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Single Best Gaming Moment since last year

Started by Valamir, April 04, 2006, 08:41:04 PM

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Arturo G.

For me it was during our first try of The Pool. In the middle of a dull session we started a discussion about why the game was not working for us. There was like a bright light-flash in my mind. Then, we begun to realize how to really exploit The Pool mechanics, and the revelation was also linked to many other games and situations. After that we had one of the best collaborative roleplaying sessions I remember.


Andrew Cooper

I'd have to say (off the top of my head) that the best moment was at GenCon 2005 at the Capes game run after hours at the Embassy Suites.  We had been playing for several rounds and there was this young lady there with her father that was having a really hard time coming out of her shell.  Tony was his normally exhuberant self and encouraging her but she was really struggling with the complete freedom of narration, afraid she was going to "get it wrong."  Whatever that means in Capes. 

Then about the 3rd Page, she (playing the villain, The Iron Brain) fights for and wins the Conflict, Goal: Who is the best hero?  Now you have to understand that I was playing Major Victory and Tony was playing Hyperion (I think) and there were others playing heroes that really wanted to outdo each other.  We were fighting pretty hard to win that Conflict but she snagged it away from us while we were distracted by something else.  I was surprised.  The girl looked around nervously for a second and then narrated, "After considering the problem from a multitude of angles and applying complex mathematical formulas and algorithms, The Iron Brain determines that the best hero... is a dead hero."  We all just died laughing and then it just seemed to *click* for her.  It was like a switch had been flipped in her brain.  She suddenly had no problems at all narrating and gone was the shy kid who was constantly second guessing herself.  She fought hard for Conflicts and narrated the hell out of them from that point on. 

It was awesome.


A Shadowrun game I run had this little scene. 

The architect behind a bid to overthrow the Danish Monarchy and have his son take over as the new regent, Olaf Mortag, watches his son be foiled, lose his mind, threaten two of the royal family's children, and be cut down.  He's watching this in the Parliament Chamber with a full Cabinet witnessing the same event. 

He reaches into his wheelchair pocket, an old man who's lost his son, and tries to pull out a cyanide capsule.  The Shadowrunner player stops him. 

"You've won.  You've killed my son.  Give an old man some dignity."

"No.  You're going to live, Olaf."

An awesome moment of player cruelty. 
Hi, my name is Jon.


We were playing our D&D3.5 Dragon's Talons campaign.  We're 7th or 8th level as a white dragon descends-- it's the advance scout for the enemy.  We had been fleeing the invading army, short handed... but there was no way to flee once it spotted us.  So we drew up and prepared to fight, expecting to die.

My lightly armed & HPed fighter/rogue was attempting to flank the dragon with our tank fighter.  The dragon got in a few blows that sent Kogor reeling and stunned him.  Our sorceror got a lucky spell penetration roll and a summoned beast distracted the dragon for a moment.  We went through a few mobility rounds, until Kogor finally took his life in his hands, stepped up and dealt all the damage he could... and it wasn't quite enough.  Finally, our priest, who's spent six levels just summoning and curing steps up and deals the last points of damage, killing the thing... barely averting several deaths.  The commaraderie from that victory was very sweet.
Hey, I'm Scott Martin. I sometimes scribble over on my blog, llamafodder. Some good threads are here: RPG styles.

Remi Treuer

Oh man, these past six months have been like one, extended 'Single Best Gaming Moment' for me. It's super-gratifying to see that my play has been entertaining for others as well as myself. I gotta give huge props to Eric Provost for running an excellent round of The Mountain Witch at MACE in High Point, NC. It was my first Forge-style game, and it blew away every other gaming experience I'd had up to that point, and, under Eric's guiding hand, got me comfortable enough with stakes and scene setting that it set me up for an entire weekend of fantastic gaming. That Mountain Witch game was the turning point, and I'll have to wait another year until I can distill a great gaming moment beyond just saying, "The last six months."


You know, that's fabulous.

We can have a great moment like Scotts side by side with a great moment like Remi's and even though they're in completely opposite directions, its all good.


Frank T

Despite all the indie gaming I did over the course of last year, most of it quite decent, I find myself thinking that the single best moment was probably a game of almost-freeform Unknown Armies at NordCon last year. The PCs were set up for a closed-room blood-opera scenario, and the other players were just brilliant. We were driving the conflicts hard, none of us with any illusions as to the tragic ending, but still inclined to screw each other up as badly as we could. And boy did we screw each other up. It was tremendous.

- Frank

Lisa Padol

I've had a lot of good gaming this last year, and a fair amount of mediocre gaming -- and very little sucky gaming. Heck, within this last year, I played Overtime, and bounced off the walls for an hour or so after. At GenCon, Allan taught me that I could play a high school socialite bitch with a hidden passion and love it, and Todd Furler ran a kick-ass game of the Angel RPG. I wrapped my main Cthulhupunk campaign, and started a Sorcerer campaign, which has had some lovely moments. But, I think the prize has to go to a moment in the 10 hour larp Across a Sea of Stars.

This game did what I would have thought impossible -- 23 or 24 players, 4 or 5 gms, I think, and a setting of sf pulp and wonder. And the gms did it by staying out of the way and by a lot of serious set up work, from handpainted scenery to almost too much background. (The casting questionnaire had friggin' essay questions!)

I was nervous about committing 10 hours to an unknown larp. Then, I found out that Stephen Tihor had signed up for it. See, first I taught me everything I knew about larping. Then, Josh taught me everything I knew about larping (Pay attention -- you will find an in-character reason to do whatever you want. You the player want to let out all the secrets the PC wants to keep hidden. If you're a villain, choose going down in flames over the subtle win, every time. Vortex mechanics. Give everyone at least 3 major and 2 minor plots.) Michael McAfee added invaluable advice. (Try writing a short larp before going for a full weekend larp. Figure out which characters are the minimum you need for plots to be viable. Everyone should have some unique thing, some reason other PCs will deal with them.)

And then, Stephen taught me everything I know about larping. Simple Good. Avoid pre-game idiot plotting. Anticipate failure modes. Use the spreadsheet. Yes, you can through a larp together in a month. Yes, you can expand infinitely outward from the core cast. Okay, we are writing these roles -- think about these players we've handled. How would they break these roles? Re-write accordingly.

So, he was playing this game, and he explained that this was the team behind an Arabian Nights game I still hear about.

Like that game, Sea of Stars used a tales-within-the-tale structure. I played a bunch of different characters in 15-30 minute bursts. And the tales had no GM intervention. None. If you didn't know something, make shit up. It's a tale. Josh tells me I was playing Pure Nar.

So, my main character was an android avatar of a sentient spaceship, in love with a human, and I played everything from the evilest villain to a cowering superstitious peasant. Many, many good moments, including one lovely bit I observed, rather than participated directly in.

Yet, the moment I pick isn't Nar. I think it's almost pure geeky Gamist, despite the fact that I was avoiding much of that aspect of the larp. The following is from


The bulk of Saturday, I was in Across a Sea of Stars. I was a bit nervous about commiting 10 hours to that, but it was well worth it. My home character was Vortex of Chaos, and I played a range of other roles in the tales. I was much happier when I decided to hand off the technology to the rest of the Human team. The system seemed to work, but I just couldn't grok it. The economic resources didn't work as well, but that was only a minor nuisance.

One of my fondest memories is when I pulled Ushar Netra over to the table where the Humans and Wirtan were working things out. I handed Mannheim a pile of technological advances and told him to talk with Ushar. Mannheim saw what I had put on top, and made a logical assumption, given my utter lack of context.

Mannheim: Orion, this is what we want. Give him whatever it takes to get that, then get whatever else you can --

Vortex: Nonononono! This is what -we- have.

Incredulous pause as Mannheim and Orion look at the not insignificant pile.

Mannheim: This is what we -have-??

Vortex: The Vim say that our scientists have been busy. Talk with Ushar about anything he has that we don't or vice versa.


Some context:

Vortex = Vortex of Chaos, my PC.

Mannheim = the man she loves

Orion = our official Team Earth Diplomat

Mannheim and Orion were successfully negotiating with Team Earth's enemies, all peaceful and happy like.

The technology meant that, well, basically Mannheim and Vortext could have it all, and give up nothing -- live forever, swap between fleshy, physical, and spaceship bodies, without needing to worry about mental degredation, and fly to the Great Attractor, a millenia-long journey, to try to fix the flaw at the center of the universe.

It's kind of like the thrill I imagine one gets if the slot machine rains quarters down upon one.



I had a couple stand-out experiences this year.  I'd be hard pressed to pick one.  As a GM, the end of my 3 year sci-fi campaign was a blast and immensely satisfying.  The players and I got to destroy the human race for the very best of reasons and usher in something... different.  It was cruel and futuristic and, in a way, almost worthy of a Hallmark commercial.  And it was only possible by learning some indie-gaming techniques.

I haven't played much--ever.  But my best experience as a player came about a year ago, in a Shadow of Yesterday game run by Vaxalon.  My character, a charlatan-wizard, figured out that he simply wasn't good enough to accomplish an epic task to which he'd devoted his entire life--that no matter how much you sacrifice and struggle, sometimes you come up short and it's all for nothing.  It was sort of a preview of having a mid-life crisis.  It was a very moving experience.


  We have been playtesting my game on Fridays in IRC. Been pretty fun.
  So, I setup a mystery. And there was only one single point of failure. What if they kill the antagonist?
  So, I came up with a complete system, of intervening chapters with antagonists replacing each other as things happen. And ideas to get them clues as they left a trail of rotting corpses behind them.
  The story had been steadily converging. The players were getting clues and mostly guessing right. Then, the moment of truth came. The players were to encounter one of the conspirators. And they didn't kill them. Even later after he asked to be killed. And they even went so far as to show the prisoner compassion.
  For some, this would be a tragedy. Somewhere between 1/3rd and 1/2 of the story was bypassed. But I was proud of the players for using their heads and not necesarily their swords!
  It was at least 3 kinds of good, woot for my group!
Dave M
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