Danger Patrol Alpha Playtest

Monday, July 06, 2009

The time has come. The time... for DANGER.

Danger Patrol is a retro sci-fi action/adventure game designed for fast play with no prep. Grab the alpha playtest PDF and have a go at making your own 50s-style TV adventure serial in the style of Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, and Indiana Jones (if Indy regularly went to Venus).

This alpha draft needs testing! It got a good workout recently at Go Play NW 2009, but more is always better. If you have a chance to give it a read and especially if you play it, I'd love to hear your feedback.



Blogger Matt Wilson says:  

It is so on. Those fools in Rocket City will rue the day they crossed... ????

Blogger Lukas says:  


One question: The role cards that we used at GPNW each had one Power that cost a power point to use and one that didn't. Now, every role Power is marked with the power point symbol. Was this a deliberate change?

Blogger John Harper says:  

Yeah, that was deliberate, Lukas. After talking to several playtesters, I decided to make all the powers cost a token (except for the one that gives you a token :-)

The GM can tune the game a bit by how many starting power tokens the players get. By default, it's 1, but you could start with 2 or 3 for a more high-power opening scene (and add a few more threats, too).

Anonymous Anonymous says:  

I find it very interesting that less than a week ago, I referenced DP in a post on my RPG Design blog (http://scintillarpg.wordpress.com), and now here's a new taste! Read through it once, seems pretty sound. Will be giving it a more thorough read-thru and hopefully some game time.

Blogger John Harper says:  

Ha! What a crazy coincidence. That's cool.

Blogger matt says:  

I am going to see if I can get my group to take a stab at this, will certainly let you know if I do. (darn it, now I got to decide LB or DP)

Blogger Whirly / R00kie says:  

I'm really impressed with DP John.

I'm emailing a handful of comments - but I'm sure I'll even more after I've playtested this baby next weekend.


Blogger matt says:  

"Advance the level of your danger meter by one for each danger result you rolled."
"When the GM tells you to take a reduced hit, you can mark any hit box on your danger meter to the left of your danger level (you’ll want to mark a Bashed box if you have any left). When the GM tells you to take a full hit, you must mark a hit box at the current level of your danger meter."

I am lost on how this works. I am assuming you start on the extreme left, and as you move your meter it moves to the right, correct? If so, this statement "you can mark any hit box on your danger meter to the left of your danger level" is confusing to me. I am assuming my danger level is where my paper clip is current located, shouldn't it be slide to the right, not the left?
Also, what are the square checks for in each of the 'sections' (Bashed, Stunned, etc)?

Blogger Matt Wilson says:  

The square checks are the hits you take. If your danger meter is way over on the right and you take a reduced hit, you can put a check in one of the "bashed" boxes if you have any still unchecked. If all your bashed boxes are filled in then you have to take a "stunned" hit.

If you take a full hit when the meter is way over there, you have to take the hit result in that section.

Blogger John Harper says:  

I need to add an example page for taking hits. When you see it visually, it will make sense where the writing failed.

Blogger matt says:  

I think it is somethings come across to the writer that are not as evident to the reader upon first read thru. After what Matt said, I have a clear understanding of it now.

Blogger John Harper says:  

I just posted the visual aid.


Blogger matt says:  

Awesomely good stuff. I love the paper clip. ;-)

Thanks for posting.

Blogger Whirly / R00kie says:  

I thought I understood this, but now the example has me confused. I assumed he was only stunned when all the stun boxes had been filled, but obviously not.

"There are two stunned boxes, so a
character can be stunned twice."

So following the same logic there are only two VAPORISED boxes so the character can only be vaporised twice?

Blogger Whirly / R00kie says:  

Ah. Got it now. Only the top box is a vaporised box. The one below it is for alternate level 5 damage effects.

Blogger John Harper says:  

You got it!

Blogger Gabriel says:  

Here's kind of a picky question for ya:

If you take a reduced hit you can X-out any box to the left of your current Danger level (where the paper clip is). If your Danger level is in the "Injured" field, you take a partial hit and you've run out of "Bashed" boxes you have to X-out a "Stunned" box; the damage "rolls up."

What if all of your appropriate/available boxes are full? What if all your current Danger level boxes are full and you take a full hit, or if all your current AND lower Danger boxes are full and you take a partial hit?

Can you roll up into a Danger level that you haven't hit yet?

Blogger John Harper says:  

If all your boxes are full up to your danger level, then yes, you have to mark a higher box.

Blogger Gabriel says:  

Sweet. Thank you!

Blogger George Austin says:  

I had an absolute blast playing Danger Patrol tonight! If you're interested, I posted a recording of our session to Archive.org. I think we had most of our mechanical questions figured out by the end...

Thanks for the great game!

Blogger John Harper says:  

Fantastic, George! Thanks so much for playtesting and especially for recording it. I'm off to listen now...

Blogger John Harper says:  

It sounds like you ran into some confusion regarding what takes an action vs. a power token, etc.

I'm writing an example to address that stuff.

The main place you guys went off the rails was in confusing the blue action chip for a power token. Each round, every player gets a blue action chip (to represent their turn during the round).

Somehow that got mixed up and you decided to give a power token to every player each round. Yikes!

Anyway, I realize the text is somewhat confusing. I'm gonna try to evaluate it this weekend and come up with a clearer document and summary sheet.

Blogger John Harper says:  

Ah ha! I'm at the end of the recording now. I see you figured it out. :-)

Blogger John Harper says:  

Also: That recording was so much fun! Thanks again for making it.

Anonymous Anonymous says:  

Haven't gotten a chance to play yet, but after a second read-thru I only have a couple of notes. First, I love how Danger Dice work, and I think Threat Actions could be a really interesting way to run things. My only big problem was the lack of any details about what happens after/in between action scenes. There's a very vague section on Interludes, and within that it says "The second action scene usually involves a couple of Mystery threats that you'll 'fight'...," but we're not given a clear concept of what that means.

Blogger Marc Majcher says:  

Finally got to play this tonight with a small group, and it was great fun! I'll probably work up an AP report from my notes soon and post it somewhere useful. We only got a taste, and I can see room for stretching, but overall, very, very excited about Danger Patrol, and eager to see where it goes next.

Blogger Unknown says:  

The "Trait dice"-part was a bit confusing, but I think I got it right. The traits are the circles on the sheets marked with the names of each of the roles, am I right? Might need a bit of explaining there to make it easier to understand. Great game though!

Blogger aramis says:  

On first read, only the hits tracking was an issue. I doubt, however, I'll be able to get this to table except at a boardgaming day.

Blogger Euan says:  

I've read through the Beta Pack and have a few questions/suggestions.

1: Having played Agon, I'm assuming that there is some sort of mechanical balance in this game. If so, how many threats should one start a scene with and what level should they be?

2: How does Assist/Help work? A few suggestions follow:

(a) Assisting allows a character to use an unrelated trait to oppose a threat - ie: Professor Bradbury is attempting to realign the Obsidian Orrery using his Professor Trait (D12). Sergeant Shadow want to help, but his Professor Trait is only D6. Instead, he assists by standing guard at the chambers portal, allowing Bradbury to concentrate on the delicate work. Shadow's player rolls his Commando Trait (D12) plus anything else he can shoe horn into his description of the Sergeant's hawk-eyed vigil.

(b)Dice rolled for assistance do not generate Danger, any roll of less than 4 has no effect.

(c)When a character is assisting, roll D8 Danger Dice instead of the normal D6s.

Blogger artikid says:  

Some comments: I'd compress commando and warrior into a single role, and compress intrepid and two-fisted into a single style.
I'd move Psychic and Mystic to roles.
Add the following roles: Uplifted (like an uplifted gorilla or eugenetic human)

Anonymous Anonymous says:  

"Oh, goodness! The patrol is in some serious trouble now!"
That was the last comment of one of my players last session. We are really enjoying it! The only things we miss are equipments illustrations and names. But we are having a lot of fun with Danger Patrol.
Its a really nice game.

keep up the good job!

Rodrigo - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

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