Jul. 23rd, 2015

magicaddict: (B&W 2)
...who didn't particularly enjoy last week's game?

Disclaimer: The game was fine - good premise, good selection of monsters, simple and direct narrative. I'm not commenting on the game design or OOC management.

But I still didn't particularly enjoy myself.

Thyrian is a nothing character. On games, he's no more substantial than Juilin was. The only challenge he represents to me is remembering his spell vocals and not cheating (failing to remember my stats correctly). Given that I get this wrong on a number of occasions (as I did last week, spending one more mana than I needed to on every spell I cast), it leaves me feeling less of a person as a result of playing him. Possibly having Eirlys present would provide an outside stimulus that is otherwise lacking, but all of the interactions he had felt staid, forced, and pretty much unnecessary. Had I handed the stats sheet to someone else and gone home, little or nothing would have changed. I don't care that he's effective - anyone with those stats would be, so the statement means nothing.

The party's combination of castings was so world-bendingly powerful with respect to the game that I never felt remotely in danger (not since Nimbus before the rules changes have I felt so invulnerable). With the exception of getting paralysed repeatedly (perfectly reasonable - I was playing a mage - but then made me invulnerable to the rest of the encounter as it is Bad Form to hit paralysed characters), nothing had a great deal of effect. I took, at most, three points of damage in a single hit, and that was to my chest, so I barely had to react, and I never dropped below half life or half wounds on any location. No fear. No danger. No risk. Unstoppable force meets target rich environment - only one possible outcome. I have fun by getting trounced, coping with adversity, succeeding in a pinch. This wasn't. This was a methodical and relentless destruction of a game's encounters by a party that wouldn't take no for an answer. I couldn't engage with it. Even IC lamenting on the abhorrence of the situation was met with a cheery IC response of "This is fun!", widely echoed.

There was a very unpleasant incident approaching the final fight in which the party become so spread out due to varying OOC ability to keep up that one section had to be paused while the the other was able to continue. As one of those pushing to move forward quickly on this occasion was one who has in the past insisted that the game stops so they can catch their breath and remain part of the game, this was irritating to me. In a society that has a culture of inclusionism OOC, using IC reasoning to justify the OOC exclusion of those who did not have the required level of fitness to keep up with them (which really was the reason for the group being strung out), also irritated me. More than a little. Then it changed, and the force so unflinchingly determined to press on at all costs suddenly insisted on not going forward any further until those behind had been notified of what was going on. What changed?

This isn't out of the ordinary - this is a variant of what I come away from most games (particularly my own) thinking. What if? If only? Why did they do that? How was this acceptable? How was that gotten away with? What were they thinking? Are they mad?

I must be missing something. If I walk away from a game no less despondent than normal when everyone else is busy singing its praises, I get the feeling it's very much on me. This is why this is here, and not emailed to the committee, or posted on the boards.

*Looks at calendar.*

Oh good - my game this Sunday.

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Doug Millington-Smith

June 2017

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