Friday, August 7, 2009

On Her Majesty's Arcane Service

I finished the beta test document for On Her Majesty's Arcane Service tonight, just now. As always, the gestation was complex and sometimes awkward. The game grew in the gestation, becoming more complex in concept as more ideas crowded into my brain. It's an instantiation - a single tme and place covered in depth - of my Blood Games II Occult/Horror RPG. It shares the theme and many of the details of BG II, but the other book covers everything from the renaissance to modern day, and OHMAS covers only the Elizabethan Age in England.

I have been playtesting it within my group for a couple of months. As I came up with ideas, they were tried out by my gamers before they made it into the book. This is my standard operating procedure. I refer to this period as Alpha Test. Alpha Test tests the rules, while Beta Test tests the expression of the rules. I'm confident that everything in the game works. Now what i need to know is "Did I effectively communicate what I needed to communicate, so that any gamer picking the game up can run it?"

That's the question I need answered. I need feedback from people running the game outside of my own group, and feedback from people reading the game. Both have value at this stage. I need suggestions, corrections, and mistake catchers.

The game is playable, but I intend to put a lot more into it - interesting fluff, history, descriptions of important people of the time, troupe play suggestions, optional rules, and the like. I'll be doing that and incorporating feedback from the Beta Testers while the Beta Test is going on. If anyone is interested in being a tester, send me an emal at clash(underscore)bowley(at)yahoo(dot)com. I'll send you a pdf of the playtest rules, and I'll take your feeddback seriously.

Thanks for listening!



  1. I can't wait until I get it. This is very very awesome.

  2. I'm in the same boat as you. Feedback is the sustenance I can't ever get enough of when designing. It doubly sucks when you're constrained by Non Disclosure agreements.

  3. @ Silverlion:

    Sent it, Tim!

    @ Helmsman:

    I never use NDAs. I see their use in electronics, but outside of WotC, no one in this business needs 'em. IMO.