Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Frozen War: After Action Report 4

It's been a crazy busy week. I'll tell you about it tomorrow after I finish my last test. But, I have some breathing room, so I should post while I still can.

So, after previous games had been delayed again and again, it was nice to play *gasp* two weeks after the last game. This time, we focused much more on combat combat combat, with almost no characterization, but it still turned out very well. I don't think I forgot any rules, though I did skip out on a few. For example, I ignored the fragmentation damage on some IEDs some ebil partisans had rigged up but the players are so loaded up with armor that I decided it didn't matter. Roomie also died until someone used Serendipity to make sure he lived (be careful of snipers!), which might have been an excessive fudge, but I'm willing to let it stand. Finally, Byler got pitched by a robot's Force blaster and took 6 damage (blunt trauma), and I didn't give him a -4 on his next roll. It didn't really matter (he beat his attack roll by bunches and bunches... or he ran around the corner and tried to recover, I don't remember which), so I'm not too worried about it.

The players are also adapting alot more to their technology. Roomie started passing along sensor readings, other characters did sensor sweeps to find mines and snipers, and Byler had a nice game of cat-and-mouse with some partisans in the pine jungle.

In a way, this was the game where the players really grasped that we were playing Space Opera. Each session has been a careful revealing of more plot: First, an invasion, then the revelation of sabotage, then the revelation of a spy, then the revelation of a secret government project and the nature of the planet. The next session will reveal the nature of that project. If the last session was when players finally understood their characters, this was the session where they finally started to really see the setting.

The one thing I feel I have neglected thus far is disadvantages. I've smacked a few players with theirs (Byler and his Sense of Duty disadvantage, and Roomie and his Fanaticism), but I'm kinda dejected I don't remember more. It occured to me, the other night, that in WotG or WoD, I usually sit down and plan a game around a player's disadvantage. Perhaps I should do that in the next session. Rather than try to remember the disad in the middle of the game, I should find some way to work it into the planning before hand.

I asked Byler and Walter if they agreed with me, and I think they do: This is the best GURPS game I've run. Shawn claims Dark Souls was better, and Dark Souls was pretty good, but this game feels the most tightly designed, cleanly run, and the addition of things like templates really smooths things out. I'm very pleased with it, especially since I'm gonna finish it up nicely.

As an addendum: I'm very pleased that my efforts in persuading my players to schedule ahead is finally paying off. Last session, Roomie and Walter revealed when particular gun shows would be, and the timing involved. As a result, we're playing again this weekend. Wonderful!

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