11 June, 2013

Further Phenomenon Feedback

More Rigid 2 Player Game

The same general issues applied in this game that occurred in the first game.

It’s probably a bit hard to get the treachery aspect into play with only two players (the bit where you call on one another’s negative traits). Since it doesn’t work with four novice players, and it doesn’t really work with two, it might be time to consider ditching the concept. It’s odd that the system works fine for FUBAR, but then again, FUBAR is the kind of game where treachery and betrayal are established parts of the genre. FUBAR is also the kind of game that tends to really hit high gear when the elements of gonzo start to manifest.

This game followed a different path to the first one, focusing more on the war memorial rather than the pit in the middle of the tent shanty or the mine itself.

Pacing wasn’t really an issue, but while there were three fairly distinct acts, the game didn’t really differentiate between them. Investigating the town blended into uncovering the problems and gathering allies, with the only distinct act change coming when the climactic ritual occurred. We saw dark justice in this game, and generally it followed the direction taken by the players in a very different way to the last session. Both were valid ways of addressing the situation.     

 Traits became a far more valuable commodity this time, especially equipment and relationships. In this game, we also used Wayfarer Markings as additional narrative traits rather than core traits, and this worked well (it meant that Wayfarers were able to potentially get extra degrees of success on actions). The change created something a bit mystical that gave Wayfarers an edge over the community around them.

Still the issue of not enough narrative traits coming into play either positively or negatively…and those that did come into play tended to be very temporary. Perhaps I need to change the nature of traits from the FUBAR paradigm. Instead of “Situational – Short Term – Long Term – Permanent”, I might need to make traits “One-Off – Limited Activation – Freely Activated – Permanent”. I don’t know, I still like the idea that some traits give immediate advantages (or disadvantages) that are lost once the situation passes. Maybe there needs to be a simple option to give someone else an advantage, much like the “advantage result” in Star Wars: Edge of Empire. This way a player can choose to get something they can keep for a potential benefit in the long run, they can give an assist to their team (extra trait to all members of their team, or penalty to all opposition). Not sure…needs further thought.  
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