Live Action Report - DOOM RPG v0.666 playtest

After quite a bit of time designing DOOM RPG in the closed echo chamber, I have finally put this early phase through a much needed field test. The results were nothing short of groundbreaking with every single player standing around the table, too amped up to sit still. for record, we used a converted version of Colossus of the Shattered Moon as our test adventure.

First and foremost, our playtest proved the viability of the concept. DOOM RPG right here right now is a fun, action-packed, nightmare of explosions. It's a game That I would play repeatedly and enjoy it every time. It's something that I created and can be proud of.

Detailing all of the minutia seems rather pointless. Telling you of the old rules that got tossed, new rules that were introduced, and the revelations that came through actual play is meaningless as you, the reader, have no standard with which to compare. What I do want to write about today are a few glimpses into game mechanics that have proven to be indispensable to the aesthetic of DOOM RPG.

Firing Arc

Character facing, what DOOM RPG refers to as Firing Arc, is at the heart of its fast-paced, tactical combat system. This element forms the kernel with which we empower the players with the means to defeat their enemies. Combat in this game is not a drawn out slog. It is not a fair fight, it is not a test of character sheet building, nor is it at all predictable. The tide of battle crawls across a razor edge, with the Marines achieving devastating victory over their enemies, yet never for one moment feeling safe. They do this by the superior tactical skills of the players turning their Marines' Firing Arcs to the exact right direction at the exact right time. Gameplay feels like a panic, constantly running, dancing behind cover and out of sight of your enemies, reappearing to make a critical shot and plant a bullet in some fucked up demon's forehead.

Knee Deep In The Dead

The carnage of battle grows around the Marines as they blast their way through the unending hordes of Hell. Walls are painted red with blood and floors slick with gore. After each creature dies, it leaves behind a corpse, creating a square of Difficult Terrain. As the bodies pile up, the Marines find it harder and harder to get into position or to get themselves out of the enemies' sights. As the fight wears on, it gets more challenging by increasing the difficulty for the Marines to stay alive. Speed and mobility mean life. Slowing down spells certain death.

The final battle with the Cyber Demon Lich Lord.

Steven's Orange Marine gets ready to smash the Cyber Demon with a shot from his BFG9000 at point blank range.

A pack of slavering demons are herded through a narrow chokepoint turned killing field.

Par for each adventure is an indication of expected number of dead Marines. We were a bit disappointed with only 6 and decided that the Cyber Demon needs to increase its lethality by quite a bit.

Everything splayed out in a chaotic mess.

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