Thursday, November 5, 2009

Playtest Report #1

I just finished the first playtest of the new rules, with Dan Maruschak and my wife, Giuli. It had all the roughness you'd expect of a first playtest, but the momentum I'd hoped seemed to work out. The second hour of our two-hour game got into pretty fun stuff; I got to play a hermit, Chiron-like ferryman, alongside a traveling trickster figure and a woman from a tribe beginning to encroach on forbidden, sacred areas. It ended quite satisfactorily, with my ferryman falling prey to one of the trickster's ruses in the Land of the Dead.

So, the momentum of the game seemed to work out well. We had some rough spots getting started, especially establishing motivations and figuring out what people wanted to do. We had some speculation that the game might have a little too much structure right now, and that the game mechanics might undercut the goals in some ways.

I can't say that any of this makes me want to immediately rewrite the game (though Giuli had some really scathing things to say about it after we finished the call). I want to playtest it a few more times to control for some other possible factors, so I can make sure what arose tonight from the game, and what arose from other factors in play. As rough as it seemed in play, I still feel rather optimistic about it all, because I had braced myself for much worse. They call it "playtesting" and not "playing" for a reason, after all!

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