Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hunted The Demon's Forge

While I generally consider myself someone who doesn't play a lot of video games, that doesn't mean I don't enjoy them. With the unpaid week off work, I decided to throw on Hunted, The Demon's Forge. I picked it up from Amazon for under $20. Not bad for what is a new game.

I'm still playing and learning it and while it could be me, it feels very... choppy. It does set up a very nice, grim and gritty, down and dirty setting though. While the two characters, who might as well be named Cheese Cake and Beef Cake, claim to not be heroes, at the first opportunity they start to help out the innocent townsfolk.

I give it a C+, maybe a B on the old Kushner scale. It has some interesting bits, like having your shield get destroyed over time and having to swap it out, but there are other bits I thought worth mentioning because they gave me a OSR smile.

1. Interaction with the environment. Long before 4th ed came along and pretened that it made the environment some integrated part of the game, older editions had traps that required you to think about what you were doing and explain these efforts to the GM. Here,  Beef Cake, I mean, Caddoc, uses muscle to move the environment around. This is a great reminder to add in things that require strength tests not necessarily to break or smash open, but to change the environment by say, moving a statue onto a pressure plate.

In addition, Cheesecake, I mean, E'lara, is often called on to use her sharpshooting to either shoot prisoners free or to set fire to things. In one early instance in the game, there is a riddle read aloud that you, the gamer, have to figure out what it means. It wasn't a difficult one or anything, but it was just a nice nod to not having to chop the crap out of everything. And it's something that can usually be added to a role playing game with little difficulty.

The next time you're adding some material to your game, think about ways in which the players can use little things to impact the environment. Can they change the area in some way? Can a statue be moved? Can a rope be cut? Can they climb over the walls? Can they navigate tumbling walls to their own benefit? If a C+ game like The Demon's Forge makes it possible, when the GM is running it without computer assistance, anything should be possible.