Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kings of Orion - Review

Just a quick discussion of the previous campaign:

  • I liked the credits/"richie" based economy. It was an attempt to move away from the "boon" economy of the previous Knights of Orion campaign while keeping the feel the same and minimizing bookkeeping. I would do that again in subsequent modern/future campaigns.
  • I love starting in the middle. Each episode started "in medias res" with the PCs in some sort of fight. It just gets everyone focused on the game that much quicker. It also serves as a sort of aid to help guide the action.
  • The rules for equipment worked well. Removing all armor-piercing from guns and replacing it with extra damage worked like a champion. Anyone who didn't wear armor was basically dead from the high-powered shooting anyway. It all worked so much quicker and easier.
  • The armor piercing for melee weapons worked out, too. My only wish was that I could get PCs into powered armor by the half way point in the campaign, and my pacing didn't work out that way. My making melee weapons the favored method of "cracking the shell" on powered armor, and making powered armor rare and special it made melee combat relevant even in the futuristic age.
  • I still enjoy writing dramatic opening interlude playlets. At the very least, it gives players a glimpse into the dynamics on the "bad guy" side. It makes the game more of a movie IMHO.
  • The "dark secrets" didn't work so well. It fractured the group and resulted in a train wreck around session six. It was interesting to try, and I liked how it added a "second level" of roleplaying to the table, but in actual play it was too distracting.
  • I had too many leads. We didn't get to things like "Why is there a span-kee on Wellfleet?", "What's up with the vampires on Wellfleet?", "Why is Wellfleet haunted?", "What's up with the Confederation of Sleestak?", "How can we use all the house diplomats to transmit messages to their respective houses?", "What is up with the cult of Slag-Bah?", "How was the Tower of Infinity created?", and "Where are all the machines?" -- I guess when it comes down to it, we don't have enough time at the table to go sniffing after mysteries only on their own merit. In the future and mysteries I set up will have some sort of bait to them.

    1. I did enjoy the in medias res too (and not just because it's Latin).

      The dark secret thing kind of messed me up. It turns out that my Dark Secret, which I spent way too much time on, was more or less the least dark of all of them, I guess. I never did figure out what Marlon's was. I suppose the problem is that "preparation Dave" is such a different guy than "game table Dave". I almost should have played one session, and then thought up a dark secret.

      I really enjoyed the game play. I also really, really needed a break from being behind the screen, I am now completely refreshed and back to my GM OCD self. Thanks for a good time.

      1. I thought the whole "dark Secret" thing was cool, though it did make it hard to justify being a kniight when I really just wanted to sow havok and destruction...not that we didn't do enough of that. But certainly see how it could work better in a different sytle campain. Hmmm. Deadlands has a new Noir suppliment coming out for Savage Worlds.

    2. Yeah, the Dark Secret was more suited to a game with a different vibe such as Call of Cthulhu or Paranoia. Maybe I'll use it again for some kind of one-shot where the threats could come from within as well as outside the group.

      As it was, Panthro's Dark Secret was that he was fleeing a past life as a computer hacker -- by taking on his new identity as a Knight of Orion who was a computer hacker.

    3. I find myself conflicted with the dark secrets. I liked having a secret from the rest of the party along with the benefits, but most of them seemed to be along the lines of the 'You're what? KILL IT, KILL IT WITH FIRE!' type scenarios. I suppose, with work on my part I could've convinced the rest of the party that my character was a friendly vampire (hoping for no Twilight jokes), but the rest of the group probably had the same sort of secrets.

      I thought the campaign itself was nifty, but I really wish I had gone with the apeman first. I'm afraid I just didn't have as much fun with a serious thinker of a character.