Things I Learned From Playtesting The Lurker in the Limelight

Thanks to the selfless efforts of players throwing themselves upon the rocky shoals of my Ghostbusters adventure, I have gleaned the following insights on what needs revision:

  • Include research materials on Ecto-1’s load-out. Nobody thought to consult Tobin’s Spirit Guide. I suspect that was in part because they could have used a reminder such a thing existed.
  • It’s great to realize how severely one has over-prepared. It makes it so easy to pull material out of the air when you’ve had it tucked up your sleeve the whole time.
  • A 3d-1 cone of fire breath is too much for a Ghostbuster’s first day on the job — or first day at a new franchise, in Jim Monroe’s case. And they need some DR 1 padding in those flight suits.
  • The ending, as always, needs work. Typically I hover in a very uncomfortable area of not wanting to create a tightly defined “pixel bitch” solution, but not being very good at suggesting lines of thought to inspire the players to their own solutions that don’t amount to “we blast it a lot.”

All in all, it was a solid success. One of the most beneficial things I get from running an adventure is the things I make up on the spot then — like names and personalities for incidental characters — can be revised and presented less haltingly in the “real” play experience.

And now, after some updating of character sheets and my notes, it’s time to get on that Highway to Niflheim!

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2 thoughts on “Things I Learned From Playtesting The Lurker in the Limelight

  1. I had a friend who really wanted to run Ghostbusters in the mid-90s. At the time, I thought the concept was silly. Later, I sorely regret that way of thinking. It would have been a blast.

    • Oh, it is. Running Ghostbusters has been a fond wish of mine for some time now and I’m glad to finally have the opportunity and inspiration to do so. I’m hoping this will lead into a regular feature for me on my regular convention rounds.

      In many ways, Ghostbusters is an ideal set-up for one-shots and campaigns alike. It has an easily grasped premise that compacts easily to a single sitting of play, but is also expandable is many directions beyond simply bagging ghosts. And there’s still room for drama and snappy yet ludicrous dialogue, so it can scratch multiple itches for different kinds of roleplayers.

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