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The playtest for the Matrix RPG went *very* well.  It’s reception was quite good, the players weren’t very serious about it, but they said that they really liked the system and the possibilities it presents.  One thing I’ve noticed is it’s decently complex, but that didn’t seem to matter to the players.  The reference material needs to be available for all of the players, and some values and other miscellaneous rules need to be ironed out.  In general though, I think the playtest went very well and I plan to continue playesting on Wednesday.

Also, I plan to pit the players against an Agent.  That’s right, a ridiculously overpowered nearly invincible dauntless death machine.  The recommended level for an Agent encounter?  10: the highest level possible.  The playtester’s  character’s level? 4.  Should be fun :).



  1. Kyle,

    Great job on building an RPG in a week. Did you take some good notes on the design process? Take a look at this article for some good ideas:

    Your most important questions should be:

    How interesting is this game for your players?
    How balanced is it?
    How well does it capture the feel of The Matrix?

    You should test this game with the hardcore RPG group in the back corner. They’ll give you some great feedback.

    Remember to add your rules and stat sheets!

    -Devin Monnens

    • nerithil
    • Posted May 6, 2009 at 11:24
    • Permalink

    Okay, I’m answer the questions. We weren’t serious because you were hurrying us along and making your own jokes, too by the way.

    It was very interesting for us, especially since one of us was a DnD player, another a want to be DnD player, but for the most part filled with beginners who really liked the system.
    Balance? It’s alright, we haven’t explored the full depth of possibilities in our small play time.
    It’s… sort of hard to capture the feeling of Matrix, as the feeling changes between movies far too much, but for the most part it skewed things from the movie. (Bits of codes surrounding hands to heal and what not.)

    • Roucis Kyle
    • Posted May 6, 2009 at 12:01
    • Permalink

    How interesting is this game to the players?
    They seemed to like it a lot. Many of them were getting into it pretty well and I had a playtester later say that the game was addicting, so I have high hopes for it.

    How balanced is it?
    There are no classes in The Matrix. Players take skills and points based on what kind of character they want to build and fill niches as their character dictates. This allows for great balance between character builds, letting players play the way they like, while still specializing in certain areas. As far as the exchange rates for AP, base weapon damage, and the frequency of Bits and hacked items: these values will have to be tested some more before solid values are determined. What I’m thinking is that Bits are rare. A character should have about 30 of them by level 4, about 100 at level 8, and about 200 by level 10. Of course, these are preliminary numbers, but it will skyrocket ability stats earlier in the game because AP is so cheap to buy with Bits. Bottom line, more testing needs to be done for numeric values, but it’s headed on the right track.

    How well does it capture the feel of The Matrix
    The Matrix has a few issues when it comes to immersion:
    1.) It’s very difficult to succinctly start the characters without knowledge of The Matrix and to pull them into an interesting story that doesn’t feel predetermined.
    2.) Everyone is stuck on the whole “The One” thing. And while this can be used to a story’s advantage, all the players want their characters to end up kicking some Agent’s ass, when that is a task that really only an Anomaly can pull off.
    These aren’t insurmountable issues, but issues that every Operator will have to address. Overall though, I think the increased knowledge of terminology and the workings of The Matrix will inherently spoil some of the mystery that surrounded it while watching the film. However, I believe that developing the world of the The Matrix is vital in order to make it interesting, flexible, and in-depth enough to create gripping stories and interesting characters.

    The next playtest will be this afternoon. I plan to pit the current group against an Agent and see how they do. When (not if) they die, I will move the playtest over to ‘that one group of noisy, obnoxious people’ in the corner to have them tear it apart. Should be fun.

    • snowtigerpro
    • Posted May 13, 2009 at 23:49
    • Permalink

    This game was awesome! I don’t think I’ve had that much fun playing a tabletop RPG in a long time. Like I told you in class, I had a friend who attempted to design a game based off D&D but something more modern…it didn’t turn out as well as he was hoping and I simply caulked it up to the fact that designing that type of a game is difficult.

    However, this notion was proven wrong when I played this game! This game was very well organized and easy to understand. I really liked how quickly we began to actually campaign. The way that the skills were set up was really effective. And, as I suggested in class, I think that the only thing that might help make it even simpler would be to add the cost of each skill to the sheet so that the players don’t have to ask the DM as often.

    Again, great job! I’m really looking forward to playing it again sometime soon 😀

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