By: Earle | September 28, 2018

Dwarves with Swords is in a place where it still needs a few tweaks to be really great. I talked last week about implementing a single-player option and a campaign mode, and that might be all it needs, but I think there is also room to streamline the combat system in the process.

Rolling tons and tons of dice and then comparing them in ascending order is a cool concept that brings out some good incentives for stacking a certain stat over another, but it has a non-trivial physical limitation of requiring a lot of actual dice on-hand to play. This is one of several small barriers to entry that I am looking very hard at to eliminate from the game. They all add up to make the game much harder to get into than it should be for a new player, which at the moment is everyone.

Looking specifically at the combat dice-rolling, the most simplistic version would be to cut down the number of dice to 1 per roll with a possible stat modifier from the Group’s base attribute. This is something that I want to playtest, but my gut feeling is that it’s too shallow of a mechanism to be repeatably engaging.

The other part of the game that is less intuitive than it could be is the Action cards. Right now, they are just reference cards that don’t need to be played or interacted with at all, if you already know what they do. It’s still handy to keep them around to refresh your memory or clarify a particularly weird interaction, but again they aren’t super engaging as-is. The answer to this is to make it more complex by adding a consumable aspect, which I’m hesitant to do for new players.

Overall, there is still much playtesting to be done, and tons of cool concepts to explore with the game. If you’re interested in helping us make Dwarves with Swords the best it possibly can be, e-mail me: I'll even buy you a beer!

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