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Games Played - 17th November 2012

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We meet one Saturday a month from 12pm to 9pm to play Indie RPGs. Check our Meetup site for dates and times. Post here for suggestions, comments, ideas for upcoming events and loving good vibes.

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Games Played - 17th November 2012

Postby Epistolary Richard » 12:59am on 18 Nov 12

Some sadness and some gladness at today's indiemeet as Piers TEH MAGUS!!!11!!1! wrangled his last pitching sessions as he steps down from the role of Indiemeet Overlord (we never should have allowed him that bike ride through France... too much fresh air for a gamer to handle). But as he made clear, he'll be no Black Leaf, so we look forward to his heckling his successors next month.

The gladness is, as always, more new faces, more new games and our regular happy state of having more punters eager to pitch than we have players to fill them. Two sessions are just not enough for all the gaming goodness on offer!

This month (corrections happily received):

12:30pm slot

Fiasco (Area 51 playset playtest) - Piers +4
Hillfolk - Rach +4
Stuart's Fairy Tales (sans Stuart :o ) - Adam +3
Dungeon Crawl Classics (the level 0 adventure) - James +4
Dungeon World - Alex +6
... surely Moldvay is not far away

5:00pm slot

Dog Eat Dog - Robert +4
My Life with Master (Vaudeville) - James +3
UnAmerican (Hot War Mythos hack) - Scott +4
Dread Jenga (Zombie) - Steph +4

Next Indiemeet will be 15th December, but before then some folk from Indiemeet will be running "(Indie) Games on Demand" all day at Dragonmeet on the 1st.
"Asking Piers to a seminar about the state of the British RPG industry is like asking The Clash if they'd like to attend a Live Aid reunion." Baz King
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Re: Games Played - 17th November 2012

Postby Magus » 1:06am on 18 Nov 12

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Dungeon Crawl Classics!

Postby Pete » 4:18pm on 18 Nov 12

Lo!

First slot saw me play Dungeon Crawl Classics! Get in!

James was our ever lovin' Dungeon Master, and we were joined by Ash, Matt Nixon, and Josh. We played through the bundled "back of the book" module, The Portal Under The Stars, an 8-room dungeon for lots of 0-level adventurers.

We each played 3 characters of 0-level that we rolled up in the old school 3d6 style; happily we also got to roll for our profession, such that we ended up with a ragtag bunch of woodcutters, elven barristers, escaped slaves, and scribes; we also rolled randomly for our names, because hey, there's a table packed with names so why not? I would never have thought of naming my slave "Chungrilla" so win! Er, I think.

Chargen took ~15 minutes, and then our 12-strong party of doughty wannabes ventured through the mysterious portal into a dungeon filled with The Grinding Statue of Ruby Ray Death, 78 Clay Warriors Who Endured A Muddy Death Thanks To Our Cunning, a Talking Snake That Ate Our Friend's Face Off, stuff like that.

I volunteered to map the dungeon—one of my characters was a scribe! Check out my map, yo!

Image

Our characters only had 1-4 hit points, so death was our constant friend. The very first room claimed a victim when one of Nixon's chaps was stabbed to death by animated statues! Bwhahaha! We did emerge from the dungeon victorious—and graduated to 1st Level characters, ding, gz!—but 6 of the 12 adventurers were dead: 1 was stabbed, 2 were eaten by a snake, 2 were burned to cinders, and 1 was bludgeoned to death by Shambling Crystal Creatures!

Combat was pleasantly quick and quite narrative, with bonuses and the like on offer for skillful use of the environment. Ace! One enemy was even driven off by a mighty roar from my woodcutter, so it was just all hack and slash. Great GMing from James to respond intelligently to our cunning strategems.

All in all, quite the fun game. Player skill was in much in evidence as we used the environment to our advantage, something I very much liked. There wasn't all that much IC banter or role-play: I did try, and everyone was quite accepting of it, but it was somewhat superfluous. Rolling randomly for stuff was fun, and while we made the odd few meta-jokes about marching order and stuff like that, the play was pleasantly non-meta.

I enjoyed it! Many thanks to James for stepping up and bringing it. I'd like to play again, this time with a non-0-level character so that we can see some more of the system in play, such as the magic spells, Feats of Strength and the like. Besides, in the final room of the dungeon a demon tasked us with stealing a Dryad's wood, and there are rumours of a forest full of such Dryads to the east! Onward, ho, for an adventure that I hope my good gaming friend Ash will join me on!

Find below the character sheet for my Level 1 Fighter, the escaped slave Chungrilla. Why yes, he does have a Strange Rock in his backpack.

:D

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Re: Games Played - 17th November 2012

Postby Pete » 4:28pm on 18 Nov 12

In related new, and in what I believe is a first for Indiemeet, the table behind us was also playing an Old School Dungeon Crawl!

Alex was DMing Dungeon World, using this stonking 1 Page Dungeon called Deep In The Purple Worm! Check out this map, like wow!

Image

Alex was joined by Steph—playing her famouse Dwarven Vixen Potswold—Cameron, New Guy, New Guy, and Dave. Did they have maps as cool as the one we had in our Dungeon Crawl Classics game? Heck no! They did have cool lego though, so maybe it's a tie.

Their game sounded fun: evidently Potswold had her beard eaten by a Gelatinous Cube (!), and New Guy's character died at the end by narrating his crawling into the jaws of a Jabberwock and being eaten alive. (Yeah, I dunno why either.)

Game on, Old School-style! :D
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RIP Mirschka

Postby Pete » 4:53pm on 18 Nov 12

Second slot was Dog Eat Dog, a story game about cultural oppression and "the consequences of colonialism."

Rob was facilitating and playing the role of the Occupation, the colonial force oppressing the Natives, played by Dave, Piers, Alex, and me.

Interestingly, Rob got the role of the Occupation by virtue of his real world salary being the highest of anyone else at the table. In a lot of cultures that's a decidedly socially awkward way to decide something, so it was quite interesting for that reason alone: other suggestions included turning out our wallets to see who had the most credit cards, cash, that sort of thing; we were all guys, so getting our "snakes" out to compare "girth" was also (briefly) mooted (and quickly shot down). Less jokingly, I suppose you could also use number of close friends or the number of folk that love you deeply to determine "richness."

Play-wise, it was a fun game of oppression in a slightly-futuristic Mexican corporate setting. None of us had played the game before, so the game had the usual first session issues of halting play and "um, so how do we do this? Oh, right!" I think a second session will lead to a much smoother, and richer, experience of play that'll really showcase the themes of the system. For example, I found it quite hard to come up with "rules of the occupation" that flowed naturally out of the fiction.

Rob was really good at facilitating, doing his best to structure our scene framing and "rule teasing out" so that we had some decent material to play with. I felt myself floundering a little at times, because it seems like Dog Eat Dog is one of those "American-style" games where every scene has to have a conflict. (I might be wrong here, please do correct me if so.) Conflict is good and all, but I do find it a bit tiring to have to frame scenes that are either pregnant with explicit conflict or ripe with the possibility to lead to conflict. Sometimes, just for colour, to add a little depth and richness to the fiction, I do just wanna narrate some conflict-less colour as the entirety of my scene.

Still, that's not the way the game works (bear in mind that I've not read it), and so I did my best to incorporate colour into the conflict scenes: I kicked off with a scene of my cop Rodrigo taking his daughter Mirschka to school, trying to lend a little depth to "my guy" by referencing a daily routine. A friend of mine is Palestinian, and she's told me stories of what is it like to live under the Israeli cosh (I'm not interested in a discussion about the Palestinian situation, cheers), and so I stole one of her stories about queueing at Israeli checkpoints and a suicide bomber to progress the scene to conflict.

Fun. A bit lumpy, to be expected for a first time game. I'd happily play again now that I have a better handle on the structure of play. Cheers!

(Mmm, it looks like there's no PDF of the game for sale, hardcopy only. Aw.)
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Re: Games Played - 17th November 2012

Postby Pete » 5:01pm on 18 Nov 12

Epistolary Richard wrote:The gladness is, as always, more new faces, more new games and our regular happy state of having more punters eager to pitch than we have players to fill them. Two sessions are just not enough for all the gaming goodness on offer!

Aye, long may it continue.

It might be An Interesting Thing to note what games are pitched but which don't get played. There are always just too many good games for them all to get a run out, and I think that "negative space" is as interesting as the "postive" space. (Negative and positive space in the sense of figure and ground.)
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Re: Games Played - 17th November 2012

Postby rabalias » 6:51pm on 18 Nov 12

Pete wrote:Alex was joined by Steph—playing her famouse Dwarven Vixen Potswold—Cameron, New Guy, New Guy, and Dave. Did they have maps as cool as the one we had in our Dungeon Crawl Classics game? Heck no! They did have cool lego though, so maybe it's a tie.

Their game sounded fun: evidently Potswold had her beard eaten by a Gelatinous Cube (!), and New Guy's character died at the end by narrating his crawling into the jaws of a Jabberwock and being eaten alive. (Yeah, I dunno why either.)


I believe I'm New Guy #2. Or maybe #1, I dunno. Whichever one didn't get eaten by the Jabberwock.
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Gosh

Postby Pete » 8:30pm on 18 Nov 12

Wha? You were New Guy #2?

Darn, my bad for not doing the rounds and introducing myself Josh. Er, hullo, here's to bringing the cool! :D
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Re: Games Played - 17th November 2012

Postby Epistolary Richard » 10:48pm on 18 Nov 12

Pete wrote:It might be An Interesting Thing to note what games are pitched but which don't get played. There are always just too many good games for them all to get a run out, and I think that "negative space" is as interesting as the "postive" space. (Negative and positive space in the sense of figure and ground.)


I have a note of those as well, but didn't put them up because... well.. Piers (may he roll in peace) never did. Pitching at Indiemeet is a bit of an initiation in any case and the reason is always more "I can only play one game per session" than "I'm not interested in your game" that games don't run so I'd be keen to avoid even the hint of stigma.

(As a complete aside, talking about cons and "there are only so many sessions" factor, what about a 'game until you drop' format con where you put all the games up on a board and everyone adds their names to all the games they want to play and you keep gaming until everyone has played everything they wanted (or dropped)?)

On the flip side, I find the more a game gets pitched the more it starts to interest me (e.g. Quest and Inspectres). Obviously the pitcher really enjoys/believes in it. So if we listed all pitches, it gives more attention to these (often smaller name or homebrew) games that are being regularly pitched but which would only otherwise be mentioned a few times a year.

Coupled to that, reporting what's pitched as well as what's played is far more indicative to anyone looking to see what's _on offer_ at Indiemeet.

If people are interested in pitches as well then here are some options:
- I can include the pitches beneath the games, but without any GM/facilitator names e.g.
Game 1 - GM +4
Game 2 - GM +3
Game 3 - GM +5
Pitch A
Pitch B
Pitch C


- Another way would be to list _all_ the pitches (those that ran and those that didn't together) and then just at the bottom state how many games were played and how many people attended in each slot. This might be better if you think that it's so easy to infer that 'in development' games were pitched by their designer)

Pitch A
Pitch B
Pitch C
Pitch D
Pitch E
Pitch F
We played 3 games and had 15 people gaming


Of course people could still talk about the games they actually played in the thread below, you just wouldn't have front and centre what ran and what didn't.

I think either is fine so long as we make it standard practice and that people know coming in that that's what we do.

Any thoughts from the stakeholders?
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Re: Games Played - 17th November 2012

Postby hartjesper » 9:09am on 19 Nov 12

Epistolary Richard wrote:...it starts to interest me (e.g. Quest and Inspectres)...


Inspectres YEAH!!!!!

End of statement.

(Cough)

(Richard either of the above work for me, I slightly prefer the first method.)

In a new developement, I will be pitching in the new year Cassroom Deathmatch again every month, until it gets played, I will be getting cards printed to make the game play easier, and sexier.

James Out!
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Re: Games Played - 17th November 2012

Postby Pete » 9:55am on 19 Nov 12

Good suggestions Rich; either works for me, slight preference for the first.
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Re: Games Played - 17th November 2012

Postby Stephanie » 10:45am on 19 Nov 12

rabalias wrote:I believe I'm New Guy #2. Or maybe #1, I dunno. Whichever one didn't get eaten by the Jabberwock.


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Re: Games Played - 17th November 2012

Postby w00hoo » 3:19pm on 19 Nov 12

Pete wrote:Good suggestions Rich; either works for me, slight preference for the first.


What he said, although I have stronger preferences for the first as I think knowing what people chose from the offered games is of more use.
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Re: Games Played - 17th November 2012

Postby catty_big » 7:54pm on 19 Nov 12

Slot 1
Hillfolk: GM purpledragonwitch, players me, Steve, Richard and Hope.

This one slipped below my radar, but there was apparently a succesful KS campaign.

So, we were cave folk engaged in making alliances with and gaining favours from other PCs by pulling emotional strings, as well as simply trying to survive, with potential threats coming from neighbouring tribes. So, nothing like modern life then. Oh no. Once again a token system driving the emotional responses, a mechanic I'm hugely in favour of. Due to the time taken to explain the rules, which was necessary as none of us had played it before, we ended up having only a few scenes, but I think we all got a flavour of the game, which is one I'd recommend and which I'd defo play again. Thanks Rae, a good choice.

Slot 2
My Life with Master, very kindly run by James Mullen in response to a request by me on this forum. I've wanted to play (and eventually run) MLwM for some time, and, although I'll probably need to play one or two more games before I can GM it myself, I got some good pointers from Saturday's game. The one area of relative complexity re: the mechanics is the two stats you need to add for each move- fear, self-loathing, weariness etc.- but James has put together on his website a sort of ready reckoner, a more comprehensible guide in fact than appears at the end of the book.

So we played shop-worn acts in a faded vaudeville theatre run by an impresssario who was determnined at all costs to resurrect his career in the face of opposition by the manager of the Bunch of Grapes. The game was relatively short, as Hope's character gained 4 Love quite early on, which IIRC triggered the end game and allowed the Master to be killed. In a way, MLwM is similar to Hillfolk in that the roleplaying revolves around emotional connections with other PCs. But MLwM has some ingenious mechanics which raise it above the level of your average storygame (no, I know it's not really a story game but I'm struggling to find a category for it, which is another reason to rank it highly as a game IMO).

One is the two aspects of the characters called More than and Less than human. More than human is something you can do much better than everybody else except under certain conditions. Less than human is something you can't do that everybody else can, except under certain conditions. Example: My character, Marvo the ventriloquist, had as Less than human 'Can't lie, except when talking to the dummy.' This made for a very interesting scene where I was trying to cover up the fact that I'd murdered the rival impressario (after the Master had said 'Get rid of him, permanently.'). When questioned I started to stutter my way through a reply but then Hope reminded me of my Less than human quality, which I seized on, directing my response thereafter to the dummy, which must have looked pretty surreal, and was redolent of a lot of the theatre-based horror films that we all know and love, especially the one which I forget the name of which is four films in one, the final segment featuring a ventro who thinks his dummy is evil (maybe he was, who knows?).

I like this mechanic because it's part of a sub-genre of indie RPG mechanics which give the player hooks that slightly tweak the action, and are much more subtle and interesting than, say, 'Doesn't like dogs' or 'Is afraid of fire'. I'll stop now because I see I'm slipping into frothing fanboy mode.... Aaaghhg Myhaggy Life Wiighhgf Maaassttaggghhhaa... Hey, why are you putting that white coat on me? Where are you taking me?... aaaggghaagggahh....gguuurrgggllgg...
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