Yesterday at Red Claw Gaming Corp., I held a playtest for the upcoming Lake of Xuanwu D&D Megagame. I'm thankful to everyone that came out to help test the mechanics, the dungeon design, and the boss fight. I learned a lot and both my players and Gamemasters has a lot of great suggestions.
By the time it was intermission, both parties had almost explored every room in the dungeon and both parties had found the majority of the Info Cards that were scattered about. This makes me think if I should return to the system I used for the Lake of Xuanwu, where the Info Cards were split between every Gamemaster.
The items didn't end up being as useful as I thought. I created too many martial weapons which resulted in being unusable because too many characters didn't have proficiency in them. In addition to the difficulty of breathing, moving and fighting underwater, I was advised to provide at least some magical items that would make underwater combat easier. I will implement this change.
I provided pre-generated characters for players to drop in and pick up. By their random nature, parties weren't balanced and in some parties tanks and healers were non existent. I'll be taking more care to pay attention to party balance and allow for spell casters to change their spells before the game starts.
In regards to the theme, during the last event, players were allowed to bring any character so long as they were official WotC material and didn't fly. This resulted in some weird mixes like a centaur hanging out in China. I'm think I'll add theme restrictions so characters fit the settings.
The players wanted more items in general, even the mundane such as rope, nails or an ink and quill. Along with mundane items, I'll be adding more spell scrolls as well - especially those that can affect water.
There are a few quality of life improvements I could make as well, such as a north indicator for the dungeon map. I'll also likely use the minions rules from D&D 4th edition for the boss battle, which should simplify things. Also, the tokens weren't numbered so keeping track of them in battle was somewhat clumsy.
As a business owner, I forgot my business cards and forgot to promote my discord, Facebook page and website. D'oh.
All that being said, I'm really happy with the results of the playtest and I'm really looking forward to the big event!