The first (of 5!) playtests is complete. Here’s what designer Tim Connors had to say (without spoilers!) on changes to the design introduced as a result of playtest feedback.
- Added event-triggered flashbacks designed to encourage camaraderie between the otherwise opposed Viking and monk investigators.
- Based pregens on Cthulhu Dark Ages to tweak/balance things like armor/weapons that don’t work as well with the gaslight era rules.
- Adjusted the BBEGs armor and magical shielding, because the pre-gen Viking brute could really pummel him if reasonably lucky.
- Restructuring the overall scenario to make it easier to read during play, including read-aloud text and streamlined handouts. I discovered very quickly that it was far easier to have all the handouts together, so I could hit Print once. And the read-aloud text helped carry a consistent mood.
- Changed the island map to hide certain locations, which allowed me to make a handout of it.
- Added an optional, harder ending requiring some sacrifice. I ran this version and it made the finale truly memorable.
- Added an option to play in real time. I kicked this option into play about mid-adventure, and my players loved it.
If you’re a fan of the Call of Cthulhu, The Red Eye of Azathoth is definitely worth your attention.