Monday, June 14, 2010

I didn't know the SLA had a Yukon chapter..

The excitement of reading the following snippet of chat is one big reason why I love sharing RPGs with new people:

: oh man! so could we maybe work together to come up with a rpg sometime? i have a couple random ideas percolating but it'd be fun to get yer thoughts and stuff
10:09 AM me: dude write 'em down
i absolutely want to hear your thoughts
can i quote what you just said on my blag, btw? :)
Rebecca: cool!

This chat came on the heels of me and B playing some Fiasco the other night; as soon as we'd finished, pretty much, B told me she had some ideas for a game design of her own. I swear, RPGs just do this to people, and it's awesome.
Onto the game: a couple of adult siblings return to their childhood home, a science station in northern Canada. They find a body with an old friend's photo nail-gunned to the chest, and proceed to get into all sorts of acid-dropping, cult-following, full-auto gunfire kind of fun.
Things were a little slow at first, as B got a sense of what the game expected of her, so to speak. She relied a lot on describing the internal state of characters in her control, and we definitely (in general) had a somewhat fast and loose "ownership" of various characters.
Given that there were only two players, sometimes it got a little funky deciding who would play whom. Overall, though, we made it work.
The setup was something she really, really enjoyed (as did I), and I think that's wicked-cool: I love me some randomized plot-seed generation!
The game definitely suffered a little for our paucity of players in that the dice system didn't *quite* work as planned - during the Tilt, you're going to appoint only two players to share elements for the big twist, pretty much guaranteed. Only two. So, naturally, the giving-away-dice rule for Act One was a little meaningless, in our situation. Still, as a learning game, it was fine.

Speaking of which, I pulled two little tweaks (quite transparently, to my credit) to make things easier, especially at first - we rolled to see who would go first, and then I suggested, when the dice went B's way, that she be the one to *choose* who went first. She chose me, iirc ^_^ Secondly, I would often ask her whether she'd rather Establish or Resolve the scene when it was my turn (partly, admittedly, because I was cool with whatever and I didn't often have huge scene ideas between scenes, only during them).

Overall, I think the game would benefit (for me) by playing it with the recommended 3+ people, just to see how that'd go. Also, Fiasco's in-scene mechanics are very hand-wavey; dice-rolling and number-counting definitely bracket the Acts, and we have a Tilt and an Aftermath in there, too, but, man, mid-scene, it's kind of weird when violence happens and nobody has any mechanical way of saying how it's going to go down.

The setup system is so friggin' cool, though, that I think a little early-00's style "story-vision" (i.e. "like, man, we don't want our system to get in the way of your ideas!") in the design is tolerable :)

Now we're onto discussing her idea for a game about patients in a medical facility who are trying to escape. An idea for a skill/trait: I Feel Fine, used to pass for a normie when needed and, maybe, to resist the staffers' attempts to administer treatment. It's very avant garde and intriguing in its subject matter; go Becca! ^_^

1 comment:

  1. omg, I love the medical facility idea/setting. I like the idea of "I Feel Fine." I wonder if there might be counter-attempts from staffers or other players to get someone to use a "feeling word," and perhaps that would have some consequences as well. (For example, if it was "I Feel Angry," then someone might be kept closer to the nurses' station.) I'm intrigued!