Thursday, January 28, 2010

Changing Gears: Weapons of the Gods

So after a couple of months of obsessing on Vampire, and with Mass Effect 2 right around the corner (I should have it in my hot little hands today or tomorrow), I've decided to run... Weapons of the Gods.  Yeah, that was clever. :(

My Eindhoven crowd has long heard tales of how awesome the game is, and they were really some of the first to help me understand the game (Jimmy and Menno in particular, and Rene more recently), so I've wanted to run this for them for a long time.  Bee also hasn't really enjoyed a table top game since Exalted, and I hope/think that WotG will scratch that itch for her.  I can already see her tentatively expressing interest in this element or that.

I'm glad this game appeals to me so much.  Without even meaning to, I find myself falling into the WotG mode, imagining awesome fights, over-the-top characters and melodramatic intrigue.  Thankfully, Weapons of the Gods is very much a game that helps you come up with stories, so after the players made their characters, I'm already buzzing with ideas.  I've drawn inspiration from some of the most unexpected sources: once again, Tengou Tenghe, despite being a sub-par anime/manga, really fires me up.  Wuxia movies I had dismissed (the Banquet in particular) keep coming up in my head, offering more and more ideas.

After the enormous success and pleasure of Slaughter City, I want to write Romancing Tigers the same way, but I'm unsure if it's a good idea.  Heaven's Hand, my Newton game, sort of wrote itself over time.  I had an overall arc in mind, and then I simply filled out the details as we moved from session to session, allowing the players' actions and interests to inform my choices.  Furthermore, Slaughter City is about vampires in a static location.  I need only design the people of a city, and prior relationships with the characters don't exist, as vampires "in the world, but not of it."  Weapons of the Gods generally favors more of a "quest" style gameplay, where characters run around, meet new people, and fight them.  Kung fu warriors are fundamentally tied to their setting, part of secret societies, clans, families and kingdoms.

On the other hand, Weapons of the Gods demands detail.  You really can't fake a character's martial or secret arts.  They need to be detailed.  Moreover, Weapons of the Gods encourages you to use "relationship charts" to track how NPCs feel about one another.  These two things combined encouraged me to stat all my NPCs in Heaven's Hand, which in turn inspired the statting craze of Slaughter City.  So we'll see.

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