Brian Peters asked:
"Can you tell me some about what's sweeter and tastier about this new edition? Game-wise, I mean."
Brian, I'd absolutely love to tell you about some of the changes I've made from the first edition book and the upcoming one. Right now, I'll focus on two: I've changed how Aspects work, and I've added Holds.
In the first one, a large part of character creation was creating Aspects. You'd give them a name, and then spend time fiddling with balancing out levels and numbers and strategizing, all before knowing how the game played out or what your choices really meant. The system for building your Aspects was broken - there were a few winning combinations that you'd be silly not to take. Some of the decisions you were making at this pre-game stage (specifically, choosing Fallouts) would have mechanical significance that as a new player would be extremely hard to predict - Fallouts are dangerous across multiple rounds or even sessions of play, not so much in an immediate, concrete moment.
Before play, Aspects were complicated and hard to get a grip on. During play, Aspects were tedious. Since your only way to get ahead in the game was to constantly rely on your small number of Aspects, you are struggling to work "Scent of My Mother's Perfume" and "Vicious Like a Caged Animal" into every single scene. So the system was leading you down a stale and contrived path.
That whole system has been cleaned up, in a major way. You have a Resources score. In a given scene, you decide what your Resources are in that scene, and invoke those numbers that way. During character creation, your choices are dead easy: you can have Resources 6, or you can have Resources 5 and take 2 points worth of Contacts (a slightly more volatile option).
The named-traits-called-Aspects thing still exists, in a different role. You create 3 Aspects, which are phrases that demonstrate things you rely on: Sharp Wit, Flawless Liar, My Father Taught Me a Code, Unremarkable Face, etc. You can invoke 1 per cycle, for a re-roll (a BIG deal in Perfect).
So, now almost all of the mechanical strategizing has been taking out of character creation, and getting started with the game takes about fifteen minutes less. Play is much more about manipulating immediate resources, and much less about rely on fallback strengths.
The other new thing is Holds. I saved it for last because it's best. In the old version of Perfect, the inspectors were always after you, once you'd committed a crime. There were lots of chases and interrogations and invasive home searches, even when it didn't fit a character's narrative, because that's how the game was structured.
There was no, "Jacob, you don't know me. My name is Inspector Raleigh. I've been watching you for quite some time. I'm glad you managed to make it." There was no Inspector looming in the shadows, collecting evidence and building a repertoire of perfect emotional weapons, biding his time.
And mechanically, there wasn't any way for the antagonist to build up resources without just intentionally losing a bunch of times, which really weakened the authority of the inspectors!
Now, when you're the antagonist, you have two choices: do you attempt to capture the criminal, or do you establish a Hold?
Holds are things that will come back to haunt the protagonist character later. They come in two flavours: Minor Holds (evidence, witness testimonies, etc - things that help the antagonist win a test), and Major Holds (secret fears, emotional weaponry, hopes and dreams, the names of loved ones - things that both help the antagonist win a test, and double the stakes).
Holds change the pacing of the game. They lend it "quiet, too quiet" moments, and then they bring the hammer down and smash everything to pieces.
Source material where Holds are ruthlessly accumulated and then dropped all at once: A Clockwork Orange. Source material where the antagonist is focused on constantly weedling down a character: Quills.
Holds in A Clockwork Orange might be stuff like: He loved the music of Beethoven; "Singing in the Rain".
So, those are two changes I'm really excited about with the new system. Mechanical resources that don't require a lot of forehead-scratching during character creation, and that lend themselves to dynamic and fluid stories; and, a way for the antagonist to bide their time, to get their dirty little strings deeper into your head before they start tugging.
Hopefully that stuff excites you too!