03 April 2009

Lacuna - Impressions

I've been interested in this game for a while, but it's been out of print for a while, so when it came back into print recently (with a free Lacuna device included, no less!) I picked a copy up.

It's a fun read. Loads of colour, and a cool premise. The rules and setting definitely leave plenty of room for the group to fill in gaps as they want - the game is a mindfuck for players, just from the setting, but running it from the book basically is for the GM too.

I've played a couple of sessions of it, as we've had absences preventing our theoretical main game going ahead. Both went well, with the creepiness of Blue City seeming to be invoked from my descriptions. The main mechanic - the Agents' heart rates increasing throughout the mission up to a point at which they can die - really paces the game well. The urgency it brings to events is fantastic - especially given the fact that Agents can re-roll failed rolls at the cost of increased heart rate. I can see later missions being a lot more cautious when the dice come out (especially as our second outing had the mission fail, with all three agents Ejecting to save themselves rather than stay in the increasingly doomed confrontation with the Hostile Personality).

I can see that the secrets of the game will be interesting as they begin to come out - only two missions in, we haven't really got to that yet, but as the Agents get more proficient I can see that familiarity with the mission structure and increasing amounts of Static will lead to some of the crazy stuff in the book coming out. That of course will lead to more GM improv, as most of these secrets are merely evocative hints pointing in a certain kind of direction. Still, it should be fun.