Five games meme Show more

Five games meme Show more

The downside, though, is that if complications multiply too fast you end up losing sight of possible storylines in a mass of distractions. (I had this problem running Night Witches, too.)

Three sessions into running my first game of Blades in the Dark and we're still trying to get comfortable with the system. One good thing I've noticed is that because rewards and benefits always come with a downside or a complication, a bit of generosity from the GM makes the game more interesting.

Sudden thought: Blades in the Dark is basically a fancy version of En Garde. As are all those Powered by the Apocalypse games, come to think of it.

The system's not great, of course, but systems aren't the most important thing. If I was going to run something Rifts-based now I'd probably use FATE: Accelerated and make it an anime-inspired picaresque.

I ran a short game of Rifts when it first came out, before all the metaplot and ill-advised national-stereotype worldbooks and it was a lot of fun. Partly because the players enjoyed the ridiculous character options - I still remember the newly-hatched dragon fondly - and partly because you can do a lot with "Earth transformed into an alien landcape" if you play up the strangeness and play down the giant robots.

Rifts is terrible, so I absolutely shouldn't be tempted by the latest Bundle of Holding. But...

(Random tables gave me a demon in disguise who wanted the PCs to steal a ritual blade from the cult of the Father of the Abyss. A simple burglary, until the tentacles. And now the cult are angry, the demon’s sinister plan is advancing, and the police are trying to put the squeeze on them by arresting their friends. Not bad for a night’s work.)

@ghost_bird Blades in the Dark is good at generating plot hooks and story threads, though. I have three or four good possibilities that just arose naturally from the first session.

Tonight’s Blades in the Dark session was reasonably successful, though I broke quite a lot of the GM’s principles laid out in the rulebook. It’s hard not to be directive when the players are still figuring out how the game works - and they’re prone to decision paralysis even at the best of times. Still, they had fun and there’s a baseline to improve on.

Talking about Golden Sky Stories while prepping for tonight's game of Blades in the Dark and now I kind of want to do a BitD take on "magical children helping people with their problems". There'd be a lot more knives involved than usual...

TIL that there's a free RPG inspired by "Kiki's Delivery Service" where you get to play young witches and their cats:

(And fighting costs cat points, which encourages cats to be a little more belligerent than their witches. Combat in the game is discouraged, but it's a nice dynamic.)

Witch Quest looks pretty good, especially for something first published in 1991. In particular, I like the "cat point" system. Cats start an adventure with a fixed pool of points they can spend to help their witch. At the end of the adventure, spent points are experience points for the cat and unspent points are experience points for the witch. It creates a bit of tension in the relationship between witch and cat without encouraging open conflict.

TIL that there's a free RPG inspired by "Kiki's Delivery Service" where you get to play young witches and their cats:

(Come to think of it, a big part of my problem with Fallen London as a game was that it works like a vast clockwork mechanism made of delay loops. Tempting to see a line of influence there, but I think it's just coincidence.)

Less promising things about Blades in the Dark: fiddly interlocking rules like a big box of clockwork; a setting influenced by Fallen London, which I've never really liked.

Good things about Blades in the Dark: the "act now, plan in flashback" mechanic; it's designed for improv play; promising-looking system to divide work between players and GM.

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