Well well well. What do you know, we got to play. Three players, took about an hour. It was surprisingly quick to be honest — we kept our scenes pretty short, especially early on, not a lot of lengthy interaction or description. Took the underworld pass of course because, yeah, flipping the scroll over is nifty.
It does play a lot like Life on Mars, as I expected. It’s very chill. The prompts are mostly interesting, although it took some effort a couple times to cook up something interesting and provocative. It was cool to pass around control of the Magus. And I thought it was interesting that we actually stopped and hung out a few times, here and there, rather than just rushing through the map. I really wanted to see where we’d go next, so I was kind of antsy to keep moving.
I also ran into a couple prompts that were genuinely challenging to address. There’s one that asks for, like, an offensive custom or something. I suppose, in retrospect, that I could/should have come at that like “what is one of our customs the locals find offensive?” Instead, I started dreaming up all kinds of offensive customs the locals might force on us! Which I’m sure is a Rorschach ink-blot test of some kind or another.
Also like Life on Mars, I felt like the ending was so very chill that it didn’t feel like it provided strong closure. I have no idea how to play the game different than we did to make the final location feel like it had more punch.
Reincorporation across the game is my favorite trick for events like this, and the map and structure in general provided lots of opportunities to reincorporate.
It’s nice! I definitely feel like I could play this with pretty much anyone with an avid interest in road-show type fantasy tales and a willingness to make stuff up. I feel like the same group could probably play it, I don’t know, two or three times before it felt same-y (there are only a couple ways to get to the ending).
The ending snuck up on us surprisingly fast. I was ready for at least 2 hours, but when we popped back out and saw we were one location outside of the REDACTED, I was all huh.