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Old 12-12-2023, 07:44 AM   #1
Kromm
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Default Call for Playtesters: GURPS Meta-Tech

We are seeking playtesters for GURPS Meta-Tech, by Christopher R. Rice. This 32+ page supplement is about using character abilities to define not gadgets that cost character points, but equipment that is bought with money and that might even be commercial, off-the-shelf technology in some settings. It is based on the article "Metatronic Generators," in Pyramid #3/46: Weird Science.

Having that Pyramid issue is not required to participate in this playtest, and in fact we are actively seeking applicants who have never seen it – all the rules found there reappear here, in more detail, and we want to make sure that they are clear in their own right. Being familiar with and adept at using GURPS Powers is absolutely essential, however. It would also be useful to have and know where to find things in GURPS Power-Ups 4: Enhancements and GURPS Power-Ups 8: Limitations. Finally, there will be a lot of "builds" to check . . . being a calculator crackerjack or Excel expert would be a plus.

The playtest is currently scheduled to run for at least a full month starting on January 2, 2024. If crunching the crunch takes longer, we are prepared to extend it as needed.

Please apply only if you have all the necessary supplements, are willing to dive into heavy crunch, and can commit to at least a month. Preferential playtest slots will be given to those who have spent at least $50 on PDFs from Warehouse 23 in the past calendar year, though this is not a requirement. For more, see the general playtest information page.

Prospective playtesters should email Christopher at empererofthemoon@gmail.com with [META-TECH PLAYTEST] in the subject. Include your preferred email address for the closed playtest mailing list, your name as you wish it to appear in the published supplement, your Warehouse 23 email if it's different from the address for the list, and a few words on why we should pick you: qualifications, experience, current gaming group(s), etc. Please use this format:

Code:
meta-tech-playtest@4mail.org
R. Richards
richards.reed@4mail.org

I've been using metatronic generators in my game since I first read the article back in 2012. I also have Powers and the full Power-Ups series. I'm happy to crunch the crunch . . . actually, I made a spreadsheet for the original system.
We look forward to hearing from you!
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Old 12-12-2023, 10:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: Call for Playtesters: GURPS Meta-Tech

I'd also add if you have a discord handle or forum handle putting that in the application email would also be useful.

:-)
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Old 12-12-2023, 11:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Call for Playtesters: GURPS Meta-Tech

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher R. Rice View Post

I'd also add if you have a discord handle or forum handle putting that in the application email would also be useful.

:-)
Yes. The requested identifiers – email for mailing list, credits name, Warehouse 23 account email – are the minimum that SJ Games requires. We need the first so that you can actually playtest, the second to put your name in the book, and the third to check that you're who we think you are.

If you're comfortable, you're most welcome to add any other identifiers you like, on whatever forums, chats, or social media you use. If you're excessively comfortable, you can send phone numbers, street addresses, and whatnot. None of it will be shared publicly! However, telling us more won't mean you're more likely to be chosen . . . it will just give us more ways to tell you "You're chosen!" if the basic ones don't work.

Our playtests do no use forums, chats, social media, or other platforms besides a Google Group that sends and receives email like a mailing list. In fact, if you see playtest drafts or discussions anywhere but on that Google Group or in your email as a subscriber, please drop us a line. We'll want to shut it down.
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Old 12-13-2023, 09:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: Call for Playtesters: GURPS Meta-Tech

Note: What SJGames calls a playtest is more like a review of materials and your thoughts on what works and doesn't work. Actually using the material is a huge plus, but not required.
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Old 12-13-2023, 10:02 AM   #5
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Default Re: Call for Playtesters: GURPS Meta-Tech

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher R. Rice View Post

Note: What SJGames calls a playtest is more like a review of materials and your thoughts on what works and doesn't work. Actually using the material is a huge plus, but not required.
I'd like to clarify this:
What SJ Games really, truly, honestly wants is a true playtest: Use of the manuscript in play. You might introduce it into an ongoing campaign (perhaps with an "Elseworlds" or "it was all just a dream" clause if it doesn't work out), start a mini-campaign expressly to test the material, or use it in one-off adventures, encounters, or even gladiatorial deathmatches. Afterward, rather than info-dump a huge after-action report into the playtest, you turn your experiences and any notes you took into playtest comments on specific sections, in the preferred format for SJ Games playtests.

What SJ Games often gets is a review: You read the manuscript and ask for clarifications, point out errors, and propose deletions, changes, and additions for specific sections, in the preferred format for SJ Games playtests. This isn't without value, but – except for checking math, which is hell for the editor and a welcome service! – it tends to be inferior to playtesting. That's because (1) things that make sense on the page can still result in slow game play and player-GM disputes at the gaming table, and (2) reviews often drift into the land of comments-on-comments(-on-comments, ad infinitum), where it's no longer clear whether the feedback is on the words in the manuscript or the words of another reviewer.
The fact that SJ Games often gets a review doesn't change the fact that what SJ Games calls a playtest is a playtest. As Christopher says, SJ Games sees that has a huge plus. It isn't required only because there's no way to prove it was done. If SJ Games had a way to know for sure whether the materials were used in play, they'd require it from anyone not doing the equally valuable service of math-checking.

So, if you can playtest – or barring that, if you can check math and do other practical work – you're more likely to get selected, or at least more likely to get credit for your efforts. Armchair editing and philosophical debate in a vacuum aren't nearly as useful as actual play and math-checking.
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Old 12-13-2023, 10:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: Call for Playtesters: GURPS Meta-Tech

Way better than the way I put it - or at least more in depth and from the horse's mouth.
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Old 12-13-2023, 10:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: Call for Playtesters: GURPS Meta-Tech

I'll say it on the record:

When it's my manuscript and the time comes to cut the list of "everybody who said something" down to "people whose input made a difference, meriting a credit and a comp copy," those who ran playtests with real gamers at real gaming tables float to the top of my list, ahead of all reviewers, along with the people who did tedious math checks. Those two groups always make my short list – and if SJ Games tells me the list is too long, I fight to keep it. Although I can't prove actual playtesting, I've been a gamer for 44 years, a playtester for about 40 years, and doing this job for 28 years, so I have decent intuition on the subject.

Also, when it isn't my manuscript but I am the or an editor of it, I set aside my normally humble self and view my editorial skills as superior to those of anyone who hasn't been editing games for 28+ years. Thus, review input that feels like an attempt to do my job for me sinks to the bottom of the list.
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Old 12-13-2023, 10:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: Call for Playtesters: GURPS Meta-Tech

I do this as well (the actual playtesting being the top spot for comps and thanks) - but lots of folks don't have time for that. I hope I can get in at least 1-2 such tests this time even if I have to host and run them myself.
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Old 12-13-2023, 08:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Call for Playtesters: GURPS Meta-Tech

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Afterward, rather than info-dump a huge after-action report into the playtest, you turn your experiences and any notes you took into playtest comments on specific sections, in the preferred format for SJ Games playtests.

.
Just a note from someone who's been watching this for 25 years ad that s pay attention to the part of Kromm's words I've quoted. I have seen "playtest reports" that were little more than "We ran your stuff last night and it was a blast! Everybody had a great time!". I don't think that's what anybody is asking for either.

Also, remember whatever an Author or Lead Playtester asks for. When I was playtesting Spaceships I didn't put in the Mountain Dew consumption or the Monty Python quotes but David Pulver did want round by round game mechanics (including die rolls) at that stage.
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Old 12-13-2023, 11:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Call for Playtesters: GURPS Meta-Tech

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
I'll say it on the record:

When it's my manuscript and the time comes to cut the list of "everybody who said something" down to "people whose input made a difference, meriting a credit and a comp copy," those who ran playtests with real gamers at real gaming tables float to the top of my list, ahead of all reviewers, along with the people who did tedious math checks. Those two groups always make my short list – and if SJ Games tells me the list is too long, I fight to keep it. Although I can't prove actual playtesting, I've been a gamer for 44 years, a playtester for about 40 years, and doing this job for 28 years, so I have decent intuition on the subject.

Also, when it isn't my manuscript but I am the or an editor of it, I set aside my normally humble self and view my editorial skills as superior to those of anyone who hasn't been editing games for 28+ years. Thus, review input that feels like an attempt to do my job for me sinks to the bottom of the list.
This is really valuable feedback - thank you. When I posted queries the other month about the Atlantropa playtest, the feedback was all about reviews and not actually about play testing it. I now have a much better understanding and, of course, some impetus (should I be selected in any future playtests) to grab my gaming group and say "hey, guess what we're doing next weekend". I mean, that could entail character generation, actual play in an existing game, a quick one-shot built to have some fun with new material, and so on. Lots of options that really aren't clear from reading the playtest guidelines (at least, not clear to me).

The implication is that you are allowed to distribute relevant material to other people so they can play it, on the obvious proviso they don't further distribute it or comment on it publicly - is that correct?
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