And now the work begins…

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Sep 232020

The first proper playtest of Duty & Honour v2 has come to an end and now I have a mountainous pile of notes and ideas to wrangle into an actual game text. Gaz, Martin, Andrew, and Guy did an amazing job of not just playing a great game, but also providing great feedback, ideas, and analysis. So much analysis!

But Neil, I hear you cry in my mind’s ear, why does a game that has been out for 12 years need such a rigourous going over? Surely just a lick of paint, some new art, sorting out that Measures issue nonsense, and a quick Kickstarter and you can fund your retirement?

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 Posted by at 6:48 pm

Playtest Session #4: Sacred Cows

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Aug 312020

One of the things that has inadvertently evolved from our playtest campaign is a willingness to really deep dive into the core mechanics and structures of the game and question them. We have already had a long, hard and testing look at the Mission system and worked it into a state where it seems fair, balanced and pays off well. It isn’t radically different from the original, but it does what it is meant to do, better. This session solved one of these questions – skirmishes – and raised another one – skills.

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 Posted by at 8:36 am

Let history be your guide!

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Aug 262020

I have a confession: I have always found writing adventures for Duty & Honour to be a difficult task. I just find it exceptionally difficult to codify onto paper the way I run games as a GM. My table tends to be very collaborative in terms of player input and reactive to elements of the story that emerge in play. So any ‘script’ to follow is rendered almost null and void in the first hour of play as the game careens off into its own trajectory. This has lead me to think long and hard about how to create adventures for the game that reflect the play style that it is designed around whilst also giving GMs a chance to have some structure to follow if they need it.

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 Posted by at 10:05 am

Playtest Session #3: It Gets Personal

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Aug 202020

It’s the mix of military and personal missions that makes this game tick. One minute you’re trying to get your neck out from under the boot of a Portuguese crime lord (and replace it with your rival’s), the next you’re being held at gunpoint as a skirmish rages.

Martin Lloyd aka Volunteer Gentlemen John Lace

This week’s playtest was more of a normal session really – we’re testing a new format for missions to see how it feels upon completion and have started to look at the regiment rules and spitballing ways that they could be improved to make the Regiment (and moreover, the Company) more relevant to the game. I think this is one of the areas where D&H needs to get into step with more modern games ideas – whereas in the past just having a few pre-defined NPCs was innovative, now things like a Blades in the Dark crew mechanic are common place.

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 Posted by at 8:12 am

Playtest Session #2: A Matter of Odds

 Duty & Honour v2  Comments Off on Playtest Session #2: A Matter of Odds
Aug 122020

Last night’s session went very well indeed, with a lot of the rules questions being ironed out and only a few clarifications needed (see below). The real talking point of the session was powered by some amazing playtester work on probabilities earlier in the week and a deep discussion on the implications of the smaller hand sizes on Mission design.

You see, they failed the mission.

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 Posted by at 9:55 pm