Sunday, March 10, 2013

Prep for Playtesting

I've been prepping for the playtest on Thursday night.  I'd forgotten how extensive they can be.  Adventures are not too bad.  You can plug them into your world and just throw a hook to the players and let them run with it.  A good read through and some notes ought to do it.

The one I'm playtesting is a campaign starter, written by Greg Christopher.  He introduces a small section of his world, but for gaming and testing purposes I am going to focus on the priory.  That is the main site in his work.  It's not a matter of where the critters are, but the relationship between inhabitants and businesses, religions and politics.  Takes a bit more time and a lot more note taking.  It's helped me take a needed break away from my own stuff.

As I've mentioned in this case, I've needed to edit down the territory and possible adventures to focus a bit more.  Railroad if you like.  I offer no apologies.  When you're testing railroading is required so you can test what was written.  Otherwise the players may drift.  Time is finite for these projects.  The writer needs feedback in a timely manner. But I do use the hooks as written.  If the players don't bite or it does make sense or not tempting enough I gotta tell the creator. 

When I playtest I write notes about what I liked and what I didn't.  I know a shocking revelation.  More often though I ask for something to be fleshed out.

I've read through Greg's "The Last Candle" a couple of times, made notes, drew a little flow chart to see the connection between NPCs.  One of the things I do is get an idea of the personality then write a note on the side to help make each stand out a little more.  I've got the maps loaded into FG2 files.  Now I just need to size the mini without swearing too much. 


  1. So one of the benefits of playtesting for you would be the opportunity to get details you liked expanded upon? I can think of a number of things in different genres I would've liked to ask for more wordage for.

  2. Hi Shannon, most of the time it seems like some real gems don't get polished enough. A little attention their way would really make them shine. But of course their are many times when I just smack my head and suggest getting rid of this section or that description.