Archive for Blog

Beta Playtest Underway!!!

It’s been a long few months of editing since the Alpha playtest, the day has finally come, and it’s time for the BETA playtest! For this version of the playtest we’ll be having our Rules Lawyer run the game, and the Writer will play, along with the Combat Monkey, and the Old Guard Gamer, and the ROLEplayer. Our Newbie unfortunately had a scheduling conflict, so we’re down a man… but we’re off!!!!

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Hey! Listen!

While Pyron has a skill that allows characters to move stealthily (Evasion), there is no dedicated spot/listen/perception skill. Instead, characters use their Cunning attribute in order to determine where hidden enemies are located. This design decision was made for two major reasons. The first is that it means that all characters have a chance to hunt down hidden enemies, even if they haven’t invested heavily in a skill. The second is that, despite this, characters with high ranks of Evasion will generally have the edge when paired against those hunting them.

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What about the Traditional “Gamers?”

We focus a lot on making sure that our setting is equal for everyone. Because we write from an American standpoint, being Americans ourselves, this involves improving the situation of the groups of people that are not at the top of the social food chain in American society. So, we write about how women, transgendered individuals, people of different skin colours, and people of various romantic and sexual inclinations, are all at the top of the chain now. What we haven’t done, however, is lower the dominant groups of the real world; we chose to uplift everyone to the same level, without a similar lowering for dominant groups.

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Crit… Doesn’t Happen, Actually

Early in the development of the Seref System we made the decision that we weren’t going to include automatic successes or critical failures as part of the rules. For a time we allowed automatic successes when play testers rolled a one on skill checks, but this became incredibly muddied when two players each rolled a one in opposed checks. Because we use a D10 system, it’s pretty easy to roll a one, or a ten, moreso than with a D20, where it’s still annoyingly common to see fighters accidentally fling their swords across the room. So rather than have a one in ten chance of humiliating failure, or automatic success that couldn’t be stopped nine times out of ten, we chose to write them out of the game altogether.

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Magic before the Magi

Magic didn’t come out of a vacuum in Pyron. The Magi of Myraea were not the first to discover it, but rather were the first to codify it into a sort of science. Prior to the rise of the Magi, magic was practiced by humans in an intuitive and largely accidental way. Some individuals, with strong enough minds, were able to shape mana without realizing what they were doing. Often these basic spells, crude as they were, were lauded as miracles and gifts granted by the gods. There was no method for casting spells, no safety precautions, no understanding of how magic functioned, and no reliable way to transmit knowledge regarding magic to a new generation of casters.

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