Haven't updated this in forever. I've been getting side-tracked with a board game of mine, which I am calling "For Science!!!" I really need to playtest this. That said, I was thinking about it this morning, and had two new thoughts:
1) Orders: Currently, during the first phase of each turn is the "Orders Phase." You will have 5 actions, and during this phase must decide what you will do with them. For each action, you must write down who will act (i.e. "Balthazar"), what they will do (i.e. "cast Fireball"), and if applicable, a target (i.e. "at the enemy general"). In later phases, each player performs each of their actions one at a time, or decides to skip the action (i.e. "Oh no, Balthazar has moved out of sight; I can't cast Fireball now."). This mechanic has definitely added a really strong flavor to the game, but has also made things significantly more complicated. I think one of the biggest things I have had to monkey around with is figuring out who must declare orders, how much detail must be given, if and when characters can disobey orders. It has caused a lot of frustrations throughout playtesting, with players getting surprised, or writing down the wrong things. Worst off, I had a friend tell me that it actually wasn't very thematic. He said that though this mechanism would work great in a game built around, say, dueling armies of space-ships (where communication would pose problems), that it is not very realistic for a game about small gangs of characters.
Thus, I'm thinking I might just want to scrap everything. I think instead of what I have, I'll make it that during the Orders Phase, all that you need to decide is who acts, and you can decide on their actual actions later. I'll need to playtest this with people who have tried it the old way, just to see what they think. I worry that it will remove a major element from the game, but it might be worth it just to really streamline everything.
2) Health: In this game, battle is done in two worlds. Characters fight in the "real" world, and the "spirit" world. Originally, I made it that real world characters were tougher, but slower, while spirits were faster but weaker. The result of this was often that the bulk of combat would take place in the spirit world, with real world characters only reaching each other after all else was long done. I'm now debating one of two options: making the real world characters the weak ones, or making both characters have equal toughness. If I do the later, it might not solve the problem, as spirits will still likely get killed first. If I do the former, it might mean that even if real characters are slower to get into combat, they might die first. However, it might also make archery overpowered in the real world (something that has been really problematic in the past). I'll keep thinking, and keep working on it.