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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 144 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Universalis] Skatepunks, Dogs, and Steamcorps  (Read 7117 times)
Bankuei
Guest
« on: August 17, 2006, 05:41:40 PM »

Hi,

At the Games on Demand room, Daniel, Dev, Shannon and I (that's everyone, right?) had shown up, because rumor had it that Ben Lehman would be doing some Bliss Stage playtesting.  He got caught up at the Booth (we assume), so I pulled out Universalis. 

It has been about a year and a half since I last played it, so I was mostly going off of memory and had foolishly assumed I'd be able to "just flip through" the new edition (forgetting that while the rules are simple, they've got a little heft to them).  Luckily, our drifts for the most part turned out to be exactly the same as some of the optional rules gimmicks in the book.

Our Drifts:
- Mini Interruptions
- Friendly Control
- No cost for a player to "inherit" a turn (if no one bids)
- No cost for player to bring in Components on turn
- D6's, 1-3 = success (the previous drift prevented us from running out of Coins by using this)

Again, this was me playing from memory, as opposed to deliberate thought out drifts.

Our Setup:

We established an "Old West Steampunk" setting, with a very strong anime feel.  We focused on the conflict between a skater-punk gang (ala the Jet Set Radio videogames, for those who are familiar) and "The Dogs", a pack of free-running dog-men with a DitV like faith.  Also playing a part was the "Steam Corp".   The initial situation was that each gang had captured the opposing side's leader, and we began with a hostage exchange in the train station... just as the Steam Corp was bringing in more men...

Moments of Pure Awesome:

- Shannon added "...has a Dog eye" to one of the Skater characters(Pixie?), which completely changed the tone of the game.
- Dev (I think) had the Dogs go into a frenzy without their leader... which also affected Pixie...
- The two gangs united at the end, taking on Steam Corp!

Sometimes I forget how easy it is to play and make a great time with Universalis.  There wasn't any challenges during play, but when I suggested a couple times that I might challenge, we negotiated it out and had a great time.  The drifts didn't break gameplay, though we found we had an abundance of Coins at the end of it.

Chris
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Tony Irwin
Member

Posts: 333


WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2006, 02:47:19 AM »

Hi Chris,

How did you end the game? Did you run out of time, or did you reach a point where everyone felt "that's it".

Tony
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2006, 06:52:27 AM »

Just to be pedantic, you had no "second-stage" challenges. Negotiation is the first stage of any challenge (though some people skip it out of orneriness).

I'm glad that the game seems robust enough that even when played from memory with somewhat alternative rules that it works out all-right. :-)

Not having to pay to bring in components is... sorta dangerous. Probably what lead to the abundance of coins. Players have to slow down a lot if they have to pay here. Free components is free coins, essentially.

Oh, and the d6 mod that has the same payout is to count odd numbers as successes (we used this in a game I ran at GenCon when we ran out of d10s).

Mike
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Bankuei
Guest
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2006, 07:47:29 AM »

Hi Tony,

Yeah, we got to a good ending point.  I think we could definitely do more with it, were we to do more sessions, but we reached a great climax scene involving a showdown between the gangs and a series of "truth revealed" bits that ended up bringing the gangs together instead of pushing them apart.

Mike-

Yeah, the component cost issue did lead to the abundance of coins.  I think the short session kept it from getting too crazy though.   And the D6 mod I didn't find in the book until the next day.

Chris
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Tony Irwin
Member

Posts: 333


WWW
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2006, 05:25:37 PM »

Nice going - the reason I ask is that I find it very hard to end Universalis. Was anyone pushing for a ending, was it something you discussed?
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Bankuei
Guest
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2006, 05:58:08 PM »

Hi Tony,

It was a very natural ending for us.  I think because we established a good focus up in the Tenets phase ("The Skaters vs. The Dogs"), and the initial hostage situation as a sort of group "kicker", we all had a good sense for driving it to an appropriate end.  I think we only ran an hour or an hour and a half game, it was short but just right.  We briefly talked about if we wanted to do one more scene, but I think we were all happy with it, and also a bit hungry at that point.

Chris
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