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Author Topic: [Hell for Leather] Vietnam -> I'm glad I didn't play this one  (Read 1000 times)
Sebastian K. Hickey
Member

Posts: 141


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« on: April 06, 2010, 02:53:03 PM »

While I was off doing other things, Pooka, Malcolm Craig and an unknown fella (sorry, I didn't get to meet you), playtested Hell for Leather. As I understood it, they were playing the roles of three war journalists escaping imprisonment during the Vietnam War.

When the game finished, Malcolm came over to me with a cheeky grin on his face. I knew there'd been gore. But how much? How far had they gone? Tonight I got some feedback, which I'd like to share with you guys.

Quote from: Malcolm Craig
So, over the weekend of Conpulsion, I got to play exactly one game. Luckily enough, that game was a playtest of Hell For Leather. The Game They Tried To Ban (and succeeded, to a certain extent), The Game Most Likely To Make Daily Mail Readers Have An Aneurysm.

One of the great things about the game was the way it provoked acts of sheer gruesomeness. I'm not sure if this is actually 'good', but it was certainly entertaining. Having my irredeemably awful TV journalist Clyde Bumstead emasculated by an enraged thirteen year old Vietnamese boy was a moment of pathos, drama, and a man getting his cock cut off. And deservedly so. Bumstead was a dick. But he did carry his severed penis around in the pocket of his safari suit until he was blown apart by a T-34 tank. Dignity in death, that's what HFL is all about.

Then again, with Bumstead dying pretty quickly I was left hanging around with nothing to do in the game. I suggested to Sebastian that giving players whose characters die some scene framing abilities would be cool and help to keep interest. The game needs to do something about that eventuality.

And there was the tower of dice. I really like the tower of dice. Flicking dice at the tower and watching it wobble created moments of supreme tension. Great stuff.

Hang on. Severed cocks, 'towers', tanks? Subconscious phallic imagery, perhaps? Hell For Leather: The Game With More Genitalia Than An H R Giger Exhibition?

An extraordinary piece of awesome. Here's Pooka's response:

Quote from: Pooka
At Conpulsion 2010 I had the privilege of facilitating a game of Hell For Leather. I wasn't overly familiar with the system, but I had so enjoyed the playtest I joined in the day before, I decided to (ineptly) run a game of it to infect others with my enthusiasm. There were no survivors.

In our session I really enjoyed the frustration that a character's unwillingness to resort to murder caused for me, as a player. Having participated in a game the day before with players perfectly willing to commit mass slaughter to reach their goals, having this one holdout that refused to cross that line was refreshing, annoying, and interesting, especially when seen in contrast to Bumstead, Malcolm's blustering pigfucker of an American News Anchor. Never has a character so deserved his emasculation as Bumstead, and never has a character deserved a happy ending as much as our little pacifist Lance Spanner. He got hacked apart with a machete.

The only snag we really hit with the game came to distribution of Story Pips. If players aren't free with distributing them and willing to be generous, the game can go slower than intended or sieze up. My advice: make sure you hand them out constantly.

And, as much as everyone says it, the tower of dice is fucking superb. Over the weekend I became somewhat talented at throwing that d10, but still when that thing taps a stack of eight dice, and the whole tower wobbles? It's breathtaking, literally.

And so there's gore, and castration, and people being hacked apart, shot up, and bludgeoned to death, and you cheer, and laugh, and clench your hands into fists at every wobble, having a great time. You sick fuck, you.

I'm really happy I wasn't involved in this one. I'm finally reassured that the game makes you do horrible shit.
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Sebastian K. Hickey
Member

Posts: 141


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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2010, 11:54:49 AM »

After describing the Backdrop, Pooka gets to donate a Story Pip to one of the other (alive) players. He slides a Story Pip to Eoin.]
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