When you playtest an adventure, does your PC get the XP, etc. once the adventure is released?

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I'm asking this because I thought I knew the answer, but then I was talking to someone else and he thought the opposite. And neither one of us really had a source for our information.

So: when you playtest an LFR adventure, does your PC gain the XP, GP, item bundles, and story awards from that adventure, once it is released? By this I mean gain them "automatically", without playing the adventure again in its final form.

What if your PC was (say) level 1, but the adventure you were playtesting was (say) level 7, so for playtesting purposes you made a level 7 version of your PC. Once the adventure has been released, and once your PC reaches level 7, do you then gain the rewards from the playtested adventure?
No, you don't receive anything special for playtesting an adventure, except knowledge of that adventure when it comes out for general play.

By definition, an adventure being playtested is not yet part of the LFR campaign, and it may change from what you've played (several times) before it finally gets approved and released as an 'official' module.
Follow up question for idle curiousity then....I assume that answer means it's not necessary to playtest the module with a legal RPGA character?
There are no official rules for playtesting. However, the general rule that I've seen followed (and follow myself) is as follows:

- If you did not have to make any level alterations to your PC for the playtest, you receive XP for an adventure when you playtest it (even if it hasn't yet been released).
- If you had to temporarily level up a PC to playtest the adventure (for example, the adventure is for a tier that no PC could possibly be at yet), then you receive XP for the adventure when your PC actually hits that level.
- You receive GP/Item rewards from the adventure once it is officially released (or once the item bundles have been finalized by the global admin) and the information is reported to you, assuming you are of an appropriate level to receive XP for the adventure.

Short answer: You receive all rewards for playtesting an adventure that someone does when they play the official version, regardless of how much has changed.

Furthermore, I often force my playtesters to play a particular tier, based on what I think needs to be tested. Because this may not necessarily be fair to them, I allow them to choose the tier for which they receive XP/GP/bundles, regardless of the tier they actually played. I also often write adventures with multiple paths that net different rewards. Because I often force my players to choose a given path based on what I think needs to be tested, I also allow them to choose their rewards at the end of the adventure. Consider it a small bonus for spending the extra time evaluating the adventure and providing insightful feedback.
Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com
Follow up question for idle curiousity then....I assume that answer means it's not necessary to playtest the module with a legal RPGA character?



Module authors want playtest groups to be a representative example of your typical table of RPGA characters. If a player wants credit for an LFR PC, he should playtest the adventure with a legal RPGA character (even if he has to level up that character termporarily to fall within the appropriate level range).

Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com
Officially, you should ask and follow the guidance of the Writing Director or Global Admin for whom you are doing the playtest. 

I think generally the rules are as follows:

You do not (should not) get the xp, gp, treasure or story awards until the adventure is released.  Reason: it may change.  Neither authors nor DMs have the final word.  Even Writing Directors may have something changed downstream. 

(Claire always contacts playtesters we use for Waterdeep at that point, and provides the information.)

Do they apply to specific PCs?  Depends upon how the Writing Director and/or Global Admin want to run that. 

I think everyone accepts awarding earned outcomes (not automatically everything) for personally grown LFR PCs at the correct level which you used for the adventure. 

Claire and I accept awarding that earned outcome for PCs upgraded in level (legally) for the playtest, when the specific PC reaches that level and the adventure has been released (which ever is later).

It probably varies a lot for fictional PCs--those totally made up for the playtest.  Some admins may say okay to award outcomes to a different PC, while others don't. 

If you assign awards to a PC, clearly all should accept that PC does not replay the adventure.

Playtests do count as play, at least normally.  If the admin and DM agree, they might decide to consider a specific playtest as "a bad dream" that never happened, usually with a really bad problem.  In that case, nothing is gained or retained, and the PC could play the adventure later as normal.

I think these are the most common guidelines.  However specific admins may give you different guidance for their playtest.  Follow it.

Keith






Keith Hoffman LFR Writing Director for Waterdeep
You do not (should not) get the xp, gp, treasure or story awards until the adventure is released.  Reason: it may change.  Neither authors nor DMs have the final word.  Even Writing Directors may have something changed downstream.



The problem there is that if an adventure gets released much later down the line and that PC has already advanced beyond that tier, then things get a little dicey with adventure tracking. Furthermore, the author usually knows the XP of the adventure (except in some rare cases where its a special or provides some awkward amount), so awarding the XP on the playtest date is more appropriate for tracking the PCs' actual advancement. If the final version's XP is different, it's easy to then make an incremental adjustment when the module is released.

This has been the generally accepted practice in every playtest in which I've been involved and to be honest, I don't think anyone cares enough (nor should they) to state one way or the other. However, it is interesting to hear perspectives from others.
Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com
The problem there is that if an adventure gets released much later down the line and that PC has already advanced beyond that tier, then things get a little dicey with adventure tracking.

That is exactly the problem with allowing XP rewards later, after the adventure releases for play to the whole campaign. We allowed the rewarding of XP and gold in Living Greyhawk when I was on the Nyrond triad immediately after play tests and offered "placeholder" ARs for XP and gp at least. In LFR, it's even easier since we (sadly) do not have ARs (but we should).

Anyway, if anyone is collecting feedback, I say allow for the immediate retention of XP and gp on play tests.

-------- Don (Greyson) --------

Non-smoker, White, Non-golfer, U.S.-American

do not have ARs (but we should).




Please dear god no =) my paperwork overhead is already plenty just keeping track of my certs in a reasonable manner without needing to tote them around with me to a con.
Blah blah blah
You should not get xp before the adventure premiers.
I know that is incovenient at times, but that is how it goes.
It is a small sacrifice: you make when playtesting: you get the rewards later.
That should not normally not give any problems.

Gomez

Hmm. It seems like a standard policy about playtesting would be helpful. Even if the policy were "You don't get anything (other than the satisfaction of a job well done)."

So everyone who ever playtested a non-region-specific adventure (Core, SPEC, etc.) is really supposed to contact a Global Admin about whether or not to gain XP and such? That seems... odd... and not such a good use of the Global Admins' time.


Hmm. It seems like a standard policy about playtesting would be helpful. Even if the policy were "You don't get anything (other than the satisfaction of a job well done)."

So everyone who ever playtested a non-region-specific adventure (Core, SPEC, etc.) is really supposed to contact a Global Admin about whether or not to gain XP and such? That seems... odd... and not such a good use of the Global Admins' time.




It's not something you need to worry about. Ask whoever is running your playtest and follow what that person says. Whoever is running the playtest has the responsibility of getting the information from the module author. The module author has the responsibility of getting the information from the admin responsible for his work.

You're right though - it would be good to have this documented. For as long as it isn't, people will follow different practices. For example, my playtesters receive XP when they play the adventure, not when it becomes official. That won't change until I hear otherwise from a global admin or see it in writing.

Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com
The problem there is that if an adventure gets released much later down the line and that PC has already advanced beyond that tier, then things get a little dicey with adventure tracking.

That is exactly the problem with allowing XP rewards later, after the adventure releases for play to the whole campaign. We allowed the rewarding of XP and gold in Living Greyhawk when I was on the Nyrond triad immediately after play tests and offered "placeholder" ARs for XP and gp at least. In LFR, it's even easier since we (sadly) do not have ARs (but we should).

Anyway, if anyone is collecting feedback, I say allow for the immediate retention of XP and gp on play tests.


I've always instructed players at playtests I run to wait for the final adventure to be released before awarding anything. Almost every SPEC2-1 changed in XP, gold, and items (all three!) between playtest and final released form, just as an example.

When I play a playtest I always place a blank row on my tracking sheet, then put the information I can expect as a maximum in bold and italics so I know it is for planning purposes only. If you are playtesting a regional adventure, the max will be the normal max gold/xp for the tier (which the author should be able to get to you since they have the writer's guidelines). If it ends a story arc, it might have up to 20% rewards. If it is a special or ADCP, it could be more (25-30% seems about as high as I would dare consider). If you set that aside you should be fine.

Since it is rewarded only when the adventure is released (at a con or for public play), this could mean you might have to bench the PC, but it should only be the rare case where the ambiguous XP leaves you guessing as to what level you will be. Generally not a big deal, nor would I think it a reason for someone to avoid playtesting.

I don't allow PCs to gain choice of tiers. I might consider it if they made a choice and I forced them otherwise, but then all PCs would have to settle for that tier - without any knowledge of possible rewards or challenge level. So, if they want to play low and I force them high, we play low but they will all receive the high rewards.

If a choice is involved, I record their choice, explain I need them to make a different one for testing, and I then reward them with the awards for either choice. This is seldom a big deal.

If a PC levels up to playtest, they receive the XP when they reach that level. A P1 PC leveled to play P2 only receives the rewards when the adventure is released and when they can legally play P2. Again, they can place it on whatever tracking sheet they use for planning purposes.

An LG rule that is interesting is that anything negative happens at the table, anything positive at the release date. Thus, a death suffered at a playtest would result in payment from your current funds to be raised and death penalty in your next adventure, even though the playtested adventure is not released. This makes sense to me as cleaner accounting and more transparent, vs. waiting a long time and suddenly having these negative effects. It isn't a big deal to me, however. This just seems simpler and would be what I would suggest for a playtest. If a death was due to playing a tier the table did not choose, I would not impose a cost. Similarly, if the death was due to something we felt did not work well (a TPK for an encounter that we recommend be toned down), then I would waive the death. I often throw as hard a run as I can at playtesters, as for me it is very important to know if an adventure will be too hard. I don't want players to suffer if the encounter needs to be toned down.

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Ask whoever is running your playtest and follow what that person says. Whoever is running the playtest has the responsibility of getting the information from the module author. The module author has the responsibility of getting the information from the admin responsible for his work.

So I ask the person who ran the playtest, who I may not know all that well.

He (somehow) asks the author, who he may not know at all.

And the author (somehow) asks the admin, who he may not know at all.

The admin tells the author.

The author tells the person who ran the game.

The person who ran the game tells me.

That sounds like the recipe for a game-of-telephone-like miscommunication! ;)
Playtesters report to me, not to the author.

Pierre van Rooden
LFR Dalelands Writing Director
Playtesters report to the admin, not to the author. 

The admin contacts whomever is the orchestrator of the actual group, which may or may not be the DM.  Information is provided through that person.

Keith
Keith Hoffman LFR Writing Director for Waterdeep
Well, I told my playtesters that they can have the XP and choose a package once the adventure came out. Seemed prudent for their time and assistance- if I was wrong, I'm not sure what I could do now to fix it.
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Ask whoever is running your playtest and follow what that person says. Whoever is running the playtest has the responsibility of getting the information from the module author. The module author has the responsibility of getting the information from the admin responsible for his work.

So I ask the person who ran the playtest, who I may not know all that well.

He (somehow) asks the author, who he may not know at all.

And the author (somehow) asks the admin, who he may not know at all.

The admin tells the author.

The author tells the person who ran the game.

The person who ran the game tells me.

That sounds like the recipe for a game-of-telephone-like miscommunication! ;)



If you are not known personally by either the author, the writing director or the global in charge of that region, you are very unlikely to be involved in playtesting. They do not exactly send out random emails to strangers asking them to playtest mods. The person running the playtest, chosen by Keith, or Bill, or Sean etc. will know what is expected of them and communicate that to the players.
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