspiring, and I wish I could write half so well as Marco, or design games half so brilliantly.

-clash

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Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:56 pm
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
I wrote this up for the resolution systems - how does is sound?

StarPerc A moderately cinematic mechanic that feels grittier than it actually is. Separate rolls for Quality mean that even the least skilled can potentially do great things.
d% Roll Under TN

StarKarma A diceless mechanic which uses skill+effort to resolve all tasks. There is a sliding scale of effort, allowing you to customize the degree of grittiness.
Randomless

StarNova A mechanic which is very deadly in combat, with an exploding dice aspect which can lead to an extremely high Quality of Success.
D6 Additive Pool roll over TN

StarRisk A mechanic which allows you to not roll and take a poor success automatically, or risk failure and roll with a change of greater success.
D10 Roll Over TN

-clash

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Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:01 pm
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
I just had a three and a half hour discussion over IRC with some beta testers. There are a bunch of changes coming which are very interesting. Dan Potter will be writing an example of play section, which may be needed. I was asked to put in a section about how to play the game, but I am aggressively against designers telling groups how to play, so the Examples of Play will take that place, highlighting some of the more interesting system bits in play. Even that was grudging, but it's as far as I can go. Edges need to be expanded to something like they are in In Harm's Way: StarCluster, the military side of SC3. I'm going to be introducing uses for unskilled PSI - basically now PSI skills are hard to get, which is cool, but this gives people a reason to have PSI points without spending years learning skills which would be incidental to the character. There is going to be a skill limit based on attributes, so you don't have the 150 year old master of all. A boring character to play... :D I've already revamped the intro, including moving the High Tech and Society section front and center, and dropping the boring SaVaHuTa/DC and You bit entirely. People want that, they can pick it all up from the Politics section, and this will give a much better picture of how the Cluster works. Also, you will be able to drop a skill rank in lieu of aging physically. This effectively slows down skill progression without getting complicated.

-clash

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Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:32 pm
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
Clash, those descriptions are great. At first, I was going to suggest going even farther and describing in a sentence how they would make the game feel, but after thinking about it and re-reading them several times, I don't think that is necessary and may possibly be a bit too prescriptive. Seeing your position on designers telling groups how to play further cemented that what you wrote does the job. I think it is just very helpful to have that summary because some players may know right away which one appeals to or interests them the most and they can skip right to that section.

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Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:40 pm
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
walkerp wrote:
Clash, those descriptions are great. At first, I was going to suggest going even farther and describing in a sentence how they would make the game feel, but after thinking about it and re-reading them several times, I don't think that is necessary and may possibly be a bit too prescriptive. Seeing your position on designers telling groups how to play further cemented that what you wrote does the job. I think it is just very helpful to have that summary because some players may know right away which one appeals to or interests them the most and they can skip right to that section.


Thanks, Walker! I think it was a great idea you had, and I wanted to do it right. :D

One of the things I love about the OSR is the DIY attitude. I want to foster that in a game that is otherwise rather far from the old school. Everything in this game is designed to be messed with. There are options and switches all over the place. The multiplier for Constitution is a perfect example. By increasing the multiplier, your game gets more cinematic. By decreasing it, your game gets grittier. You could even have one multiplier for PCs and bosses and another lower one for mooks, for that StarWars feel. It's a simple way to dial your feel, and it won't break the game.

-clash

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Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:00 am
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