Monday, June 4, 2007

Catching up...

I've been catching up with the comments both here and elsewhere, so I've got nothing much else to post for today.

A quick rundown though:

Played Sorcerer (in the Dictionary of Mu setting) last week. It was good to finally get gaming again.

And the games continued this weekend: I ran a session of Dogs in the Vineyard for the first time. Some rough patches and a few lessons learned, but, overall, a good and entertaining experience. The game is set up so that it's pretty easy to run: I could have done a little bit more in the way of preparation (we were using scrap paper instead of nicely photocopied/laser-printed character sheets, for example), but I don't think the game suffered much. Only problem: we didn't quite get to finish the story (we moved a bit more slowly than I anticipated).


James said...

I think I held up the works during the "Dogs" game. The notion of confronting a group of strangers in a heated dispute, and dispensing justice, is professionally interesting to me, and I was playing, in part, to figure out whether I "have what it takes" to make these kinds of decisions. This led to wringing every last drop of information from witnesses and being reluctant to take irreversible steps, and I'm worried that I bored Scott to tears.

You were pretty accommodating about me being slow; thanks. I was worried: "Man, Jon's going to have one of these characters do something rash, and require me to 'shoot from the hip' morally before I'm fully informed." I think something like that might increase the tension in an investigator-style of play--and in retrospect, that would have been cool too.

Scott LeMien said...

I will say though it was a bit of a confidence-crisis for me in that game. I was having a hard time finding any kind of voice in the game and my lack of comfortable knowledge with the source material, and rather than suffer through my attempts to find it, and drain from the cooperative effort to patiently sift through to find a voice, I just let james go to expedite the game.

That was a real mistake.

My play sucked big time, but it did annoy me that there was no effort made to correct the dynamic. We should have immediately addressed it and adjusted gameplay accordingly.

Que sera, sera.

Jon Hastings said...

Scott - I've seen this kind of dilemma before when playing with new people: it's ok not to be ok with the way a game is going. Like, back two years ago now, James and I met while trying to get a Prime Time Adventures game going. It turned out we (as a group) made a couple of decisions that actually weren't ok with one of the other players and we (as a group) made a couple of decisions that weren't ok with me. I didn't say anything because, hey, I was meeting new people and didn't want to rock the boat and was just happy to be gaming. My guess is that the other player probably felt the same way: he had reservations but didn't want to derail things by bringing them up.

In retrospect, it was a huge mistake and it wasn't surprising that we ended up calling the game quits after two sessions.

And it's even trickier when it's one new person coming into a group that played together for a while.

I'd just say: it's always ok not to be ok with what's going on. My preference is always that people are having fun, even if that means taking a time out or not getting through a full scenario. Or, even if that means we stop playing and eat snacks and play a few rounds of Super Mario Smash Brothers.

Plus, now that we're aware of the issue, we'll be better able to handle it if it comes up again.

James - I think I did a good job of setting up NPCs that wanted something from the Dogs. What I didn't do so much was put these NPCs into action: I had a good relationship map, but I needed a couple more "bangs" if you will - like instead of meeting the Steward's son working on his father's house, meeting him - gun in hand - going to kill the "sorceress".