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Psychosis: Ship of fools

 
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Highwayman



Joined: 24 Jan 2006
Posts: 787
Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:49 am    Post subject: Psychosis: Ship of fools Reply with quote

Heya,

Has anyone had a go at this game, published in 1993? The cover looks like this:


I picked it up cheap while I was up in Palmy the weekend before last and it looks pretty cool, but I'd be quite keen to see if it plays as cool as it looks.

Cheers
Grant
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morgue



Joined: 24 Jan 2006
Posts: 556
Location: Lower Hutt

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Always wanted it. Never got it. It has had variable reviews over the years, and sounds a bit dated in how it tries to do its thing, but it would be great to try it.

I'd play except I think I already know all the secrets...
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Kratos



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 134
Location: Auckland via Hamilton via Mount Maunganui.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True Chariles Ryan style he writes some of the best stuff and well he also behind my favorite RPG of all time Millenniums End.
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Highwayman



Joined: 24 Jan 2006
Posts: 787
Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been reading it and it looks kinda fun. A lot of work for the GM (Who has to hold in his head the "Core" storyline and translate it individually into the various psychoses of the players) but looks like it might be rewarding.

Maybe I should try it at a WARGS, except it looks like it'll take more than a couple of hours to run a game.

Cheers
Grant
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Highwayman



Joined: 24 Jan 2006
Posts: 787
Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:18 am    Post subject: Psychosis:Ship of fools play report. Reply with quote

So anyway, I tried this last night with a couple of mates who were goinging through roleplaying withdrawls. There were only two players + Me running it, and we got right through the module.

I don't think we would have had there been more players.

I think the mechanics worked well. Near the start of the game it was roughly fifty-fifty whether the characters would beat the challenges, but as they built up their "Trace" they were winning more and more consistently. I think that's important, otherwise players will begin to get frustrated. If anyone is interested in the mechanics I can post the rules, they are pretty easy, and they use tarot cards.

The psychoses worked very well, but I was dissappointed that they didn't change that often. One of my players remained in his initial reality till about two thirds of the way through the game (When it wildly fluctuated until he actually hit the core reality). Due to poor GMing, the players were pretty sure they knew which one was the real world at the end. I should have been less confident with my descriptions I think.

It was fairly linear, but I don't think I'd run the whole book as a con game, it certainly wouldn't work for lots of players. I'd put the upper limit at four I guess, but the book rekons it can be played by up to six. I think that would mean that each player would get too little of the GM's time.

Which brings me to the next point: it's quite rough on the GM. The story is not particularly complicated, but it's actually quite hard work continually translating events in the core reality into each persons individual psychosis. The characters start out seperated, but it doesn't get much better when they join up, due to the fact that you now have to translate each characters words and actions into everyone elses reality as well. It's kinda funny watching people see how they get translated, but what it means is that it's go-go-go for the GM. I even put in a couple of breaks into the game, and I normally don't do that kind of thing.

Still it's pretty rewarding, the episodic structure means that the game helps you to spead attention between players, and the GM aids (the psychosis wheel, and the episode plan) were well thought out and helped a lot.

I'd think about running it again. I'd love to play, but as Morgue said, now that I know all the secrets it would be hard for me.

But it won't be making an appearance at KapCon, unless there are a couple of spare people in the GoD room who want to kill four hours.

Cheers
Grant
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