Round 4 – A World of Possibilities
Another amazing player line-up. Susan Harper, Steve Hix, Liam Jones and Walter Hamer.
I know Susan and Hix very well, Liam has a good rep, but I’d never heard of Walter.
This group took a lot longer over the questionnaires, but I think there was a correspondingly great depth to the characters. I saw a huge amount of story potential not directly invoked in the adventure as written. Story potential I really struggled to bring out – I think in hindsight I should have taken a 5 minute break to sketch some entirely new scenes.
This group took a lot more time in each of their scenes, but also less aggressively pursued some of the slightly tangential leads that the first group had chased hard. They took a fairly direct route from the opening scene to the plausible conclusions, so the game ran significantly under time, making me feel even worse that I hadn’t had the ability to touch on their soft spots.
Overall, I felt a bit bad that while the game had gone well, that I hadn’t delivered the awesome characterization that I know Susan and Steve react well with, and I felt like I hadn’t dialled up the intensity enough for Liam. Walter was quiet most of the game…
So when they asked if the game was scored I demurred – no real point eh?
Round 5 – Ganaktagok
I spent 5 minutes too long dithering between Falcons of Crail and My Life with the Boss -> GoD. The main game in there I was keen to try was 44: The Game of Automatic Fear, but there was overwhelmingly more interest in In a Wicked Age, so Sean, Ivan and Margie headed off with me to play Ganakagok… but none of us had played the game or read the rules. I’d watched 10 minutes of a game run the previous night.
Ivan skim read the 96 page rulebook and we set about interpreting the cards to create a setup, then characters and finally story.
I think we told a fairly interesting story; just one that was only very loosely connected with what I think the game is actually about. From what I experienced… the game is very fiddly, and interpreting the cards is non-trivial. Definitely a game to play only when you’re fully awake and alert!
Overall… I was not impressed with the game, and I know our run had a lot of disadvantages, but there wasn’t much I could see hinted at that would ever make me pick this game up again on its own merits. OTOH, it wasn’t so bad that I wouldn’t play it again if the group were right.
Waiting to hear who had won the SDC was very nervous. By now I knew that my scenario was very very good, but I also knew that there was one other scenario that had been giving Luke serious pause. I also strongly suspected that I was in the running for best GM and/or best single session.
All of which is pretty shocking when I recall how I summarized writing my game:
[T]his game was essentially a mercenary exercise, it was not a scenario that inspired me or that I feel any real love towards.
I still feel something of the same – it obviously worked out really well, but given a free choice for a re-run, there are at least 3 or 4 scenarios of mine I like better and would rather trot out again!
2nd, essentially. Best single scenario having been beaten at the last for best overall by veteran Dan L’Estrange and SDC newcomer Steph Pegg. I am cool with it – I know that they must have really brought something special to have beaten me this year.
Round 6 – Diminishing Regret
The game went well, except there was this one slack-jawed idiot at the table who couldn’t focus and couldn’t roleplay and couldn’t think through the scenario. Basically, he just didn’t seem to get it.
That was me.
Overly tired from poor sleep on Fri and Sat nights; an unexpectedly wrecked from the tense wait around for prize-giving. Last year coming second was much easier, because I never thought I’d get anywhere.
I thought it was a fine game; but I think Shelter Me is by far the better scenario. YMMV.
Fun as always. Cold this year though.
Highlight was probably discussing Fright Night with Morgue. Plan to run something really nasty this year, per ‘s request.