The real change at the heart of The Dee Sanction has always been in the system. If you look back to the original post on this site, 214, you will see the first mention of the system and the plans for playtesting. That was October 2014.
In that iteration, you rolled 2d6 and needed to roll a 7. Simple.
I wanted a game that had a mechanic that clearly set out the stall for the sort of characters you be playing. Ordinary people with less hope of survival than your average fantasy hero.
For a little while, I tinkered around with poker chips, beads, handmade cards, playing cards, and even the possibility of a special die. At a session in Milton Keynes—one of those infamous Concrete Cows, so worth attending—I ran a session with Phil Masters and I think he was the one who commented on the poker chips. Or something else that I was using at the time.
The comment was perfectly valid—that you should avoid using some element for a game that isn’t going to be easy to bring along for an ad hoc session. If you need to remember something special, then you probably will lose a chance to play—or whoever owns the game will.
It probably wasn’t poker chips. I can’t recall.
That being noted, I have since focused on trying to make the game as accessible as possible by keeping it simple. The current game uses polyhedral dice—the sort a gamer will have—but will work as well with a deck of cards. The rules are pretty simple and you can probably improvise characters if you don’t have the rules with you.
Three Resources, three broad Abilities/Skill (linked to a Background, an Occupation, and a Focus), a special Favour or talent (like a minor power or a simple cantrip), and three Hits. Go.
If you’re feeling generous, the group have enough opportunities to re-roll a bad throw as there are people playing at the table.
Oh, and let them have the kit they need to be useful, but something personal that has some special meaning but little value.
Simple. But it has changed so many times to reach this point, and only this year have I finally settled on a static version of the system. I’m happy with it for now, but you never know.
Every day during August, I’ll be writing something new on The Dee Sanction and aim to connect the word prompt of the day with the development of the game. Check out the concept, the list and the graphics over at AUTOCRATIK.