Today I conducted the second playtest for Frontiers, the storytelling game I recently mentioned.

In this iteration, I added a special, initial adventure phase which focuses on establishing how the crew came to join up and exploring the initial world they’re leaving. In practice, this led to us having a better grasp of the character motivations and the internal logic of the world they inhabit.

My biggest change with this iteration was shortening the adventure phase to generating a few key points rather than telling a 5 - 10 minute story. The steps are now:

  1. What is the inciting incident?
  2. What is the Resolution?
  3. How does this affect the characters and the worlds?

The first two are written on the adventure card and the third point is answered by altering other cards on the table. For example, adding a key item gained onto the crew card or adding a newly established character trait to that card.

I like the streamlined and better structured form of this setup but we found one major drawback. We spent a good bit of time building up this new location but the time (in real-time minutes) spent in it was too short. We weren’t ready to leave. Ultimately, the solution can be extending the adventure phase or just making it easier to have multiple adventures in each location. This is definitely something I’ll test in the next iteration.