Last week I had the chance to conduct some hands on tests. We had an hour at our disposal to create some Michtim heroes for the upcoming session. It turned out there were some misunderstandings regarding Emotion ratings and Principles. I’ll summarize in which regards the Revised Michtim RPG Character Sheet now solves these problems.
Emotion Icon and Rating Indicators are now separate. This has been a known issue for quite a while. From the designer’s perspective there was no problem (because I had knowledge). Testing was able to show a failure rate of nearly 100%. So now I’ve moved the Emotion Icon out of the dice-shaped Rating Indicators. This should clarify things drastically. I also took the time to redesign the text box area. I still have to find a suitable font for the Emotion though.
Affiliation and Body Type as Icons. This serves several purposes:
- Icons look better than text. At least I hope so!
- Body Type works well visually. It removes the limitation of linking the look of the character too closely with the tribe. There should be no problem to play a Greyling (cogs) with a Turnayan body type (smallish & ball-shaped).
- I do not want to over-emphasize heritage. If a game suggests that people who look like X can only be Y this is clearly an outdated point of view (Physiognomy, or racism).
- Icons take up less space. This is an important consideration. I wanted to change the previous system for Principles and how Status is figured out, but this follows shortly.
- Selecting something is easier than filling it in. Mentally at least. There is the possibility of misunderstanding though. “What? I am affiliated with a leaf? With a muffin? What?” But these problems are at least not more severe than not knowing what to put on that blank line.
Attuned Callings & Aspects are much smaller now. The information on the character sheet is mostly whether a player has bought the additional slots or not. There is no reason to waste a lot of space on that information. The current solution also allows players to fill in Aspects/Callings if they want to, although Aspect Cards are used in the final version anyway.
Goals and Complications instead of Principles. The game rewards players who follow their goals and complications with Karma. In the previous version I tried providing several guiding principles for each faction to choose from. I wanted the selection to depend on Tribe Affiliation and personal ideals, but it was just awkward. The current solution examines a different approach.
- Personal Goal to help characters stand out. It can be influenced by where they come from, where they want to go or anything that suits their mind. A Greyling might even consider protecting nature to be a worthwhile goal to pursue.
- Gang Goal to help players fit in. This goal is decided upon by the players. If they make a significant step to fulfill it, they will all be rewarded for it. This should help player groups to reduce friction. Let’s hope so!
- Complications to provide drama/comedy opportunities. Players pick characteristic weaknesses to use during play. If the Complication comes into conflict with the Michtim’s goals and causes problems, the player is rewarded with Karma.
Ultima Techs to customize the character. These will be used to introduce areas of expertise. They can also be used to redeem a low Emotion rating in case you still want to score high in special situations. Ultima Techs have to be provided by the player and extend the use of existing Actions/Aspects. The player will get 1-3 bonus dice depending on the level bought. Here’s the catch: to use the Ultima Tech, the player has to spend Karma (which is usually limited to 1-5 per session).
German-language version for German-speaking players. Yeah, it should be obvious, but I underestimated the language barrier problem. So now there is a German version of the Michtim RPG Character Sheet (including the basic rule help next to the Emotions).