Do you have a few hours to run or play a low-level game session? Download the Five Moons Pre-Alpha Playtest Document, give it a read, build some characters, beat up some monsters, and let me know what you think. Thanks!
UPDATE 12/31/14: Scroll down to below the picture for some FAQs!
(I’ll be incorporating these answers into the Jan/Feb playtest document and the corebook for clarity.)
What kind of action is it to use an activated ability? Most are part of another action—frex, using Power Attack isn’t a separate action, it’s part of the action you use to make your attack.
Do I use PSY in place of 3E’s Wis and Cha? Yes.
Do I use my caster stat as a bonus on attack spells? Yes, in the same way that you add STR to melee attack rolls or DEX to ranged attack rolls. If you’re a wizard, your eldritch focus determines what stat (and how much) to add to spell damage. (I’ll need to implement something like this for the other classes.)
What action is it to use a boost? Most boosts do not take any longer than using the ability normally (if a boost takes longer than normal, it says so).
Why should I rest for 8 hours to regain all boosts when resting 1 hour regains 1 boosts? There may be options or creatures outside of this playtest that have more than 5 boosts per day.
How is a rogue supposed to stay relevant with spellcasting if their spell bonus never increases (or even merely increases at a rate slower than their martial attacks)? This pre-alpha playtest only shows levels 1–3, which is like 3E levels 1–1.5 (one and a half), so you’re not going to see much of a progression at this point.
Isn’t the party penalized if they don’t have the right mix of classes to provide all the necessary auras? The Jan/Feb playtest will have at least two auras for each class, so you have more versatility (and don’t have redundant auras, frex if you have two warriors in the party).
Isn’t the wizard’s knowledge aura kind of weak? Yes, and the Jan/Feb playtest will offer more options.
Is there a limit to the number of spells I can learn? No. Eventually (outside the scope of the pre-alpha playtest) you’ll hit a limit of how many of them you can have ready in a particular day (similar to a 3E wizard), but for the purpose of this pre-alpha playtest, if you can find someone to teach you a spell (or cronk, feat, or stunt), you can learn it–it just takes a few days. So you don’t have the “sorcerer problem” with learning less-useful spells like Alarm (or the same problem for a fighter wanting to learn something exotic like Weapon Focus [whip])–there’s no disincentive to learning it.
Maybe the specializations could offer a choice of two feats, instead of just one? Perhaps. 🙂
Maybe the specializations could grant an ability unique to the class? I’d rather not lock away an option to something you choose at 1st level and not allow anyone else to ever acquire that option; “you can learn whatever you want” is one of the core principles of the game.
Resolve, what does it do? It’s not used in the pre-alpha playtest, but it’ll work like “mental hit points” against mental attacks and things like Diplomacy and Intimidate.
The wizard’s healer aura doesn’t do anything? True, as the only healing ability in the pre-alpha playtest isn’t a roll.
What do I multiply on a crit? Nothing! Just add the flat crit damage explained on page 2 of the pre-alpha playtest document.
(People have suggested the following names instead of the placeholder term “cronk”: Angle, Art, Combat Ability, Combat Trick, Contest, Drill, Effort, Engagement, Exploit, Gambit, Kata, Knack, Machination, Maneuver, Means, Modus, Ploy, Praxis, Scrap, Shift, Stratagem, Strike, Tactic, Technique, Wile. I really want it to be a one-word term.)
Is Frequent Critical disproportionately good for high-crit weapons like greataxes and scythes? Yes, it needs to add the same increment in the same way that the Improved Critical feat does in 3E.
Given how much this playtest relies on the 3E rules, how much is the system going to rely on 3E? Between the holidays and four sick cats in the weeks before the holidays, I had to rely on the 3E chapters to fill in some of the blanks so I could still get this pre-alpha playtest out before January. The Jan/Feb playtest will not refer to the 3E books in any way.
Does the “distracted” condition mean the same thing as 3E’s “flat-footed”? Yep.
Do ranged weapons add DEX to damage? Yes, please.
Are the Armor Training feats a chain, or can I just select any one of them that I want? They’re a chain (I’ve updated the format for the Jan/Feb playtest to include notations for things like that).
Can I learn a feat more than once, like learning Diehard as a cronk and as a general heroic feat? No, as the 3E general rule is that you can’t choose a feat more than once unless it specifically calls out that you can. In any case, Diehard appearing on both lists was an oversight (Sneak Attack being on the cronk and stunt list was not an oversight).
How does Scattered Spell work if you can only spend one boost per round? It needs an explicit exception to that limitation.
Is Brew Potion not supposed to last long? It’s not. It’s a weak 1st-level ability intended to let you share some of your spell effects with your allies.
Should Endurance scale up to let you sleep in heavier armor at higher levels? Probably, or there’ll be a separate feat to allow that. But the pre-alpha playtest is only about character levels 1–3, so it doesn’t address that issue.
Shouldn’t Fast Drinker be something you can do without learning it as a feat? Drinking a potion is normally a standard action; the feat lets you do it as a swift action. There’s an intermediate step of letting you drink it as a move action, which’ll probably be a boost effect anyone can do.
Should the metamagic feats be categorized as spells instead of general heroic feats? Probably, that would give wizards better access to them.
Are the final races going to have the 3E-ish ability score modifiers? Probably not, it just helped differentiate them a bit more for the pre-alpha playtest.
Do I add my ability scores to my resistances? Yes, add your CON to Fort, your DEX to Ref, and your PSY to Will.
Does an [armor] spell stack with mundane armor? For this pre-alpha playtest, sure, but probably not after this…
Should the [Incredible] feats instead be things that any character can do? It’s a fine line to walk… you want the rogue to be better at skill things than anyone, and one way to do that is to give them more access to the stunts that improve feats. If you instead make the [Incredible] feats basic (non-feat) aspects of the skills themselves, you’re taking away something that the rogue is inherently good at.