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Larry Spiel
Tabletop Role Playing Gamer
Tabletop Role Playing Gamer

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Playing Tremulus tonight.

So, if you have the time, would you please tell me of your favourite Old One and how they have enriched your meager existence?

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The end is here.

At last. 

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Have you seen this? It looks pretty cool.

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Night Witches post mortem

So, I ran Night Witches locally for a year. Sessions were about once a month. I know this game's been out for a while, but here are my thoughts.

Shots on Target
For people accustomed to PbtA games, this one was very intuitive. Both for running it and playing it. It was a bit heavy to get going initially, but the play itself was very smooth.

Players focused heavily on interpersonal relationships. The night missions were more of a threat hanging over each session - a chance for everything to get thrown upside down.

A lot of the realities of life for these airwomen lent itself naturally to play. As the GM, hardships in their lives seemed expected. Poor leadership, lacking supplies, a dangerous and better prepared enemy, and (my personal favourite) NKVD, all put pressure on the PCs.

But success seems sweeter as well. My PCs loved to earn a medal or a promotion. Getting something they want in the fiction, despite the many forces against them, made the victory more meaningful. Even if it's just getting back the underwear one of the cooks stole.

I have also posted before about how I liked having leadership being a thing. That worked great for me.

"Training Accidents"
I found it a lot of work to get going on the game, and immediately after getting that work done, I found that +Jason Morningstar had already created a starting package to take care of it. Oops. Still, what we did worked, and the parts we created together made the first duty station a bit less top-down.

We did two different duty stations. We did not switch GMs, which I was fine with. The door was open, but not everyone is interested in or comfortable with the role. That's fine.

I'm not sure how effective I was in dealing with Reaching Out moves, particularly failed rolls when writing letters. Usually I just, a bit later in the fiction, wrote a letter back they would receive of some bad news. "Your brother has been send to Stalingrad. We're all praying for him."

We had quite a few airwomen perish as well. More most other games I've run. Regard gives some in-game consequence to death, but many left shock waves through the fiction. A friend is lost. The star pilot is proven mortal. A rivalry ends in a fiery wreak.

Wheels Down
I really liked Night Witches. It was a great game that had me often thinking about what was going to happen next session. Nothing was expected. Every session had the potential for surprises.

And the setting and play was rich enough to offer a bit of everything. Some historical details might appeal to one player, and the danger of a personal relationship might appeal to another.

It was never boring.

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+Jason Pitre is taking Sig to the next plane of existence. What are the tethers?

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Well, got another recent arrival. 2017 is being good to me.

Looks gorgeous. 

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Ran Masks last night. Here are my thoughts:

The Good:
Loved how influence worked. Bringing it into conversations was actually pretty seamless. Perhaps a little too much so, as stat shifting conversations happened very often. Not a bad thing in a one-shot when we're learning, but something I'd probably try to make more significant in an ongoing game.

The moves were solid. They did what they need to. They were clear. They moved the story in interesting directions. Creating moves for villains, and triggering their actions when they gained conditions, made confrontations feel more dynamic and exciting.

Playbooks seemed to make the players happy. I haven't played the game, so I can't comment too deeply on this.

The (not so) Bad:

Conditions seem cool, but I think they'd take so practice to make good use of. Both for myself and my players, I think. I believe that they work, but they're not as intuitive for us.

I am not ready to wing it in Masks the way I am in many other PbtA games. This is mostly because I am not terribly familiar with the superhero genre (so, when I first watched Dark Knight, I had no idea Harvey Dent would become two-face).

I think this means I would need to have some prep ready for running this in the future, just to keep up continuity in play a bit better. I think the Hero/Villain decks will help as well, when they arrive. I might even try to read some comics at some point (open to suggestions here).

The Ugly:

No one liked my puns.

The Conclusion:

Masks felt like it was worth the wait for me. I don't typically look at a game's rules until it's reached it's final version, so I'd been waiting a while to see the results here.

When I have the time, I do want to dig into this game further. I had a great time running it, and I'm fairly sure the players enjoyed it as well.

I do think I could get better at running it as well, just might take a bit of effort.


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Running Masks for the first time this evening. Anyone have advice to offer? 

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No one cared who I was until I ran Masks.

(New Kickstarter arrival! Been looking forward to this one.) 

Question for +Epidiah Ravachol:

About a year ago, you told me that you were going to try to go a year without mentioning a certain RPG by name if you could at all avoid it.

Are you still at it? If so, how did it go?
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