Both the Friday night and the Sunday afternoon gaming groups playtested the Primeval RPG scenario that I plan to run at CanGames this year, "Feast or Flight". I have to say that I find the process of playtesting both enlightening and frustrating. Enlightening in the sense that one really does find out where the glitches and problems may lie in one's written adventure and where improvements need to be made, not to mention how that four-hour time that you're striving for plays out. Frustrating for all the reasons above, as well as the fact that some players like to criticise without being constructive about it. Also frustrating since playtesting shows those areas where one is weakest at, and where one needs to improve the adventure.
The two playtests of the Primeval RPG playtest this weekend proved both enlightening and frustrating. The Friday night playtest highlighted where a few tweaks had to be made to the adventure, but overall it was a smooth ride, and there were some terrific moments among the characters. They all agreed that it felt very much like an episode of Primeval, but there were a few constructive criticisms made that made a lot of sense, and so I knew that I would make a few changes to the adventure.
I spent a large part of Saturday afternoon re-working and re-jigging some of the sequences of events and situations for the scenario, and added a couple of scenes and deleted a pair of them as well. I have the problem when I write scenarios that I try to make them as perfect as possible, and that means that when you really should stop writing and put the pen down (or in this case the keyboard) that you keep going and the work doesn't necessarily get any better, but just gets wordier or more complex or actually worse than what you had before you got carried away with the writing. After watching the Ottawa Senators roll over the New York Rangers 2-0 in their series to take a 3 games to 2 lead in the Stanley Cup playoffs, I eventually decided that I'd made enough changes and done enough that the adventure was ready for the second playtest.
Sunday dawned bright and early (as it has done of late, since I don't seem to be able to get a lot of sleep these days), and I got ready for the afternoon running of the CanGames scenario playtest. spross, Tammy, and Doug showed up and we got down to it, each of the players taking on the role of two (2) of the player characters. This is something that I'm not all that crazy about, as it's really hard to get the playtest of any adventure for six player characters done with only three players. But my Sunday group goes through this process every time I playtest, and they perform pretty much with flying colours each and every time. As for the Primeval RPG adventure, this particular running of it went much more smoothly, although the playing of two characters by each player slowed the pace down somewhat. There were a couple of glitches in one of the scenes, and some nicely humourous moments during play, and the players made a few choice constructive criticisms that I have taken under advisement, and a good afternoon was had by all. Best of all, the adventure came in under the four-hour mark, so I was quite pleased with that.
So, other than having to print up the last few pages of the Primeval RPG scenario and add a minor change or two to the one for All For One: Régime Diabolique, I'm actually pretty happy with both adventures, to be honest, and I'm rather looking forward to running the games at CanGames now!