22 July 2008

Geiger Counter - The Cylinder

(You're supposed to read 'The Cylinder' in ominous movie voice).

I took the playtest draft of Geiger Counter for a one-shot last night, as I was thinking of running a game at this year's Fright Night halloween convention. I'm also interested to see the similarities and differences with The Infected, given that they have pretty similar aims.

Overall, it was a lot of fun, with some good action/horror moments and a satisfying ending (with the villain of the piece escaping alive, and the rest left dead on the eponymous cylinder). I'm happy with it for my convention game, too.

The contrast with The Infected is basically characterization versus action. Infected focuses much more on character, Geiger Counter really seemed to make the actions to survive primary.

I really liked the way that quick scenes taken in turns really kept things going. Scenes that took more than about five minutes felt like they were dragging, which is fairly telling about the pace of things.

Drawing the map as you go was great too. Ours was a science fiction story, with humans exploring a huge alien cylinder. It quickly turned to chaos, with the entire artifact waking up hostile to the humans, as well as the things that lived inside it. The various groups trapped inside the cylinder did their best to fight off the menace and escape.

The conditions added a lot to the story too - there's a discrete list of things that can affect you after you lose a conflict - you can be injured or dead, but also lost, alone, hysterical, etc. Each has its own narrative effects and having these come into play added a lot of colour to the story.

Overall, the playtest draft delivered 100% on what it promised. I'm looking forward to the final version.

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