As my regular gaming group was down two and a half* players last night, we postponed the scheduled session in favour or a game of Scarlet Wake. We went with a Western Setting with a variety of characters, some pretty serious and hard-bitten and some completely absurd.
Despite the fact that only two of us had read the game, the way the rules set things up meant that it ran smoothly. We got through the first turn for each protagonist, with each of us having the initial scene to begin the hunt, a good fight with the first boss' peons (and the boss, in some cases) followed by a bind, each of which was escaped in the third scene. I look forward to when we get to play the next session, as I think it will start with a lot of action - one character gathered so much fuel being beaten up on that he's likely to blast his way through the next few fights with ease.
One thing that particularly impressed me was that all the different styles worked well. We have one story about a midget taking revenge on people who made fun of him. Needless to say, it's pretty silly and a lot of laughs. A couple of the other stories are much darker and nastier, but the change of narration by protagonist seems to mean that each story works by itself and the differing styles don't really interfere with each other. I'll be interested to see whether this breaks down a little when more than one of us goes after the same boss, but I suspect that it will work okay. After all, each of us has had some time to set up our own story and character so expectations about what is acceptable will already be there.
The lack of a single gamemaster didn't quite work. As one of the group's usual gamemasters, and the person who brought Scarlet Wake along, I found some of the group directing a lot of their narration at me, rather than the group in general. I guess that will wear off as they get to know the rules and so on.
The overall view is that we had a great time, more so than is usual for dropping a new game on people. I look forward to the next session and also the full game.
* Half a player is someone turning up really late.