Posts Tagged ‘Mystery’

Whenever I get a new game I always like to test it out. I find it really helps me get a feel for the game, how it works and how it plays. Most importantly it also helps me learn how I can break it and where I might want to stick in some house rules to pre-fix stuff that I know my players will end up doing (or stuff that I’d do if I were playing it).

Back in the old days when Kev and I set up the Northern Guard, whenever we wanted to test out a new character we’d put them into what we called the Room, patterned off the X-men’s Danger Room, but not so physical. It was just kind of a white space void that had no real dimensions or physicality to it. That let us bounce around all we wanted without having to worry about hitting walls or falling off cliffs and stuff. But it really let us test out how the characters combated, and in supers games, combat is king.

For Lacuna, however, I knew that the whole Whitespace thing wasn’t going to work. I don’t think it’s a particularly combat heavy game, but it is bizarre, which to me meant an actual play type example. So I dropped in on Agent Tiller mid-stride, gave him a setting in the city and went with it from there. To use the heartrate mechanic properly, I decided to just add 10d6 to his resting rate, to simulate the fact that normally there’d have been a game going on for a while already.

Current bpm: 106, Tiller’s in the zone for his target rate, but he’ll have to be careful only forty more until he passes out the top end.
Agent Tiller is in Blue City, tailing what he suspects is the target HP. It’s a very busy street, and though the target knows Tiller is there, she doesn’t try to escape, seems she knows safety is in numbers. He tries to close the distance between them, but can’t, she seems to know his every move and counters it. Time to try something different.

He ducks down a side alley and tries Matrix-like to leap up to the roof of the next building, intending to get in front of the HP to cut her off. He needs to roll on his athletics, and as he’s in the zone he can roll as many dice as he feels like. I’ll opt for 4 and see what I get, I need an 11. 17 puts me well over what I needed, and pushes my heartrate up to 123. Hmm, mid-zone, at this rate I’ll need to meditate soon to get it back down again. But if I can get the HP, then I can eject and it’ll be no worry.

Tiller takes off across the roof looking to gain on the HP. Unfortunately he comes to the end of this roof and needs to leap to the next one to continue ahead. We’ll go three dice this time. 17 again, including two sixes so that’s two commendation points. Makes it easily but BPM now 140, almost out the top end of target. But now he’s ahead of her and can hopefully take her by surprise. He leaps down the other side, back to ground level now, we’ll go three dice again. Oooo rolled an 8! That makes it 148, and because it’s a fail he looses one from either force or instinct and the rules don’t specify which. I’ll go with instinct since I’m expecting I’ll need force very soon. The only bright spot is that it was a six and two ones, and since he was still in the zone when I rolled, he gains another commendation point. Though since it’s a fail on a first roll, that gains me a point of static too.

I’m guessing that since he was leaping off the building and failed, that means he’s on the ground, but “injured” (or as injured as one can get in the dream world of the Blue City). So he doesn’t need to roll again to see if he’s on the ground. But I do need to have the static show itself somehow. The rules say that it can be something surreal happening as a result of static. Okay, let’s say that the street starts emptying, like someone’s thrown a switch, everyone starts bailing off the street, almost as if under command. But the HP keeps going.

Waiting in ambush, Tiller watches as the target HP gets closer. She’s checking all around trying to see where the Mystery Agent has disappeared to. Since she’s distracted it’s easy for him to reach out and grab her to pull her into the alley with him. Force again, has to be 3 dice this time too. 14 this time. BPM now 162, but he’s got her. As he drags her back into the darkened alley with him, she kicks and fights, and suddenly Tiller realizes they’re not alone.

Still holding the girl, he spins. Standing there, staring at him is the identical twin to the girl in his arms. The he’s holding draws breath sharply. “It’s me,” she blurts.

“Looking for someone?” the other girl says to Tiller, while flashing him a dangerous grin.

One Lacuna device; two girls.

Welcome to Blue City, Mystery Agent.

On the whole, I’m impressed by the system and the way it plays. It’s fun, even in this small, solo test. I have to say I’m darned curious as to what Tiller’s going to do next. As it is, I’m very tempted to continue and see what happens. More updates on this, if and when I do. Play seems fairly fast, and the heartbeat mechanic seems like it could turn dangerous very quickly. Maybe I shouldn’t have rolled three times for the “leaping tall buildings in a single bound” thing. Used just one roll to get up and over, but that seems like it’s shortchanging the event. Another option would be to work in a house rule for reducing heart rate automatically over time when not in action. But then that seems to go against the “point” of Lacuna. Hmmm, definitely more playtesting called for I think…