First try today!

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NilsH

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First try today!
« on: June 30, 2010, 06:30:03 PM »
We played our first pass tonight, three players. Simon was MC (and the only one of us who read the rules) - I'm a Biker named Stinky Sam looking like Iggy Pop with a smashed face. Håkan was a Brainer whose name was Smith. The characters took 10 minutes to do and then we threw ourselves into the first session. We tried to roll a slow start, but already the first die roll threw us into the wild drama and three hours later we had completed our first pass, played the shit out of our first characters and ran the campaign in the bottom ... Damn fun!

The situation was such that Stinky was returning to his manager (a hardholder to which the gang had a debt) from a failed mission where the crew picked up a slim innocent man (Smith) who secretly manipulated the group with mental control. We stayed the night at a camp run by one Hocus. At this camp there was also the leader of a place that we burned down during the pre-game mission. My character took the gang into the camp by threat- the whole gang of savages. This roll failed and the Hocus attacted us during the night, trying to burn down our tent.

(before this fight ther were a couple of nice scenes- a girl tried to manipulate Smith to become the new Hocus, etcetera... :) Nice scenes between characters...

Anyway ... everything was really fun until our character tried to kill one another-when the system suddenly felt extremely clumsy, we yelled to make our move before the other. We battled each other for quite a while before the MC threw events that interrupted the deadlock ... We finally pulled off in different directions. The whole camp was burned down and people were like slaves. The characters ended up as mortal enemies ...

Thoughts afterwards is that next time we must ensure that our characters are in some way friends / have a common project or are interdependent. Direct conflict to kill each other did not feel at all funny, while everything else was really really fun, things just happened, the MC was as surprised over the events as we ... :)

Another puzzle was how powerful the Brainers "Direct Brain Whisper" is -Hakan used it almost all the time giving Weird-commands and made people do a lot of strange things.

My character didn´t use Weird at all...

Another reflection was how great the descriptions of what the players get out of playing the concepts are-very accurate!

Very fun game, we checking our calendars to find a day to play again-looks like it will be an early Saturday morning ....

/ Nils

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NilsH

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Re: First try today!
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2010, 06:42:00 PM »
Another reflection was it´s really fun to be bad at some stats- the fun comes when you fail- really cool! I´m gonna make extreme characters in the future...

HX seemed a bit confusing at first and we just threw it in there- "I´m doing an interception" (or what is it called?)- but after the session we discussed that we have to explain how my characters knowledge of your character helps my character to stop your move- and also show in game what I do with this knowledge- then it´s not that... theoretical... it´s not just a number and a move but something happening in the world- we kinda missed that when we played...

Shit I wanna play again and be a Battle babe, or a Skinner, or a Hardholder, or a Driver, aaaaaah!!!!!!! so much fun...

the night ended whit a discussion about playing a campain with characters like Fafhr and Grey Mouser - a Battlebabe (me) and an Angel (Håkan) travelling the world trying to save it...

We talked about making lives more valuable in our setting- it should be something extreme when some one is killed- we all wanted this take at the world to make us care more about what happens...

must slepp now, don´t know how, wanna play again... :)

Re: First try today!
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2010, 06:30:45 AM »
Thanks for posting Nils! My thoughts...

Yes, without intending to we very much made this a one-shot rather than the first session in a campaign. Quite typical for our group, as we tend to escalate stakes rather quickly and usually burn out our campaigns by the fifth our sixth session at the latest. But no worries, we will have a better start next time, now that we are a bit more informed!

It's interesting to note that all the things that didn't work that well had to do with me forgetting parts of the game's instructions. Like pushing a bit more to have the characters be allies from the start. Not like here, just fellow travelers without any reason to trust or help each other. Or like forgetting the to do it, do it-rule when it came to interfering, which made those rolls seem abstract or meta until I remembered.

A matter of taste, as well, that I carry with me from the game, is to make an effort not to let human lives get too cheap, at least in the protagonists' eyes. I mean, I love it that the world is such a harsh place and all, but I can feel a bit degraded myself and lose my engagement when the protagonists, or their gang in this case, constantly strive to behave like fucking savages . A matter of taste, as I said, but in the future I'll try to steer players away from that kind of character.

A funny thing, in the example about serious harm and taking debilities Vincent mentions that he's never seen that kind of violence between player characters in actual play. We went way beyond that on our first session with the game! :)

A couple of things I'm wondering about is if we made brain whispers to useful and experience progress too swift. When Smith the brainer was taking cover from the gang's fire, he was firing off brain whispers as fast as the player could shout it out, via his brain relay in front of the cover. One thing about this was that it seemed very potent. Sure, a miss would have led to a hard move by me, but with +3weird he didn't miss much. Has anyone experienced this as an issue?

Also, with weird highlighted - new to the game we naturally found that interesting - he made two advances in like two minutes of in-fiction time. And about the same with the chopper and his highlighted hard. I'm not personally bothered by that, but I'm wondering if I've missed something, if it's not intended to work that way?

Anyway, the game itself was as awesome as it seemed before, and actual play experience is bound to improve.

Gonna reread the book now that I've tried tried it in real life! :)

Re: First try today!
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2010, 06:44:50 AM »
A matter of taste, as well, that I carry with me from the game, is to make an effort not to let human lives get too cheap, at least in the protagonists' eyes. I mean, I love it that the world is such a harsh place and all, but I can feel a bit degraded myself and lose my engagement when the protagonists, or their gang in this case, constantly strive to behave like fucking savages . A matter of taste, as I said, but in the future I'll try to steer players away from that kind of character.

Name everyone. Make them human.

THEN kill them off like flies.

Makes all the difference.

Re: First try today!
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2010, 07:09:59 AM »
A matter of taste, as well, that I carry with me from the game, is to make an effort not to let human lives get too cheap, at least in the protagonists' eyes. I mean, I love it that the world is such a harsh place and all, but I can feel a bit degraded myself and lose my engagement when the protagonists, or their gang in this case, constantly strive to behave like fucking savages . A matter of taste, as I said, but in the future I'll try to steer players away from that kind of character.

Name everyone. Make them human.

THEN kill them off like flies.

Makes all the difference.

Yeah, I'm totally with you on that, and I love my crosshairs! Every named npc but one, I think, got killed off last night, and that's all fine.

But what I'm talking about is that having protagonists who are  murderous bastards bothers the audience part in me, and that is more or less regardless of genre or medium. I didn't like American Psycho either, good as the book or the movie might be. And that is, as I said, very much a matter of taste more than anything else.

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Chris

  • 342
Re: First try today!
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2010, 07:29:48 AM »
Yeah, Ben got that. What he means is that you should play your NPCs' humanity to the hilt and your players will back off a little. Trust me, my group will go rape/torture at the drop of a hat. In any setting.

But they don't do that in real life (that I know of). And the difference isn't always just consequences. It's humanity. When you have very human NPCs tied together into a community, there's less genital mutilation. Trust me.

Make death meaningful. Then make it not.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 07:32:59 AM by Chris »
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

Re: First try today!
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2010, 08:52:39 AM »
Your mileage may vary, but yeah, there's a world of difference between how my PCs treated "three guys with guns" and "Dog Head, Jackabacka, and Isle, all armed" even if I had never used those names before.

And I do enjoy reusing names, too, so you get situations like "Hey, wait, wasn't he my cousin? And he's with the guys who had stolen my guns? Dang. That makes my plan of shooting them all dead a bit more complicated."

Re: First try today!
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2010, 09:06:53 AM »
Yeah, Ben got that. What he means is that you should play your NPCs' humanity to the hilt and your players will back off a little. Trust me, my group will go rape/torture at the drop of a hat. In any setting.

But they don't do that in real life (that I know of). And the difference isn't always just consequences. It's humanity. When you have very human NPCs tied together into a community, there's less genital mutilation. Trust me.

Make death meaningful. Then make it not.

Chris, I was reading this and I was like, "Man! This sounds like my group."

Then I saw your name and realized it was.

Sorry for the aside.

Thread on.

Re: First try today!
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2010, 12:20:15 PM »
Good points, all. Any thoughts on the other stuff?

Re: First try today!
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2010, 02:47:45 PM »
Just a small, quick thought on one of your issues:

When your brainer was brain whispering it up in a firefight, was he acting under fire for every attempt? And was he limited to one thing per tick? Cos I think that combination might take some of the teeth out of his unstoppable psychic assault.

On the other hand, maybe he was just super scary.

Re: First try today!
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2010, 01:54:34 AM »

I was wondering the same thing about the Brainer. If you're in an actual fight, he only gets one move per tick -- and the fight doesn't have all that many ticks until it's over. All 'shouting' should determine (if you decide it determines anything) is the order in any given round.

Re: First try today!
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2010, 02:34:18 AM »
Well, following the advice in the book we didn't use the full battle mechanics since it was the first session. We just went with the basic moves. We still played it out sort of one tick at a time, though, with both character getting to do one 'thing' each as the fight progressed. No countdown mechanic though.

But no, I just forgot about acting under fire there. Doh! Of course he was acting under fire, and quite literally, even though he was behind a piece of concrete barrier. Thanks for pointing it out!