Has there been any news on when the Basic Rules will be released? Is it going to be out before the main rulebook?
TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e
The inital post on KS indicated that backers would get a sneak peak, so I doubt we will need to wait until October to get a look at a draft. I would not be shocked if they used Backers as a kind of beta-test group to work the kinks out before GenCon. Still, I wouldn't even start looking for the basic rules until July. I think the scale of the project blew up on them way faster than they thought it would and now they are in a scramble to catch up: the great part about being an overnight sensation is that you're a sensation; the part few people remember is that it happens overnight.
“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.” - H.L. Mencken
I would be blown away if they released the basic rules online that far in advance of the core release. I just don't see it happening. A preview document to some backers? Sure. But I'm not expecting to see the basic rules go online until this fall.
That bit about trusting them more than we trust ourselves is very important and poinant. Afterall, who would trust someone that was crazy enough to suggest that playing a game where you mine out cubes of the earth in a ver blocky artstyle would be popular, but low and behold Minecraft is an extremely popular game.
As a playtester I can say that they are looking at the feedback we're providing and seeing how they can incorporate what we're giving them while still staying true to the overall intent and design philosophy. Some things, it's clear, they're not going to budge on.
Overall, the more I've played it the more I want it to work, but I'd be lying if I claimed to have gotten through all of my reservations. In general, I like the way the system flows - Action Scenes are great although there are a few things around resolution I'm hoping get ironed out. When the system works, it works fantastically, but when it doesn't...
A lot of it has to do with the quality of the GM. Good GMs who think quick on their feet will make the system feel great (and the flexibility is really condusive for that,)* but otherwise your GM is going to be reaching a bit. This became really evident in our last session when I had a moment and my brain just kind of blanked on me. Ultimately, the problem was a mistake on my end, but in general I've felt much more exposed with this system when I botch or fumble over something than in other games I've run.
As an aside, I really hate the rules around money, but I can't say any more than that.
As for a timeline on a sneak preview or basic rules, I can't tell you anything on that, but I do know the team is looking to nail things down and wrap up the playtesting cycle soon.
*Note: I by no means consider myself a "Good GM;" I'd say mediocre or decent at best, and then only when running a relatively small group - large groups make my head spin.
I feel your pain about trying to run a large group. My 5e game had seven(!) players if everyone showed up, and I was always having to adjust on the fly for the number of players present. As I observed at the time, "I don't have an adventuring party, I have an armed mob!"
Psht. Around six players IS my prefered group size. My Witch Hunter group has seven active players, though at least one of them is habitually absent. I regularly ran 1st edtion 7th Sea with 7, even 8 players. I can't imagine why the new edition wouldn't be able to manage that.
Salamanca, ever run a Camarilla larp? Oh the stories...
My groups max out at about 7 (I prefer 4 or 5.) I can't imagine running a 15 or 20 person game like some people I've run into, let alone 100...
I mean, I wouldn't turn someone away from the table if they showed up and I ended up with more than 7, but just thinking about making sure everyone gets their fair shake of the limelight and stays engaged makes my brain hurt.
I think the most I've ever run was 15, and that was a train wreck. My public library teen game sometimes flirts with 12-13 people, and when that happens I usually throw a combat at them and we are done for the night. And that's been using Savage Worlds, a system that bills itself as Fast and Furious.
There are plenty of tricks for managing a big group, but none of those are things I would expect John & co. to be focusing on right now. But a group of 5-7 players should be managable with the RAW.