Playtest Update

Just want to let you folks know the status of things, and our plans for the playtest over the next couple of weeks.

First, a couple of days ago, Evil Hat sent us two background chapters on the Dresdenverse. One is a Who’s Who of characters from the books, and the other is sort of a monster chapter – info on the types of bad guys that might come up.  I’ve distributed those to my playtesters, and we’re currently reading through them. They were written by Chad Underkoffler, who also used to write for Unknown Armies, so I know they’re going to be solid stuff.

Second, just tonight, Evil Hat sent us the chapter on supernatural stunts. There’s still the chapter on spellcasting and the one on artifacts to come, but this really puts us in a good position to start seeing how the magic works in the game.

Now, my plans.

Next week, I’m running a couple of sessions using only the mundane characters that have been created. It’s just a test of the conflict system – not a full game. So, I’m going to try to run one physical, one mental, and one social conflict in each session. If possible, we’ll rerun one or two of them, to see what effect different choices make.

A week or two after that, we’re going to get together and create supernatural characters, using the new rules.

Once that’s done, we’re actually going to run a couple of games – maybe two or three session arcs, seeing how the whole thing fits together. That’s the part I’m really looking forward to.

So, that’s what you can expect to see about the DFRPG over the next little while.

Oh, and I’ll continue posting characters as I receive them from my playtesters. I know it’s tough to wait, but it can be even tougher to get them to send them to me.

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5 Responses to Playtest Update

  1. Rechan says:

    Man, I am really biting my tongue to not ask you questions! Damn you, NDA.

    Thanks Rick, for telling us what your plans are. It certainly gives us a more realistic expectation, and a possible timeline (even though we all know hard it is to keep schedules sometimes).

    Something though does occur to me: you gave the rules on the badguys/monsters to the PCs? Was there an intentional reason for this (looking for holes)? I would be somewhat concerned about them metagaming.

  2. Rick Neal says:

    It’s part of the playtest. Now, the stuff we’ve received has no stats attached at this time; it’s all fluff. I gave it to my playtesters for three reasons: First, Evil Hat is looking for comments, and nine sets of eyes are better than one. Second, there are a couple who are completely unfamiliar with the Dresdenverse, and this sort of primer helps them understand the world and the expectations of the game. Third, inspiration. Nothing defines a hero better than an interesting villain. Something in the chapter may spark an idea that they wouldn’t have otherwise.

    As for metagaming, I try not to worry too much about that. I’m tremendously lucky in my players; they are all very good at separating player knowledge from character knowledge, unless they can make a case for their character being aware of something in-game. I trust them.

    Besides, how else am I going to convince one of them to run a session so I can try playing? 😉

  3. Rechan says:

    Okay, that all makes sense. 🙂 Thanks, Rich.

  4. Devin says:

    I put my name into the play testing hat, but my group has not been picked yet. We also have a range of ages and playing experience. But what I had hoped to do was have a few people in the group work out the stats of different cities and then rotate the GM role. That way the characters can travel a bit, and we get more people seeing how the rules work, and how they don’t work. After all, 2 people can read the same rule and both come away with a different understanding of just what that rule means. The more people you get involved, the easier it is to spot those rules that can be taken a bunch of different ways. Plus that way we all get to make and play a character or 2 and no one is stuck coming up with a plot every week.

  5. Rick Neal says:

    One thing I may have neglected to say in the city design rules: working out the city as a group was a lot of fun, and made a city that none of us expected. As GM, I’ve still got a lot of stuff in my back pocket for adventures – suggestions that didn’t get incorporated into the Magical Winnipeg document because they weren’t necessarily as fundamental to the city, or ideas that were connected to the Aspects, or ideas that were suggested by the Aspects.

    What I’m trying to say is that it’s not really a bad thing to have the whole group work on any given city. It gives you a more robust product than just one person’s take, and still leaves a lot of very gameable secrets for the GM to run with. It also gives the players a real investment in the city: they’ve designed portions of the city that appeal to them, and things that their characters are going to want to interact with.

    Of course, you don’t HAVE to do it that way. I just found it a very successful, and refreshing, difference from the usual total GM design of most games.

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