Monday, January 19, 2009

Jumping the Sharky

GM: Mike Foster

The Boss is laid up in hospital, his right hand man on the run and his best men scattered far and wide. Someone's putting the pressure on and there's no time or chance for a gathering to plan their counterattack. But the distance separating them may yet prove their greatest strength, as each man is able to carry out his part of the plan unnoticed while the enemy thinks they're too scattered and distant to be a threat. Of course, communication is key so that every member of the team knows exactly what he has to do, but in this technological age long distance isn't the problem it used to be.

Homebrew, indie style (mostly systemless with quotes, names and events from cards for inspiration. Shared GM style).

My Character: Lance, the wheel man. It should be noted that each character sheet had something that the character was supposed to be doing, followed by the words "it's all gone a bit wrong". I was supposed to be picking up a shipment for the boss somewhere on the south Cornwall coast.

Review: This was definitely the most unusual game of the con and one that I was a little leary of getting into as I often find the indie-style shared GM game to be difficult to do. I'm glad I took the plunge on this one (inspired by the fact that Mike was GMing and I *had* to play in at least one of his games) because the sheer calibre of the players in the room meant that this was my second favourite game of the con (and, indeed the last year), losing out only to "The Long Lost Boys".

The basic setup of the game was that Don and the boys were variously separated on different jobs, each of which had gone wrong. The game took place as phone calls between different members of the gang with Mike chiming in with calls from various NPCs where required to drive things along. There was a deck of cards with quotes, NPC names and situations. When one of the players did something which might succeed or fail (or if they just needed inspiration), they would roll a die numbered from -2 to +4 (no zero). On a plus, the player would draw that many cards, choose one or more, and integrate their contents into the narrative of their success. On a minus, mike would take the cards and choose one for you. You would then narrate your failure using that card's ideas. Of course, with the group we had, just about everything was a failure of sorts (as they are much more amusing anyway!), and we often didn't bother with the cards, or just picked some randomly for inspiration.

I managed to come up with a plot for my character involving a cargo ship hitting a bridge, a biohazard container, a terrorist plot to blow it all up, a James Bond lookalike, cranes, the british army, truck chases, people smuggling and somehow managed to tie it into some of the other's stories too. With all this, though, I had a complete imagination failure near the end of the end of the adventure and needed some help getting bailed out (thanks Conan!).

All in all, another hit from the Mike Foster foundry - keep 'em coming Mike!

Personal Highlights: 1. Lance: Don, I got the crane like you said, but now there's a bunch of [censored] shooting at me! They're all wearing camo gear and these poofy beret's...
Don: You called me in the middle of a [censored] firefight?
Lance: Yeah. What the [censored] should I do?
Don: Well, you've got a [censored] crane haven't you? Drop a [censored] container on them!
Lance: [censored]. Good idea Don! {to crane driver} No! To the [censored] left you [censored].
Don: Just make sure it's not Sharky's container, for [censored] sake!
Lance: Sorry, Don - you're breaking up. CRASH!!!! Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepppppppppp......

2. The Scotsmen trying to get into the warehouse full of Italian families.

Other Highlights: 1. Billy and the briefcases!
2. Kev 'dealing' with four kids and their [censored] dog because they wouldn't shut up about ginger beer.
3. Billy managing to crash a Mafia wedding and marry the don's daughter by accident.
4. Don being put upon by *everyone* calling him at the start.

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