Monday, 10 December 2007

RPG Podcast Review

If you're getting into RPG podcasts, it's worth your time to check out RPG Podcast Review, a blog about various RPG podcasts. Doc Holaday writes something about every edition of each podcast so you can get the opinions of a third party about the episode - just in case you don't trust the podcasters themselves to give you an accurate overview on their own sites.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Some thoughts on Agon

I've nearly finished reading through Agon and wanted to put down some thoughts on it.


Format
From the beginning the first thing that struck me is the format of the book. The cover art really captures the mood of the game. It's epic, Greek, legendary and imposing. Even the interior art, done in the style of classical Greek art, forced me to think about the game in ways other than the typical fantasy setting. Even though it's all line art and B&W, nothing is taken away from it.

Concept
Great concept. Agon articulates why we go for characters that level up and level up and level up. We do it for the glory. We do it to become legends. Gaining points for these things is a nice way to focus it. It's better than "experience" because that implies an endless journey, whereas the protagonists in this game are aiming towards something. They have a limited playable life and they need to make sure that retirement is a comfortable and glorious one.

Mechanics
I don't want to say much about these because it's probably been done to death on The Forge. What I will say is that the mechanics facilitate the competitiveness well. Success breeds more success. Failure breeds more failure. There's almost a death-spiral in this game, as well as a life-spiral (perhaps a glory-spiral is a better name). The GM's budget is great too. I had never thought about this idea before, but now I'm keen for it. The GM doesn't actually have limitless resources for obstacles. They must all be paid for from a pool of strife points.

Overall, I like what I've read. I'll put together a game for my gaming group and try it out. I suspect that it will give its best return in campaign play, but I won't know until I play it.