Monsters at Omegacon 2008

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Monsters at Omegacon 2008

Postby RichD » Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:46 am

Or why the school exploding was all the Queen of England's fault.

First off thanks to Shane Ivey for letting me have his place at the table. Your generosity did help make a fan that day. Thanks also to the GM. Coming in late I missed his name but he did great job herding us cats through the process and spared me a few minutes to run through my questions about the game.

This will less an actual play report and more my jumbled remembrances of the game and the system and the good time I had. There were eight of us at the table so the GM split everyone into pairs with one playing the kid and one playing the Monster. Taking Shane's place, I found myself the monster of Elizabeth who was playing a young girl named Elizabeth.

The character sheet was already half filled out with Shane's ideas but Elizabeth and I swiftly made him our own. I was playing Tora (say his name three times and he sinks battleships!), a gigantic bright red, maned tiger with shark like teeth and blank ping pong ball eyes. He is sarcastic and cynical about humanity and his favorite thing to do is chew on stuff, pencils, desks, exchange students, that sort of thing. Bascially he was just like Hobbes only willing to eat people like Calvin wanted. Thus, we decided the way he hided from Humanity was to be little Elizabeth's stuffed toy.

Then on to stats! I found character creation pretty straightforward. Determine the important body parts your monster has, assign hit locations/dice to those areas and then assign Attack, Defense of Useful skills to those body parts. In essence, the more dice you assign to particular body part, the more stuff it can do but when said part is hit in combat all of those skills become less effective.

So just an example, Tora had Shark Teeth and I applied 3 hit locations to it since chewing on things is what he does. That gave me 15 dice to apply to that stat but only 10 dice can be rolled at a time so the rest get spent on cool extras, such as Gnarly for more damage, or Wicked Fast to make him faster at being wicked. My teeth got 3 points of Gnarly and 2 points of Awesome. The game effect for the latter s cool but honestly I just like the sound of having 2 points of awesome. So at the end of the day, Tora has Shark Teeth for biting, Grasping Claws to snag stuff, Cat's Eyes to see the unseen, Pouncing Legs to get out of the way of dangerous things, and an Endless Hunger coupled with the ability to swallow things and then bring them back later. The GM read that one out of the book and I went, "Oh yeah, Tora so has that!"

So in brief, we had a young girl obsessed with the Queen of England and her monster Grinda which I always picture as a cross between a kangaroo and a porcupine because he had a belly pouch and spines that flew everywhere. Then there was the science geek and his monster Ixsis who was a pretty fairy when nice and a hulked out ogre when upset. Then another boy and his monster Squidla, a tentacled monster with acidic slime, then Elizabeth and me.

So, the GM has us roll dice and consults the One Roll Adventure Generator! After maybe five minutes of consulting the charts, play begins at that bane of children everywhere, the parent techer conference! Squidla's boy is upset because his parents went off on a vacation to Englandand didn't take him. Now his mom is showing off this glove that she swears belonged to the Queen of England that fell of her hand when waving. This of course perks up the ears of the anglophile who sends Grinda off to get the glove. Squidla's boy goes to get the glove himself because he wants revenge for not getting to go on the trip and messing up the glove seems perfect. Tora also goes for the glove, because it looks tasty. So the boy goes trying to wheedle the glove from his Mom which only nets an answer of "I'll think about it." So Grinda and Tora go for the glove and Tora wins because his Grasping Claws are Wicked Fast. So he's got the glove in his mouth taunting Grinda who tries to offer other stuff from his pouch for the glove. Tora says he'll trade it for some of the tropical fish in the science lab.

I made this offer because in the science lab, Squidla was invisibly snorking up fish with tentacles and is discovered by the science geek who calls for his monster Ixsis to deal with the problem. Grinda arrives and asks for some of the fish that Ixsis is guarding and she gives him one but only after poisoning it. Grinda returns to the class room to trade. Squidla swiftly flees as returns to the classroom where he dangles the fish and taunts the other monsters in the room to try and take them from him. So Grinda bounds over there and Tora asks Elizabeth if she would throw her "stuffed animal" over by the window so he can do the same. So Elizabeth gets yelled at by her mom for acting out and Tora gets a fish.

Grinda trades his poisoned fish for the glove and now Squidla jumps Grinda trying to get the glove because his boy wants it destroyed. He was most upset when I unswallowed it you see, So they battle for a round and we learn how powerful Wicked Fast is because very fast attacks completely bypass slower defense moves. We also learn that Area attacks are nasty as Grinda's exploding spines hurt Squidla's teeth, Tora's belly and completely shred several desks and posters in the classroom. Someone shouts, "It's a bomb!" and all the parent's and kids are herded from the room. Tora was staying out of the fight until the spine hit him. Now Grinda's going down! Alas that is where we ended things for the session.

So on the whole I thought thr game was great fun. The One Roll Engine is pretty intuitive once you get used to it and combines a simple resolution system with rolling massive handfuls of dice. I was impressed enough to pre-order when I got home and look forward to trying this out on my home group.
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Re: Monsters at Omegacon 2008

Postby Shane Ivey » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:03 am

This is awesome. Thanks, Rich! I'm glad you had a good time. I went in to the game session woefully underprepared -- spent all last week writing for one of our other games -- and figured on just winging it and hoping for the best. The players just ran with it, did an awesome job, and it was hilarious.

Oh! The thanks for the place at the table goes to Kevin Pezzano, one of Arc Dream's writers and editors. He had just come off a four-hour session running Godlike, so I think he was happy to go take a break! I ran the game; Shane Ivey is me.

Thanks again, Rich.
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Re: Monsters at Omegacon 2008

Postby RichD » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:44 am

I sit corrected on the name thing. :) Apologies for being muddled. I'd been up at 5:30 to drive down there for the 9am session.

I posted this on the Story Games forum as well just so ya know.
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Re: Monsters at Omegacon 2008

Postby Shane Ivey » Tue Mar 18, 2008 3:16 pm

Thanks!
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Re: Monsters at Omegacon 2008

Postby NeilFord » Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:56 pm

Rich - Awesome write up. Sounds like you had a great session.

Shane - any chance we could see the character sheets for the kids and monsters before play starts? I'm interested in seeing how far you've taken character generation before the players get their hands on them. That's the bit that's still stumping me with regards to demo/con games.

- Neil.
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Re: Monsters at Omegacon 2008

Postby Shane Ivey » Sat Mar 22, 2008 3:38 pm

The players all kept their character sheets. I had them start from scratch with blank character sheets. Each player created either a kid or a monster. I walked them through kid creation first, then monster creation.

We had two or three players who were not experienced gamers, so creating monsters and their many hit locations took the longest, but it didn't seem too burdensome.
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Re: Monsters at Omegacon 2008

Postby NeilFord » Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:07 pm

Ah, okay. I'd missed that you had the players playing in pairs.

May get to run a game tomorrow, think I'll just wing things :)

- Neil.
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Re: Monsters at Omegacon 2008

Postby Shane Ivey » Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:23 pm

Yeah, Monsters was built so that the action kind of provides itself. All you really need to do as GM is mix and match the players' relationships with an eye toward "Let's see how THIS relationship can threaten to mess up THAT relationship." Put them someplace where they pretty much have to interact. Then come up with some external element to shake things up.

In the OmegaCon game, I didn't even really add an external element, unless you count the glove or the restrictive setting itself -- they were all in a big room packed with parents and other students, so everything the monsters did risked all kinds of trouble for the kids. The players seemed to have plenty of fun just running with the situation.

If we'd been in a longer-term game, then I would have introduced some background situation for the kids and monsters to deal with (MIBs, a Wannabe Wizard, a Mad Science Teacher, etc.), so they'd have a broad backstory to follow together while they're bickering and causing trouble for each other.
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