Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Playtest Report

A one-on-one playtest doesn't reveal as much as a playtest with several players. To boot, Giuli has a hard time throwing herself into a game, and as far as pushing scene and stakes, she plays really gently. That said, a one-on-one game of The Fifth World doesn't exactly feel like "lone wolfing," either, since we don't have that player/GM imbalance.

The printed materials for the lands and the creation story at the beginning did do a lot to establish the tone, I thought. The material itself definitely needs some work, but just doing it that way really helps establish a tone for the game. Giuli said it reminded her of the Haggadah, though I've said before that the Haggadah might have a good claim to the title of world's oldest printed RPG.

This session did teach me that I need to explicitly point out that while the mechanics tell you where you can set the next scene, they say nothing about when the scene should take place, or what they should deal with. You can switch between plotlines, have scenes set in the past or future, etc. Giuli assumed that the story had to progress from one scene to the next, in chronological order, with the same characters. That extra restriction may have contributed to the immersion problem, by making it harder to establish the next logical scene.

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