20 June 2006

Actual Play: The Shab-al-Hiri Roach

We have played two sessions of the Roach, and have just one event left before Pemberton University is left to attempt to recover from our depredations.

The first session was a bit stilted. This was, I think, a combination of not really knowing what feel was intended and due to a lack of clear direction when setting scenes. By the end of the first session we were going a bit crazy, which helped things (I feel that my character devouring a doctor who was trying to calm him down after the Roach's command him really got us going there). In the second session I made sure people setting their scenes told us what the conflict was intended to be, so we could play towards it. This is really important too.

The rules run nice and smoothly, really encouraging you to come up with bizarre plans to get your characters' reputation up. I was particularly proud of my dude getting a die from his academic specialty - "Yiddish immigrant poetry" - in one scene. Absurd stuff like that really makes the game work.

Another player learned an important lesson that all prospective players should heed - even if it seems really cool, voluntarily becoming roachbound is a fool's game. That said, the extra power it gives you is awesome. We've all been pretty much steamrolling the rest of the faculty and town with our insidious roach cruelty...

I thoroughly recommend this game. It's hilarious. Just remember to start the conspiracies and murders early! And the more outrageous they are, the better.
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