PAX East is coming up fast and we’re working hard to get Thornwatch ready for the show. It’s going to be a VERY limited playtest on Friday and Saturday night but it’s still much bigger than anything we’ve done so far. Right now we’re working on getting a small group of GM’s trained on how to actually run the game. The first challenge was actually constructing more sets.
Until yesterday there was really only one copy of Thornwatch. Fehlauer, Jamie, Kenneth and I spent yesterday printing, cutting and gluing like crazy.
We had to build five complete sets for the playtest yesterday. We’ll need to build even more before PAX East.
The goal of yesterday’s test was to get the GM’s who will run the game at PAX East familiar with the game. As things got started I actually felt sick to my stomach. I’d seen Jamie run the game before and I felt pretty comfortable with her as a GM. This was five tables of people who had never run the game before running it for tables of people who had never played it before. I wanted to throw up.
Once the games got going I started to feel better. I still had a very hard time watching a GM look through the rules for a specific rule when I knew I could jump in and explain it to the table.
After a couple rounds everyone picked up the flow of the game though and eventually I was just watching people laughing and joking while they played my game.
I can’t really tell you how great it feels to see people standing up, leaning over the table as they talk out strategies with their party. I watched players make some super smart plays that I had never even considered. I specifically asked a Blade player to walk me through a turn I’d just seen him do again so I could understand his thought process.
It was incredibly rewarding to see players cook up combos and strategies with the tools we gave them. There were a couple I looked at and thought “well that’s fucking broken” but most of the time it was just clever play and I was honestly just as thrilled with their success as they were.
At one point I stepped out of the room to call Kara and tell her how it was going. Even out in the lobby with the door closed I could hear people laughing and shouting. I’m not sure there’s a better sound.