Playtest 6, 7th November 2018
Having done some playtesting with close friends, I decided I needed to get InBetween back into the wild again, so I took it to GEAS — my local gaming society — and went in search of players. Soon I had myself a brand new group: Dimitry, Jim, Ben, and Robyn. This session was more than 50% Tribe and Character design, with only an hour and a bit for play.
Hot Rock Tribe is a grim place, situated between a great stone that is always warm. A maze of bricks surrounds the forge, where the Keeper of the Forge is chained permanently to his anvil with melted Bakelite. Here the Tribe's elders, almost all of them crippled in some way by fire related accidents, slave over their furnaces, seeking to re-create the heat of the Hot Rock itself.
Early one spring morning, just before dawn, the Hylins of Hot Rock are awoken by a series of terrible noises: an enormous booming, a crash that shakes the level, and then a terrible wailing. It is like nothing they have ever heard, and the Seer — Eurydice — is convinced that it spells doom.
Soon three of the tribe's more intact members, fire-obsessed scrounger Hector (Dimitry), babyish Whiskers (Jim), and outcast tinkerer Victor (Robyn) are summoned to a meeting with the ancient Champion Achilles. They find themselves accompanied by Douglas One-Eye (Ben), a mad wayfinder who left the tribe years ago, and recently returned, muttering about "the blackness"! Those familiar with Douglas are unsurprised to discover that Eurydice avoids the meeting, she can't stand Douglas, and Achilles doesn't like him all that much more.
Achilles asks them to find an answer to the "mysterious noise", and grudgingly allows Douglas to go with them. While Hector visits some other scroungers to trade for food, and Victor fetches his bag of scraps, Douglas talks Achilles into lending him a trap from the Hunter's Lodge. Whiskers, always the baby, begs some supplies from his family. In the process his little sister Ears tells him she thinks the strange noise came from the direction of Three Rivers, a morning's travel from the nest. These scenes gave everyone a chance to try a test, opposed or unopposed, and spend some successes.
Once equipped, the party head to Three Rivers, where three rivers, one hot, two cold, meet. As they approach they spy two unfamiliar Hylin under the place where the rivers meet! Only Douglas has ever seen a mouse from another tribe before, so he goes ahead to have a look (making a Scouting test at difficulty 3) and overhears a conversation between Iro (a scared mouse) and his friend. He decides to drop down and try to talk to them, but Iro is terrified! (I model this as a 1 dice Hindrance — stranger, a 3 dice Monster — Iro, and a 3 dice obstacle - scared of strangers). He tries to get them to calm down, but utterly messes up. He tries to push Iro's spear away and gets stabbed in the chest instead! At this point a third stranger, a girl with a bow, appears on top of the river and orders them to surrender
The others run in, hoping to calm things down. Hector aids Whiskers, and they manage to talk the newcomer — Kiri — into putting down her bow, by spending a metric tonne of luck (8 in total). This test is the first to really pull out the stops on dice rolled, Douglas only has one Luck and has been getting by on fumes. In the subsequent talk they realise that the three strangers from the Red Dust Tribe, are here for the same reason as them, and agree to investigate together.