[Lady Blackbird] Reflections and Feedback

edited March 2012 in Out-Of-Game
Thanks again for playing, everyone!

I wanted to put up a thread where we could talk about the highlights and the hiccups of the game.

Since this was my first PBF GMing experience, I'd love some feedback on what I did well and what I could work on.

I have some thoughts that I'll share in a bit, but I wanted to give you guys the floor.

Comments

  • 2989 Posts
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  • We'll top 3k with reflections/epilogues.
  • You did great, Rich. I admittedly got lost in crunchy times at work midway through, you all may have noticed I got much less dependable posting about halfway in and I'm sorry that I wasn't able to give it 100%, but it was really run, unique, exciting, all the things it should be.

    I'll try and form some more useful opinions as we go here, too... just wanted to get in a word while I have a minute.
  • Ah, it isn't a contest. I appreciate the stats, it puts things in perspective.

    For me, I feel like I missed the boat with Snargle. I really had trouble giving you good stuff after the brothel on Haven, Chris. I don't know why it was so hard... but it was.

    I also think Naomi's plots were uneven. I know there were some highlights, but I think I should have had more for her to do.

    I was very happy with how everyone embraced the questions I asked. I'm glad we added in the Pool Die refreshment for them, its a nice hack that worked well for this game group. I wonder if it would have worked as well with a different group. I suspect not.

    I think I could have varied challenges better. I think I kept pushing things too hard at times, there weren't enough levels.

    Refreshment scenes worked, but there always seemed to be an undercurrent of "I'm not sure if we're doing it right" to it from you all, at least that's how it felt to me.

    I think I have more thoughts, but I'll stop for now.
  • I had fun. I wish I'd tweaked Snargle's keys more over time. I wish I'd figured out more ways to push the hero of the downtrodden goblins angle. I had a lot of fun injecting my own vision to fill out what the game told us about the world. The only time I felt like we were missing the boat, Rich, was this last scene. The other stuff before that was minor and everyone has moments on the back burner.
  • Say more, Chris. What did we miss in the last scene, for you?
  • I'm actually not sure, exactly. There was this time where I was trying to get the sabotage of Alabaster Shadow going and there were delays and then a misunderstanding and it seemed like maybe you missed my post, but maybe not, and then by the time it got around to happening (like five or six days later), it seemed fairly likely that it wasn't necessary and I was just forcing things. It felt (with no claims about what was going on in any other heads) like there was the "real" story going on between the main characters and the main villains and my side-thing didn't matter much.

    One thing that I really liked about the game was the lack of clarity about who the good guys are. I can TOTALLY imagine a retelling of our story about a terrorist cell working against the law-abiding people to disrupt infrastructure and instill terror among The People. :)
  • edited March 2012
    I really enjoyed this game. I liked exploring the game space a little and the different variations on the core mechanic. I felt like it helped that I had a laundry list of things I wanted to do with Vance. I think a laundry list of different ways of doing refresh scenes would have helped us explore and feel more confident that we were doing them right. Rich, you did a great job of pulling past elements back into play; that said, a really concise list of people/things might have been a useful tool to tighten the plot farther. I thought the game made great use of the tools available in the forum and HTML, the character sheets looked great and the organization kept everything really clear. I think the scenes where we were split into 2 groups were the best, each one with a different subset of characters. Those were the scenes where we could bring up stuff about the people in the other group and talk about what was going on rather than, say, thinking out loud about it. It also showcased different relationships and their dynamics most clearly. The Owl could have been a bigger character but we didn't lose anything by not making it one. I kind of wish we had had time to bring the giant troll back into things, it ended up feeling kind of tacked on. I admit that sometimes I got the different ships and their captains mixed up (John Harper should make cards with ships on one side and their captains on the other, a whole deck of them) - one resource we didn't touch on was the ability to embed pictures in the threads, they may have helped fix characters/ships in my mind. Ok, more later as I think of it...

    Oh, and again, just so that we're clear, it was a great game!
  • Highlights. I liked how concepts and ideas spiraled into these complex, interesting things. (e.g., Ratlings, Trolls, etc . . .)
    The posting rate was just right. I liked the prompting posts if the game seemed to even start to lull. I don't think more than four or five days would pass without knowing what was going on (in game or in the real world). Great scene framing, cool NPC's, hit most of the critical steampunk tropes.

    Yeah, a game I'll always remember. My wife's already been subject to several "oh no, not another retelling of the LB event." Somehow, it just never translates.

    Things to tinker with? Maybe more mechanical use of conditions-- though maybe that's just a feature of LB. I wish I had tracked things better. My method of updating was terrible. Then I tried to link to specific posts, but I think Chrome was being stupid-- so I gave up on trying to track my key hits. I've always felt a Wiki could solve that, but maybe the ROI on that is not worth it.
  • edited March 2012
    It may be an inherent problem with PbP and different posting rates, but I think we sometimes missed chances to help when we would have liked to. Maybe even just specifying that more clearly would have helped? I know I was usually guilty of chattering some in-character dialect about 'elpin em out instead of actually saying "Helping die to Vance if he needs it, by virtue of I punch the dudes that are in his way" and in retrospect I think I should have been clearer about that.

    I wouldn't cite this as a bad thing, necessarily, but the game almost felt...easy? I don't recall failing very many tests, so maybe I was just playing to my character's strengths too much, since every situation I got into seemed to have a lot of tags apply to it. By the time I got to the Secret of Experience, that all but gave me a once-per-session Can't Fail. Again, not necessarily a bad thing, I think I'm just more used to all the Apocalypse World on here, where terrible things lurk around every turn.
  • I think that's a fair point, Max. I do think the way I run Lady B is a bit soft. I tried pushing hard early, but that just ended with death and that felt tonally off. Rustin, your thought about playing with conditions might be a good way for me to add more challenge to the game. I wonder exactly HOW, though.
  • Posted By: Rustinhe posting rate was just right. I liked the prompting posts if the game seemed to even start to lull. I don't think more than four or five days would pass without knowing what was going on (in game or in the real world).
    Yes! Just over 2 posts per day per player seemed just right. Every PbF I've played in where people say check in or post once per day has ended up fading.
    Posted By: RustinYeah, a game I'll always remember. My wife's already been subject to several "oh no, not another retelling of the LB event." Somehow, it just never translates.
    Yes! Not only is it true for me as well, but I read that to my wife and she laughed.
  • Posted By: orklordI think that's a fair point, Max. I do think the way I run Lady B is a bit soft. I tried pushing hard early, but that just ended with death and that felt tonally off. Rustin, your thought about playing with conditions might be a good way for me to add more challenge to the game. I wonder exactly HOW, though.
    It might be a drift, but what if you stated at the beginning of the game that we were going to have a limited number of refresh scenes. Having to budget the refresh scenes might have kept us in the game longer, made us use less pool dice, and take on more conditions without refreshing.

    What if each player got one refresh scene where every other player gets to ask their character a question, two refresh scenes with another character, and gets 2 refresh scenes as a whole group (No character is in more than 5 refresh scenes). This way they'd get refresh scenes from a number of different interpretations.
  • Its odd, I'm actually missing this game. After so many months of checking/posting every day, now I feel like something's missing. Somebody, start up a cool game - stat!
  • Marshall, sorry I didn't respond to your ideas on refresh scenes. I do think a budget is interesting. I think refresh scenes are pretty awesome, but a budget to make certain ones count has some strength. I worry that it could create a downward spiral. Now, with the trick we did for getting Pool Dice back answering GM questions, we could obviate that.


    And yes, I miss the consistent fun of Lady B. I miss it terribly.
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