[Mythender] Playtesting advice

edited January 2012 in Game Design Help
The title almost says it all. I'm a fanboy of the game and have been bugging Ryan Macklin for a while to put barely enough on paper so that I could run a session. He asked me to help provide some feedback, but I've only ever participated in playtesting for one other game and that was as a player, not a GM.

I've only run my second session, but I've encountered something that made me stumble a little bit. It isn't about the game specifically, but possibly about playtesting in general. I'm trying to solicit feedback that I could turn into useful advice for the GM. I feel like I run the game well, but I've had Ryan run it for me twice, have listened to other people who played in sessions and generally have a love of epic heavy metal (it helps).

Trying to break down the sessions, I get people who are very interested in the rules of the game. It's their first introduction to the game and they're picking them apart seeing what they like and don't like, making suggestions for changes or optional rules. It seems like this is a very natural thing to want to do and I don't necessarily want to discourage it, because it helps me understand better how I present things, what I emphasize and what I don't. What would feel golden to me though is if they started tearing apart how I did as a GM. Where I helped the flow of the game and where I hurt it. Did I stifle creativity somehow (the current character creation method can tax some people) or did I help spark it.

How can I better crack open peoples brains and feast on this gooey information? I feel like it would not only help me provide better feedback, but be a better GM as well.

Comments

  • edited January 2012
    "A big part of playtesting is figuring out what the game needs to do, in order to support the GM and the players. So: were there places where my GMing felt choppy, sloppy, or incongruous with your ideas? Did you as a player ever feel like you didn't know what to do or say?"
  • edited January 2012
    I had some phrasing similar to the first question you suggested. Asking about specific areas if I helped or not, like during specific phases of character creation and later during the descriptive actions of combat.

    The second question is something I'm definitely adding to my repertoire of questions. I highly value questions that indirectly point to the topic I want to discuss and get people on a more useful track of answers. I find I spend less time and effort redirecting the discussion this way.

    Also, for anyone in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, I'd happily run a session. Plays well with 3-4 people and takes about 3-4 hours to play. I'm available most week nights, for example every night next week except Monday.
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