Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Games I Ran At GenCon Two: Yggdrasill

Brand new for the convention, Yggdrasill was run twice by me. Well, I should say so brand new that it wasn't actually at the first day of the convention when I ran it.

I'm not going to blather about Yggdrasill too much but since it's a new game will mention a few things. It's a d10 based game that uses a target number. Characters roll a number of dice equal to their stat plus the appropriate skill. Characters get multiple actions per round. Characters have a lot of options going for them at character creation including runes, gifts, weakness, furor, skills, combat feats, magic, and equipment. Some of these options are negative and not all options provide the same benefits even in the same category. Some of them are 'story' or background options.

In terms of layout, typical two column format with some fantastic sepia tinged pages and a few full color art pieces, like for the characters. A very decent looking book.

I didn't feel I did enough work on this one to start with. The game does an excellent job of providing background details and a wide variety of information that would be useful for any game system that was looking to bring some Norse action and excitement to their table. In some ways it reminds me of the best of the older games in that vein where there was enough sourcebook to make it valuable even if you didn't play the actual game engine.

In terms of not feeling I did enough, I'm thinking about the character sheets. The character sheets we were given were straight out of the book. In those terms, they don't include stuff that a con gamer should actually have like weapon damage, what feats do, or what spells do. For another game I ran, I knew enough that I copied those bits out and attached them to the character sheets. Not having run the system before I wasn't quite sure what I should copy.

Ugh. Suffice it to say ugh.

Still, the players caught on to the core system of having to hit a target number even though there are a lot of combat options to choke a cat!

The other problem was the adventure. It wasn't a bad adventure by any stretch of the imagination but it wasn't a con adventure. For me, a con adventure should have a pretty clear goal and a pretty clear way to get to it. This one is almost like a campaign start up where the characters have several areas to investigate and is based off the second act of the adventure as opposed to the first part.

In terms of gameplay, let me say the berserkers are going to be stealing a lot of the limelight until they wipe out the party.

My first game I didn't have the physical book in hand because it had no come out yet but did have the PDF on my Toshiba Thrive Tablet. The party did manage to complete the adventure at the four hour mark and things were good.

My second game was a bit strange. The group showed up an hour early and I had to wait until ten minutes after start time to make sure there were no generics or no ticket event holders that were going to show up. Three of the players, Ed, Hanse, and Gary, were in another game I ran the previous night. I had a 'feel' for how they might approach the game. Eloise was a French Canadian who loved the original French version of the book and was looking forward to it. We have another two players... Ed and Ian I want to say but don't hold me to it.

They did a pretty bang up job on most of the stuff but were a little annoyed at the rules. Because they got there so early they were able to get a fair reading in and noticed some potential 'transalation' errors. I wasn't going to go into it in terms of what might or might not be as I'm not the writer or anything and found some that may be similar to the errors they found. This things happen eh?

Anyway, because of the open nature of the scenario, they didn't even make it outside the city but still managed to meet some of the scenario's objectives. Having an open ended session like that allows for 'victory' under a lot of different circumstances.

Its always interesting to run a game multiple times and see how different people approach the exact same material. If you get the chance to run a Con adventure, try it out and see how those strangers play compared to your close knit group.