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LFP A couple of inter-system one-shots

Stephan Hornick

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I am very fond of Shadowrun, and I am currently obsessing about Delta Green. Did you have a group going? Would you prefer to GM or play?
Sounds nice. I don't know Delta Green, but I would be happy to try. I've run many Shadowrun games, so I like this also.
I like both GMing and playing, so you choose. But as I am usually partly preoccupied at the moment with my baby at that times, it would be easier for me to play (or you would have to not mind sudden pauses during mid-play).
Coming back to the system though, I believe you wanted to try systems out that you don't know. If we first stick to short adventures or one-shots, we can get to know each other and also get to know many different games. And depending on the system we can also change who is GM and who plays. Does this sound good?
Then let's post here our bucket list of systems you know (GMing) and systems you want to try (playing). We'll surely find some good combinations.

I would ask the community to join, so that we accumulate 3-4 players.
 

riderv3

Member
Faster Combatant
Sounds nice. I don't know Delta Green, but I would be happy to try. I've run many Shadowrun games, so I like this also.
I like both GMing and playing, so you choose. But as I am usually partly preoccupied at the moment with my baby at that times, it would be easier for me to play (or you would have to not mind sudden pauses during mid-play).
Coming back to the system though, I believe you wanted to try systems out that you don't know. If we first stick to short adventures or one-shots, we can get to know each other and also get to know many different games. And depending on the system we can also change who is GM and who plays. Does this sound good?
Then let's post here our bucket list of systems you know (GMing) and systems you want to try (playing). We'll surely find some good combinations.

I would ask the community to join, so that we accumulate 3-4 players.
Sounds great! I like the idea of some short games, swapping GM duties. Downside is the games I have the most experience GMing (DND and Pathfinder 1e) are the ones I am trying to back away from.

Delta Green is modern Cthulhu horror, where PCs are part of a government conspiracy to stop the bad things. Nice clean system.

1. Systems I know and can (hopefully) GM
  • Blades in the Dark
  • Atomic Robo RPG (fate)
  • Savage Worlds
2. Systems I Have Only Read and Are Interested in GMing
  • Delta Green
  • Zweihander
  • Mythras
  • Godbound
3. Systems I Want to Try (or play more of) as a Player
  • Shadowrun
  • Mutant Year Zero
  • Stuff in list #2 above.
And a bunch more, but that's off the top of my head.
 

Stephan Hornick

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Great system. I will copy this.

1. Systems I know I can GM
  • D&D
  • The Dark Eye (Das Schwarze Auge)
  • Star Wars
  • World of Darkness
  • Splintered Moon (Splittermond)
  • Dungeon World
  • Shadowrun
2. Systems I have not GMed in a while, but which should be possible
  • Plush, Power and Junk (Plüsch, Power und Plunder)
  • Earthdawn
  • Call of Cthulhu
  • Exalted
  • Numenera
  • Aberrant
  • Witches (Hexxen)
  • The Black Cat (Die Schwarze Katze)
  • Middle Earth Roleplaying System (MERS)
  • Midgard
  • Runequest
  • Rolemaster
  • Hârnmaster
  • D6 System
3. Systems on my bucket list

  • 13th Age
  • 3D&T
  • 7th Sea
  • All Flesh Must Be Eaten
  • Alshard
  • Alternity
  • Amber Diceless Roleplaying
  • Apocalypse World (PbtA)
  • Arcana Unearthed
  • Army of Darkness Roleplaying Game
  • Ars Magica
  • Ashen Stars (Gumshoe)
  • Atomic Robo RPG (Fate)
  • Ave Molech
  • Beyond the Wall
  • Blades in the Dark (PbtA)
  • Bubblegum Crisis
  • Buck Rogers XXVC
  • Bullwinkle and Rocky Role-Playing Party Game
  • Burn Bryte (Roll20)
  • The Burning Wheel
  • Bushido
  • Castles & Crusades (OGL)
  • Castle Falkenstein
  • The Challenges Game System
  • City of Mist
  • Conan Role-Playing Game (TSR, OGL)
  • GURPS Conan (GURPS)
  • C°ntinuum
  • Corporation the Roleplaying Game
  • Cyberpunk 2020
  • Cyborg Copmmando
  • D20 System
  • Dark Heresy
  • Darwin's World
  • Dungeon Crawl Classics
  • DC Universe Roleplaying Game
  • Diaspora
  • Dominion Rules
  • DragonQuest
  • Dragonstar
  • Dragon Warriors
  • Dream Craft
  • The Dresden files (FATE)
  • Droids
  • Dune
  • End All Be All (EABA)
  • Eclipse Phase
  • Eldritch Role-Playing System
  • Elfquest
  • En Garde!
  • The End
  • Engel
  • Enhanced: Humans and Heroes (Impact)
  • Epic Role Playing
  • Eternal Soldier
  • Evolve Gaming System
  • EW-System
  • Ex Machina
  • Exodus
  • Fading Suns
  • Faery's Tale
  • Faith: the Sci-FI RPG (RPC54)
  • Fantasy Craft (Mastercraft)
  • Fantasy Wargaming
  • F.A.T.A.L.
  • Fate Core (Fate)
  • Fate of the Norns (RGS, 2d10)
  • Fates Worse than Death
  • Fiasco
  • Firefly (Cortex+)
  • Fragged Empire
  • FUDGE
  • Fuzion (Interlock, Hero)
  • Gamma World
  • Gatecrasher
  • Genesis - The Role Playing Game
  • Godbound
  • Gumshoe
  • GURPS
  • Hero System
  • HARP
  • In Nomine Satanis / Magna Veritas
  • InSaNiTy the role-playing game (DPS)
  • Iron Heroes (d20)
  • Lace and Steel
  • Land of the Rising Sun (Chivalry & Sorcery)
  • Legendy Armandie
  • Lightspeed (Instant Fuzion)
  • Little Fears - The Roleplaying Game of Childhood Terror
  • Macho Women with Guns
  • Man, Myth & Magic
  • Marvel Heroic Roleplaying (Cortex+)
  • MechWarrior
  • Microscope
  • Midnight
  • Monsterhearts
  • Monsters! Monsters!
  • Mutant Year Zero
  • Mutants & Masterminds
  • Mythras
  • Night's Black Agents
  • Ninjas and Superspies
  • The official Superhero Adventure Game
  • Ork! The Roleplaying Game
  • Paranoia
  • Pathfinder
  • Pax Draconis
  • Pirates!
  • Piorates and Plunder
  • Point Blank
  • Psiworld
  • Pulp Adventure
  • Rifts
  • Rolemaster
  • Rules to Live By
  • Rune
  • Runebearer
  • Savage Worlds
  • The Sci-Fi Sagas (E-RPG)
  • Simply Roleplaying! (Fuzion, Action)
  • Space 1889
  • Space Gothic
  • Spacemaster
  • Sphinx
  • Star Hero (Hero)
  • SteamCraft
  • Storytelling System
  • The Strange (Cypher)
  • Strike Legion
  • Swords & WIzardry
  • Technoir
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness
  • Teenagers from Outer Space
  • Ten Thousand Worlds
  • Terra Incognita
  • Thieves' World
  • Tokyo NOVA
  • TORG
  • Traveller
  • Tunnels and Trolls
  • Uncharted Worlds
  • What's O.L.D. is N.E.W.
  • Zaibatsu (Traveller)
  • Zweihänder
 
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Stephan Hornick

Community Goblin
Staff member
Wizard of Adventure
Faster Combatant
Adventure Builder
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Thus, I would be open to all of those, you suggested and which I don't know. Of course, I could GM Shadowrun, but as you already know it, you would probably not just want to play a one-shot, right?

Shall we begin with a one-shot of your choice (and you GMing)? Alternatively, you choose a system that you don't know and have interest in and which I can GM.
 

riderv3

Member
Faster Combatant
That is quite a list! After a brief bout of performance anxiety, I think I have settled on Delta Green for a one shot. I have run a couple sessions a little while back; the rules are pretty straightforward (d100 skill based, a fork of Call of Cthulhu basically), and I think the starter mission will fit into one session. It is set in the modern day, so less info dumps about setting.

My wife Jessica has expressed an interest in playing if you are amenable. Another long time gamer, cut her teeth on Vampire the Masquerade LARP back in the day.
 

Stephan Hornick

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I‘d be very interested. Also, on hoe you are going to approach this as a one-shot. On my end, I‘m a bit anxious whether my English is sufficient in the moment to express myself and be understood. So, how are you going to approach PC creation / templates etc.? And please tell me a little bit more about the system, settings, genre and your playing/GMing style and what you like in a player and what not.
 

riderv3

Member
Faster Combatant
Helpfully, there is a one shot adventure that comes with the intro rules that is nice and short. Since it will be a one shot, (one that is potentially lethal to PCs), I can provide a selection of pre-generated PCs, that will only need filling out with character details, and maybe some skill points to allocate so they can be personalized. Here is a link to my google drive with the pay-what-you-want starter kit so you can get an overview. (the adventure I plan on using is in the back, fair warning). https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1kmNV_0mlHmEhYIUgMfK3tl8y1Ll-t-R_?usp=sharing

In Delta Green PCs are part of a conspiracy hidden in the US government, recruited to face incursions of the unnatural that destroy humanity. PCs are faced with awful choices to prevent worse horrors. In essence a horror game, except the PCs are far better equipped to deal with it (usually). Instead of normal people drawn into bad situations, PCs are professionals in their fields recruited for their skills.

As far as your English is concerned, I think we can manage. I think if we play in a slower considered manner, and make use of chat in whatever online medium we choose to use, I am sure it will work out. My wife speaks German, so that will be helpful I'm sure!
 

riderv3

Member
Faster Combatant
I am told that my GMing style is more on the roleplaying side as opposed to mechanical. I do like mechanics, but I have often found they get in the way (thus my desire to try new games that are not DND/Pathfinder/similar). I like to be improvisational within the frameworks established by my prep work/the published material. I enjoy roleplaying, but I still have a love for action sequences. Violence and visceral combat are great in games, cathartic for me in a lot of ways, but I would like to explore how that affects the PCs and the world.

I have been increasingly frustrated by play driven primarily by mechanics instead of story. The drive to "get that next level" or "get X amount of gold so I can buy the next increment of magic item", without concern for what it means in the fiction. I am looking to experience my favorite hobby in different ways.

In my mind, I am hoping to find gameplay where players are roleplay focused, while using the mechanics as a framework/support for telling the story. For players who are willing to help tell our story collaboratively (level of collaboration appropriate to the system of course). In more rules heavy games I like for players to become literate in their area of expertise, so I can focus more on GMing. (over time of course, I don't expect players to come in with extensive game knowledge)
 

Stephan Hornick

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That seems just to be my play style corner. I'm looking forward to playing with you and Jessica. Do you intend to increase the group size before we play or do we play with 2 players and 1 GM?
Thank you for the link and explanations. Very interesting system. It reminds me very much of Call of Cthulhu with and a little spice of World of Darkness. Does the setting also feel like Call of Cthulhu but from within a government position (e.g. like "Men in Black")? This seems to be the difference to standard Call of Cthulhu.
Where do you see the big differences?
Depending on how you want to proceed with character choice / creation and prior relationships within the group, I would adjust my PC's role, history and personality to make for a fun group constellation. But shortly having read through the book (except from the mission at the end of course), I would prefer to deviate a little bit from the pre-generated characters. As character creation is so easy, I would think of the following instead if that is ok with you:

Dr. Marc Zimmer
German Underwater Archeologist

Appearance: Marc is a 40 years old, balding man with a stout physique. Often wearing a tweed jacket to convey professionalism, his subconscious fidgeting though can be interpreted as either nervousness or over excitement.
Portrayal: Easily excited, insecure, humorous
Quirk: He uses his vast knowledge of legends, underwater creatures and artifacts to either inspire young people or to impress the opposite sex, because he strongly believes that he wouldn't be worthy of their attention otherwise.
Goal: Get happily married.

Professional Life: Marc studied archeology in Köln, Germany, and Basel, Swiss, specialized in underwater archeology in London, UK, and finally obtained his doctorate at the Michigan State University where he is currently teaching classes. Because of his funny nature he is very popular with the students, but the dean of the university Robert Floden is giving him a hard time.
Personal Life: Marc is an unhappy single. His ex-wife Betina Floden is squeezing the last bit of money out of him because he's not man enough to say no. His best friend is the little octopus named Seven-and-a-Half and he is secretly in love with the petshop owner Merry Weatherheaven.
History: One evening at Dagwood's, a local bar in East Lansing, some strange fellar seemed to take pity in him (or so Marc thought at the moment) and gave him his card. "If you are considering to change your perspective, Mr. Zimmer, give me a call. We need people like you. But beware: it will change your life forever. And not always for the best." Some days later Marc called agent Tom Shaw back and had his first interview with Delta Green.

Bonds:
  • Relentless ex-wife Betina Floden (12)
  • Cute pet octopus Seven-and-a-Half (14)
  • Mentoring agent Tom Shaw (11)
  • Good-hearted petshop owner Merry Weatherheaven (14)
Motivations:
  • The oceans hold endless secrets. Marc wants to know them all. That is why he became a researcher of ancient history. Every now and then though, he becomes a little too obsessed.
  • Since an early deep water dive when he was but a student, Marc is fascinated by the beauty of sea life. This resulted in him studying the ocean and going for a dive every now and then.
  • Marc believes in the good of all people and that one should help each other, no matter what. This is why he likes teaching so much.
  • Although Marc believes in the ancient saying that the quality of food can increase the quality of your life, he often reaches for the wrong food and doesn't live so healthy as he would love to.
  • Marc yearns to find his place in life. He has never been able to keep a group of friends and was often uprooted by his career. Also, he got divorced a while back and his dream of a happy family shattered violently. Since then he finds himself wandering and stumbling through life without a strong anchor. He is throwing himself into his teaching and research, but truly he is only looking for belonging.
Stats:
STR 1050%CON 13
Perseverance
65%DEX 1050%INT 17
Knowledgeable
85%POW 8
Insecure
40%CHA 14
Likeable
70%

HP12/12WP8/8SAN27/40BP23

Accounting10%History60%Swim60%
Alertness24%HUMINT50%Unarmed Combat40%
Archaeology50%Melee Weapons30%Unnatural5%
Athletics34%Navigate11%GermanM
Bureaucracy40%Occult62%English50%
Criminology10%Persuade40%Nahuatl30%
Disguise10%Psychotherapy10%Sumerian20%
Dodge30%Ride10%Old Babylonian20%
Drive20%Search62%Latin21%
Firearms20%SIGINT20%Greek10%
First Aid10%Stealth10%Middle Egyptian10%
Heavy Machinery10%Survival10%

Special Training: SCUBA Diving (Swim)

Missions:
  1. The (Un)Death of Marlene Baughman ("Last Things Last")
Occult Books Studied:
  • Sky Devils: Archetypical Figures in Native American Mythology [Unnatural +1%]
  • Liber Damnatus [Unnatural +4%, Occult +2%]
SAN losses:
  • Cruelty (Inflicting Violence) 1: Not helping crying lady but investigating cabin [SAN -1d4 = -1].
  • Disgust (Perceiving Violence) 0: Seeing a scene of torture and ritual and chemistry [SAN -0/1 = -0].
  • Disgust (Helplessness) 1: Listening to audio tracks of a woman dying of a snake bite during a christian mess [SAN -0/1 = -1].
  • Horror (Unnatural/Helplessness) X/2: Seeing the still living but changed Mrs. Marlene Baughman but breaking free from his flight state [SAN -1d6 = -5, Temporary Insanity (Flight), Bond (Ex-Wife) -1d4 = -2]
  • Study of Sky Devils (Unnatural/Helplessness) BP: [SAN -1d3 = -2]
  • Study of Liber Damnatus (Unnatural) X: [SAN -1d8 = -4, Bond (Mentor) -1d4 = -3]
Mental Disorders:
  • 1st Breaking Point: Study of Sky Devils. Long-term mental disorder (Unnatural/Helplessness in the face of the Unknown): Depression/Obsession
 
Last edited:

riderv3

Member
Faster Combatant
That seems just to be my play style corner. I'm looking forward to playing with you and Jessica. Do you intend to increase the group size before we play or do we play with 2 players and 1 GM?
Thank you for the link and explanations. Very interesting system. It reminds me very much of Call of Cthulhu with and a little spice of World of Darkness. Does the setting also feel like Call of Cthulhu but from within a government position (e.g. like "Men in Black")? This seems to be the difference to standard Call of Cthulhu.
Where do you see the big differences?
Depending on how you want to proceed with character choice / creation and prior relationships within the group, I would adjust my PC's role, history and personality to make for a fun group constellation. But shortly having read through the book (except from the mission at the end of course), I would prefer to deviate a little bit from the pre-generated characters. As character creation is so easy, I would think of the following instead if that is ok with you:
I think we can do 2 players, might be a nice way to ease into it. Delta Green is very much Call of Cthulhu from the government perspective. It really moves into new territory with Bonds and Home sequences, where (in long term play) we see how the stress of dealing with the Mythos affects the agent's normal lives. DG also postulates a sort of unified Mythos theory, that brings all the disparate bits of Cthulhu stories together. I get a strong Laundry Files vibe in many places (minus the humor). All magic is theorized into one whole called "Hypergeometry", where esoteric math can manipulate the fabric of the universe.

Your character is stupendous, I love it. I certainly don't mind taking some liberties with characters; the game offers alternate frameworks for play, and in the end, it's about normal people doing extraordinary things to save themselves, maybe others, maybe the world.
 

riderv3

Member
Faster Combatant
How do you feel about starting this Saturday? According to the interwebs, Saturday 27, 8 AM is 7 PM for you (time zones are going to take a little getting used to). Start time can change, I am thinking a 3-4 hour session would be satisfying. If the notice is too late, we can aim for next week, no problem.
 

Stephan Hornick

Community Goblin
Staff member
Wizard of Adventure
Faster Combatant
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Let's say 10am for you, 9pm for me. That should work. Maybe I will need to give milk to my baby at the beginning of the session. I hope you don't mind. What medium would you like to use?
 

riderv3

Member
Faster Combatant
The time sounds good. We can aim for a 3 hour session. We have been using Discord with good results. That way we will have voice and video (video optional), dice roller and chat. You are welcome to use physical dice on your end also. I don't think we need a VTT at this point, the intro operation is light on handouts, and no maps needed. No problem with you feeding your baby, of course.
 

Stephan Hornick

Community Goblin
Staff member
Wizard of Adventure
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Great! My discord handle is Stephan#1487
I will use a video and my own dice. I‘m no fan of audio only or dice rollers when I am a Player. I‘m looking forward to tomorrow.
 

Stephan Hornick

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Once again: I liked the session very much, Gerald.
On the matter of GMing, there are those GMs who like to receive light comments back, some who don't want to hear any feedback, and those that write down even the tiniest side comment which might pinpoint to a way for them to improve. What kind of GM are you? Do you want more GMing-related feedback? How much? At once or after the next session?
 

riderv3

Member
Faster Combatant
I had fun also.
I would very much enjoy feedback. I have been playing with the same group for many years, playing the same kinds of game (mostly DnD and the like), so feedback is limited. I would love to hear your impressions and comments, and get your feedback. Since we have not played together before I am sure you will have some fresh perspectives. I welcome whatever feedback you have, and it can be at your leisure; I know we all have a lot going on.
 

Stephan Hornick

Community Goblin
Staff member
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Ok, here is my feedback. Just to say it once more: None of it is with ill intent. If you don't think it is like I describe, that's totally ok for me. But if my comments help you just a little bit in future, I am happy.

VTT medium
  • We played over discord with videos and that was very good. The only problem was on my end, as I constantly lost my audio settings when I switched from one headphone to the next (due to low battery). So, good choice.
Number of players
  • I still think that 2 players are too few for interesting and evolving roleplaying within the party. For a long-term campaign or several adventures, we should maybe add a player.
  • Nevertheless, as this was the first session (in which the PCs and players got to know each other) it was a good decision to keep it to 2 players.
  • For me, as this was my first roleplaying session ever in English, I found it very helpful. I could understand both of you very good and I had the feeling you cared. It was really nice and gave me the confidence to play (or even GM) in English.
  • In addition, twice (or three times?) I had to ask for a short break due to the whims of my baby. Due to the number of players this seems to have been no problem for you two. That made the whole session much more relaxing for me. Thank you!
  • Based on the fact that we played online, a smaller number of players is to be expected. Even with two players I sometimes had the feeling I should take myself a little bit back. Or I tried to get the right timing to describe something. Sometimes, the moment passed without me being able to bring myself in, but don't worry, this can also be the case in real life sessions and I think it was for the best, i.e. it was ok for a better pacing.
  • But most importantly, I realized that your adventure was very investigation-rich. In different kinds of play, more players are no trouble. In case of a strong focus on investigation though, a smaller number of players was crucial.
  • Also, it really felt like in the movies, when 2 people investigate an appartement. The number felt right.
  • Thus, it was absolutely appropriate to limit the number of players to 2 for that session. In case you / we decide to continue though as in a campaign, we should think about one person more.
GM decisions
  • At several times you were asked questions and often you thought a moment and decided on the spot. I notice these moments a lot, because they show how grounded the GM actually is. I found all of your decisions to be well grounded, convincing and appropriate. The short moment you give yourself to think about it, is making a big difference, I believe. This really showed your experience and it increased my immersion and made me comfortable with your world.
NPCs
  • Your NPCs were rare, actually just two NPCs. I like roleplaying with NPCs much and I think you could have introduced more NPCs to enrichen the world.
  • Due to the time (3h session) you probably decided against this, but one more NPC would have shifted the tone and pacing, I believe.
  • Both of them were convincing though and had personality, although none of them was in any way flashy. Each had a slight social quirk that made them memorable.
PC backstory and integration
  • You made note of the PCs' backstories and found a short, nice way to bring the PCs together. This was very fluent and not akward at all. Good job!
Pacing
  • The pacing was slow. Although I found it fitting for the player-driven part at the beginning as the PCs met and for the initial investigation part, I would have liked an increase in pacing at some moment. We had a steady flow of accomplishment due to our questions and based on what we investigated, but if we had been stomped, the pacing would have died.
  • If I were the GM I would probably have introduced a sudden change at some point at the appartement. A nosy NPC, boxes falling down, an early hint regarding something unnatural, etc. to increase the story pacing, accomplishment pacing or emotional pacing.
Emotional rollercoaster
  • To be honest, I found your adventure emotionally monotonous. Looking at the 5 Room Dungeon method, a major tool for me as a GM is to shift from high note end of an encounter to a low note beginning of an encounter and vice-versa. I find it necessary as a GM to emotionally engage my players within the story, with moral aspects, dilemmas, fear, greed, thrill, excitement and many more.
Variation of scenes
  • You can shift between the following types of scenes to enrich the overall experience and to not let it come to a monotonous experience: PC-NPC roleplaying, PC-PC roleplaying, skill checks, action and thrill (incl. combat), investigation, exploration, etc.
  • I sometimes forced a PC-PC roleplaying scene inbetween, when the investigation scene tended to become outgame play, i.e. one PC noted things the other PC didn't, and I tried to communicate this between the PCs and to not assume that the other also noticed then (which is in my view metagaming and I don't like very much). Combat and investigation scenes very strongly tend to metagaming if you don't take care. But by including such little dialogues inbetween you can prevent this and also change the type of scene.
Horror
  • Although introduced as an Arkham / Eldritch Horror setting like Call of Cthulhu, I experienced no horror at all. Although this was just the beginning and we only had a 3h session, as a one-shot I would have wished for some kind of contact with something of the like.
Dice rolling
  • Although I'm no big fan of too many dice rolls, I like dice rolling. I found it a pity that Jessica had one dice roll and that was it. Often, you just looked at our stats and decided based on the numbers whether we knew or found something. This is easier for you, but it is not very fulfilling. If there is no dice roll, there is no chance of failure. If there is no chance of failure, there is no thrill.
Getting to know the system
  • My main reason to play was to get to know the system. The setting is quickly understood. The story depends on the GM and is very universal (i.e. I can imagine several stories myself for many systems and they work with any system). But the system is unique to the game and changes how the game "feels". I would have liked to see what the system feels like. I hope, we will have the chance to do so the next time.
  • Dice rolling, contact with some unnatural, skill checks and combat, the whole area of madness in those systems, this is what I am looking forward to.

So, in summary:
As a GM I would suggest to bring more meaningful (moral) decisions, NPCs, changes of scene types and emotions, and more challenges to the table. Nevertheless, I value you very much as a GM and as a person. Again: I had a great time! Thank you. I'm looking forward to our next session.
 
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