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Spookybeans Playtest report

Went to Recess this last weekend, had a blast. They have returned to the 2-day format, so that was great.

Saturday morning, my friend Becky and I played Trail of Cthulhu, which turned out to be a nifty little system. Basically, they’ve dumped the idea of attributes altogether, and it’s all skill-based, however, the skill ratings are used as pools of points that you can use to boost a d6 roll when you’re trying to accomplish something. We were all wiped out in the end, but it’s Cthulhu, so it’s not like we weren’t expecting that anyway, and we had lots of fun.

We got our asses kicked in the Trivia at 4pm, probably one of Team Sea Cucumber’s worst performances. It didn’t help that there were only three rounds, so we couldn’t pull off our usual spectacular 4th round comeback. Ah well, I got 2 Asshole buttons out of it, so I’m happy.

Saturday evening we played Dark Refuge. It’s a crazy ‘sci-fi with magic thrown in’ kind of setting. I played a necromancer with the ability to create ghoul servants out of corpses. I played him like something out of the Chaos marines. By the end, I had 3 ghouls following me around, with ‘Thing 1’, ‘Thing 2’, and ‘Thing 3’ painted on their foreheads in blood. Brandon’s a really good GM, he always brings a ton of energy to the table, and it’s always a treat to play in a game run by the designer, because they always know the system and setting inside and out.

Sunday morning was Becky’s L5R game. She’d been working on the scenario for about 2 weeks straight, and it really paid off. Additionally, the pre-gen characters that she, Lucas, and I had come up with really all clicked wonderfully together; everyone was perfectly hooked into the scenario, and no one got left out in the cold as a result. And my portraits kicked metic tonnes of ass. We went an hour over schedule, but no one really cared because everything was so great. Besides, it was Becky’s first time running a con game, so she’s never had to deal with a time limit like that before.

Saturday evening I ran Dave of the Dead again. It was a very informative playtest. Seems like every time I run the game, I find new things to simplify and trim down. This time it was Ouchies. Almost no one wanted to take them, so the result was that by the end of the scenario, everyone’s Yo and Woe were all at 0, except for one guy who had 1 Woe, because the one time that he took the Ouchie, the dice turned on him and he failed the roll. So now there’s no talk of Ouchies before the roll at all. Players can donate any number of dice to the player who’s trying to do something. Once the player wins the roll, however, they can choose to hose their own character in the process, and earn 1 Yo point for their trouble. The flip side is that if the GM wins the roll, they can hose the character if they choose (and usually do), and the character earns 1 Woe (alternatively, the GM can narrate that the character does in fact pull off what they wanted). Also, instead of relevant Thingies granting you dice from the GM’s pool, they now allow you to grab dice from your own pool to use in a conflict, and I upped the amount of dice players start with to 4 (and the GM starts with # of players x4 dice). The really big change regarding the dice is that now, at the end of a Conflict, all the dice that were rolled are exchanged, not just the even results. More on this in the forums soon.

Unfortunately, Becky and Lucas did not have a great time Sunday evening. They gave Shock: Human Contact a try, but it was really not their thing.

One other good thing to come out of this weekend, I was able to get rid of a stack of about 30 RPG books that I didn’t need any more. Saturday saw a stack of micellaneous stuff (Hackmaster DM’s Guide, Palladium Fantasy, Runequest, Elric, Pendragon) go away, and in the end, the only thing I had to take back was a Magic: the Gathering guide from like 1996. Sunday went even better; The stack of non-core White Wolf books (a nice mix of original and revised Clanbooks, Vampire: Dark Ages, Mage: Sorcerer’s Crusdade, Wraith: The Great War, Hunter) went like hotcakes in the first 10 minutes or so. In return, I was able to snag a couple of Lenore and Squee comics. The only thing on my donation stack that I ended up not taking was my fairly pristine copies of the 2nd Ed Revised (black covers) AD&D PHB, DMG, & MM, which I have decided to hold on to for now.

— Ben

| Posted in Spookybeans by ben | 01/21/2011 @ 1:48 pm |
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