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RPG» Forums » General Discussion » RPG Design

Subject: Historical Hobo PbtA game - Feedback & advice welcome rss

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Jonah Lemkins
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Hi all! I'm working on my first polished and professional game. It's about young adult hobos during the Great Depression who traveled the USA via freight trains.

Since this is my first legit big project, any advice y'all could offer in regards to getting word out that it exists would be super helpful.

I'd also be willing to show it to you if you care to take a look. I honestly don't know how open I should be with publicly showing a semi-finished product.

Thanks in advance!
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Chuck Dee
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Well, the first step might be posting a link to it here so that people might read it and get excited about it and/or give useful feedback...
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Jonah Lemkins
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Sorry about that. Please take a look.

This is the game.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vHqDj68ovtzZzY-hspH97wYQ...

And this is the character sheet.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hONDo9tAdxXV1lZwAdXxIctW...
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Caroline Berg
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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I love the Hobo signs part, and I was hoping you would make them a part of your game.

But I don't like at all how the first part of them are set up! You can reference "as seen on page 3" but ALSO put the symbol there in the appendix. It's far easier to have them all in one place for easy reference than to flip back and forth throughout the book.
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Clark Timmins
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So stop your cheap comment, 'Cause we know what we feel...
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Freight Riders
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Jonah Lemkins
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Thanks for making the game page! I'm still new to this site's interface.
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Jonah Lemkins
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In hindsight, I completely agree. Would it be less distracting and make more sense if they were only in the appendix?
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Caroline Berg
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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jonahlem wrote:
In hindsight, I completely agree. Would it be less distracting and make more sense if they were only in the appendix?

I like that the images are at the bottom of each page... but I'd also like the images in the appendix.

As a use case:

If I was running this at a table, as a GM I'd want the images all in one place, because during prep for the game I'd create cards with certain symbols drawn on them ready to hand out to the players as they scout around towns in-game.

And I'm sure the players receiving said cards during the game would want the images in an easy-to-check appendix so they don't have to hunt through the rules to know what that delightful cat means... or the triangle with two raised arms meaning dangerous man inside!
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Chuck Dee
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I was going to come back to this and realized that the Google Docs are now protected. Is this intentional?
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Jonah Lemkins
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Oops sorry, I was making a copy of the doc. I totally forgot to turn sharing back on. Gimme a sec.
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Jonah Lemkins
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Should be up again. Sorry about that.
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Chuck Dee
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Just a second on the idea that the images at the bottom of the pages shouldn't be removed, but replicated in the appendix in an easily accessible reference. (I see in the latest version that you've done this)

You might want to include a blurb on gender and race and how you see them playing out in the game, akin to how you've done with violence.

Some of the moves (because you start with only one) are not really enough IMO to differentiate the characters as you've called out. I'd take a look at them and make sure that taking them really differentiates the character. Perhaps make primary moves for character creation and the secondary only come in during advancement?
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Jonah Lemkins
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Having "A Note on Gender and Race" is an excellent idea. Thank you!

As for the character moves, I see where you're coming from. Some of them are definitely not as defining for a character as others. I personally don't want to limit players to a set for character creation and then the rest for advancement. That feels like something the GM can choose to use if they want.

I think I overstate how much the character moves will differentiate characters at character creation. The main thing that will differentiate people will be their reason for leaving home, which could give them traits, as well as the nature of their bonds to the others.
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Jonah Lemkins
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I'm thinking about including more pictures throughout the book. I think there's just a little too much space that's just text. Am I alone on this one?
 
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