Instant Message Playtest

  • 4 Replies
Instant Message Playtest
« on: October 11, 2011, 01:33:34 PM »
Myself and Jake (Thnxbrvknight here) played a game over instant message (I'll post logs when I get home later). I had a deck of cards, so I drew mine face-down as normal and drew his face-up (and told him what he drew). I figured this was the easiest solution.

We've both been players and GMs plenty of times, so it was up in the air which would take which book, but he requested the player. We played the game in two parts, since I had to leave my house suddenly.

At the end, we both had a good time. Jake said he was (unexpectedly) wigged out a few times, while I definitely gave myself the wigs. We didn't hit any major problems that I noticed, but Jake can pipe in if he disagrees.

One thing I noticed, Vincent, is that I tended to add a little bit of "color" or "fiction" here and there in ways that weren't explicitly called out on the page I was on. I'm not sure how legit that is! Oh, and at the end, when he died, it says "Describe the moment of the attack" or something like that, but I was totally tempted to insert a little epilogue narration... I didn't, but maybe I should have? It would have "broken" the rules...

The mechanical side of things felt pretty smooth, and I didn't hit any noticeably frustrating loops (as others have). Some of the questions are ambiguous, like when it asks if a player's action could realistically help him survive. Jake said he went to his knees and prayed, and I was like (in my head) "I dunno... could that really help him survive? I'm not sure!", but then (out loud) "Do you feel that ghosts fear prayer? Character, player, either.", and he said that his character really didn't know, but it was his only remaining option, but that he felt that they did, because it reminds them of where they're supposed to be and not where they're stuck. So, that was cool and he survived. But it still feels ambiguous to me.

That's all for now. I may fit in a game later in the week with an RPG newbie, though, and I'll come back with those logs.

Questions, comments, etc?

- AD

Re: Instant Message Playtest
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 01:36:54 PM »
What's with the bits where the player explains some bit of backstory or history?
They confused me! Am I supposed to tie them into the fiction of what's happening, or, well, what purpose do they serve? When they came up in our game, for me, it was like, "Oh, hey, that's interesting.", and then kind of... no relevance to anything.

- AD

Re: Instant Message Playtest
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2011, 02:27:37 PM »
Out of 3 completed games (1 currently ongoing via email) I didn't often have the opportunity to bring in those backstory/history bits.

One player described a time when he was near death and nearly suffocated because of fluid in his lungs. After an assault I described a bloody gash on his neck which was bleeding badly, allowing some blood to make its way into his lungs.

Another time he said his role model was Amanda, a rock climber that got him into urban spelunking. One time he described his character trying to make a makeshift bandage for his neck and I threw in something like "good thing Amanda taught you a bit of First Aid".

But those were the only two I could seem to bring back in make relevant. There were probably another 6 between all playthroughs that just kind of dangled there.



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Re: Instant Message Playtest
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2011, 03:38:05 PM »
Those backstory moments are to help both of you to identify with the character as a person, not a pawn, and to reveal more fully what's at stake in the game as a whole (that is, the PC's life). You can call back to them later if you want, but you don't need to, they've already done their job.

Re: Instant Message Playtest
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2011, 03:41:58 PM »
A-yep, that makes some sense. I'm not sure they actually served that purpose here, and I can't speak for anyone else, but the rationale makes sense.

- AD