Last evening I had the pleasure of running a play test for a new Dungeons and Dragon’s adventure that I hope to publish later this summer. I had one scheduled player drop out at the last minute but I was lucky enough to coerce a pair of friends to join in and keep the group at a reasonable size.
Whenever I DM a game , I find it usually takes me a few minutes to become immersed in the story and feel connected with my players. For this play test I had to spend some time summarizing the backstory from previous adventures that have led to the events of this session.
As I did this, I was surprised to notice a welling of self-doubt that I don’t often deal with when playing my favorite game. I had to consciously beat down this flare up of “impostor syndrome”. I find that I am often reluctant to sharing things that I’ve created with the people who are close to me, so perhaps having friends participate made me more self conscious than usual. Whatever the cause, my players helped me moved me past this insecurity.
This session reminded me of how much fun DM’ing is when you’ve got good players at the table. They were all engaged and worked together as a team, trying to let each other’s characters shine throughout the night.
Overall the play test was a success. The game’s run-time was pretty close to what I’d hoped and my players seemed engaged throughout the duration. The group confirmed many of the design ideas I’d incorporated, while also inspiring me with ideas on how to enhance them encounters. What I found exceedingly valuable was that the players revealed interactions I hadn’t considered during my initial design. My finished piece will be that much better because I’m able to include a few components that may address some of these previously unforeseen interactions.
I can’t wait to get back to work and finish the new publication. I hope others will enjoy the finished product as much as I’ve enjoyed crafting it!
Attached Art: A little self-reflection in this post made me think of this classic image from The Ghost Tower of Inverness by the late great Jim Roslof.