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Playtester Info HEADING_TITLE

Roleplaying products often feature lots of new rules, some of which can be complex. To ensure that each of our products is as good as (or better!) than the one before, Kenzer and Company provides playtest copies of new releases to be reviewed and checked for consistency with existing material. It's work, but it can also be a lot of fun.

Playtester Benefits

  • first access to new supplements and adventures
  • the right to make your voice heard (even more than it already is) and influence the product
  • playtesters who give comments that the editor feels are useful (comments such as "this rule sucks" do not count) receive credit in the book.

How Do I Become A Playtester?

To become a playtester, each person needs to download a copy of the Non-Disclosure Agreement PDF, and the Playtester Application PDF. You also need to sign up for our discussion forums to get a screen name. Next, fill the forms out completely and return them to Kenzer and Company by fax or postal mail, marked "Attn: Playtesting." You can also return these by email to Mark Plemmons (mark(at)kenzerco.com).

If you must return forms via email (by using a scanner on the documents after you've printed and filled them out), be sure you scan each page at actual size, between 72-150 dpi. All images must be PDF or JPEG files (converted to grayscale, as this reduces file size dramatically). When possible, include all images in a .ZIP (not .SIT) file to further reduce file size. If you are playtesting as a group, each member must provide a signed copy of the Non-Disclosure Agreement, though you only need to submit a single copy of the Playtester Application. The person who submits all the NDAs and posts the feedback (almost always the DM/GM), is the Lead Playtester, and acts as the liaison between your group and Kenzer and Company.

Once your NDAs are received and your application has been approved, you will receive an email granting you access to the playtester forums on our website, where you can download the files and post your playtesting feedback. We are very busy, so please be patient if you do not receive a fast response. If you do not hear back from us within two weeks, send an email requesting an update on your playtesting status.

Important: You need reliable access to email and the internet, and the ability to download files of 1+ MB in size.

What Do I Look For In Playtesting?

First and foremost, we need playtesters to review NPC and monster statistics blocks. The next priority are other new rules - mostly prestige classes (for D&D: Kingdoms of Kalamar), and equipment and magic items (for D&D and HackMaster). This applies to both supplements and adventures.Occasionally, we may also offer other new product lines for playtesting. In any case, the following guidelines should help you.

  • Do the rules mesh with existing material (if any)?
  • Do they make sense? Is there a logical reason for them?
  • Are the rules well balanced with existing rules or other rules in this book?
  • Is the text easy to read and understand?
  • Did you have to frequently refer to other books?
  • Is there something you feel is missing?
  • Is there something you feel is unnecesary or irrelevant?
  • How would you solve these rules problems?

Most playtest documents are unedited first drafts, so you should ignore spelling, grammar and punctuation errors unless you believe these affect the rules themselves. For example, let us know if you spot a weapon that deals damage of 1d6+20 instead of 1d6+2!

What About Playtesting Adventures?

As well as the guidelines and rules checks mentioned above, which you can review on your own, adventures also require group playtesting. Some additional questions and guidelines for adventure modules are listed here.

  • How many hours of gameplay did you spend, and how far did you progress?
  • How much experience did your party earn?
  • Were the monster encounters well balanced for the party level?
  • Were there any character deaths? If so, how did they occur?
  • Was the story well thought out?
  • Were the plot points easy to follow?
  • Were there any "dead spots" in the story? If so, where?
  • What can be improved in this adventure?

Remember, if you are playtesting in a group, each member of your group must have sent in a Non-Disclosure Agreement.

Do I Have A Deadline?

Generally, we will provide a date when playtesting for the product will be closed. Be sure to get your rules checks and comments posted to the forums before that date. Sometimes, however, these deadlines are extended. If there is no deadline yet, we may add one soon, so try to get your feedback in as quickly as possible. Keep checking the playtester forums for updates.

Okay, I Playtested Something. Now How Do I Get Credit?

When you post your feedback, include your personal name at the end of your feedback. We don't always recognize "screen names." If you feel you provided many rules checks, include your shipping address. Although the playtester forum is a private forum, you may feel uncomfortable posting your mailing address. In this case, send it in an email to Mark Plemmons (mark(at)kenzerco.com), and let him know that you've finished your playtesting for this particular product.

If you have any questions, email Mark Plemmons (mark(at)kenzerco.com) and he'll get back to you as soon as possible.

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