Testing Times – Beyond the Veil Alpha Play Test

Testing Times – Beyond the Veil Alpha Play Test

Play test

Earlier this year we finally got to play test the mechanics we’ve been developing over in the Wrenegade bunker. Using a hand picked group of unwitting gamers who foolishly thought they were just attending a prenuptial celebration we ran through a sample investigation to see how the game would flow.

In a perfect world everything would have run seamlessly, the dice would have supported the core mechanics and the experience would have been bone chilling and deeply unsettling for everyone involved. However, that just isn’t useful for a play test scenario so we are thrilled to report that the investigation was a 60% success at best, which for us was perfect. Every bit of feedback was gladly accepted and acknowledged, and was in line with everything we knew still needed some work. In this blog we’ll explore some of the highs and lows as well as the lessons learned.

Let’s start with the lows…

I thought about doing this as good/bad sandwich but decided that dealing with the bad stuff first allowed us to focus on the positives instead… think of it as a cathartic exercise on my part.

First off, waiting until the end of the day of drinking and gaming was probably a mistake for fully invested and involved testers but to set the atmosphere for Beyond the Veil we wanted to play it at night. Despite that, however, (almost) everyone gave it their full attention and the investigation came to a full, albeit rushed, conclusion.

Let’s talk about the mechanics, most of which have been loosely discussed in previous blogs1. Our concept of performing a Reality Check to determine success worked well but the measure of success was maybe too high for mundane, everyday, tasks. In particular this applied to how equipment is set up, the expectation that pretty much everyone could manage to set up a camera wasn’t reflected in the results and that felt wrong to the players… and rightly so. More on that later.

Next we have the most heinous of issues, forgetting core mechanics in the heat of the moment. That one falls to me, as inaugural DM, who was definitely feeling the pressure of hosting the event and running a couple of one-shots in a single day (yes, we are exactly the kind of people who play TTRPGs and b