07 June 2005

Primetime Adventures - Playtest Impressions

Regular group played a game of Primetime Adventures last night, so I thought I'd share my impressions. This will be pretty brief, I think, mainly hitting the high and low points.

Show and character generation went really well, it seem to be just the right level of detail (not much, in this case). The show was called A Fistful Of Brains and dealt with four bounty hunters who hunted down rogue zombies (apparently some zombies managed to live without mindlessly attacking people). The characters were a truly bizarre bunch - a hillbilly trucker, a voodoo magician/ex-government agent, a beautician/assassin and a zombie rights advocate (yes, he was one of the undead).

The scenes played out pretty well but I think we generally were only thinking of how they started, rather than where we wanted them to go. It was also mainly action-based rather than focusing hugely on character issues (although all their issues were addressed).

One big turn off was the tie-breaking element of dice rolls - ties aren't that uncommon, and the rule is for each side to throw an extra die to add to their pool. Now, odds are successes, so a lot of the time this gets repeated. This is not fun. It also changes the odds - you can have a better chance than the opposition at first but if you tie on that roll, it becomes even whether you win or lose. We decided that a house rule would be that higher rolls win ties, and only add more dice if that is a tie too.

Fanmail was under-used, partly due to people forgetting about it but mainly just carrying the story along too fast. When it happened it worked as intended and added to the game.

Overall, a very good game with maybe a little flaw or two.

Oh, and the pilot? The evil zombie gang pushing the zombie drug 'Z' was taken down, but test audiences were unimpressed. Looks like we'll pull in the next pilot for something new next session...

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