29 December 2012
An Unusual Night
The other night, since my brother is up to visit, I thought we'd play something fun. We've both been kind of on a Wild West kick, so I suggested Dogs in the Vineyard. A fine choice, says we, and so I read up the book, get a decent grasp of how things work, when suddenly: What if we played a science fiction game instead. No wait, what if we played a Space Western?
And so we began to make everything up off the top of our heads. My brother played John "The John" Johnson, a (in his words) "Space Mexican" ex-slave who's working for the Alliance Military Federation to gain his citizenship, so there he is on Theta II. He is a devout Zeplorfian, from the planet of the same name. His mount is a trusty Thetonian slug-beast, capable of carrying both him and his friend.
The wife played a nameless space prostitute mutant with a tail and a fair bit of skill with nanotechnology and seduction. She's trying to raise some seed money to start her own brothel, tired of the discrimination because of her prehensile mutant tail and dubious genetics. How she got away with having no name is beyond me, but I blame the liquor. Which, coincidentally, is what I blame for the complete lack of purpose or direction for the game. The two of them ended up with a mission, beamed through who knows what, to catch a Thetonian who had kidnapped an important Space Colonist from the AMF, and between the Space Mexican nearly succumbing to the noon-day heat and taking a quick siesta in the blood-boiling heat of Theta II and being nearly slain by the Space Bandito's ambush, we really didn't get very far before the wife had to call it a night.
Still, I think it may have been one of the silliest experiences in recent memory and, if you know me, that's saying quite a lot.
My only real regret is that we ended up using Mini Six because all we had handy were d6s, and I'm not sure that it was the right choice. Character generation was easy enough and the rules were actually pretty good for it, and my reworked Space Inquisitor skill list was actually pretty appropriate and seemed to cover all the bases, and the extremely simple gear rules were a blessing; but the fighting and spellcasting rules just didn't do it for me. The TN system always feels a bit bloodless and where it would have been great to have some drama, instead we just rolled a handful of dice and went on our way. Seems like a minor complaint when you put it that way, but there it is.
Still, lesson learned. I'll look for another d6 oriented system in the future, or at the very least rework the system so that there's more dramatic "meat" to it. Still a positive experience, and a great way to spend a couple of hour with the people you like.