Episode 131: Finding Your Voice in a Game

Hosts: Megan, Scott, Timo

Phillip’s Archnemesis Contest!

What’d We Play:
Marvel Heroic

4 Leather
Zombie Cinema
Monster of the Week

32:00- Main topic: finding your voice in a game.
Knowing how to say enough but not too much. How do you start the narration? Who’s point of view? How much talking?

55:15- Rants:
Scott: I’m a hoarder of electronic media.
Timo: I have a problem with buying stuff that doesn’t work and then I’m unpleasant.
Megan: What’s up with flirting in your 30s? My gaydar is broken!

You have been listening to The Jank Cast, copyright under the creative commons license. You can find out more about us at jankcast.com. You can send comments and feedback to feedback@jankcast.com We are sponsored by Chicagoland Games, and encourage you to get in touch with us via our Facebook page, Spooky Outhouse Forum (it’s a little quiet, but we’d love to get it going again), Twitter or Google+. You can also listen to us via Stitcher Radio. Now go out and roll some dice!

8 thoughts on “Episode 131: Finding Your Voice in a Game

  1. The guy who ran Lady Blackbird is Matt, who also played Mr. Fantastic in Marvel Heroic, for the curious.

  2. D&D With Cards

    Players Shared Deck: 1-20
    All players pull from the same deck, reshuffle when it runs out. The group is guaranteed a critical hit, and a miss over twenty pulls. Roll damage as normal.

    GMs Deck: 1-20
    The GM will pull cards for all of his monsters, rolling damage as normal. Players are allowed to count his cards as well.

    Both parties have near perfect information.

    Try it out Megan!

  3. Nick and I name our electronic devices after Queens: Mary, Elizabeth, Eleanor, Jane Grey, Boudicea…

  4. Megan is right. I did want to find out more about how and why my character was murdered. While I think the game we played was okay, I had problems with the design of Hell 4 Leather.

    First it starts in the wrong place. It starts before the murder and you have to play towards a result that is already know. We don’t play to find out what happens, we play to an already determined point. It felt difficult to get to and I felt I was having a hard time making my “offers” be seen as offers, or recognizing other players offers. The murder really had no tension, and thus I didn’t feel very strongly motivated to seek revenge.

    The next scene you have to make a deal with the Devil. This was another incredibly awkward feeling scene, for the same reasons listed before. It’s not like the Devil can say no, or I could have refused. It wasn’t really great.

    Finally get get to the part where freeplay can begin, but I’m left with little to no knowledge of the other PC’s, or even my own character, so it’s hard to find ways to appropriately go about revenge, or have any motivation to seek revenge. It just felt like, “Okay. Try to kill somebody, because that’s what the rules say.” I feel like I only came up with one good appropriate to their character murder attempt, and that one failed.

    I don’t think it’s a game I’ll play again, but I also hate the movie, “The Crow.”

  5. See, I love Hell 4 Leather for, as far as I can tell, some of the reasons you dislike it. I think it does a really cool job of emulating a certain kind of genre: the grindhouse revenge flick. I do think Megan has a point that it plays best in the generic setting, but that happens to be a genre I really like. I think some of the narrative stuff (it all has to happen in one night, etc.) is a bit constraining, but nothing that I can’t get around.

    Genre emulation in gaming has become a bit of an obsession of mine. I’m very interested in how you create game rules that create a certain kind of experience without completely dictating it or just saying “so do it.”

  6. Well… much of my criticism is of those first 2 scenes. I might enjoy bikers better as they are from my strata, whereas super-white C.E.O. people are not. Likely I’d feel I knew a biker better. I’d still dislike playing toward a result we already know. This is one of the things that Mountain Witch teaches by starting at the actual starting point, and not screwing around with having to have the king send you on the mission.

  7. I really like the first scene. I like that you get to see the fool die, if for no other reason that you can make it big and spectacular and part of the revenge movie genre is that you do, in fact, have to see the person die.

    If it was up to me, though, you would lose the deal with the devil scene. Done well that scene rocks, but some part of me thinks it would be equally satisfying to just say “then, 1 month later…” and get on with the game.

  8. The game is super constrained, in terms of the cast of characters. it’s informed by two sources, being the movie genre in general (supernatural revenge) as well as the form and format of the Tarot deck, particularily the trumps. And it’s interesting in that, unlike lady blackbird (which is also super constrained) it’s constrained in that it tells you specifically what happens in each scene.

    I think it really does fall in to: if you’re in to that genre of movie, and that feeling, then it’s a fun game. But your really have to be devoted to the idea that you are reaching to get to a specific thing, rather than exploring to see what happens.

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