Yesterday was pretty busy so I never got around to writing about my Saturday game. Although nobody was signed up to play, I ended up with five players! I was pleased to have so many, and the game went well. There were no major revelations, although I did have one player experience the same glitch that I have found in past play tests: they took a Recall that reduced their ability score to zero.
Third playtest down. This time I had a full table to run through the adventure and it went really well. Nobody had any problem creating a character, so from that aspect I think things are pretty well locked down.
Second playtest down. The bad news is that the game was ill-attended. I had only one player. VERY disappointing turnout. Nevertheless, I rolled on with it.
First play test down! The boys at Kentucky Fried Gamers provided me with a table at Scotty’s Brewhouse so I could do a first run-through of the Playthings adventure. Here’s a brief overview of how things went.
I’ve found in the past that if I get stuck on a problem it sometimes helps to walk away from it for a while, do something else, and come back to the problem later with a clearer mind. Following Who’s Yer Con I was jazzed about how well things had gone with the Playthings playtest and I set to work straightaway trying to correct the few issues that I had identified. Some were simple to resolve, others were not.
During my recent playtest for Playthings at Who’s Yer Con I ran into an issue that has crept in the back of my mind for a long time. I had a kid playing the game who was maybe six years old. He wanted his character to be his plush Toothless the dragon, which was cool. I love giving players the chance to play as their favorite toy. The problem was that the kid was insistent that in the game Toothless could fly and he got very upset when I tried to explain that Toothless was just a toy and couldn’t fly.
Another couple Playtests down. I’m happy to report both went very well. The changes I worked on post- Gen Con seem to have made a significant difference in how quickly players picked up the rules. There was no more confusion on what to roll or when to roll it. I chalk that up as a big success.
I took some time after my last post to stew on what to do with the Pick 2 game engine for Playthings. While the game play worked great, the initial concepts proved to be an initial stumbling block. The method of deriving stats, while simple in theory, proved to be too convoluted for players to grok quickly and I decided that before I could proceed any further I had to address changes that needed to be made to the very heart of the system. Heart surgery, if you will.
I learned several very important things in my Playthings playtest at Gen Con. First, I learned that creating an adventure where the characters can pop back and forth between two different planes of existence is twice the work and a…