Dice imageIf you are interested any of these games, please email me with the game you wish to playtest in the subject line.

 

GUMSHOE One-2-One: The Fathomless Sleep

System: GUMSHOE One-2-One

Author: Robin D. Laws

Deadline: 31st December

Description:

How exactly did fast-living society girl Helen Deakin come down with a case of catatonia? Her sultry sister pays you to find out. Explore a web of blackmail, dirty money, and weird mysticism in 1930’s Los Angeles.

A hard case like you won’t stand for any flimsy, half-hearted introductory adventure. “The Fathomless Sleep” serves as a complete model for further mysteries of your creation in the city of fallen angels.

This is a GUMSHOE One-2-One adventure for one GM and one player.

Dice imageIf you are interested any of these games, please email me with the game you wish to playtest in the subject line.

 

The Silence Mill – Out of the Woods

System: Trail of Cthulhu

Author: Adam Gauntlett

Deadline: 31st October

Description: In a small village in Brittany close on the Arthurian forest of Brocéliande, a friend of the Investigators stands accused of serial murder, cannibalism and even lycanthropy. Can they ascertain the truth, or will the truth find them?
 

Dreaming of a Better Tomorrow for 30 Dollars a Month – Out of the Woods

System: Trail of Cthulhu

Author: Chris Spivey

Deadline: 31st October

Description: Amongst crowded green precipices and muttering forest streams of Vermont, labourers from one of Roosevelt’s integrated Civilian Conservation Corps camps disappear. In an atmosphere fraught with political intrigue and Jim Crow laws, can a mixed bag of Investigators find the primordial peril which threatens more than just one camp, or even one State?
 

The Coldest Walk – Out of the Woods

System: Trail of Cthulhu

Author: Lauren Wood

Deadline: 31st October

Description: Deep in Wisconsin’s northern woods lies the town of Four Pines – a quiet, almost forgettable community. However, whenever the aurora flashes in the sky the inhabitants have a terrible choice to make. Can the Investigators stop the inevitable, or must they take the Walk for themselves?

Dice imageIf you are interested any of these games, please email me with the game you wish to playtest in the subject line.

 

Before the Storm

System: Standalone, freeform

Author: Joanna Piancastelli

Deadline: August 15th

Description:

It’s the last few hours of the world as you know it. Tomorrow morning, the Stormsworn will attack, a huge army granted power by a malevolent ancient force. There’s no way out of the oncoming battle.

You sit in the hall of Castle Iriya, yourself and your small band of companions, the people you must now trust and rely on above all others.  You all have your flaws, your secrets and regrets, things you ought to tell each other but never have. In these last hours of eerie peace, you have a chance to put that to rights.

Acceptable Losses

System: Standalone, freeform

Author: Tova Näslund

Deadline: August 15th

Description:

A family drama set in a dystopian future. Humanity lives in self-sustaining buildings, large enough to supply hundreds of thousands of people. At the start of each month, an “employee of the month” is announced and allowed to move up a floor. On the other hand, a family that doesn’t fill their work quota are sent down a floor, to the even worse slums below.

In the tougher lower floors live the Witkins, a close family of maintenance workers. Over the years you’ve adopted a family motto: the Witkins don’t ask for help, they earn it. But you’re in dire straits, crippled with debt and due to be forced down a floor in the next five days. One of you has a means of escape – a promotion, through marriage. Do you all move down together – or do you split the family?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dice imageIf you are interested any of these games, please email me with the game you wish to playtest in the subject line.

 

Heroes of the Hearth

System: Standalone, freeform

Author: Stiainín Jackson

Deadline: July 15th

Description:

Do you see them? Off in the distance? The heroes – the ‘adventuring party’. A thief, a fighter, a cleric, a mage – that’s the story, they’re off to do battle against some terrible threat. They’ll defend the villages by the way. They’ll fight fearsome beasts. They’ll find great and awesome treasure. And at the end of it … well, I guess they’ll go home?

Because every adventurer has a place that they’re from, and every adventurer has people that know them – many are lucky enough to have people that love them. Those people have stories too – what is their home like? How do they feel when their loved ones are off doing battle? What do they do in the face of this threat and how do they move on with their lives?

This game is about those stories and those people. They are the heroes of the hearth.

 

Nemesis 382: The Point of No Return

System: Standalone, freeform

Author: Alex Helm

Deadline: July 15th

Description:

We know that a black hole is a star that has collapsed under the weight of its own gravity, creating a well in space-time that not even light can escape. But what lies beyond a black hole? Would an object entering be simply stretched and crushed to death? Would it fall through into another universe as some scientists speculate? Or perhaps, as holy men and women suggest, would it come face to face with God? Nobody knows, and there’s only one way to find out.

This is the story of the Albert Einstein III, a scientific research vessel dispatched to the newly discovered supermassive black hole called Nemesis 382. As the ship edges closer to the event horizon, the crew must decide once and for all – how far are they willing to go in the name of science?

 

 

 

 

Dice imageIf you are interested any of these games, please email me with the game you wish to playtest in the subject line.

 

When the Dark is Gone

System: Standalone, freeform

Author: Becky Annison

Deadline: June 15th

Description:

Imagine the children in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  They visited a magical land, fought battles alongside talking animals and centaurs and won a war against a powerful and evil enemy.  Then they returned home, no-one believed them and they were back to war time rations and maths homework.  What did that feel like? How did they live with the memories of what they experienced?

Did they end up in therapy?

When the Dark is Gone is a GM’d story game for 3-4 players, who take on the roles of Clients in a real-world, modern-day setting, whose serious psychological disorders are damaging them and those closest to them. The game is set in their group therapy session – one final attempt to get their lives back on track.

Rise and Fall

System: Standalone, freeform

Author: Elizabeth Lovegrove

Deadline: June 15th

Description:

Dystopias come from somewhere, and they go somewhere. They appear because someone is able to convince others that they are reasonable, and they disappear because someone is able to exploit their weaknesses. They rise, and they fall.

Rise and Fall is a GM-less story game for 2-5 people in which players create a dystopia, explore its rise to power, how everyday life operates during its tenure, and then how the regime is brought down.

 

 

 

ROB_tileMy Playtest Feedback Process

by Rob Heinsoo

I’m just about to start going through playtest feedback for 13th Age in Glorantha. I thought readers of this blog might be interested in how I process playtest feedback for 13th Age books.
Sometimes I read playtest feedback right away. But usually I wait and read as much of it as possible in a single big batch. Glorantha’s first playtest is going to take the big batch approach.

In either case, I take the good ideas I like out of it, or notes that seem to be identifying major problems, and write them down in my own words in single sentence summaries, sometimes noted as to whose feedback they came from. I keep these notebook pages of possible playtest changes going through the entire process. (I write small so I can fit a lot on a two page spread!)

When I’m ready to implement the changes, I start by reading the whole list of possible changes. After crossing off notes that have proven incorrect, I start in and work through the notebook pages list, crossing notes off as I deal with them or decide they aren’t actually problems. How do I decide when comments aren’t problems? A few ways, but mostly through uncovering that the rest of the feedback supports a feature a couple people found problematic, or discovering that the original comments were in fact inaccurate, or by creating new design elements that sidestep the issue, or by weighing the evidence and judging that what bothered the tester is a feature instead of a bug!

Sometimes I’ll get playtest advice that’s so good, accurate, and important that I want to make changes immediately. That happens most often during playtest feedback on classes, when something sparks that can fix a lingering problem or create a wonderful new dynamic.

In most cases, it’s better to wait a few days or weeks longer and make changes in one thoughtful extended pass, because even small changes can require multiple revisions scattered throughout the document. Revising the same sections multiple times because of repeated changes is not only maddening, it also seems to increase the risk of me screwing up a change that should have rippled out to multiple pages of the book.

I suspect that other designers handle playtest feedback differently. But I admit that I’m not sure. I haven’t asked many other designers how they handle the playtest revision process with RPGs.

Here’s a picture of what a typical page of playtest process looks like in my notebooks. These were notes from last year on Robin’s The Strangling Sea.

Yes, I’m still writing in notebooks. When I’m rolling with design work I’m usually just typing into a computer, but when I’m noodling ideas or writing notes about things I want to think about before acting on, I use a pen.

 

 

And while I’m taking photos, here’s the pile of all the notebooks I’ve used for 13th Age design. They’re all from my friend Sara’s company, MakeMyNotebook.com, I love the weight of the paper and their spiral-bound durability as well as the fun covers. I’ve used one full book already for 13th Age in Glorantha (blue robot) and it looks like I’ll use up at least another half (black fish).

(This was previously posted on Rob’s personal blog, robheinsoo.blogspot.com)

Dice imageIf you are interested any of these games, please email me with the game you wish to playtest in the subject line.

 

 

Battle Scenes

System: 13th Age

Author: Cal Moore

Deadline: February 28th

Description:

Iconic Battles Scenes consistent of 39 sets of themed encounters, one Adventure, one Champion and one Epic level for each icon. Go white water rafting with orcs, face a demonic circus and clean out a crime lord’s HQ. You add the story elements and slot them into your campaign.

Each adventure takes around two hours to play out, more if you play every scene and include a lot of linking story elements.

Worldbreaker

System: Esoterrorists 2nd Edition

Author: Robin D. Laws

Deadline: February 28th

Description:

As they investigate what appear to be disparate mysteries, the team slowly uncovers a conspiracy to rip open the membrane in a single global panic event. We’ve had separate adventures, and a two-parter, for The Esoterrorists, but never a linked series of scenarios, or a globe-spanning campaign book that tips the hat to Masks of Nyarlathotep. This book fills that gap.

Except for the last installment, these scenarios take place in any order. Appendices show you how to link them. Additional scenario hooks show GMs how to expand the campaign with even more related episodes, if desired.

The Mysteries of Interpretative Dance

System: The Gaean Reach

Author: Jim Webster

Duration: One to two sessions

Deadline: February 28th

Description:

For reasons entirely of his own Quandos Vorn does occasionally need to be contacted. He also wishes to keep open lines of communication to his past. Thus and so, chance has placed at his disposal Tris; performance artist, poet, and artist. Could Tris be the way of getting to Vorn the players have been looking for?

Dice imageIf you are interested any of these games, please email me with the game you wish to playtest in the subject line.

 

 

Battle Scenes

System: 13th Age

Author: Cal Moore

Deadline: January 31st

Description:

Iconic Battles Scenes consistent of 39 sets of themed encounters, one Adventure, one Champion and one Epic level for each icon. Go white water rafting with orcs, face a demonic circus and clean out a crime lord’s HQ. You add the story elements and slot them into your campaign.

Each adventure takes around two hours to play out, more if you play every scene and include a lot of linking story elements.

Worldbreaker

System: Esoterrorists 2nd Edition

Author: Robin D. Laws

Deadline: January 31st

Description:

As they investigate what appear to be disparate mysteries, the team slowly uncovers a conspiracy to rip open the membrane in a single global panic event. We’ve had separate adventures, and a two-parter, for The Esoterrorists, but never a linked series of scenarios, or a globe-spanning campaign book that tips the hat to Masks of Nyarlathotep. This book fills that gap.

Except for the last installment, these scenarios take place in any order. Appendices show you how to link them. Additional scenario hooks show GMs how to expand the campaign with even more related episodes, if desired.

The Mysteries of Interpretative Dance

System: The Gaean Reach

Author: Jim Webster

Duration: One to two sessions

Deadline: January 31st

Description:

For reasons entirely of his own Quandos Vorn does occasionally need to be contacted. He also wishes to keep open lines of communication to his past. Thus and so, chance has placed at his disposal Tris; performance artist, poet, and artist. Could Tris be the way of getting to Vorn the players have been looking for?

Shards of the Broken Sky

System: 13th Age

Author: ASH LAW

Deadline: January 31st

Description:

Imagine YOU are the Archmage. A big part of your job is eliminating terrible threats that could destroy the Empire, or at least severely damage big chunks of it. But some of those threats can’t be destroyed, only suppressed. So what do you choose?

Option A) Stash the suppressed threats in hiding places all over the map, each protected by smaller wards.

Option B) Create one super-powerful warded area and dump a steady pile of the threats you can’t quite deal with under that ward, damping them down and keeping them hidden from everyone else.

If you answered Option A, you are not this campaign’s Archmage, good luck in all your future endeavors!

If you answered Option B, welcome to Shards of the Broken Sky!

This sandbox adventure for characters of all levels dumps the player characters into the mess left by the destruction of the Archmage’s super-ward. What was a peaceful valley is now a conglomeration of resummoned monster armies! What’s left of the Archmage’s wards falls upon the valley as half-ruined magical dungeons! Are you going to clean up the mess, or just loot it? And will the plots of the evil icons give you enough time to decide?

Shards of the Broken Sky contains multiple adventures and dungeons for every tier. Depending on how much of the material you decide to use, and when, you should be able to use it twice in separate campaigns and face all-new adventures.

Playtest note: Playtesting in a straight shot through every adventure probably isn’t possible during a normal campaign because some of the choices are meant to lead away from each other. Choose your path, play as you like, use as much as you can and tell us about the path you chose.

 

 

 

Dice imageIf you are interested any of these games, please email me with the game you wish to playtest in the subject line.

 

 

Battle Scenes

System: 13th Age

Author: Cal Moore

Deadline: January 31st

Description:

Iconic Battles Scenes consistent of 39 sets of four themed encounters, one Adventure, one Champion and one Epic level for each icon. Go white water rafting with orcs, face a demonic circus and clean out a crime lord’s HQ. You add the story elements and slot them into your campaign.

Each adventure takes around two hours to play out, more if you play every scene and include a lot of linking story elements.

Worldbreaker

System: Esoterrorists 2nd Edition

Author: Robin D. Laws

Deadline: January 31st

Description:

As they investigate what appear to be disparate mysteries, the team slowly uncovers a conspiracy to rip open the membrane in a single global panic event. We’ve had separate adventures, and a two-parter, for The Esoterrorists, but never a linked series of scenarios, or a globe-spanning campaign book that tips the hat to Masks of Nyarlathotep. This book fills that gap.

Except for the last installment, these scenarios take place in any order. Appendices show you how to link them. Additional scenario hooks show GMs how to expand the campaign with even more related episodes, if desired.

The Mysteries of Interpretative Dance

System: The Gaean Reach

Author: Jim Webster

Duration: One to two sessions

Deadline: December 31st

Description:

For reasons entirely of his own Quandos Vorn does occasionally need to be contacted. He also wishes to keep open lines of communication to his past. Thus and so, chance has placed at his disposal Tris; performance artist, poet, and artist. Could Tris be the way of getting to Vorn the players have been looking for?

Shards of the Broken Sky

System: 13th Age

Author: ASH LAW

Deadline: December 31st

Description:

Imagine YOU are the Archmage. A big part of your job is eliminating terrible threats that could destroy the Empire, or at least severely damage big chunks of it. But some of those threats can’t be destroyed, only suppressed. So what do you choose?

Option A) Stash the suppressed threats in hiding places all over the map, each protected by smaller wards.

Option B) Create one super-powerful warded area and dump a steady pile of the threats you can’t quite deal with under that ward, damping them down and keeping them hidden from everyone else.

If you answered Option A, you are not this campaign’s Archmage, good luck in all your future endeavors!

If you answered Option B, welcome to Shards of the Broken Sky!

This sandbox adventure for characters of all levels dumps the player characters into the mess left by the destruction of the Archmage’s super-ward. What was a peaceful valley is now a conglomeration of resummoned monster armies! What’s left of the Archmage’s wards falls upon the valley as half-ruined magical dungeons! Are you going to clean up the mess, or just loot it? And will the plots of the evil icons give you enough time to decide?

Shards of the Broken Sky contains multiple adventures and dungeons for every tier. Depending on how much of the material you decide to use, and when, you should be able to use it twice in separate campaigns and face all-new adventures.

Playtest note: Playtesting in a straight shot through every adventure probably isn’t possible during a normal campaign because some of the choices are meant to lead away from each other. Choose your path, play as you like, use as much as you can and tell us about the path you chose.

 

 

 

Dice imageIf you are interested any of these games, please email me with the game you wish to playtest in the subject line.

 

 

The Mysteries of Interpretative Dance

System: The Gaean Reach

Author: Jim Webster

Duration: One to two sessions

Deadline: December 31st

Description:

For reasons entirely of his own Quandos Vorn does occasionally need to be contacted. He also wishes to keep open lines of communication to his past. Thus and so, chance has placed at his disposal Tris; performance artist, poet, and artist. Could Tris be the way of getting to Vorn the players have been looking for?

The Strangling Sea

System: 13th Age

Author: Robin D. Laws

Duration: Two to three sessions

Deadline: December 31st

Description:

In this 13th Age adventure for a party of 4-6 1st-level adventurers, our heroes attempt to retrieve the enigmatic engineer Inigo Sharpe from his unfortunate imprisonment in the Stranglesea. This fantastical equivalent of our world’s Sargasso Sea traps wrecked ships, strands castaways, and supports an array of dangerous animal life.

Shards of the Broken Sky

System: 13th Age

Author: ASH LAW

Deadline: December 31st

Description:

Imagine YOU are the Archmage. A big part of your job is eliminating terrible threats that could destroy the Empire, or at least severely damage big chunks of it. But some of those threats can’t be destroyed, only suppressed. So what do you choose?

Option A) Stash the suppressed threats in hiding places all over the map, each protected by smaller wards.

Option B) Create one super-powerful warded area and dump a steady pile of the threats you can’t quite deal with under that ward, damping them down and keeping them hidden from everyone else.

If you answered Option A, you are not this campaign’s Archmage, good luck in all your future endeavors!

If you answered Option B, welcome to Shards of the Broken Sky!

This sandbox adventure for characters of all levels dumps the player characters into the mess left by the destruction of the Archmage’s super-ward. What was a peaceful valley is now a conglomeration of resummoned monster armies! What’s left of the Archmage’s wards falls upon the valley as half-ruined magical dungeons! Are you going to clean up the mess, or just loot it? And will the plots of the evil icons give you enough time to decide?

Shards of the Broken Sky contains multiple adventures and dungeons for every tier. Depending on how much of the material you decide to use, and when, you should be able to use it twice in separate campaigns and face all-new adventures.

 

Playtest note: Playtesting in a straight shot through every adventure probably isn’t possible during a normal campaign because some of the choices are meant to lead away from each other. Choose your path, play as you like, use as much as you can and tell us about the path you chose.

 

 

 

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