It’s… indicative that it’s taken me two weeks even to post about it being hard for me to get psyched about this game.
Anyway. It’s really hard for me to get psyched about this game.
I could write an essay about forged-in-the-dark games and Scum and Villainy in particular (and in fact woke up composing it in my head, following our 16th session) but it would be long and tedious and nitpicky, and boils down to this:
I like the game. Aside from it being downright painful to reference at the table, during play, I think it’s objectively good.
I do NOT like running the game. At all. Pretty much ever.
And the few times I’ve actually felt like I’ve gotten into a groove, I realize later it was because I wasn’t actually playing the game as written. So.
Anyway. I feel like I need to sort this out, because as much as I like the characters and want to know how it all ends, I need to change something, even if that means not seeing how it all ends. Finding the time for gaming is always hard, and with everything else clamoring for attention every week, I need honest desire for the game to tip the scales in favor of play when Monday rolls around.
Mike takes over GMing the game as she stands. Doyce plays.
We switch to a… Well, the idea I had was a group inside the “lost” system behind the closed star gate the Fast Buck has been working to open. Played with straight Apocalypse Word 2, AW Burned Over, or something like, because the system’s been cut off and The Way has gone feral in captivity. Sort of Expanse + Reavers. Let’s us explore the storyline from the other direction.
Yeah, I should elaborate. My goal is to whittle down the choices in front of us. In any other world, I’d expect “the PCs auctioned off a semi-functional Ur ship” to be where things stop for that group as PCs. It’s not just a 10-credit job, it’s the sort of thing that turns the group into an arm of some larger faction by necessity. But it also makes us wealthy. Seon can go finance world revolution, Armin gets his moon-monarchy, Monster gets whatever the hell it is Monster wants, Drifter visits home and, like a good son, invests most of it in his family’s ship-homes before finding more trouble to get into. Kei gets tenure and realizes the trap he’s placed himself in.
If everyone thought that made sense, you’re off the hook - you can now jump immediately to something else (like “the gate opens, these PCs hire some new squad of PCs to go through and check it out”), and whether you or Mike runs that (and in what system that is) is up to y’all.
Bill’s not wrong. Selling the ship could make for a fine end for the game. And if you want a movie analogy, this is the part where we don’t get the ending we expected because the budget (read as “the GM’s mental bandwidth”) ran out, but we do get some sort of payoff and then we cut to an 80’s rock ballad while pictures of the crew come up with epilogue text shows up below them.
Also, I will reiterate what I said five months ago. “It was an experiment and a palate cleanser. It only needs to go on as long as everyone’s enjoying it.”
So I just spotted this thread, and I don’t have time right this second to read through and comment cogently (I will try to do so later), but I definitely feel your pain here, Doyce. If you – and/or we – are not having a good time, then we’re missing the point.
I will admit my fun quotient on this game has not been great. Part of that is the character I’ve chosen and the options/limits on how I can play him in context (and part of that is my limitations as a player, too, admittedly).
(Part of it is, as has been discussed multiple times, the system, while incorporating some very cool mechanics, seems to get in the way of things a lot. Also, be it system or setup, I don’t feel like we’re a team in the way I’d like us to be, which is another discussion.)
It’s not like I’ve been miserable, by any means. But I’ve not been as engaged as I’ve wanted to be, to the extent that, “Oh, no game tonight? Ah, well, plenty else to do,” has happened to me more than once.
I’m game to continue, so to speak, but if we pivot to something else, I’m actually possibly even more than okay with that.
Yes, this. Honestly, this has gone on far longer than I’d expected, and my sense is that it’s because everyone is going along with it because we’ve mutually committed to do so and because Doyce has had some things he wanted to try on us.
Monster would like to open the Gate and see what’s there. If it’s more of his people, awesome-sauce. If it’s scary Elder Gods that his people fled from, fine, he’s up for a blaze of glory.
If it never happens … well, it’s a big galaxy, with lots of taste sensations to try.
I’m curious as to what lies beyond the gate, but I’m not devoted to another dozen episodes to get there and find out (or a compressed two episodes to force the issue artificially).
I have no significant objections to any of these options. I’m not sure (a) fixes some of the problems we have (aside from getting Doyce into a happier place, no small thing). It seems like (b) might be a bit darker than I’m yenning for at the moment, but that might last as long as it takes for me to think of a character. As for (c ), that wushu romance thing raised a few times sounds like it might be a hoot.
Let me rattle the cages of the others in the house here to see if they have any particular sentiment they’d like to add.
In some ways, that’s even better. There’s sort of a tendency with written-and-published rules to say, “Well, wait, we need to try this as the rules are written, even if it doesn’t make any sense, and stick with it because presumably it’s all tested and it has worked for folks” before we bypass the awkward bits. That’s come up in S&V more than once. And speaking as the Lawful guy in the room, I certainly understand that.
Whereas with a game in playtest I think we’ll be more willing to say, “Yeah, that doesn’t work / doesn’t look like it will work / didn’t work, let’s fix it”.
Worst case, even if Doyce isn’t feeling up to running anything, we can at least convene at our normally appointed time and foretell the future! (Though the medium of making decisions about what to do.)
I wrote about Genesys earlier, but with more familiarity with the system, I’d consider recommending it for the group at some point. The core mechanic is really lightweight if you have play aids (and Roll20 has a Genesys game system plugged in already), and the choices players make tend to be around “how do I spend advantage”. There’s tables of options to pick from, with 2-3 options per tier.
I wrote more about this elsewhere, for example a post about Conan the Barbarian in Genesys. The core book includes some space opera stuff as well, and could probably recreate the characters from this game with little to no effort (for example). I’ll run a demo for any interested parties at their convenience.
I wouldn’t offer if I wasn’t ready to do it. That said, I’m glad it’s not burnout, and it does feel like we have plenty of other system offerings, without totally giving up on the closure some characters can get from the current story.