Michael here with another Earthdawn developer blog. It’s been a couple months since we held our digital convention and I never got around to talking about my experiences over the course of that weekend. I directly participated in our Earthdawn Team and Legends of Barsaive panels, both of which seemed to go well based on the level of audience participation. I also ran the first version of LoB-113 for a group of three players and had a compelling enough session that everyone stayed past the scheduled timeslot. Running this adventure was the most fun I had through the course of the weekend, so I thought I’d talk here briefly about how the session went.
This playtest was especially comical for me just due to how sidetracked/focused players can get on details the GM never intended to be significant. The adventure has a side mission which required the players to deliver an item partway through the session. They are presented with a choice of who receives it that builds on events from LoB-107, but none of the participating players had completed the prior adventure. I figured they would just make an arbitrary decision since they had no stake in the final result and no relationship with any of the NPCs. I was wrong.
The group got caught up in the item’s history. They ended up spending half the session digging into details set up in prior adventures that their characters had no knowledge of. What was intended to be a quick side mission rapidly evolved into the focal point of the entire adventure. I ended up scaling back a bunch of other side activities in order to allow for the multiple character history and lore conversations the players were excitedly interested in. We spent about three hours talking through various perspectives and, in the end, the players made a well-informed decision that was personally significant to the pre-generated characters they selected at the start. I’m still amazed how enthralled people can get by the world of Earthdawn during the course of a single four-hour adventure.
The “tragedy” of how things went is that I spent a good amount of time a couple days prior creating a handful of side activities that had to be cut in the interest of time. I remember thinking the first draft I prepared was too short and wanted to be sure the module went the full time slot. Turns out my original version was about the right length given the investigative path the players decided to follow. That being said, no group of random strangers seems to think the same way, so I’m interested to see how subsequent tests of this adventure go at other conventions I’m able to attend. It seems to take me two or three run-throughs to get the pacing correct no matter how many of them I write.
For those who participated in FreedoniaCon, I want to extend an honest thank you for showing up and making the weekend a blast for all involved. We do this for the fans and it’s always nice to interact with and get feedback from people who are passionate about our game. For those of you who missed the panels and are interested in watching them, some of them have been uploaded to our YouTube channel. Look like our Legends of Barsaive panel didn’t get uploaded yet. We may have forgotten to record it…I’ll check on that at our next team meeting.
Until next time, thanks for reading!