[Danger Patrol] First session!

edited March 2010 in Story Games
Some observations, in the order they occur to me, which is mostly the order in which the relevant sections are presented in the book.

A lot of people picked the Electro-Blaster, and wanted to stun threats to keep them from doing stuff. I wouldn't let them, because it seemed wrong that a 6-hit threat "That ape's gonna smash the elevator controls!" can be dealt with by saying "I stun him so he doesn't smash the elevator controls" and a single hit. On the other hand it seemed off to only let them capture opponents alive with an Electro-Blaster, so mostly the Electro-Blaster ended up doing nothing, and the other guns ended up being overlooked. I also didn't like that there's three types of guns to shoot with Commando, but you don't get different types of melee weapons to use with Warrior, or different types of science to know with Professor. I'd probably just fold all guns into other equipment and have it provide bonus dice as appropriate.

The game is great for a DM with limited time to prepare. The entirety of my prepared material was: the Venusian ambassadress is visiting Rocket City. The delegation meeting her included Professor Bradbury, the famous archeologist. The meeting will be interrupted by an attack of the hideous Martian white apes who will try to kidnap the ambassadress, because she is actually an archeologist/secret agent investigating the ruins of a love-o-tron machine from a time when Venus had an outpost on Mars, and someone wants to rebuild it and use if for nefarious purposes.

This was severe overpreparation. What I ended up using was: the Venusian ambassadress is visiting Rocket City, and white apes try to kidnap her. Everything else was supplied by the players.

The Previously, on Danger Patrol... section was similar. The players dropped a bunch of crazy ideas, but we only used a single one: the Alien Explorer is analyzing a rock and he exclaims "That's not a rock, that's a hive of miniature Palindromic Cultists!" and a bunch of miniature cultists swarm out of the rock and start tossing lines at him to pull him down. Cut! Everyone was so :what: that the Cultists were in.

More weak threats is more interesting than fewer big threats, which was kind of disappointing, since one of the things I like about abstract games like this is that "5 white apes" is handled using the same mechanism as 5 x "white ape", only there's 10 times less things to keep track of. But it turns out 5 x "white ape" makes for a more exciting fight.

The players stuck very closely to 2 danger dice. Not sure why, perhaps "take 1-3 danger dice!" makes 2 always seem like a moderate middle ground?

The Danger 1 threat move (the next player to fight the threat takes an additional danger die) seems like a non-event: since the players pick the number of their danger die, they just pick one less before taking the "mandatory" one, effectively ignoring it. It should probably be something else: "automatic danger +1" or "needs 5 to hit" or "1s count for double danger"...?

Completely forgot about Resistance, Staged Threats, Vehicle Hits, even though there were situations where they might have spiced things up. Oh well, time enough for advanced rules.

An actual play report probably to follow once we're able to collate all the outlandish stuff that came up.

Comments

  • Great stuff - I chuckled at your "severe overpreparation" comment.

    You said: "I'd probably just fold all guns into other equipment and have it provide bonus dice as appropriate." I think your suggestion is now official, from one of the first long danger patrol threads.

    Also, "The Danger 1 threat move (the next player to fight the threat takes an additional danger die) seems like a non-event:" - this has been observed too, and there was a suggested fix, but I can't remember off-hand. I'm sure someone else will.
  • Thanks for the AP and feedback! This is good stuff.

    I've updated the Danger Patrol website with a link to the (unfinished) Beta draft PDF. It has some tweaks that address some things here -- guns and the Danger 1 threat move, etc.

    http://www.dangerpatrol.com
  • Posted By: shimrodThe players stuck very closely to 2 danger dice. Not sure why, perhaps "take 1-3 danger dice!" makes 2 always seem like a moderate middle ground?
    We played the beta on Saturday, and for us, after the first few rounds, nobody was happy with less than 4 or 5. :)

    I played a Psychic Detective, and my Telepathy ability help players mitigate some would-be total disasters.

    Re: the electro-stunner... as John says, it's now a bonus die. Which is sort of nice, as it lets you narrate and decide the effects yourself. For example, in the last move of the game I played, Nick Nebula, Psychic Detective, was engaged in mental combat with a gang of psychic mutants. I threw in the dice for the stunner, figuring that the mutants were about to get the better of him by raw psychic power, when Nick whips out his stunner and zaps one assailant to get the upper hand.
  • edited March 2010
    Posted By: Caesar SlaadPosted By: shimrodThe players stuck very closely to 2 danger dice. Not sure why, perhaps "take 1-3 danger dice!" makes 2 always seem like a moderate middle ground?
    We played the beta on Saturday, and for us, after the first few rounds, nobody was happy with less than 4 or 5. :)

    I played a Psychic Detective, and my Telepathy ability help players mitigate some would-be total disasters.

    Re: the electro-stunner... as John says, it's now a bonus die. Which is sort of nice, as it lets you narrate and decide the effects yourself. For example, in the last move of the game I played, Nick Nebula, Psychic Detective, was engaged in mental combat with a gang of psychic mutants. I threw in the dice for the stunner, figuring that the mutants were about to get the better of him by raw psychic power, when Nick whips out his stunner and zaps one assailant to get the upper hand.
    (double-checks thread -- right, Danger Patrol)

    Indeed, I was pretty stoked by that, because of course the more danger y'all pulled, the more the game accelerated by virtue of the hits and threats y'all were taking -- it was a "Spiral of Awwww-Yeah!" that was truly a beauty to watch. I knew we were humming along when either a player was exceeding the 3-die limit by the amount of danger sh/e was trying to pull in, or when everyone else at the table was "Wait, there's falling debris! What about the electronic web-net - how 'bout another one of those? Are those orphans still in danger from a missile hit? WE NEED ANOTHER MISSILE COMING AT US!" :) Every time my hand went near the blank deck of index cards, it was like y'all were all salivating...

    And everyone did a great job of weaving in and tying the descriptive bits, like you did with the Electro-Stunner, to the fiction.

    Good times.
  • Posted By: Tom CWE NEED ANOTHER MISSILE COMING AT US!
    Yes. It sounds like you are doing things very right over there.
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