Some of the questions raised in a playtest and the changes which resulted from those questions.
We keep forgetting the supporting characters
The supporting characters are great, but it is too easy to forget them in the dynamics of each chapter.
In the next playtest I added an additional vignette at the end of each chapter, which focuses on each of the supporting characters. The vignette describes an interaction between the supporting characters and the protagonists.
This is like Boromir teaching the hobbits how to fight as they traveled south towards the gap of Rohan. Scenes which endear these characters to us, so that we care what happens to them.
This did the job and is now being written into the rules.
It would be nice to have something about enjoying the victory after the final battle
Great point. We don’t want a whole chapter there, so I tried a small change in the next playtest. After the final battle every player was able to give a little narrative vignette about their victory - whether the collapse of the villains power, freeing of captives, crowning of a king or whatever.
It’s the equivalent of the celebration at Gondor and the crowning of Aragorn before the hobbits started their journey home.
When do we find the McGuffin?
A special item is introduced in the set up, but we don’t specify when it appears. They playtesters thought that it would be helpful to give some indication about how it is introduced and used. So additional information that say it should be one of the wondrous items which is created will be added to the rules. In addition, guidance that if not already in hand by the penultimate chapter, then gaining it in the penultimate chapter should be arranged (even if it is gained at a terrible cost).
In the Sword of Shannara, Shea infiltrates the Warlock Lord's fortress in the Skull Mountain and finds the sword at the very end of the quest.