I just wanted to say, I backed the Kickstarter campaign (Expedition level) because I loved the original Alternity so much, and on paper the new rules looked great. However, after finally getting around to a play test, I am worried I may have made the wrong decision.
With myself in the GM spot, my group and I just completed the "Escape From The Institute" adventure. Even thought the adventure itself was slickly designed, we came away with a number of issues that left us somewhat disappointed.
Our group found the new combat system to be very slow. The new initiative system sounds like a fantastic idea, but is a pain to keep track of. Furthermore, weapons either have minimal effect or are overpoweringly powerful. In comparison to the original system, the new damage track is functional, but my whole group found it terribly clunky and unrefined. Another issue was with attack rolls, it is just as easy to hit a fast dodge character than it is a slow moving tank, where's the resistance modifier's?
If your going to keep the Alternity name, then I don't feel this level of change in the terminology and mechanics are appropriate...
Even the little things annoyed me. I found Average, Excellent and Stellar to be way harder to remember than Ordinary, Good or Amazing.
The best part of the old system was the roll low mechanic, seeing what you need to roll right there on your sheet and then getting assigned step penalties was elegant and brilliant; also much easier to figure out a skill on the fly. It was brilliant; the new system seems like everything was inelegantly shoehorned to fit the high-roll mechanic. This change was unnecessary.
I want to love it, I really do, I even tried, but overall the combat just wasn't fun. Almost nothing I loved about the old game has been carried over and I'm left feeling a bit disappointed. The new mechanics looked great on paper, but failed in execution for our whole group. It seems they were altered just to call it a new edition, not in any way that make an actual improvement to them. Isn't this the point of making a new Alternity, improvements?
I understand the need to try and update things, but I think the wrong things have been changed. I think it would be far better to keep the core mechanics the same as the old system, they weren't perfect but most things were better, at least, in comparison to these beta rules.
Just my two cents, I'll reserve complete judgment until I see how the final books turn out. These are just my (and my groups) opinions on the beta. I hope they keep working on it, I think they could do a lot better before it releases.
We will tackle the other two adventures down the road and see how they play, maybe the some of the issues will smooth out once we get the rules down.
I love the new Protostar setting, it seems set up for grand adventure. Can't wait for that, even if I end up running it in old Alternity.
[2 of 5 Stars!]