((As english is not my first language, I apologize for any spelling/grammar errors you may encounter))
After all what is Dread FBP about ? A warrior, a sage and a sorcerer working together to kick demon's ass. After reading the game I couldn't help but thinking of scenarios taking place in different eras.
Each time there is a war, the screams of the dead crack the fabric of reality and let demons slip in. The death toll of the American Civil War was more than enough to let a lot of demons come in.
So here's the Old West version of Dread : the Good, the Bad & the Disciple.
A Daemuil (a demon descending upon the body of unavenged female victims and then hunting any person who might have offended the victim).
Most of a Dread scenario resolves around the Demon. Their description goes a long way in helping the GM build a story around them. I soon had an order of warriors working for the Demon (the Jaguars), Civil War veterans trying to forget the war, living in a forgotten army outpost, kidnapped children and husbands...So kudos to Rafael for making my life as a GM easier. This reminds me of Whispering Vault's Unbiddens. The story is not built around the PCs but their nemesis. The Demon is the story.
The players immediatly loved the fact that their character had given up on life before he became a disciple. I remember I had some difficulty with Whispering Vault, most players found hard to picture an immortal character whose quest for knowledge led him to fight in an eternal war. But here, picturing a poor sob coming back with a vengeance was very easy for everyone.
Maybe this hasn't anything to do with either game and I just play with depressed people. Anyway most of the game mood was set during character creation for my players.
"Pirate" : an ex-confederate sergeant who lost a leg during the battle of Gettysburg (now walking with a wooden peg)
"Chink" : a chinese railworker with a shady past
"Pimento" : An ex-mexican soldier who drank too much
The demon took the body of a mummified Aztec priestess of Tezcatlipoca who was raped and murdered by conquistadors more than three centuries ago. He then started to search for the descendants of these conquistadors, killing them one by one.
The players arrive when the Demon has made his troops kidnapp all the males inhabitants of a mexican village.
They first think a band of outlaws may be responsible, but after a combat with them they find about the involvement of the Jaguar warriors. It doesn't take long for them to find an hidden Aztec city, fight Jaguar warriors and sent the demon back to hell.
The Death Spiral : having the locations, battlefield, characters, hostiles, objectives... all clearly written on one sheet of paper may not look like much but it's a very useful tool. Far more effective than a pile of notes as far as I'm concerned. I will definitely use this with other RPGs.
Playing the game was a breeze. The rules give a solid basis but have much room for interpretation (Can I use Cockpunch with a spell ? Well, yes, why not ? When the Demon turns to mist, can I still hurt him ? Let's see... yes but with spells only). I see this as one of the strength of the game rather than as a liability.
It took a little time for the players to grasp the concept of Fury points. I had to remind them often to use them. Having the fury uses listed on the character sheet was a huge help though.
The Demon in this scenario was a hunter type (combat oriented) but he still wasn't much of a match for the PCs. Only his huge amount of Life points allowed him to last some rounds. But I guess this is my fault as I thought of the hunter demon as a huge powerhouse standing his ground rather than a cunning predator. So instead of a showdown on the top of an aztec pyramid I should have done an Alien-like chase inside it.
The Investigative type felt he got the short end of the stick. Combat type have fun handing their butts to everyone, the Sorcerer type is a spell powerhouse. The Investigator... well. He helps find and understand the demon's pattern. That's not bad, but it just boils down to the player being spoon-fed info by the GM. I'll think of a more creative way for the player to use this discipline.
Since PCs are Disciples whose job is to hunt demons, introducing the game to my players was a breeze.
The session was fun for everyone, but I made some mistakes which I think limited our enjoyment of the game. The next session should be the right one. I will use the same scenario with a different group or another scenario in another era (Shadow Crusade : hunting demons in Jerusalem in 1138 or Thin Dark Line : Dirty Dozen meets Dread).
Anyway, Dread FBP is now my pick-up game of choice. The theme and mood of the game are very easy to grasp. The rules are clear, well written and easy to "teach" to new players.