21 January 2008

Kapcon/Games on demand - The Shab-al-Hiri Roach

This game, pitched as 'all about academic politics, but with an ancient Sumerian roach-god' immediately got two excited players (both only too familiar with academia), plus another who had played it before.

The game was the most restrained outing to Pemberton I have yet seen, with only one murder (committed by my character, who was a little paranoid even before he was possessed by the roach). Everyone else was maneuvering the luminaries against their enemies in a manner much like it is done in the real world (or, at least, the world of university politics).

The other thing was that everything fired on all cylinders right away - each event, scenes were quickly proposed and resolved, then followed up by others building on what had gone before. We raced through the six events of the year, with time left for a couple of InSpectres missions. That said, it wasn't like we were skipping any cool stuff... just focus on what to do each scene, and how to manage it. We did have a little less focus on NPCs than my previous games, which probably contributed to the quick finish. The four of us largely concentrated on each other in our maneuvering for reputation.

We all spent most of the game possessed, the winner luckily drawing a roach card at the beginning of the final event and casting it off (just as the other character who had already done so was possessed a second time).

A great game! The Roach is a nice one-shot, and I haven't had a game yet that wasn't hilarious.


Anonymous said...

Being one of the players in Roach:

The game was excellently facilitated by Michael, who got us right into the absurdity of academic life. Hillarity ensued, while we were developing each move. The game system was a good mix of randomness from the dice rolls and cards and of control through our stratagems and playing of each other. Can't wait to play it with some of my academic colleagues.

The Gamester At Large said...


I'm glad to hear that my efforts have helped the Roach spread to new hosts.