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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 182 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [Capes] Mayhem in the Museum  (Read 1990 times)
Brennan Taylor
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Posts: 499


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« on: October 18, 2005, 12:48:46 PM »

I went to Ubercon in New Jersey this last weekend to run full-session demos of indie games. Our first real session of play was on Friday night, when another scheduled game failed to go off, Russell Collins and I played Capes with a globe-trotting Australian (he had scheduled a stopover in the tri-state area specifically so he could come to the convention).

Our Australian friend was a good-natured and enthusiastic player, and after the first turn he quickly grasped the Capes mechanics and was soon playing like a pro. I believe this was Russell's first time playing Capes (although I may be wrong). I have played it several times in demos, taught the rules to several people, and run a full session with a couple of friends. This was, however, the first time the rules really clicked for me.

I think the reason for this was that I had finally gotten to a comfort level with the rules to allow them to fade a bit into the background, and although I was pursuing conflicts that I wanted to win, as well as introducing conflicts with the express purpose of earning story tokens, I was also engaged with what was happening in the SIS. My previous play experiences had ended up very mechanistic, and I had some trouble engaging with the characters in any way in previous sessions. Interestingly, I think it has a lot to do with the play styles of those sitting across from you. In order to really enjoy this game, you have to equally enjoy the superhero story you are creating along with enjoying the game aspects of the mechanics, such as earning story tokens, getting rid of debt, and earning inspirations.

The basic profile of the game was two villains (me and the Australian) and one hero (Russell). I set the scene as a museum opening with all the leading lights of the city in attendance. My character was a Mind-Reader/Seducer, up against the hero Shapeshifter/Hotshot. Another villain, a Teleporter/Older-but-Wiser, was there as well. One of the things that made the three-way work so well was the fact that neither villain had the same goals in the scene. The teleporter was working some angle to replace the mayor of the city, while my mind reader was trying to lift a jewel from the opening. The two villains working against one another is what allowed the sole hero to be effective in the scene.

My favorite moment, however, was when the Australian, having earlier been thwarted in his Goal: Get the mayor to resign, won a conflict Event: The wall collapses on the exhibit. Russell's hero, having moved the civilians out of the way during the back-and-forth on this event, let the Australian's villain win that one, not really caring about the outcome at that point. The Australian promptly narrated that the wall collapsed on the mayor, killing him (and later convinced the hero character to run for mayor in the deceased man's place). This guy really got the mechanic of the game, and we were all surprised and delighted at how that one turned out.
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Bret Gillan
Member

Posts: 375

That's Bret with one 't' damn it.


« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2005, 06:34:11 AM »

That's a great twist with the wall collapsing onto the mayor. Very clever!
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dunlaing
Member

Posts: 308

My name is Bill


« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2005, 10:52:25 AM »

I've found that if you flip the click-n-locks when describing the character, it flows off the tongue much better. It dosn't work that well with your Seducer Mind-Reader, but I could see describing someone as a Hotshot Shapeshifter or an Older-but-Wiser Teleporter pretty easily.

The one time I played Capes, everyone played a hero (although not all were in every scene). It's interesting to hear about a game where two players' main characters were villains.
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Brennan Taylor
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Posts: 499


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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2005, 11:23:13 AM »

The one time I played Capes, everyone played a hero (although not all were in every scene). It's interesting to hear about a game where two players' main characters were villains.

Yeah, this was interesting to me, too. The last time I'd played, we had three players and two played heroes in every scene (not always the same two, of course), and there was always one villain to two heroes. The villain got outgunned a lot in that game. I actually think two villains to one hero worked better, especially since there wasn't a villain team-up.
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