Monday, 26 July 2010

The Beast of Limfjord

So apparently I ran a session of The Beast of Limfjord. That much is true. And here are some other true things about the experience.

I ran it with an hilarious and enthusiastic group. Peter Blake played Signy, Timothy Ferguson played Hrofgar (and how! It was a joy to behold), and Fridrik Bjarnason played Erlend. They were keen to try it out and gave a good effort to break it. This was, as I have failed to mention, a playtest. Breakage was possible. Perhaps I should have mentioned the "you break it, you bought it" policy.

So here are some true things that didn't go well.
I didn't make the challenges challenging enough, or give enough challenges. TBOL is all about the challenges. If you run this game, hand them out like they expire tomorrow.
Players like to defeat things in a single roll. This game has options to make failure interesting by adding complexity without actually stopping the heroes. Show this a few times and the urge to succeed in a single roll should fade.
The players made a good attempt to break the rules about Edges, by stacking them and stacking them. It felt like a D&D game, with bonuses coming from everywhere. This was a specific topic for the playtest, so I imagine that Nathan will take the feedback (more detailed in an email) and tweak it.
Hrofgar is mighty. With Iron Hand, Curmudgeon and Glorious Death, he can be quite an epic hero. GMs beware.

And here are some true things that that worked well
It's epic. So epic. Play is larger than life, perhaps a little cartoony, but not too much. I can see how it could be tragedy too.
Easy dice rules. No difficulty to convey them or let them weave into play. They weren't distracting either, so the story flowed nicely.
Rumours are great source materials for the adventure. The nature of rumours in a story about myth is evocative. No one really knows facts about the beast, just legends. Great stuff.
Legends are great, I think. Even though I've not played D&D 4e, they seem to occupy the same function as D&D's Daily Powers, without explicitly saying so.

Overall, I had fun running it but I wish that I'd done a better job of it. It was epic and entertaining as it was, but I want to run it again and see if I can redline it. You should keep your eye on this game. Playtest it now.
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