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About Digital Art / Hobbyist Frank PerrinMale/Canada Group :iconodd-and-peculiar: Odd-and-Peculiar
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Belle At The Drugstore by frankperrin Belle At The Drugstore :iconfrankperrin:frankperrin 22 5 Katt the Warlock by frankperrin Katt the Warlock :iconfrankperrin:frankperrin 26 4 Erendil the bard by frankperrin Erendil the bard :iconfrankperrin:frankperrin 6 0 Rassaad the monk by frankperrin Rassaad the monk :iconfrankperrin:frankperrin 3 0 Lady Taking A Short Rest by frankperrin Lady Taking A Short Rest :iconfrankperrin:frankperrin 11 5 Lady In The Dark by frankperrin Lady In The Dark :iconfrankperrin:frankperrin 12 4 Raven by frankperrin Raven :iconfrankperrin:frankperrin 29 5 Rolling Head P02 Ink by frankperrin Rolling Head P02 Ink :iconfrankperrin:frankperrin 10 3 Jungle Perils by frankperrin Jungle Perils :iconfrankperrin:frankperrin 10 5 What A View by frankperrin What A View :iconfrankperrin:frankperrin 19 5 Rolling Head P02 Sketch by frankperrin Rolling Head P02 Sketch :iconfrankperrin:frankperrin 9 1 Rolling Head P01 Ink by frankperrin Rolling Head P01 Ink :iconfrankperrin:frankperrin 10 3 2018-01-19 Stream Sketches by frankperrin 2018-01-19 Stream Sketches :iconfrankperrin:frankperrin 19 8 Long day at the office by frankperrin Long day at the office :iconfrankperrin:frankperrin 40 13 Venwynn by frankperrin Venwynn :iconfrankperrin:frankperrin 5 3 DnD character: Tom by frankperrin DnD character: Tom :iconfrankperrin:frankperrin 7 3


Heroes of Newerth by Rodrigo-Vega Heroes of Newerth :iconrodrigo-vega:Rodrigo-Vega 299 33 Morriva by GreyOfPTA Morriva :icongreyofpta:GreyOfPTA 31 4 Chun-Li by rogercruz Chun-Li :iconrogercruz:rogercruz 277 13 RPG location cards by hangemhigh13 RPG location cards :iconhangemhigh13:hangemhigh13 144 7 Ron by AngusBurgers Ron :iconangusburgers:AngusBurgers 60 14 Welcome to Robo-City 16 (Color Version) by f1x-2 Welcome to Robo-City 16 (Color Version) :iconf1x-2:f1x-2 1,997 207 How to draw INTERIORS tutorial by STUDIOBLINKTWICE How to draw INTERIORS tutorial :iconstudioblinktwice:STUDIOBLINKTWICE 601 13 Innsmouth preview by Deimos-Remus Innsmouth preview :icondeimos-remus:Deimos-Remus 342 45 KILLERS by RM73 KILLERS :iconrm73:RM73 9,190 628 Monster planet by MetalSnail Monster planet :iconmetalsnail:MetalSnail 19 19 How to draw FOREGROUND MIDGROUND BACKGROUND by STUDIOBLINKTWICE How to draw FOREGROUND MIDGROUND BACKGROUND :iconstudioblinktwice:STUDIOBLINKTWICE 1,017 45 Shadowrun All-Stars by Lord-Of-The-Guns Shadowrun All-Stars :iconlord-of-the-guns:Lord-Of-The-Guns 215 31 Beyond Human - Muse by Mr--Einikis Beyond Human - Muse :iconmr--einikis:Mr--Einikis 110 9 witch commish by jpfederhenn witch commish :iconjpfederhenn:jpfederhenn 249 5 mix INSTAGRAM 03oct 2016 by rogercruz mix INSTAGRAM 03oct 2016 :iconrogercruz:rogercruz 228 9 MG-Centaur by lori-gami MG-Centaur :iconlori-gami:lori-gami 308 10

(Warning: This entry is very game mechanics-centric, so I apologize for those who were hoping for more information on the setting and story. I’ll cover that in a later post.)

So I have gone through a couple of play-tests for my Peculiar Tales RPG and it has been a very productive and enlightening endeavour. I'm going to try and share my findings.

For those who aren't in the loop, Peculiar Tales (PT) is set in a 1920s fantasy world with Decopunk influences. Players take on the role of intrepid adventurers and investigators who take it upon themselves to probe the mysteries of the world.

The game mechanics themselves are light and simple. I did not want to make an overly complex game like newer editions of Dungeons and dragons or Shadowrun, preferring instead the rules-lite approach adopted by many indie writers. The main difference is that PT uses standard playing cards instead of dice. This allows me to add some fun effects with card suits and jokers.

Now onto my findings:

1- The meta-game experience

There’s a world of difference between how the game plays out in your head and how it plays out in practice.

In my original play-test version, players had a hand of cards for resolving tasks. As I was writing the rules, I imagined it being a fairly straightforward affair: choose which cards to play and tally up the total; the higher, the better. Instead, what I found out was that each task was bogged down by the players strategizing over which cards to play. It had all been due to little variations on the rules I had introduced: play the right card suit to gain a bonus, play face cards to replenish your hand, play the right number to score a critical success.

On their own, the rules were innocent enough, but added together and with clever players, it became obvious that it was too much to make for a smooth process.

Lesson learned: The number of variations on any given application of a rule will exponentially increase the amount of time needed to accomplish said task.

2- The paradox of choice

Related to the above, I couldn’t help but remember the paradox of choice. It’s a concept that’s very common in UX Design to the point of being a mantra to some. Essentially the more choice you give a user (or player), the longer and harder it will be to make a decision. There were too many factors to consider when resolving tasks, so it ruined momentum.

Now, having lots of choices can be fun, but you have to pick your battles. Choosing from a list of special abilities while you’re creating your character is fun, but having too many choices on how to accomplish a simple task because certain combination of cards give better results just slows everything down for no reason and ruins the drama.

Lesson learned: If you want to heighten the tension, limit and simplify choices.

3- Variations on core mechanics

There’s this extra rule in the game for high-stakes threats, be they people, things or events. When the characters are acting around a threat, there would be passive effects in place. The biggest effect was that face cards were worth fewer points than normal.

The problem, however, is that everyone kept forgetting about it. The threat rule modified the firmly established core mechanic of the game, so you needed to break an established habit to make it work. It was awkward.

Lesson learned: Try not to mess with core rules. Instead, it’s safer to have add-on or secondary rules that elegantly (but obviously) come into play at easy-to-recognize moments.

Next steps

So this has been a sort of negative recap, but the play-test was incredibly helpful! I’ve adjusted the rules and, moving forward, expect the next play-test to run much more smoothly.

  • Listening to: Old Tower
  • Reading: Horn Crown
  • Playing: Fallout 4
  • Drinking: Coffee


Last Saturday's play-test went great! Got lots of useful information and I will be making changes to the rules system for the next play-test. I'm going to be writing up a little "lessons learned" entry soon. Stay tuned!
Still on track for the first PT playtest this weekend. The premise? The players are asked to investigate the disappearance of ancient elven artifacts from the Clockwork City museum of History. 

What nefarious shenanigans are afoot? Stay tuned!
First playtest of the Peculiar Tales role-playing game will take place on March 24th. This is my first time testing the nearly complete rules. I will be sure to write you all about it once testing is done!
Interesting roleplaying game design discovery: Once your rules are nicely laid out, expect to have to gut them once you start thinking character creation. 


frankperrin's Profile Picture
Frank Perrin
Artist | Hobbyist | Digital Art
I'll think of something eventually...


Add a Comment:
Thomario2 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Great art, I really like your style ^^
frankperrin Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks very much!
AuPlauSe Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2018  Student Artist
Will you do another stream later on?
frankperrin Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've been doing a lot of writing for my role-playing game lately, which doesn't make for very exciting streams. I'll see if I can make time for a stream soon. 
AuPlauSe Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2018  Student Artist
Okay. Take your time.
animatronic-adamai Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018
hello again good sir!
frankperrin Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good day
animatronic-adamai Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018
I'd like to know would it be okay if I wrote stories of your Bob the female once male goblin. was that their species?
frankperrin Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sounds cool, as long as you credit the original creator of the character. ;)

If you like, you can send me a note of what you had in mind and we can discuss it.

And yeah, Bob is a goblin.
(1 Reply)
SiwySzczur Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2018
Nice gallery:)
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