Wednesday, February 10, 2016

RM Update #4

Howdy y'all.

I've not accomplished much on the revision front this week. If I'm being honest, I never could have kept up my previous level of productivity. Twas always a dream.

Grading ate a bunch of my writing time...and then XCOM 2 came out: a combination which is equivalent to a figure skater taking a lead pipe to the knees of sweet lady productivity.

But it's not a complete loss. I've pledged not to waste anyone's time with the latest RPPR playtest (though we are having fun). I'm always going to come to the table with something fresh to test. This week, it's the playmats.

Playmats for Red Markets are the definition of emergent play. Providing a physical drop sheet for token tracking the character sheet never occurred to me, but then Jace uploaded his to the forums (see above). Within a week, I had three other playtest groups telling me they were using them. It was a demand the mechanics were making that I'd been deaf to, for some reason. The use of physical tokens such as coins or poker chips seems to really help a certain type of player have fun, and the thematic synergy of literally spending coins on your rolls is just too good to pass up. I made up my own prototypes this morning and we'll give them a shot tomorrow.

I've also made some revisions as well. I've got a hard copy of the Character Creation rules full of annotations, but I've only made it to about page five entering the revisions electronically. This chapter was always going to be a nightmare: multiple sections -- tough spots, derived stats, retirement -- have changed completely due to playtest feedback. It's just short of a front-to-back rewrite of biggest mechanics chapter in the book. The only revision task between here and the KS Beta version that's harder is taming the Negotiation chapter, but that's a subject for another time.

Anyway, back to work. Thanks for keeping updated.


  1. For the second playtest game I ran with one group, I forgot to set out the playmats before we started. The players - even the more tactically minded ones - immediately requested them.

    They are also great for the Market in being able to look around and see who's been worn down most and roughly how many resources are on hand. I'm glad to hear that they are making it into the core game testing.

    I have no idea how difficult this would be from a graphic design standpoint... but for the KS version, maybe there could be "card" versions of the items that can be laid down on the playmat? These would reflect the items being held at that moment.

    If it's not clear, what I'm thinking is similar to the Morphless Eclipse Phase character sheet, where you put down a Morph card in a specific blank spot on the sheet and it's easier to calculate bonuses as a result. (

    1. If the playmats are working with the new version of the game, my plan is to laminate them so that each can be written on with a dry erase marker. Thus, players can label the gear space on the map to reflect what's on the character sheet. A package of them would likely be included as a reward tier in the Kickstarter.

      I'd also include the playmat in the book and the website handouts, so it would be easy to photocopy a bunch of them. If one gets too scratched up with eraser marks from changing gear, grab a new one off the pile.

    2. Sounds great (and simple to work with).

  2. Awesome, looking forward to seeing these. I haven't tried using a playmat for Red Markets yet, but after I saw Jace's post I started using the same idea in a Pathfinder campaign and it's been super helpful for tracking resource pools. I'll definitely want a set of the laminated ones for RM.