It’s been a less than stellar week for By The Stars. Due to real life stesses on many people’s parts, there was no playtest this past weekend. Carl and Bill came over and we discussed a possible turn structure, why it might work, and how it might be set up. We’ll try again on June 10.
Since then, I haven’t had much time or brainspace to devote to BTS. The skeletal turn structure looks like this:
1) Opening turn, everyone starts with all their own Resource cards. They must hand out 5 of each Resource (10 total) to at least 4 different people. This will be broken into 4 turns. No player may receive more than 10 cards (We’ll mark that with poker chips or something). But you don’t just hand people cards–you explain why that character has influence over you. Thus, we build backstory right at the beginning.
2) On a regular turn, all the players will pair up for their conflicts. Normally, it’ll be whoever made the biggest bid last turn that picks their fight first, but on the first turn it’s random. They’ll negotiate spoils and set up their conflict simultaneously. Once everyone has figured out their bid, each pair takes a turn making their bid, describing their conflict, and resolving their cards in front of the entire group. This will allow everyone to know what’s going on in the game fiction.
This also opens up possibilities for helping. Players might be able to bid their own cards to help someone else’s conflict (and describe how, of course). But I’ve not yet settled on what they get in return mechanically. Plus, that opens a whole new level of complexity–Where do helping cards go?
So, progress is slow, but the moon wasn’t built in a day!