Experimental playtesting project

I have seen a number of good orphaned ideas for games and mechanics all over the Internet.
I want to mine them, test them and learn from that. I have a few ideas on how this could go, but can’t go it alone, and would like co-decision as much as possible. So post your reply if you see the fun in it and your questions if you’re left perplex.


How would this “mining” process work? What is the end goal? Who benefits from a pile of disparate shower-thoughts?


That’s the spirit !
“Mining” is reading forums like this one, looking for games or mechanics, or peculiar game modifications. Once you got one, you copy/paste the URL (or small enough text) as a new entry in a global spreadsheet. We then tag and order these for testing.
There are many goals to this process, but it’s obviously infinite, which makes your question hard to answer.
I can only speak for myself : to me the benefit is that I will learn real fast lessons in game design. I will learn what looks like nothing and makes a world of difference, what looks good on paper and doesn’t work in practice. I’ll also get to know what other people enjoy, and what works well enough for a majority, or only a niche, but intensely then. I did this for a movie festival and believe me : it’s worth a masterclass.
It’s like learning a language or quit smoking in that regard : I know very much why I want to do it, but what about you ? If you don’t see the part you want to play in it, I am not here to convince you. So, do you see the fun it or are you just waiting for reasons not to move :stuck_out_tongue: ?


If learning is the main goal, my first inclination would be to examine published games. They’re much easier to find, each instance will have far more useful content to evaluate, and we already know how the games did critically and financially.

As an advocate for variety in TRPGs, the idea of a shared resource listing tons of mechanisms is certainly appealing. Too many players try vanilla, and just stick with that flavor for years, completely ignorant of the dozens they are missing out on.


I’m not sure published games are easier to find. Many creations are just Google away, no purchase required.

The thing with posting things here is that this doesn’t scale, @DeReel. You’re probably much better off using wiki to catalog all findings and posting here references/comments. I believe there’s already a wiki for ttrpg mechanics that could be a good starting point, I’ll search for it in a sec.

Here it is:


That strikes me as a solid starting point, beginning with published games. But for the most part, I don’t need anything that doesn’t already exist to to do that. The experimentation begins when someone wants to try a known game with a weird shift in parameters. Short games or parcels of games, mechanics, simply seem practical to handle.At the most minute level, techniques I found on Story Games, mechanics dominik kindly points to, what happens when you can combine or alter them, their natures, are something I want to experiment on. And I haven’t seen lots of places to do that. Oh, there are calls for playtest, but it’s always on the same model of offer / demand. I am not very interested in the market per se [edit].

@dominik Yes, we need a document that is not a thread, even with so called “wiki posts”, to gather and organize material. I thought a simple spreadsheet could do, but using the existing wiki can certainly have advantages. Is it easy to do for anybody ? What are the benefits ? It sure sounds good for linking, categorizing and tagging datas… How would that go ? Creating addenda to the “Campaign wiki mechanic” to explore what has been done with a mechanic, what is suggested can be done with it, the cost and constraints, and see what sort of concepts and tools emerge from the process, that sort of things ? I’ll begin to tinker with that. In this wiki we can also file ideas from RPG patterns and Resourcefull.

So I made this document where I pasted the basic sources so far. Nothing new there, only foundations.

Also, who’s in charge of the RPG mechanic wiki at the moment ? It can’t be left the way it is if it is to be used.

Right now I am starting my own wiki on localhost, and will be publishing it at Fictioneers.net when there’s enough structural elements.


Wikimedia is up but content is slow to build. Playtesting, OTOH, will begin shortly.


I give up on Wiki as it did teach me only boring things. Its conservative function makes its content lean toward mainstream. McLuhan lives ! Zine is the thing !

Also, to work from home, I got a mike paid for me, so now I also experiment with weird little games on CestpasduJdR (ThisisnoRPG) french Discord.

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