John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane

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Notes and Observations on My First DW: AiTaS Game

What follows are a series of notes and observations on the running of my first adventure for the Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space rpg game (see the previous post), and address a few elements of the game.

I am not putting this material behind a cut, because...well, just because. :)

First off, when we finished playing and I explained a few elements of the plot that the players asked me to clarify for them, they commented that the scenario was really good in its execution of cutting back and forth between the groups of players. This is one of the things that I believe is central to running a game of Doctor Who, regardless of the rpg and game mechanics that one uses, and is important to maintain a sense of "What will happen next? I need to know!" when running the game.

The players all agreed that the DW: AiTaS rpg is one of the simplest game systems they've played, one of the easiest game systems to get into, and that the system fits the tv series and the running of a game based on the series like a glove. Sure, there's a lot of player creativity (not to mention GM creativity!) required, as telling the great story is made easier when the players and GM communicate well and have trust in one another, but it can be tough to get this going in the game. Not a lot of players will think in terms of hindering their characters to further the plot or make it go in a direction they believe is more suitable - and get Story Points out of it! But that's only part of it.

On the subject of Story Points, this is one area that needs to be discussed with the players before running the first game session. The uses of Story Points are not necessarily intuitive at times, and to be honest, as I said above, players don't tend to think in terms of hindering their characters or reducing their levels of successes (or changing a situation that's negative to a mildly positive one). Joanne's creativity in terms of Kelasa's having a hairpin and one of her tools when she and her teammate were captured was great, at a low cost of 2 Story Points, and enabled the two characters to escape their makeshift prison. The Story Points mechanic is one that I really love, but it can be a headache for a GM who isn't necessarily prepared for it.

As folks may have seen, there was a bit more combat in the fourth episode of the scenario than might have been expected. This combat system is really a breeze, once one gets the hang of it, and the manner in which it simulates Doctor Who combat stuff to a "T" is just superb. After a mere handful of fight scenes over the first three episodes, the players got a handle on how these worked and made really short combat work for them, spending Story Points when they had to reduce damage and when they had to increase the number of dice being used for an action. When player characters need to fight, Story Points can be their best friends, but being smart and using one's wits in combat can be just as advantageous as several of the players discovered to their delight.

Last but not least, I should mention that the GM Screen is worth it's weight in gold. Having the tables present on the GM Screen and being able to access them without flipping through the book makes running the game so much easier, with very little flipping in the GM Guide. I heartily recommend using the GM Screen when running the game, folks.

If anyone has questions or thoughts or any comments on stuff, I'd be glad to hear them and address them, of course. :)

Next up is...well, that would be telling now, wouldn't it? :>

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