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[Hell for Leather] (IN STEREO) Satire Strikes Back!

Started by Sebastian K. Hickey, April 06, 2010, 06:38:47 PM

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Sebastian K. Hickey

Hell for Leather goes stereo in Scotland.

If you dig these audio APs, clickity-click here for a three-part, smut free demo recording from Conpulsion 2010.

It wasn't the best-goddam-session I've ever played, but it's educational. If you can't be arsed with all that listening, or if the splurge of Celtic dialects gives you brainal indigestion, here's a sum up.

Frame
Prologue: Slum dwellers are hunted on a mega game show in the near future
Adversary: Baron "M"
Connection: A cadre of internet satirists have been captured as prey for the dreaded game show "Hell for Leather"
Drop-Off: Madison Square Gardens
Objective: Mega server, Silicon Valley
Checkpoints: Infiltrate the High Security Data Mine, Bring Down the Satellite, Steal the Mole 3000
Finale Missions: Get Access Codes from the Top Scientists, Blow up the Firewall, Upload the Video, Escape the Exploding Compound

Game Play
Some of the Recruitment scenes (character introductions) were rock solid (it's worth checking out the first ten minutes of part 2 for those). After that, play was a little erratic as we tried to get a sense of the game. Two of the players had arrived at the table with no knowledge of the game or system, and I think they were a little uncomfortable. Despite that, after the first Checkpoint, everyone began to settle and we explored some funny, memorable action scenes.

During the last Checkpoint, I made a bad call (and broke the rules of my game). Despite my best efforts to passive-aggressively steer the game away from silliness in the build up to play, and then to counter silliness with heavy-handed Challenges (read c*nt), we still ended up with a scene which was going to be resolved with a kind of persuasion-based conga. This is the type of thing that builds great stories for some people. But unless I'm chock-full of caffeine, I don't like this kind of "Weekend at Bernie's" comedy. My reaction was weak. I called a Veto.

In Hell for Leather, a majority can call a Veto on any piece of narrative. It's the disclaimer against people who push too far. Rather than stick to my own rule though, I decided to ignore the vote/discussion. I just vetoed. Ewww. Listening back, I feel like a creep. This isn't the first time I tried to force Fun my way... gotta to be careful with that.

Despite that bad judgement call, the game went well. Hell for Leather seems to deliver spectacle every time it gets a demo. There's a physical, significant component to the game in the centre of the table—a wobbling stack of dice. As the players steer through the narrative, stacking dice higher and higher, there eventually must come a moment of oooooooooh, aaaahhhhhhh, wayyyyyyyy! As I've said before, it's a shallow game of sexy violence. Sometimes I get upset that it's nothing more than stoopid. But sometimes I don't.