Metatopia Design Diary: Agents of the O.D.D.

​I ran two sessions of ​Agents of the O.D.D. ​at Metatopia, a convention geared toward playtesting games in development. The feedback was a mix of things that made me go, "Great, I was planning on doing that already!" and things that made me go, "Hmm, I'm really going to have to think about that." Some key takeaways: More … Continue reading Metatopia Design Diary: Agents of the O.D.D.

Metatopia Design Diary: Nighttide

Last weekend, I ran my first playtest of Nighttide (and the Gauge​ system on which it's based), a diceless gothic horror game inspired by Bloodborne and Castlevania. It was a lot of fun! Also, it didn't work. That session did suggest that it ​could​ work, though, and that this game may be worth developing into something more detailed than a page-long scenario … Continue reading Metatopia Design Diary: Nighttide

Exhumed design diary: Action-packed minutiae

I'm still sorting through the trickiest design issues in Exhumed, my soulslike tabletop RPG: how frequently characters act, and the options available to them when they do act, as I wrote awhile back. I got to try some ideas in my last playtest, and have been approaching various problems with different kinds of actions atomically, … Continue reading Exhumed design diary: Action-packed minutiae

Lessons from playtesting once in a blue (super wolf blood) moon

When I last wrote about playtesting Exhumed, I lamented that it seemed impossible to deliver a fun experience to my friends and whip my rules into shape. I had been trying to test so many different mechanics across so many sessions that each session was getting bogged down with the fallout of experimental fixes that … Continue reading Lessons from playtesting once in a blue (super wolf blood) moon