Day 1: Casual Core

July 29, 2009

Last night I headed to TAG’s Casual Core game night. The turnout was awesome – 30 or so people having a good time. I played Red November, a fun co-operative game where you’re trying to survive the critical failure your soviet-era submarine. Our result: Blublublub…

Other than that, I saw lots of boardgames that I couldn’t remember later.  I know Twilight Struggle was played after I left, and Erik was running Houses of the Blooded for Dave and Mark (see me not putting last names of people who I haven’t cleared it with? Yeah, I’m anonymawesome like that).  There was also a looming, indimidating box of Twilight Imperium that was having its pieces punched out.  I met but didn’t play with Sara, Silke, and Christine (boardgamies), all of whom were warm and pleasant to be around, and also Dave and Raphael, who I think I’d like to play an RPG with sometime.

Sara did an awesome job of organizing the event, and I have to remember to ask her if she was OK for cash at the end of the night.

I should have snapped some pictures, but didn’t think of it.  If you’re a member of TAG, you can see details and people’s comments here:

Best part of the night though was talking with Sandy and John about my plan to get out and meet more gamers. They liked the elevator pitch and also pulled at the corners a bit. That always helps me get my goals into focus.

Meanwhile, I took one little idea I had for the game’s starting point and tossed it over to Story Games, and I’m getting great ideas to work with. My only worry is that Husk will be too interesting, and the players will get tunnel vision.

I’ll be protecting myself against that by asking the players to describe their characters solely in terms of why they leave Husk to adventure, and emphasizing that players are making characters who are professional adventurers.

I’ve also had a lot more time to think about what game system we’ll be using. I was tempted by the various retroclones, but disparate resolution systems bug the crap out of me.

But by that token, so does the wonky randomness of the d20 roll. I don’t appreciate the feeling in D&D that you can’t necessarily count on your abilities in a pinch.  You will succeed, but maybe after a failure.

What I really want is something where the players feel like they can rely on their abilities, and then focus those abilities on the things in their environment.  I want them focused on the rope bridges, winches, moats, peepholes, stairways, not to mention the floating ogre skulls, goblin slingshots, and chasms.


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