Sunday, June 24, 2012
Ran my first session on Friday night. I'll give a quick rundown and some thoughts on the game.
First, the PCs. There's Absinthe the battlebabe, Found the hocus, Big F***er the faceless, and Eliza the savvyhead. The players are playing more or less to type, with Found being particularly creepy/dastardly and B.F. being probably the least scary faceless you could put together.
They're living in Sunktown, a crumbling, disease-ridden city being slowly swallowed by jungle and swamp. They live in and around a compound ruled by Mercer and his woman Shan (we assume - it's complicated). Eliza's in Found's cult, Absinthe works for Mercer, and B.F. is kind of an independent operator.
Character creation went really smoothly; everyone seemed to find a playbook they liked. At least one (probably two) found playbooks hey might transition to later (just a hunch). I told them not to think too far ahead and they seemed cool with it. They found the basic rules pretty straightforward, too.
Once play started, noticed two things: first, naming every NPC really made it easier for us to remember them and for the players to develop/accept having relationships with them; second, I was still really worrying that I wasn't going to be able to create enough common relationships to bring them into the same situations and conflicts.
After a few scenes I actually had to stop for 5-10 minutes and think about how to start framing scenes with multiple characters. Taking breaks to do that sort of thing is something Vincent says to do in the book and it's excellent advice. I figured out where to begin and things totally started rolling.
There were a few hiccups. One player expressed that he still wasn't 100% clear exactly how the moves worked (I think in the sense of how/when to trigger them to get stuff done; I'll have to make sure everyone's solid on that next session but I'm confident they'll get it). Defensive player was defensive. Watcher player watched. On the other hand, both were very accepting of me throwing stuff at them and when I exhorted all the players to decide what their characters wanted and be proactive about it, they totally did and everyone ended up doing cool stuff and advancing the plot.
Experience was handed out in fairly even amounts, so I guess I did an OK job driving towards each player's highlighted stats. However, it is clear to me that I need to write that crap down immediately at the beginning if the session, because I'm an idiot and wouldn't remember my own name if it wasn't on my bank card. Example: I totally forgot end-of-session Hx moves.
So, yeah, by the end we has set up some nice looming conflicts and our next session will start with the first scene where all the characters will be together. They're going over to a rival warlord's compound to try to get back Found's sister, who's evidently dating one of his enforcers. This is complicated by the fact that Absinthe and two of her drinking buddies from Mercer's gang just messed up said boyfriend in a bar fight. It's gonna be hilarious.
Overall impression as a first-time MC: it's a well-put-together game and if you rely on Vincent's advice and you have reasonably cooperative players you really can't go wrong.
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