"Stranded and Hunted" PDQ# SciFi Game Actual Play

edited April 2009 in Actual Play
"Stranded and Hunted" PDQ# SciFi Game Actual Play

TL;DR: We played PDQ# in a space opera setting and the first session rocked!

Write up found here.

Character sheets here.

It is a bit long and posting it offsite was a bit more convenient than chopping it up. The game was run a few weeks back, so some of the events may be a tad out of order, but the basic ideas are solid.

Comments

  • Sounds like a fun game - I particularly like 'Homeboy'. An inspired name for the ship's robot, quirky but fits somehow.

    Regarding PDQ#, I've only had experience of the earlier versions of PDQ which use 2d6 for every roll. Initially I figured it was pretty finely tuned to encourage a swashbuckling tone, but your game made me rethink.

    How did you find Duel-level conflicts played out in a sci-fi setting? The whole thing about dividing 3d6 into attack and defence seems very three musketeers/swashbucklery to me, and a departure in feel from earlier PDQ incarnations. Did you find that this coloured your game, or did it fit the sci-fi setting pretty well?

    I never quite picked out the importance of Techniques reading through PDQ# - looks like they do a good job of character niche protection, among other things, and make each crew member a specialist in their field.
  • edited April 2009
    Posted By: Adrian PHow did you find Duel-level conflicts played out in a sci-fi setting?
    We had three duels total. Two with the pirate mook mobs and one with the Gel Cube. In each case, the division was less about swordsmanship tactics and more about how careful are you being as opposed to how all-out you are to do some harm. It was a risk/reward thing. The fact that the weapons were blasters was less important than how much cover was being taken vs how many rounds you put down-range. I think the division of concentration was pretty clear in player's concepts of what the choice meant in the fiction.
    Posted By: Adrian PI never quite picked out the importance of Techniques reading through PDQ# - looks like they do a good job of character niche protection, among other things, and make each crew member a specialist in their field.
    Techniques reward players for playing to niche and idiom. This had some delightful consequences in some cases, as "Homeboy" (whose player wanted to hate the nickname that the Captain gave him) was cheerfully announcing his threats as he returned fire on Pirates and such. Other things like the fact that the pilot gets tech points when he is the calm one in a sea of chaos give the character a defined handle for their portrayal that is rewarded in the mechanical side.

    I think the genre assumptions in PDQ# are partially because of the way the rules are communicated. By renaming the Swashbuckling traits as "Heroic" traits helped the players engage in the idea that those traits were their cinematic action-shot traits (the thing the producer would call them in a pitch meeting).

    I got several comments from players afterward that a great deal of fun was had. It was also a very unforced session, and didn't feel like work at any point, which is how I judge a good game system from the GM chair. The game also played fast and let players have some freedom of options, even while shielding their niches, which is what I look for on the player side of the table as well.

    We meet monthly, so I will have the second session up once we get it played out. Thanks for the comments!

    (edit: spelling fix...)
  • Second session write-up here. The game played much faster and some non-minions upped the ante in combats.

    Also: a big musical number and some damn fine catharsis from the demon game we are playing this to lay to rest! I can assure you of one thing - "Enough Gold to Buy a War!"
  • Third session was last night. This one didn't run very smoothly because the scenario has the players confused as to what to do. This is likely because I have put too many chefs in the stew of the local star system and the quest to recover and deal with the alien tech the players are stuck with.

    Check it out here.

    Another thing that scares me is that the players may be (via some illusionism) trying to decode what I "expect" them to do and each new revelation may be creating a false signal to them... I seriously hope this is not the issue. If it is, I am not sure they will ever figure out what they want to do.
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