Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Solo Playtesting Tells the Obvious Secrets

I ran through my rules again today to make a documented play test, a solo test if you will. I made characters, wrote tribal values, rolled dice, collated results, narrated results of rules. The end result? A shaky game. A wobbly, uncertain game. A lumbering journey through a short story.

But it's a story and it's a game. There's a story game in there, lurking beneath the surface of those bullet points and ideas. That's the first, and the biggest, obvious secret I learned tonight.

Buried deep in the die rolls, however, were several other secrets. Who gets that +1 you mentioned? Does that failed roll really exile the character from the tribe, and from the game? What kinds of things make for a worthy raider?

All of them are the obvious errors and omissions from my notes. They're the big, easy corrections. They're the kinds of things that really need to be cleaned up well before any encounter with actual players. I was tempted to fix them on the fly, but I committed myself to playing the rules as written. That's an important part of play testing. Play what's written, not what you think would fix the problem that you think you've found.

And now, to fix the obvious problems I just found.
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