Sunday, August 16, 2015

[Weekly Geeky Report] Inside Out and games, games, games!

Swag
Rafael Chandler is running a Kickstarter campaign for the second edition of his play-by-videochat RPG, Viewscream. Having played Viewscream a few times before and participated in the second edition playtest, I decided to go ahead and back it (especially considering you get the whole thing for backing at just $10).

Achievements Unlocked
I'm continuing to binge watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars and am now up to halfway through season four. The Umbara arc has to be my favourite of the season so far, challenging Rex's belief in following the chain of command. One can only hope that some of Rex's men will remember the lesson they learned on Umbara when Order 66 happens, but it's probably something that'll never come up in the series itself.

On Tuesday, I got to play Tragedy Looper for the second time. Tragedy Looper is a time-travelling deduction game, sort of like Cluedo meets Steins;Gate. It's a mostly co-operative game where the objective for most of the players is to prevent a tragedy of some sort from taking place, while one player takes on the role of the 'mastermind' whose goal is to cause the tragedy in question. The players have several 'loops' to try and influence events so that the tragedy doesn't come to pass, and each loop consists of several days (assuming it isn't ended prematurely by the mastermind fulfilling their win condition). It's a game that takes a couple of tries to get used to, but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty cool.

After that we played a game of Forbidden Island, in which we managed to acquire all four treasures and escape with one whole turn to spare. I think we got off easier than we should have though, as I suspect I might have forgotten to abide by the hand limit of five at one point. I'm pretty sure I had two helicopter lifts and four matching treasure cards, so I really should have had to get rid of one of the helicopter lifts. Since we needed at least one helicopter lift to win the game, and I had to use another to get people to the landing site, I think things would have gone much worse had I remembered to discard when I was supposed to. Oh well, we had fun, which is the main thing.

After that we played the Resident Evil Deck Building game, which I would have won if not for my rocket launcher being defeated by a card which ignored damage the weapon with the lowest ammo cost (the rocket launcher costs no ammo), robbing me of the decorations I'd have gotten from defeating that monster. Instead, Peter won the game, having defeated Wesker a turn earlier.

On Wednesday, a group of us went to see Inside Out, the new Pixar film. I hadn't heard about the movie until I was invited to come along, but Pixar's films are generally of a high enough standard that I decided it was worth checking out. I'm glad I did, as the movie was a lot of fun. Maybe not Pixar's best, but still very good, striking a fine balance between hilarity and drama. I'd read a few reviews online about it being too dark for the target audience, but honestly I think that's just being ridiculous and over-protective.

After the movie, we went back to Nicky's house for an all-night gaming get-together. We played Sentinels of the Multiverse and defeated Grand Warlord Voss, with Doc's character - Fanatic - contributing the most towards our victory. He got in several high damage attacks, and towards the end he was dealing damage to the enemy at the start of every turn!

After another game of Tragedy Looper, we also played Chrononauts (I can't recall who won that game) and then I finally got another chance to try out my copy of Doctor Who: The Card Game. It took us a while to get the hang of how the game played, but eventually we got the hang of it. In the end, Heather triggered the game ending and finished with the most victory points.

There had been plans for some kind of roleplaying session later on, but our would-be GM had to leave earlier than planned. Instead, Peter and I settled down to play a one-on-one game of Firefly while the others headed to bed. We played until about three or four in the morning, and the game went poorly for me to say the least. I got hit by Reavers on three or four different occasions (two of which occurred within the same turn) and encountered the Alliance Cruiser two times (one of which left me stripped of the contraband I was in the middle of shipping). In the end, Peter had amassed enough crew and resources to sail through the objectives, whereas I don't think I managed to complete a single one. As good as the Firefly board game is, I can't shake the feeling that it has it in for me somehow with the number of times I get hit by the Reaver drop and Alliance Cruiser cards. Mind you, Peter wasn't wrong in saying I should have sought out a mechanic or ship upgrade to help avoid the former being as big a problem. Something to bear in mind for the next time I play, I suppose.

Yesterday I listened to the full audiobook of Star Wars: Razor's Edge, book one in the Empire and Rebellion duology. It was a decent enough story, and the audiobook had somewhat higher production values than most. It wasn't a full-cast audiodrama, but it did have background music and sound effects which enhanced the sense that I was actually listening to a Star Wars adventure.

Later on, I finally got around to watching the finale of Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana. The series ended on a massive cliffhanger (which, in retrospect, I should have seen coming) with the promise that 'we'll find out what happens...next season'. So on the one hand, I'm cursing Wil Wheaton's name for leaving things hanging like that, but on the other hand it seems like they're pretty sure they're doing a second season so...yay!

Works In Progress
I know I'm definitely going to be running the Last Stop adventure for Kuro as one of my one-shots in September, so I'll only need to read through the rules and the adventure a couple of times the week before then to prepare for that. In the meantime, I still need to decide what I want to run as my second one-shot (if I decide to bother running a second one, that is).

I had originally thought to run Feng Shui 2, but that's really going to depend on whether I can get hold of the print edition before the one-shot fortnight in late September. If I can't get hold of that, then I won't feel 100% comfortable running without a physical copy of the rules to refer to. I have a half-dozen options to turn to as alternatives, not least of which is the new Fantasy AGE RPG (which I should have the physical copy of before too long) and the Star Wars: Age of Rebellion RPG. Both of those will require a bit of extra effort to prepare for. I'd need some idea for a setting to run Fantasy AGE in, and the Star Wars RPG requires special dice to play (and it wouldn't hurt to get hold of a GM screen for it as well).

Anyway, I've got to get ready for work now, so that's all for today. I'll try to make more posts this week if I can. See you later!

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