Game Chef 2011 – Another Review

From Benjamin Branson

The worldbuild for Daughters of Exile is magnificent. I love the space opera setting and the feminist perspective; it reads a lot back into Shakespeare’s work in a clever, evocative way. The art and design is gorgeous as well. I have no idea how you did this in a week.

The most notable areas for refinement are the mechanics. I couldn’t figure out what some of the Curses and Blessings meant: “Learned” is pretty clear, but “Lithe”? Similarly, it wasn’t clear to me how using a virtue could help adjudicate between daughters in case of a conflict. It might help to choose more specific Curses and Blessings for the characters with which people are going to be less familiar; even if we don’t know what Katharine’s virtues mean, we know who Katharine is. Also, though I can see why you didn’t have space here, including a sample game would go a long way toward elucidating what kind of situations might require checks, how checks work, and what sort of role the GM plays in establishing conflicts and stakes for the characters.

Lastly, the “fey” and the “gods” could use a little more explanation: I couldn’t tell what kind of entities they might be.

I think the kinds of stories you can tell in this world are great, and with a little more structure, you’ll have something exceptional. As it is, I’d be excited to play this game.

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3 thoughts on “Game Chef 2011 – Another Review

  1. This is a really nice review. I’ve often thought that my Campaign Toybox columns on RPGnet would make a lot of good little rpgs and since a lot of the world building for this felt like the same process, it’s great to see that I might be right. My worlds ARE interesting (which is good to know, because almost nobody reads my column).

    Most of the problems here occurred because I ran out of word-count (to expand on the Fey and the Gods, and to explain more on how Curses and Blessings work) and time (to write a sample of play). I didn’t even have enough words to explain that you should roll three separate d20s for your name, your Blessing and your Curse, not just once and read across the table. And yeah, I had a lot more about the world. 3000 words is just not enough, I say again!

    I guess this is what the supplements are for…

  2. ah yes, regarding the 3d20 for each column. Do not worry; it was obvious. You are not expected to explain what an RPG is within the 3000 words, either. Come on. Everybody gamer guessed you had more combinations for your characters if you didn’t take all the items in the same line. >:-)

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