Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Wicked Numbers

This week I played In A Wicked Age for the first time, and in doing so I GMed for the first time. I got my initial thoughts about the experience down on my tumblr account. TL;DR - I love the game, I loved my first time as a GM and can't wait for both again - possibly with me GMing In A Wicked Age.

One of the things that I think was really strong about the game was the use of Oracles for setting up the game. I'm really into creativity and creative thinking as a skills trainer, and so using random provocations is very familiar to me. Last night we seeded our game, and the characters who were in it, by taking inspiration from the Oracle for The Unquiet Past. The elements that we randomly took (using a deck of cards*) were:
  • The guardian of a tomb, a statue cast in silver with ruby eyes
  • The arrival of honored emissaries from a wealthy exotic land
  • The son of a great tyrant, born crippled and denied his inheritance
  • A new village built on the ruins of a forgotten people
From these, ideas for about a dozen characters or types of characters who might appear came really easily, and I think that we then had a lot of fun during the game taking these in all kinds of directions. At the start of the night I had no idea what might happen; at the start of the game I still had no idea where things might go. And that worked out really well.

There's something understated in some ways about the In A Wicked Age manual. I've not read hundreds of RPG manuals/sourcebooks, but those that I have generally have a couple of ideas for campaigns or stories. Some have clear and cool guidelines for setting up campaigns, scenes and settings. In A Wicked Age doesn't have any of those. It has something better. It has the Oracles.

It has millions and millions of stories in the manual. Millions and millions in a 37 page pdf.

How many millions? We'll get into that in the next post.

*playing cards from the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. That's how I roll!

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