I managed another playtest this past weekend, and was able to incorporate elements of the setting I've been working on. There was some pretty good feedback on both the system and the setting, and I made a few discoveries along the way:
- The average target number for non-opposed test is way low. Players were able to easily overcome these tests, and I had to adjust on the fly.
- Good news is that the system was able to compensate quite easily, and I was able to input the new adjusted target numbers with ease.
- Huge difference between having a skill, and not having a skill. Seems like a no-brainer, but it really showed in the rolls. Even a single rank was enough to really differentiate between the haves and have nots.
- Not having a skill for an opposed roll was killer. The system incurs a -2D penalty when attempting an unskilled roll. Really punished the players for not having a skill.
- The system can be pretty gritty, in its current incarnation. Getting shot or stabbed really hurts a character. Go figure. :P
- Emphasis on specialized skills is a benefit, and possible hindrance.
Overall, I believe that the potential remains for the system to be utilized as a universal game system, with options to adjust for any setting the GM wishes to use. I intend to test this out with another playtest, using a completely different genre and theme. There are mechanics that allow for more pulp, over the top game play, but I'm undecided if I want to include it as the default, or not.
Another thought I had was what setting would be the initial "Selling Point". I have a few that I'm working on, and there's one that I had a hand in creating that could be easily converted. I know it's a long way off, but it's something that may influence how the system develops. Right now everything is vanilla; there are no setting specific rules, equipment, races, etc. I'd like to go the route of including setting specific rules in each new setting book, but I'd also like to have a free setting when you purchase the core rules.
I'm slowly inching towards a full blown playtest document, so stay tuned if you're interested in participating. I can't say if it will be sooner rather than later, but it is on the way!