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Game Reviews [KapCon 2010]

 
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Dan



Joined: 11 Mar 2006
Posts: 222
Location: Wellington (now)

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:23 am    Post subject: Game Reviews [KapCon 2010] Reply with quote

Right, this is about my reviews (my opinion) and I invite you to comment or add your own reviews of the games you played and run at KapCon 19.

First and Fifth Session : My Life with the Boss - GM : Dan (me)

Okay, always hard to review your own performance as a GM, but I do have a number of thoughts about how the sessions ran and how well, in my impression they were received.

As expected my first set of "rants" from the Boss seemed to be well taken, with My Life with Master I have always been concerned about how "abusive" the master is or can be at this stage that might turn the players away - especially as the players in My Life with the Boss haven't decided on the master themselves (ie no implicit buy in from the players prior to play).

Each session played out very differently, each had room to "breathe" in different ways. This I think is something I have picked up from my Ozzie Con experiences, and I like how they turned out. One group focused on how "Open Wound" the secret govt agent fit into the world, the other group on Henry Dunant the leader of the Red Cross and Petra Daniels.

As a negative, I don't think I would play it again with the full 6 players while attempting to stay within the 3 hour guide. I think 6 players was just a little too many to keep the game active and flowing quickly. 5 players worked better to keeping within the time frame allowed.

As a negative, its tricky to escalate escalate escalate without getting too quickly to ordering the players to start killing people. I need to consider other *really bad* things that the Boss can start ordering and as the players get closer to the end game - take the story in those directions.

As a positive, while it doesn't seem to allow adjustments in timing from the rules as written, I found some easy ways to "speed" up the game on the fly while playing. I adjusted the way the game played to allow for a more "group" dynamic (ie Horror revealed was handled differently, I fudged the end game when running out of time for session 5). This was both a positive and a negative (the fudging was not satisfying) but overall it was surprisingly easy to keep to the time.

Session 2 and 3 : Village of Hommlett - GM : Luke Walker

Yay.. DnD. Quite liked this game - even running over two sessions it was quite nicely put togeather. Firstly, all of Lukes preparation to get all the cards and big maps and stuff for ease of play - also the "level up" worked really well. Simple and keeping to the "feel" of DnD there.

Second positive, changing the way the village "encounters" ran. I have played DnD4 before with 1st ed adventures, and the GM at that time translated every box text encounter into an individual encounter for DnD4 making the game progress painfully slowly. Lukes method of summarising the encounter (as one large encounter - no room to room, dungeon to dungeon style search) was fantastic and allowed the differences in DnD4 to shine (and gave the real impression that the characters were HEROES!!)

This has changed a bit of my perception of DnD4.

Third positive, overall skill challenges. Luke ran an overall skill challenge that represented achieving the big or main plots. Nice idea - worked well - gave an impression that things were proceeding. And I might steal. However, it did feel a bit like the "How much of the game have you completed" stat from some computer games...

Negative - a bit critical here I know but... not really much of an opportunity to really get into the character of the characters. I know DnD4 is Powerz + Lootz, but I would like to see more roleplaying of the characters in social scenes. Village of Hommelett does allow some really interesting social scenes that Luke sort of glossed over quickly.

Session 4 - Aliens : End Game - GM : Morgue

The only other game that I played. Morgues Alien: End Game. Very nicely put togeather game, interesting concept and well excuted. Where can I get the music tracks from?

Positives, I loved Morgues extrapoliation of Polaris to a "paired" character group rather than the individual character group. Fantastic idea and great for the characterisations. Each player had not only a chance to roleplay their own characters in difficult situations but also those support and judging characters over time.

I loved the three layered story. Might nick that sometime.

Negatives, atmosphere. It wasn't the Aliens that I knew - which is fine - but in some ways I feel that the atmosphere of the game had been lost somewhere along the line. I never really felt "threatened" as a character from the big bad aliens - the distance of my character from the real action meant that in its own way lost the atmosphere that I find appealing on the Aliens story.

All things considered though - great 'con!!!
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Luke
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Joined: 24 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Game Reviews [KapCon 2010] Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
This has changed a bit of my perception of DnD4.


Cheers Dan. Loved the feedback especially the line above. Glad you enjoyed it.

Dan wrote:
However, it did feel a bit like the "How much of the game have you completed" stat from some computer games...


That was totally intentional Smile The colour coded missions were definitely fueld by computer game style ideas. I joke but I love the fact that you can "win" Hommlet, just like old school Delves Very Happy

Dan wrote:
Negative - a bit critical here I know but... not really much of an opportunity to really get into the character of the characters. I know DnD4 is Powerz + Lootz, but I would like to see more roleplaying of the characters in social scenes. Village of Hommelett does allow some really interesting social scenes that Luke sort of glossed over quickly.


Good point. D&D4e is a very hard game to balance in a Con environment and I knew that I would end up potentially a wide range of tastes. In some ways, I would have liked to get more into the nitty gritty social encounters as that is what my general RPGing style tends to favour. However, as you say, it would have meant less focus elsewhere so I restrained myself to keep things lighter and more manageable.
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