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  • Writer's pictureJason Stevens

First Foibles Rule Book Play test!

Updated: Mar 7, 2020

Written by Jean-Philippe Provost May 13th 2019

On May 12th, we had a really fun play test! We managed to scrounge up 6 players to test out the rules, during a BBQ and Game of Thrones party. It’s important to make sure that the rules are clearly written, and all these brave souls had never played Foibles. Prime for the picking. :P

We let them play out a full game without giving them any feedback on how well (or poorly) they interpreted the rules. I usually maintain low expectations for these kind of tests but was quite surprised how well they understood the gist and spirit of the game. The experience was definitely delivered. But of course…Some mistakes were made. Here are the main points that need to be addressed.

1. The played a new scenario each round instead of each game of 3 rounds.

2. Some didn’t accumulate their traits cards, but instead replaced them with new ones at the beginning of each round.

3. There was a lot of confusion around the identity crisis.

Here’s how I am going to solve these issues. For points 1 and 2, I’m going to be a little more explicit in the rules as to when a scenario is revealed and that traits are accumulated. For point 3, I think the confusion came from the naming convention of crisis card and identity crisis. I’m going to eliminate the wording completely and just explain the concept plainly. I hope that will solve it.

After the first brave game, we played another game this time explaining the rules clearly as we were playing. We were also 8 people, so we had a full game going. The experience I had was different than most other play tests. We literally went from one person to the next and forced them to make their arguments. I’m used to everyone just yelling over each other! I found this style really fun and thought I would’ve lost for sure when someone gave me the suicidal card when I needed to argue to live forever.

A big problem I got from this particular game is that we didn’t have enough time! The 3 -minute timer we use wasn’t enough for everyone to feel satisfied to giving their arguments. I definitely want people to feel like they get an opportunity to defend themselves (or shoot others down). Having the pressure of time adds a lot more fun and avoids lulls in the conversation space, so I need to find a balance between the two. I’m going to test out the group’s suggestion, we’ll adjust the timer of each round to be 30 seconds per player playing instead of a flat 3 minutes.

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