Here’s what I learned from the most recent external playtest: Where the rules are unclear, people fall back on what they are comfortable with. Unfortunately, “standard” gaming techniques break Fiasco pretty bad. It’s not some ground-breaking new design, but there are things you do that are at odds with conventional tabletop wisdom. So the rules have to be crystal clear about procedures, and call out what to do when, and flag points where what you do is a little off kilter. So how to do that?
I’ve been steadily revising a cheat sheet, a “what to do when” document, so I atomized that into a very detailed outline. Like this detailed:
18.104.22.168 Keep any die that resolves a spotlight scene for your character in front of you throughout the game.
It’s four pages long and was a pain in the ass to put together. Then I cut and paste my current text into the outline by paragraph, wherever it referenced the outline. And here’s what I learned – there are big chunks of assumption, places where I don’t talk about what to do, when. There’s redundancy. There’s stuff that is presented subtly out of order. It was a really instructive and eye-opening exercise. It’s going to make the game text much, much clearer. I recommend it!