11 June 2007

Agon Play: The Isle of Gold

We played a game of Agon today, and it went very well. I'd spent my lunchtime hunting down some miniatures, which added significantly to the feel (good work cheap plastic Greek spearmen).

Character generation went fairly fast and gave a solid, brief idea of each character. There's not much to differentiate the starting heroes, but what there is seems important. The achievements section at the end really helped here, as well as giving a quick intro to the conflict system.

Then I dropped them on the beaches of the Isle of Gold, and Hera informed them that they needed to go slay the Obsidian Scorpion for her. I had a couple of other quests sketched, but figured one would be enough for our first session. This one had three objectives - find out where it lairs and travel there being the first two, and the ones that we managed to play through this session.

In any case, our heroes initially split up, one looking for scorpion trails and the others off to talk to local farmers. The hunter turned up some tracks heading towards the mountainous interior of the island. The others found out that the local king had died and a funeral was being arranged. They convinced the town bard to tell them where the scorpion lairs in return for a promise of it's head as a funeral sacrifice for Hera.

The next morning they headed off to cross the mountains to the other side of the island to find the Scorpion. They met a couple of bandits who tried to charge them a toll. We played this as our first combat - they were pretty crappy minions of one of the island's bandit kings, and were rapidly dispatched. Dorothea the Amazon made a point of paying their toll afterwards - putting four copper coins over their dead eyes.

We had an interlude next, mainly so people could see how it worked. Some impairment was removed, and sacrifices were made.

Then we had a challenge to cross the bandit territory - I made this a basic obstacle challenge with a chance of harm. The bandits did some damage to our heroes on the way.

Then they reached the mountains, where a nasty ghost lived. She attempted to ambush them but was defeated - the heroes ambushed her instead. This fight was a lot tougher, and a lot of fun. Two of the heroes took some nasty damage before she was slain with a round of good results and a bunch of divine favour spent to imbue a spear with power to destroy her.

We were getting close to our session end time, so we had a final interlude and finished up. This interlude stood out for the first real use of oaths - one hero compelled another to heal him, and then the victim compelled him right back to be healed.

The combat was a really good level of tactics. There is plenty to do - much we didn't bother with due to it being the first game (like armour, which was totally forgotten for both penalties and resisting damage... so, retroactively, you were all in just chitons and sandals, guys). Everyone got quite into the positioning part of combat (I'm really looking forward to the next fight with loads of scorpions, for more of that action).

As a GM, it's fun to stat out and play the bad guys exactly as the heroes get run.

Lastly, at the end we totaled up legend and deeds for the session and immediately I saw that the competition between players will work well.

Good stuff - Agon absolutely delivered on the promises in the text. We're looking forward to the next one, and once they kill or are defeated by the Scorpion, I'll be interested to see how they deal with the more complex quests that follow it up.


Luke said...

AGon stands as my favourite RPG of last year with Spirit of the Century.

The abstract nature of system means that the mechanics can cover quite a variety of stuff that when interpretted can add a lot of fun.

The Gamester At Large said...

Yes, I liked that the tactical side of it is interesting and also flexible.

I'm used to more traditional tactical setups (most recently in Wild Talents) which can be fun, but the abilities are often limited in how they can be used.

John Harper said...

Very cool. I'm happy to hear that the game delivered for you. Sounds like your players got into the spirit of things, which makes all the difference.

Now that the learning session is out of the way, you can really kick their butts with scorpion badness next time. :)

The Gamester At Large said...

Definitely. I think I have enough strife left for the full 20 little scorpions as well as the big one, and I'm quite keen to see how a fight that big plays out.