29 March 2009

Jurgi Deathbringer

Last week, I mentioned Jurgi Deathbringer. I think this week, I'll describe him in more detail.

As I said, Jurgi was a Werewolf character. I wrote him when my gaming group tried to use the pack rules for the first time, but chose a pack totem without waiting for me to get home from work. In a fit of anger, I tried to show them how stupid it is to play combat monsters. So I wrote the most min-maxed character I could.

He was an ahroun (the warrior caste) from the Get of Fenris tribe (the most savage, bloodthirsty, and warlike tribe there is, as well as one of the most arrogant). I maxed out his physical stats, gave him the lowest possible intelligence score, and then put all his social points into his appearance. Then I took the flaw "Hideous," which reduced his appearance to zero, resulting in a socially inept monster.

All his skill points went to combat abilities. All his gifts were combat optimised. And I gave him a hatred of every other were-creature that existed. My hope was the other players would see how ridiculous a character like this actually was, and start playing more realistic characters in the future.

My plan backfired.

22 March 2009

Surrogate Characters

Welcome to another week of the Game Dork's Gaming Corner! Today, I want to talk about an idea I had some years ago.

Some of you may remember that, when I described the different gamer types, I said that I was about 60% Storyteller and 40% Method Actor. This makes it hard for me when I'm in a gaming group that is mostly Butt-Kickers/Power Gamers/Tacticians. There was one occasion specifically when we were preparing to play a game of Werewolf. At that time, we were not using the pack rules (summary for those who need it: a gaming group in Werewolf: The Apocalypse is supposed to work together to create a pack of characters with a specific purpose, either long-term or short term, and each character should set aside some of their points to pool with the other players for the purpose of purchasing a "pack totem," a spirit that grants each pack member certain powers in exchange for following a particular code of behaviour). We would each just write up our individual characters, who would meet as normal and find themselves engaged in some adventure together.

I was excited by this, and was quite looking forward to the first session, where we were supposed to discuss the issue of pack totem and come to a consensus as to which spirit we would adopt as our patron. However, when I got home from work that evening, I was dismayed to hear that the other players had chosen a totem without my input. I was mostly upset that they had not bothered to include me in the discussions, but I was also upset that they had chosen Fenris, the most savage and warlike of the totems.

15 March 2009

Board Game Review - Kill Dr. Lucky

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned the game Kill Dr. Lucky. I think the time has come for me to review that game. As always, we start with the numbers:
Strategy and Randomness are rated from 0 to 6. A 0 means the rated aspect plays no part in determining the game's outcome; and a 6 means that it is the only factor that determines the game's outcome. Complexity is also rated from 0 to 6; a 0 means that it's so simple a six-year-old can play it, a 3 means any adult should have no trouble playing, and a 6 means that you'll need to refer to the rulebook frequently. Humour can be rated as 'None,' meaning the game is not meant to be funny, or it may have one or more of the following: Derivative (meaning the humour is based on an outside source, such as a game based on a comedy film), Implicit (meaning that the game's components are funny, such as humourous card text), or Inherent (meaning that the actions the players take are funny). Attractiveness has nine possible ratings. Ideal: the game is beautiful and makes game play easier. Pretty: The design is beautiful and neither eases nor impedes game play. Nice: The design is beautiful but makes game play harder than necessary. Useful: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, but eases gameplay. Average: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, and neither eases nor impedes gameplay. Useless: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, but makes gameplay harder than it needs to be. Utilitarian: The design is ugly, but eases gameplay. Ugly: The design is ugly, and neither eases nor impedes gameplay. Worthless: The design is ugly, andmakes gameplay harder than it needs to be. Average Length of Game Play describes how long an average game will probably last, give or take.
Strategy: 2
Randomness: 4
Complexity: 2
Humour: Implicit
Attractiveness: Average
Expected Length of Game Play: one-half hour to one hour.