First try with the wife

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First try with the wife
« on: October 11, 2011, 10:08:36 AM »
Ok, so my wife is a fan of horror movies and played a little World of Darkness a long, long time ago.  She's not a RPer at all.  She cautiously agreed to play with me because of the theme and because I said it was short.  As per the instructions, I made her be the MC.

In brief: I played Ray and found myself in a underbasement full of debris and lots of dried blood and shredded clothing.  There was some strange goo on the floor and I heard something but couldn't tell what it was (and then it stopped).  I told the MC about how Ray really looked up to his scout master who taught him the basics of spelunking after his dad left.  I decided that this was madness (largely because I figured Ray was freaked out and didn't trust his senses).  So Ray went out into the hallway to investigate the noise and into an adjacent room.  There he found a ghost clawing at the wall.  Ray really hoped she didn't look at him but then the ghost ended up turning to walk toward him.  He hoped that he wouldn't start begging (so he could get the heck out of there).  It didn't really work out for him and he had to do something else instead.  Being Jewish, he grabbed the Star of David he wore as a necklace and began to pray (I didn't see that that was an option for a different card draw until later).  Clutching his neck seemed to enrage the ghost who neck now obviously had strangle marks.  I told the MC about how Ray had always wanted to fix up his dad's old car before he died.  As the ghost attacked, Ray shoved the amulet in her face and yelled a prayer.  Ray got murdered by a ghost.

-Best line from the game: "It smells like ghost in there."
-My wife was unclear about how and when I could escape.  She only saw the references to specific numbers later.  It might pay to say something about how the game ends up front.
-#29, it should tell the MC to ask the player "what do you do now"
-#17, it wasn't clear whether the number you picked should correspond to the type of ghost you chose
-My wife had the same problem that I did as MC in that she wanted to start of sort of low key rather than with obvious evidence of violence.  I had to ask a bunch of questions to get to a point where I could choose Madness.  It might be worth a note to the MC to really hit the player on the head with the violence.  My advice to her was to imagine a horrible scene from a movie and imagine what it looked like to someone arriving the next day.
-My wife took a little while to get comfortable with narrating and making up a story and telling it.  After 3-4 sections she stopped looking sheepish, loosened up, and started to get into it.
-My wife also wasn't sure how much of the plot she needed to think up at the beginning. 
-In the end she said that she would be willing to give it another shot later in the week.  That's how I know she didn't hate it.



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Re: First try with the wife
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 10:22:50 AM »
Excellent, thank you!

Re: First try with the wife
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2011, 02:16:18 PM »
We played a second game last night with roles reversed.  I had a hard time coming up with supernatural evidence of violence that wasn't a ghost and was apparent enough that she could make choices as a player.  Again, we had trouble with the first room being apparent enough, I kind of think the first room should have be a ghost present if not attacking. 

Also, with the change from just coming up from the sewers to having been in the building for a while, it seems like most people would want to go back the way they came.  It kind of makes it difficult to introduce more evidence of violence if they are going back the way they came.  For example, if the first room is a dead end then they have to go back into a previously explored room.  When the first room has more than one exit and the evidence of violence is apparent most people would still back-track I think.  If the violence is really apparent then they're probably not going to investigate further - if its less apparent it breaks with the initial description.   

We spent way too much time watching each other read.  I think that could be fixed by breaking each page into two entries, one with the description and then a second one (on a different page) with the resolution.  That would make for shorter sections to read.   For example, read -> describe -> flip -> read -> resolve -> tell player to flip.

Sections where there are  a couple sentence-long choices would benefit from being indented  or italicized or called out in some way so it's obvious which are choices.  The icons don't seem like enough unless you have one per paragraph, which would get crowded fast.