Actual People, Actual Play Episode 62 Mschine Zeit: Horror in Spaaaaaace!

edited September 2011 in Directed Promotion
Episode 62 Mschine Zeit: Horror in Spaaaaaace!

This week we are joined by special guest David Hill Jr. David was kind enough to run his game Maschine Zeit for us. We discuss character creation, "Conditions," and what goes into running a session.


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Maschine Zeit from Machine Age Productions



  • Oh cool, I just finished reading this game. Great timing guys! :-)
  • I was apprehensive before I listened to this episode based on the change in format. Unfortunately, it turns out I didn't enjoy this episode as much as most of the previous APAPs. My expectations of an APAP episode based on my understanding of your premise, its actual people, regular everyday people and their experiences playing an RPG. When the game's designer runs the game for the group, it doesn't feel as genuine to me. It made the feedback seem overly polite and overwhelmingly positive because Mr. Hill was in the same room. If I'd heard the same episode without him having run the game and being present during recording, I'm sure I'd have a different take on the episode. But I couldn't shake a sneaking suspicion that the episode was influenced, indirectly, by the fact that he was there. Lastly, part of the appeal for me when I listen to an episode of APAP is to hear how a member of the group interprets a rulebook and then runs or facilitates it. This was absent from this episode.

    As always, feel free to make whatever show makes you happy. But if this becomes the new format, the show will probably drop in my listening priority.
  • Hey Rich,

    So, I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "new format". Are you talking about the fact that we played with the designer? I first communicated with David back in May because he needed a ride to the Gamex convention and I was close to him. Turned out it was more convenient for Mike Olsen to give him a lift. At that convention we played in the Houses of the Blooded LARP together. He was a priest. He married Laura and Paul Tevis's characters at the end.

    Cut to us having a gap in our play schedule because Morgan's going to a wedding. I'd been eying Maschine Zeit with interest for some time. Laura likes space stuff and a few months ago I'd gotten Sean interested in it by comparing it to Pandorum. I was going to run it myself. But then I remembered David was local to me. He lives like 5 miles away from me, tops. I thought it would be neat to have him run the game if he was available. It would be super convenient for me as well since I was doing a lot of prep work for the Gateway convention.

    If we play Mythender there's a good chance we'll play it with Ryan Macklin. Hell, maybe we'll have Mike Olsen come by if we play some Kerberus Club. Why? Because these are our friends. We play with the people we play with because they're part of our immediate social circle and culture of play. Did you know that Laura wrote for Tribe 8 and we've kicked around idea of playing that too?

    I didn't invite David Hill, White Wolf Freelancer and Game Designer and Publisher over. Hell, I didn't even KNOW he wrote for White Wolf until that afternoon. I invited my neighbor over to show me the game he wrote. At the end of the day, AP, AP, is just my regular Saturday play group. I would have invited David to come show us the game, show or no show. The show follows the interests of the group and not the other way around.

    Were we overly polite because he was there? Maybe, I don't know. Does it matter? We also really enjoyed the game.

  • Posted By: JesseIf we play Mythender there's a good chance we'll play it with Ryan Macklin.
    You did play a Dresden Files game with me once that had an APAP follow-up, though you also had "Special Guest Paul Tevis" on, so maybe that helped diffuse whatever "playing with the designer" issues there were.
    Posted By: orklordWhen the game's designer runs the game for the group, it doesn't feel as genuine to me
    Because clearly we aren't genuine people. ;)

    - Ryan
  • Rich,

    Based on your feedback from when we had Ryan run Dresden for us I thought about designating this and other similar episodes a "Playing with the designer series," similar to the "Play test series" we have for or Technoir and any future episodes about play test sessions. Ultimately I decided not to. I don't consider this episode to vary significantly from our show's core concept of discussing games with the context of an actual and specific instance of play. I feel there is a lot of value in talking with designers in that context.

    I wouldn't worry about this becoming the new format. Will we do it again? Yes, if the opportunity arises we will, but it will not be very often.
  • What might be cool is to have the designer play in a game one of you guys run. This way you still have to interpret the rules from the book. During the discussion when you guys comment on difficult parts the creator can chime in with his opinion of why you might had difficulty or what everyone did the was typical and what might had been unique to that game session or how you misinterpreted a rule.

    While it was cool that you had David run the game for you I found M. Zeit a very difficult rule set to comprehend because it had no examples. I can't help but feel that your experience would be different without the creator there. I also imagine that a lot of the hiccups you experienced in Technoir and Leverage would have been glossed over if you had the creators running it for you.

    Either way I still thought it was an interesting episode. I still don't understand how combat works. :P
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