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Played in one session (of a 7 session story arc) of The Watch as a guest player. This was scheduled as part of The Gauntlet's online gaming.

Overall, I had a blast. Love the way The Ties That Bind target both personal and clan themes (made it very easy to step into an existing game). It was my first PbtA game with dedicated missions (similar to Night Witches, maybe?), and for one session, I can say that I was into it. I'm used to playing story games with scene framing and I actually enjoyed the: let's decide as players, let's all roll, then let's figure out how it all ties together narratively and play a couple of scenes.

One thing that came up in our post-session talk: Does anyone envision that Mission Moves may become stale after many sessions? Other than the final conflict, does anyone see the possibility of customizing Mission Moves for specific missions (maybe not all the time, but for specific parts of a game or story arc)?

Hello, superfriends!

If any of you fine folks are going to be at GenCon and want to run The Watch, hit me up and I can hook you up with tips and resources to ensure a dynamite one-shot.

Also, I pretty much won't be leaving Games on Demand, so I'll be easy to find. Come say hello!

Finally ran my one-shot of the game for a group of players, most new to roleplaying, almost all new to PbtA, and notably, entirely trans women! (Some technological snarls forced us to push play back one week, sorry for the delay.) I deliberately invited way too many players because I know folks tend to drop out, and sure enough, we went from having all of the Playbooks claimed to just having four players.

Setting creation was a lot of fun: I decided that the Shadow turns men into mute savages, losing their voices over time and acting increasingly violent, while women become inanimate statues of black glass that they blindly pay worship to. The players really surprised me with some of their stuff, given how new most of them were to the hobby; it was decided that Clan Molthas had once tried to unify the Clanlands by force and then chose self-exile in the mountains once they came to regret it, and Clan Richti were famed navigators who mapped the stars and have a magical constellation map that moves with the night sky. Both of those jumped out at me as super cool. Clan Sharn notably possessed the largest supply of untainted water left in the Clanlands, which the others resent them for.

Our squad wound up having a Lionness (Liasa, the commanding officer of the crew, a trans woman out of Clan Dotha), a Fox (Yavni, a Richti trans woman experienced in this fight already), a Raven (Sabal, an intersex non-binary woman from Clan Molthas and the freshest recruit of the bunch), and a Spider (Kel, an older Sharn cis woman with burns all over her body and a cruel wit), with the other player unable to make it. Yavni and Sabal wound up stealing the show, with an early religious argument and a couple narrow rescues from certain death giving them a tumultuous battlefield friendship.

Their mission was to rescue an influential elder woman, Lati, from a village left behind the front when the Shadow made their most recent push. Lots of Complications were rolled in our Mission Moves; Sabal wound up pretty heinously wounded and panicked, the elder was rescued (in a pretty dramatic strike on a ruined cathedral) only to have her turn into a dust devil made up of obsidian shards that very nearly killed Sabal on the route home before vanishing off to surely menace the Watch another day. Our squad returned to base with their target not only not alive and safe, but now an active threat, and we had some vignettes to show how little hope the traditionalists back home believed in them and their fight.

We had a little trouble with the structure of the Moves, feeling that the Mission Moves especially were a little counter-intuitive and that they wanted more actual Moves to do while on the mission going from scene to scene; while I think a part of this is inexperience with the engine, there was a fair bit more of "what can I do?" than I expected, and the game wound up really having nothing other than Rely On Your Training rolls once the Mission Moves were done, which made other stats feel less useful. It was also a little tough to feel out the difference for me (as MC) to deal out Weary marks instead of Jaded, but I feel like I did an okay job winging it.

Overall, the ride was a little bumpier than I think any of us would've liked, but we had a lot of fun, the players came away despite the warts really enjoying PbtA, and I get the satisfaction of knowing The Watch has now had at least one entirely-trans group of players take a shot at it.

Brief rules question: from my reading, it looks like all of the Mission Moves are rolled first, and then the entire mission is played out to follow the structure established by that. Is that correct, or do you come across the Mission Moves in play as the fiction proceeds?

So after asking around the other day and hearing who all had played The Watch so far, I decided to even the scales a little bit and now have an all-trans group of players together! We'll be playing in the next week; will report back!

Would it be feasible to play a pacifist character in the Watch? Or a squad (or maybe even an entire Watch) or pacifists, given the difficulty of roleplaying a pacifist as part of a team that does not share those values.
Are there options in defining the Shadow that could make the Shadow's forces either so completely inhuman that killing them wouldn't trouble someone with a code against harming other people or expressly redeemable, making subduing its agents preferable to killing them? Are there missions that could focus more on capture, sabotage, or subversion of the enemy rather than combat or even missions that could allow for something like diplomacy?
Most importantly, would that undermine the themes of the game by enforcing a traditionally feminine peacemaker role or by seeking peaceful resolution with an oppressive and violent force?

Not sure if anyone has actually run the game yet, but I'm curious; how has the explicit gender restrictions of the player characters been received by players? My group is almost entirely trans women and nb femme folks, so of course we all loved it, but I was curious if anyone had trouble selling men on the game. 

Any chance we can sneak a peak at the stretch goal playbooks sometime? The brief descriptions of the Eagle, Fox, and Raven in the preview have me drooling 💛

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Worth a watch. I know it's a bit of tangent to the game, but if nothing else, just seeing the women in training and fighting on the horses is great.

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