Nov 7, 2013

Tiny d10 – My First Playtest

Babbling at the Counter #15.5 – Pen and Paper / Tiny d10 Playtest

Tiny d10 – My First Playtest

What’s Tiny d10? Well, it’s a free RPG system that’s in its early stages of development. As such, its author is asking for some feedback about what’s been published so far.

As the game is “Absolutely free… forever”, it’s right up the Warehouse’s alley. I, as the Storeman, had to give it a try. So here are my impressions with the system, after testing it with a friend.

Note: This isn’t a weekly review because the game is not complete yet, but it’s actually playable. If you give it a spin, please let the author know your opinion, so the game can continue growing and improving.

Tiny d10

Core Rules: The rules are well-written and are easy to understand and follow. They are simple right now, but I expect to see more specific rules when the Setting Supplements are published.

Character Creation: It’s fast and simple. Once you get it, it takes a minute to create your character. You have four stats, and between them they cover every kind of action: Power (physical strength), Reflex (quick feet and readiness), Intelligence (mental ability and knowledge) and Aspect (social skills). You choose what you are great at (+3), good at (+2) and the rest gets +1. There will be character classes, but they are incomplete right now. As my player didn’t used the special abilities we made (following the guidelines on the site), I can’t say how they would have worked.

Conflict Resolution: Here’s where I fell in love with this system: single d10 + Stat + Skill (if you have a useful one in the situation). The target numbers used are 6, 8 and 10, and they work great. You easily know which stat to use and then creating a difficulty is fast, too. Combat is treated exactly the same way (redundancy in rules is good design, as it helps learning and remembering them).
The game offered a lot of creative freedom. My job as GM was very relaxed. It was obvious which stat we should use and it was better to play to your strengths, but the character wasn’t crippled if he tried something weird.

The Luck System: This is one of the weakest points of the system. I loved the idea “ask for something and see if the dice give it to you” but, as the chances of luck actually happening were so low (1 in 10), there was no suspense. When he used his luck ability, neither one of us was expecting it to succeed. And it didn’t.
I’d rather give players a more direct control over the narrative, like “Destiny points” or “Plot points” if you’d like. Something to “spend” to catch a break instead of a gamble that will most surely fail.

Action Points: Something like this (read Luck System if you skipped the paragraph and have no idea what I’m talking about). Action Points can be spent to increase your odds of success on any given throw. They are simple and nice. I just would offer the chance to use them as “plot tools” instead of relaying on the separate Luck Mechanic.
One unexpected twist here is that your Action Points come from the same pool that your Health Points. At character creation you have 10 points to split between the two. It’s not a bad twist, though. I see it as having two polar opposites: a lucky bastard that can make explosive moves but goes down with one hit; or a tank that plays it safe. You can make anything in between, favoring Action or Health, or maybe looking for a balance between the two. It’s new and unusual, but in a good way.

Bottom Line: I enjoyed Tiny d10 and plan on playing more of it. It’s the kind of simple game we look for here in the Warehouse. It gives both players and GM freedom to work with, and its rules are explicit enough that no one feels cheated.

I can’t wait to see more from it, and you can expect to see more here. I’ll try to keep you updated, but don’t forget to check the official site, too.

- The Storeman

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Firstly, let me say, thank you so much for reviewing TD10. It means a lot to have to support of another RPG blogger.

    Now, to the review: Simply amazing. Comprehensive, insightful, and very helpful. I fully intend to adjust that Luck mechanic to be more suspenseful... and useful.

    I can't express how constructive this review has been. Well, I suppose I could, but then I'd be wasting valuable time that could otherwise be spent on improving TD10!

    Thanks again, and I look forward to more input from you!