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[MoL,MoW] Expanding on the initial draft

I looking to launch the draft vers. alpha 1.2 next week of Man-of-Letters, Man-of-War.

There are some design issues on the table that i’m wrestling with. I also had to do a lot of reformatting as the final draft crashed and i lost some info. c’est la vie.

current changes:
-Assets have become Intimates. I’m ok with this. It’s still not quite there but it’s an improvement.
-A critical typo was fixed in the glossary.
-Mutiny Clock has become a Morale Clock (which triggers Mutiny).

some issues that are on the table:
-I’m going to look into thinning the Naval setup with a pregen table to roll on with a few modifiers. I think if i can get the rolling down to … 3? rolls for setup it’s all good.
-it’s a dice game so i’m not sure if doubles should mean something.
-not sure how to fit surprise into initiative. right now i’m thinking that maybe you need to succeed by over x on the opening roll?
-i know i need examples of the letter writing. don’t know that i’ll get to that in this next round.
-i’ve a couple of requests to look into more interesting mutiny and possibility of boarding.
-question of ongoing naval encounters and nemesis?

Q. I’m wrestling with how to refer and display with a key difference in the mechanic. At times you’re rolling exploding d6s and others it’s just a flat roll of a die or dice and that’s the total. I’ve tried to explain it as the exploding die roll is the norm and that the truncated one is a “flat” die roll. It works “ok”. I’m wondering if it’s possible to denote it with either an underscore _ or an italicized f before the marker. So:

_d6 or fd6

This question vexes me.

Q. Jason Morningstar brought up that the 2nd conflict doesn’t feed back into the 1st scene. It’s not a deal-breaker but i’d like to figure out if there’s a way to give the game that elegant whole-game experience.

Q. Shanties. Love’em or hate’em they’re here to stay. Right now you’re just singing your character sheet. I think that may need to be turned up a level. There was some interest in making everyone sing a shanty between rounds or update their character sheet. That might be too much. I’m wondering if the singing should be a static action, an action with a reward or a penalty. Do you penalize somebody and make them sing or is it a reward? An immediate fix on this is to maybe have everybody sing the same shanty between rounds. Maybe they’re singing “Drunken Sailor” and each round the person with the least Doubloons has to add another verse onto the end of it? The other side of that is that you could make the Doubloon reward at the end of the round contingent on the shanty. No singy; no payee.

Finally, not sure how solid i am on “doubloons”. “pieces of eight” also work well here. but it’s graphically more messy.

Anyway. Wrestling with all this. If you have any feedback, i’d love to hear from you