Our brave heroes fighting the warlock, his minions and what’s left of his brick dragon

Oh hai, internetz. Despite the abysmal lack of updates on this here blog, Brickworlds is still alive. The alpha rules have been delivered to the donors in time, and the game has even attracted some interest from the fine folks at the French RPG Federation, (yes, we do have an RPG Federation).

We had another session with my 9-year old alpha tester. Highlights were zombie and skeleton pirates, an evil undead warlock on a dragon and some very creative building. This time there were two characters – Rizzo the Cowardly Explorer and Reverence the Smily Child Comedian which helped with testing the conflict resolution system. In the end, Reverence even called his father and brother (who happens to be Jax the Smily Army Captain from our first session) for reinforcements, so we had an epic finale featuring seven minifigs and a brick boss.

While a lot of fun was had by all, the rules kind of got in the way of the story. I thought kids loved rolling dice, but there’s a limit I reached during the last fight – I could see Sean’s eyes glaze over when I asked for yet another roll. He was much more interested in narrating how his pet snake was sneaking behind the warlord to poison him.

Technically speaking, I realised health points and Tunnels & Trolls style rolls have a tendency to drag out fights. Too many bleeding rolls! Also, having to summarize how many dice are rolled every time (« one for you, one because you’re a stormtrooper, one for your blaster… ») makes it hard for a child  to roll by himself.

I had some suggestions from FFJdR’s Thomas Laborey and I might drop the dice altogether. Or just keep one for the group (this would also make the game more accessible, as you wouldn’t have to buy a Lego boardgame). We’ll see when I have some quiet game design time.

(I could ask for your thoughts on the dice vs diceless question, but nobody ever comments on my posts, so I wont ;)

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4 Replies to “Rules changes ahoy!

  1. You hurt my feelings!

    About the dice: why not get rid of the math altogether and go straight to the part where you decide about the difficulty level?

    Also, about the child part, I would suggest getting more in touch with the dice as physical toys. E.g. only ever throw one die, but get two or three different dice of different sizes. If you are a stormtrooper with a blaster, maybe you get to roll a twelve-sided die. If you are Luke Skywalker, maybe you roll the d20.

  2. Thanks for the feedback, Cyril!

    What exactly to you mean, « decide about the difficulty level »?

    I like the idea of the different dice types. It’d be easy to figure out without a character sheet:

    Default roll = d8
    Appropriate job or item = d10
    Appropriate job and item OR two items = d12
    Appropriate job and two items = d20

    And we keep the customisable d6 for something else, preferably narration related.

    I’ll have to think about this…

  3. Well, I mean, instead of making a savant calculation of bonuses and minuses, just put your finger into your nose, raise it and spit out a number for the difficulty level. Just like that.

    About the dice, I would say physical size matters, too. If you plan to create custom dice, what about trying to propose small d8, normal d10, big d12 and huge d20? That is very visual and children should understand instantly the relative importance of each type.

  4. By custom dice, I meant the Lego dice, the ones with stick-on sides. But if I go the polyhedral way, I like the idea of increasing sizes. I must have all I need in my dice box as well…

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