Thursday night's play test didn't go nearly as well as I had hoped. We were shy a couple people anyway, but the chargen process took much longer than I anticipated. In addition, the characters that got created turned out to be much more exciting/interesting than the scenario I'd written up for the play test.
I think the main thing that didn't work, though was ME...I was coming off my third (fourth?) night of less than 4 hours sleep, and shooting a whisky to start the evening was a stupid, stupid idea (especially as I'd had a beer earlier with dinner, but I was watching a pretty good Seahawks game). By the time I'd been slurring along for a couple hours, my energy was completely sapped...and being less than enthused for my own adventure (not to mention, being two weeks out from when I'd initially written it...so I didn't remember it all that well), made it a less-than-memorable event.
I think I need to fall back on the old space opera trope of starting in media res...you know, an action sequence with blasters firing and starships swooping and all that jazz? Or maybe not...I mean, if the session is supposed to play like a symphony, shouldn't it start slow and build to a crescendo?
My players have been generous enough to give me one more week of play testing as we didn't make it very far last session. I shall be re-tooling the adventure between then and now to "spice things up."
One thought that's been drumming on my mind, I think there may be too many cards in play. OR maybe there just isn't enough incentive to use them. Ugh...have to ponder this, but it sure seems like guys with a good hand really don't need to expend all that many cards (unless they're taking damage in a fight...and the smart money can find ways to avoid fights). I'm going to have to think about this...I really, really want cards to get spent in play.
Maybe I need to charge characters a "toll" card for ANY action that requires a roll. Or any action where they wish to roll more than one die. Hmmm...something to consider.