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Playtesting

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Keeping, scenario 28 March 2017 · 552 views

This Sunday, my regular Pathfinder game was off due to GM commitments. It gave me the opportunity to volunteer to cover with a one-shot. Naturally, rather than attempt Pathfinder, I offered to drag one of my Cthulhu scenarios out of the cupboard, dust it off and try to entertain the folks.

 

As it turned out, between one thing and another, only one of the group turned up. A tragedy! What were we to do? How could we possibly run an RPG session with only one player?

 

Oh, wait, this is Call of Cthulhu.

 

And so I managed the first playtest of a scenario I wrote last year, my first ever present-day scenario and an odd investigative Hammer Horror sort of beast entitled Upon their backs to bite 'em. A few changes were necessary, of course. For one thing a single player just has fewer people working to come up with ideas for how to proceed, so a bit more prompting and a fairly generous approach was called for. Also, my initial plans hadn't covered the possibility of one of the Investigators being a certain NPC's butler... but it was too fine an idea to waste.

 

Between cunning, resolve, modern communications and a knack with shortcrust pastry, the heroic Alfred bravely tracked down and rescued his employer, baffled a sinister plot and destroyed a potent Mythos artefact without so much as a scratch.

 

I was interested to see how the investigation unfolded solo. There was a much more cautious playstyle than you often see, and so several possible lines of enquiry were left untapped, but that didn't really cause problems. In fact, the player was able to set things up to entirely foil the Mythos plot by careful (and Keeper-convincing) application of the police, and thus avoid anything particularly horrible. I don't really see this as a problem, and it means that hopefully my next playtest will feel very different.

 

So, feeling pretty positive there. I got very complimentary feedback and am feeling good about it. Although I'll admit to feeling a little sorry for poor old Mick Narsh.

 

If I can pull off another successful run or two, I'll look into packing this up for YSDC.






I really like playing a one on one game. So far I have only used the monophobia scenarios though. Cthulhu works best for me in a small group. If someone wants to join in a D&D game, it isn't much of a problem. Right now I play with three people. I don't really want to add a fourth.

I have now, with the player's permission, got a copy of the playtest up on Archive.org if anyone's interested.  Obviously this contains spoilers for a scenario I haven't actually published so far.

hmm, the critter is called "Upon their backs to bite 'em?"  Sounds either distinctly unpleasant, or an ordinary day with the boss and human resources at the office.

Well, it is a modern-day scenario...

 

Now severely tempted to write a scenario about Lovecraftian letting agencies!