Saturday, 22 February 2014

Ragnarök begins today!

I was going to post a long essay about fighter planes, but then I discovered a terrifying truth: Ragnarök begins today (according to the marketing people at the Jorvik Viking Centre, who don't need to cite sources BECAUSE THEY ARE NEVER WRONG). My ramblings about player character roles in a squadron environment suddenly seem even more irrelevant.

To recap: Ragnarok begins after a horrifying Fimbulwinter that smashes the settlements of men. Check! There will be war and civil chaos, and ties of kinship and blood will be forgotten as nations come apart: Check check check! The products of incest will lead this violence - check:

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Running Gaean Reach, playing Fiasco!

It was inevitable really - as soon as I start regularly blogging, all sorts of stuff happens to keep me busy and away from the thing for three weeks!

However! This isn't to say I didn't get any gaming in. I had my first games of Gaean Reach and Fiasco (not to mention two Shadowrun sessions and a game of D&D Next).

You destroyed my punch-cards!

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to run a game for a good friend of mine I rarely get to game with, and we chose Gaean Reach - it was going to be that or Night's Black Agents, but Gaean Reach seemed easier to set up on the fly. Also, we're both a little obsessed with the 1950s Space Princesses on Rocket Ships aesthetic!

We corralled an extra player and I improvised a plot - far be it for me to actually prepare a session! Neither player was familiar with Jack Vance's work, but the character creation system and basic pitch combined to create the right atmosphere straight away. The mostly-random character creation system served up a jaunty aristocratic type and a deranged bureaucrat, who proceeded to shoot and manipulate their way through a dozen sleazy gangsters and salesmen.

Quite aside from being a wonderful game in its own right, Gaean Reach also served as a great "lite" intro to the GUMSHOE system. I feel a lot more confident about running Night's Black Agents than I did before - I can't wait to add all the extra details, the "cherries" and additional skills, to the experience of playing a GUMSHOE game. In fact, my only criticism of Gaean Reach after actual play is that it lacks interesting mechanical options for players to aspire to as they advance through a campaign.

"I needed a drink… I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun." – Raymond Chandler