A few weeks ago I ran my “Where Heroes Stand” adventure. Set in mythical Japan and using the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game system, the players play villagers hunting a group of ninja. It was a great experience and I wanted to share what I learnt from the play test. Enjoy.
It’s not easy to anticipate what players will do, but doing loads of prep gives you a big upper hand. I’d spent 2 months writing and editing the adventure by the time we played, so I knew the story, the NPCs, the locations and everything I had planned for the PCs. There were literally pages of stuff I didn’t even get to use in game. I know most people can’t put that amount of time into prep, but put in as much as you can.
If you want feedback on your GMing, ask your players when you’re wrapping up. Then, if you have some time, the discussion will naturally revolve around the session and what people liked and what frustrated them. But don’t forget that there is such a thing as “good frustration”, which in my book is anything that challenges the players.
Since this was a play test, my players had all kinds of ideas on how to improve the mission. And you know what, they were all great ideas, every single one. But I evoke Newton’s Third: “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” There were many ideas I simply couldn’t implement, because the adventure would have become too bloated. Instead, I’ve saved the ideas for later.
Multi Level Maps
One of the main features of the adventure is a multi-storied castle. To make matters worse, there’s a wall surrounding the castle, a tower, balconies and walkways. Needless to say, heights got confusing. We decided a side view is the best way to help everyone get themselves orientated.
I’m really blessed to have a great gaming group who’ll test my adventures. My players really enjoyed the game, but you’ll have to wait a few more months for the official launch of “Where Heroes Stand” and the Kamen, Land of Masks campaign setting.