Monday, 26 July 2010

Keep flying'...that game...

I became a fan of the Firefly series, concept, universe, characters, etc, etc a few months AFTER it got cancelled, which came as a big shock when I found out. But you all know that story and a thousand like it, and if you don't, a simple google search will fill you in.

Of course as a gamer I had the opportunity to extend this love and enjoyment with a nifty little book, a couple sets of funny dice and a few friends. Which I most definitely did about a month ago after getting the core rulebook from a friend as a gift (slightly dinged books in your local store are an awesome way to get nice RPGs).

As I set out to make this happen I convinced my girlfriend (who is not a fan), the guy who got me the book, his girlfriend, and another couple that I know from my local gaming society.

During the week I got my players at different moments and genned the characters with or they helped each other and we were set.

At the beginning of the game we had a run down town with a busy bar, a Core doctor down on his luck, a crazy woman with a love for only two things: engines and duct tape, a female muscle for hire with awesome cooking skills and deadly knife accuracy, a techie that doesn't know when to shut up...or turn off the creepy, and a pilot with some dodgy friends and the spine of a mollusc.

My plan for them was rather easy. Using the pilot's friends in low places I was going to dangle a nice little carrot. A simple job, take a ship with a crew, pick up some cargo from an embargoed planet (barely illegal, really!) and take it somewhere else. Easy money.

Now most players are rather or completely new to RP, so I had to push them a little bit to keep them moving from now and then, but they've all really tried to stick to their characters principles and characteristics, leading to interesting moments (like when the character with kleptomania decided to steal the lucky charms from the character with superstitious + coward...while she was flying.)

Originally I planned it to run over two sessions (we play Sundays). But it became obvious with the characters messing with each other and a couple of bad rolls, that things would have to stretch a bit, and I am hoping the this weekend will be the last, at 4 sessions. And all in all I have been glad with the way things have gone, and my players tell me they've had fun, and unless I failed my Awareness roll, I don't think they're lying to me.

I have though disliked two things.

First, it seems that my own handling of the game and the mood at the table provokes the game to devolve into a lot of slapstick and IC silliness that I would rather avoid, it is something that seems to happen at every game I run, no matter the genre. Now I understand that part of the beauty of Firefly and Serenity is its capacity to be both humorous and dramatic...but when the crew name their old battered up boat Cheese Monkey, well...that's just a tad too much I think.

I think I need to make a stronger effort at the beginning of the game to set up the mood I am aiming for...probably even at the time of recruiting the players, and have a stricter hand during the session over the OCC banter, but I seem to tell myself that every time with little to no success.

The second issue is the overrunning of the game, now that is in itself not too much of the problem, if the game extends itself and the people keep coming, then things aren't too bad, because they're enjoying themselves. But when I have a limit (for example I would like to run a game or two at Conflagration next year) I really need to be able to eyeball and control the flow of the game better.

Now in part I know both of these things have a lot to do with the variation of the gamers and my personal experience and versatility, so it's something that I hope to improve.

I just sometimes wish that I improved faster, heh.

I'll try and write something once the adventure is over and I'll also post something at some point in the week about my plans for my next game (not related to my big multi-game enterprise).

Roll well,

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