Here’s the final session of Cosmic Zap, playtest epic #1! I’d intended to append it to the previous post in the comments, but then again, it’d be good to see a complete retrospective on the whole thing here.
The good news: it worked, and cognitively, procedurally speaking, there’s an actual game here. Further playtesting is now refinement, a relatively minor task, and then the big task, how to present it for maximum understanding and inspiration. That latter is currently totally from scratch.
We’ve also come through the hardest part, which is observable in that this whole time, play itself was exhausting, procedurally. In this session, even eight sessions in, the learning curve displayed its most aggravating inflection point, when everyone understood just enough to impose irrelevant options and inaccurate rules invocations. I love you guys, but out of pity for the audience, I clipped out about 40 minutes of separate approximately 55-second snips that were all (i) pushing buttons almost at random and (ii) misunderstanding which button just got pushed. Fortunately that’s never going to have to happen again, and also fortunately, the system seems robust enough to withstand it.
As for what happened? Remember my big criticism that the new Hero Wars risks falling into the Fate problem (presaged by DC Heroes), that the dice are a boring middle-out coin-flip which is utterly managed by Hero Points anyway? That’s been solved. Watch this one carefully: the dice speak, boy, girl, and other, they speak loud.