The Plague Playtest

Anyone familiar with my designs knows that I prefer dark, deep, resonate game-play. I’ve been tinkering with the idea of this game for sometime and I finally just sat down, made some character sheets, and started playing with some friends. And I’ll be the first to admit, this first playtest sucked, because I had too many stats on the sheet and no idea what they were going to do, or what I wanted them to do.

After Julie left the playtest out of disgust (or some phone call she pretended to get), the rest of us sat and worked out what a scene should be about and who should be in it. For some reason I failed to even address that since every scene in this game is indoors, quarantined from the world around them, obviously everyone would be in every scene.


After that, I realized that what was at stake for someone in a scene did not need to be the same across the board. Everyone could be in a scene, but be having a completely different experience within the scene. And that the strategic part of the game could be taking place between scenes.

I also failed to tell the players the goal of the game. Wasn’t it obvious? Ha.

Lastly, when I got home, I fixed the character sheet, started working on charts for a GM-less version (which I always knew it would be), and made the cover above. I intend to add interludes between scenes, so players can have some personal time to reflect on the events of play. I also added a concept of “foils” triggering other players to action in tense situations.

More updates as playtests continue.

One thought on “The Plague Playtest

  1. While it may have been a nightmare for you, it was a good experience overall. Playtests are always a learning experience…and when you have a group as diverse as that one, you’re going to get strange situations. Trish & Tad always play very well off each other (like any gaming couple) and that scene they had WAS great.

    Thing is, unless you get some truly advanced players playing the game, who can resolve conflict or disagreements through roleplay, you’re going to have to look at ways for conflict to be resolved. It’s nigh impossible to change most other people’s minds when they’re “trying to win”…so it may have to come down to some kind of die roll for each scene to deal with it.

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