A little while ago I tested Brimstone Emissaries in the City of Thorns (BECT) and was faced with the most common outcome of playtesting, that things need to be simpler. But the upshot is that the simplifications indicated keeping the most novel and exciting part of BECT, simple maps turning action into interwoven cycles by constraining possible action instead of potential success. This is the root of a design idea which I’ve been wrestling with for years from an attempt to make a diceless Exalted to a GMless exploration game which was vastly too complex for the Game Chef that inspired it.
Ultimately, BECT was a reduction of my “grand vision” of that exploration game which I could complete in a reasonable time. Even that time ended up being almost a year, over the course of my designing a game a month. But the whole purpose of this was to construct the framework for testing these simple random maps. So I’m pleased to see that the idea has value, even if I’m sad the framework is too much.