I played Freebooters 2e last night! We played through “Hot Springs Island” using my reference sheet for stats.
There were two new players who had never played an RPG before. This was the first time I had ever played Freebooters, but I have extensive experience with DW.
I have many thoughts!
EDIT: Just saw you updated the sheets, haha. Definitely take this with a grain of salt, we used the old ones.
Things that went well:
– Tracking resources and supplies. The marketplace sheets were super useful, and it was very easy to see how much things weighed, how many uses they had, and managing inventory. The players enjoyed the weight system. Also the penalty for carrying too much was great, and seemed like something players COULD deal with, but didn’t want to.
– Duration blended well with Hot Springs. Hot Springs has its own solid time-tracking system, and freebooters slotted extremely well into it.
– The magic system was fun as hell! We had two mages, and they both LOVED generating their spells and allocating the power costs. Very cool!
– Character creation was also fun; the vices and virtues added a lot to each character. Stats made sense, I like how the game includes the capacity for stat damage.
– The Make Camp and Keep Company moves were a big hit. Players enjoyed having the spotlight to talk to one other person and developer specific relationships.
– XP for gold seemed to flip switches in their brains. They were extremely engaged and dedicated to exploring and finding treasure, more so than I’ve seen from any other game. The character sheet especially makes this really easy to track, which is nice.
– LOVE spending luck. One of my favorite mechanics from DCC, and I’m glad to see it here.
– Alignment goals were really solid, and the players were able to embrace it in an active way.
– Really happy to see a “Retreat” move. Perfect for weak characters.
– Threads are really interesting, and remind me a bit of “Clocks” from blades in the dark. A great and simple way to handle Fronts. Love it!
Feel free to ignore these, or take them with a grain of salt
– Perceive vs Saving Throw. I never really found a good opportunity to use the Perceive move. Players would ask specific questions already: “Can I see what color the creature is from this distance?” “Do they seem poisonous?” So I just used saving throws to check for success/failure.
– Characters were extremely weak. 3/5 of the party started with 1 hp. In our first encounter with a crazy old man: a mage blasted herself when the spell failed, the old man cut down the cleric, and the thief poisoned herself. Maybe give players a little more HP to start? The luck helped a little bit, but they ran out pretty quick.
– Character Creation Slow. Maybe it was because of all the new players, but the random rolling was really fun, but slowed down the game. It took us about an hour before all the characters were done. This might just need a simple online generate to fix the issue, but it was way slower than DW character creation, which mostly just involves making simple choices. Having the inventory be checkboxes might help a lot.
– The human heritage move makes no sense if you have a “Good” character.
– Establish also never saw much play. Perhaps it was because we were playing a game with a concrete world and rules, but players never got the opportunity to make stuff up.
– We didn’t use the travel moves because Hot Springs has it’s own rules, but without the rest of the book it would be hard to come up with “Discoveries”.
– Do players still get the benefit of a camp rest if something attacks them?
– Camping did NOT recover much HP (only 1 for the majority of the group). They really enjoyed camping, but were super bummed that it didn’t have much of an impact. Maybe let them roll HD twice and use worst result or something? I dunno.