Friday, January 16, 2009

Changeling Session Review

Ran Changeling this evening-- we'd had a bumped session due to the holidays. It always takes a bit to get back into the groove (at least for me) especially when it is a relatively new game. I'm trying to juggle several balls in this campaign which does make it tough-- a background school setting, dealing with the Changeling inner-lives and issues, setting up some Buffy-style plots to be investigated and solved, the issues of the courts, etc. I wanted to give a rich, open world feeling, but I fear that it does balloon the table play, which is constrained by the timing of a weekday game. All that being said, I made a couple of missteps last night--

1. Over complicated the layout of the initial combat/exploration setting. I had elements there that were unnecessary and got in the way. I wasn't sure how the group would approach the place, so I didn't know they would split up (odds are usually better that the group won't do that). I really needed to have a map handout ready. I probably added to the confusion and wasted time because of that. I'll have to remember that for next time-- map and simplify the encounter area down to 3-5 major elements.
2. I also dwelt on a few things that I could have gotten to the punchline on more quickly. That would have freed up people's actions.
3. I made a rookie mistake and had only a single adversary there-- I should have thrown in a couple more significant foes to give everyone a chance to test their mettle. Ended up the combat felt a little thin.
4. I had a tagline ending, with the revelation that Mr. Charlotte had a house-- but I managed to execute that feebly. It ended up falling flat as a significant moment.
5. Overall pacing was bad on my part-- despite having a strong outline and timetable and a large watch in front of me. I absolutely have to get better at that.

After the game I tried to seal up a few drafts in the house (notably the back door). There's some kind of air leak in the TV room I still haven't identified. I played my new favorite J-RPG, Persona 4 and got to the save before the next boss fight. When I went to turn the machine off the static from my hand fried the PS2 dead. The memory card seems intact (thank god) but the system is irritatingly dead.