Results From the PARPG Play Test

MeatSo @Rolling20s and I were finally able to discuss his visit to SCARAB two weekends ago as well as the results of his play tests of the Probability Angels RPG. As I mentioned last week, the whole concept of attending smaller, regional conventions was scrapped. @Rolling20s ended up leaving the convention and driving north to a house full of friends where he was guaranteed a play test.

First, I want to thank, @celeloriel, @daniel14159@TheUniverseGM@cadorette, and @nezumi_hebereke for agreeing to be guinea pigs. Helpful, fun, witty, and intelligent, they proved to be most able guinea pigs indeed. Please give them a hand, ladies and gentlemen.

Their play test was recorded and I finally got a chance to listen to it this morning. There was a lot more good than bad, in my opinion, but clearly lots of things need work.

For starters, there’s a ton of information to get across before the players can dive in and actually start playing. This is normal for any game, you have to get a sense of the rules before you can play, but briefly explaining a new dice system and the world of Probability Angels is quite a challenge. @Rolling20s had his hands full. I mean I cant even explain my world.

We’re attempting to build this so it can be run at conventions, so I think some front loading of information is to be expected, but a much quicker and cleaner version needs to be worked out. One of the players came up with: “You’re immortal justice ghosts! Now start rolling dice!”

Which isn’t too bad.

I’ve learned from writing synopsis after synopsis until I want to barf that the urge to put in every cool little detail you’ve come up with has to be quashed. You have to know that you can’t cover everything. You should put in enough to hook the reader, even if it’s somewhat misleading or glosses over some big details, and then trust them to catch up. Same concept needs to be implemented here.

Secondly, some of the mechanics on the dice side of things need to be tweaked. That is something that happens on into infinity for games like this, you can always tweak things. So that wasn’t a surprise.

The worst thing to come out of this experiment, though, was that @Rolling20s has decided that he can’t represent me, with the attention that a sponsor deserves, at future conventions. He is currently working on two other games of his own design, Shadows of the Collegium and School Daze, not to mention anything else he comes up with (most of which is quite awesome), and he came to the conclusion that his attention was too split to run the PARPG as per our current arrangement.  He still wants to shape this into a workable game and run it, but as a fan not as a marketer. This wasn’t a big shock to me as his to-do list has been growing and growing recently and I’m glad that we both realized it.

That being said, in my mind @Rolling20s is still the guy, even if he doesn’t think he can be the guy. He’s just the guy. I have no other guy in the wings, for starters, but, also…he’s just the guy. So I’m calling this a hiatus. I don’t know what word he is using.

Anyway, the plus side of the play test was listening to all of these strangers have fun in my world. And I think they were having fun. Interruptions and confusion and gaffs aside, there were some moments of pure awesome buried in this gaming session (not to mention a reference to one of my favorite shows, Archer).

There is meat here. Succulent, delicious meat. Currently, how best to prepare and serve this meat is a mystery. But there is meat. Do not doubt it.

I’ll put it like this. @Rolling20s and I have managed to put a game together where people were laughing and having fun for an hour and a half while their characters wrestled with the notion of whether or not a dragon running amok inside of an iceberg was real.

I consider that quite an achievement.