Testing has started as earnestly as I can manage to schedule people, what’s perhaps most important in this is the feedback I’ve gotten from the last two sessions. The theme from testers in both groups was simple, “this is the most fun version of Krendel I’ve tried.” What happened? Krendel has seen a couple of notable shifts, even as the core mechanic remains the same. This has hit three main areas.
1) Initiative. The stat and roll are gone. Instead, there’s now a back and forth play that works, even though I got lost a couple of times myself because I kept forgetting that one person or the other had gone. The fights seemed more fluid and organic with PCs also able to be tactical about who goes when. Some 4 iterations were tested of this, and yes, those that know me can guess that the inspiration for it was Battletech; though, I’m sure similar set ups exist elsewhere.
2) Fuel. Very few abilities cost anything to activate anymore beyond time. This was the most cited “fun” change. Less bean counting, but you still have to pick and choose what you were doing. More importantly, players didn’t feel like they had to hold back as much, so they were much more willing to try stuff out. As one player put it, “I felt special.”
3) Health. Characters now have to layers of “life”: Stamina, which heals quickly, and Health, which does not. Health also takes over for Essence in resisting Essence Burden (the cause of mutation). So the weaker you get, the more vulnerable you become. The change has been well received so far.
Predictably, there’s fallout from all this, and ability usage faces an ongoing rebalance as a result.