Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Tis the season...

I have joined two new games recently, and both of them are game subjects that I would not normally think that I would enjoy.

The first is Nights Black Agents - a modern vampire conspiracy spies and agents style of game. I dont like vampires and modern weapons, they just dont go together well. If I put enough rounds into a creature that 50% of its body matter is spread over 20 sq yards then I expect it to be dead and gone. If it isnt then that is serious fantasy material, not modern espionage stuff.  Plus these games assume some level of knowing what you are doing in the modern world, either with guns or computers. AND they assume the GM has the same amount of knowledge. There is nothing more annoying then a GM telling you thats not possible when you do it for a living. The games requires you to push the limits of reality while trying to portray things are real, it just grates for me.

On the other hand however, and my reason for playing, is the Gumshoe system. I really like where this system is going in its methodology - cinematic moments with doses of random chance, less reliance on stupid dice rolls and more getting into the story and moving it along. Getting the facts when the facts are there to get and not stuffing around with perception rolls to notice what is required to progress the story.  Its a really neat rules system that attracts me.

The second game I have opted for is ConspiracyX v2.  I went into the Kser for this so I have the rule books but hadn't got around to actually looking at them. Its sort of like the above game, only throw in aliens and paranormal stuff - ie magic by another name. So again we get this combination of essentially fantasy with modern technology. I want guns and fireballs, and I want them now!

The only problem with that is that using guns and fireballs (explosives) is awfully good fun in Hollywood, but the reality of them is so totally different. This is where your GM can have problems, moving back and forth from "in Hollywood" to "this is reality" modes. SO one session you are firing hundreds of bullets and kgs of c4 and your characters laugh it off, then the next session where the GMs carefully constructed scenario is falling apart under your explosives/autofire overkill, and they 'adjust' - or take a 'reality check' -  to try to bring things under control, and you all die.

But yet again parts of the game appeal to me - the "Base" rules and the equipment rules seem quite neat. You get to form your own cell and make your own secret batcave hidden HQ, and then equip it with mod cons.  Thats always fun.  Like good crafting in an MMO.

The other attraction will be that it brings me back into playing with some people I used to play a lot with ages ago, and that will hopefully be fun also.  There are other issues with that, like the GM actually likes killing you, but I can live with that for now.

And what is it with games that kill then and then penalise you by making you start all over again. Everyone else has 80 xp and you have none... oh dear I died again, and again, and again because everyone else can survive that stuff.  Or you hide with the next dozens sessions. Thats not fun.  The answer is of course to make sure you take everyone down with you ...  oops did I say that out loud?

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