The weirdest thing happened last night. I think I talked myself out of Scum and Villainy.
I don’t think there’s anything at all wrong with the game itself. I’m feeling the teeniest bit aggravated that I keep discovering little rules wrinkles (last week: every separate consequence gets its own chance to resist; this week: each of the three little arrows next to Veteran is its own advance). But that’s not it.
Last week we had a really tense, fun session with guest star MadJay Brown. It was fun! It was the first time the crew had gone up against a higher-tier opponent. They pulled out all the stops, really worked the system hard, somehow pulled it off. Having a fourth crew member was a huge help.
So I had a little debrief before last night’s session. You know, is everyone still into this? and what’s the fun parts we want to see more of? Because I wanted to get at that feeling after last week’s session without just saying so why did last week feel so off?
I got back lots of aggressive “oh it’s fine!” and “it’s okay.” Thumbs up but not enthusiastically up. So of course I started offering my own debrief back:
- On my end of things, the sessions are super fun to run on their own. The transaction is fun and fruitful!
- I’m not really feeling much big-picture storyline forming up. It all feels like gigs. And if I don’t take the time to prep a bit (I did not last night) then I don’t really see anyone actively pursuing story stuff.
I don’t really feel strong characterization coming off anyone, probably because the system is crunchy and demanding enough that it’s taking up most of that creative bandwidth.
And by the time I’d said all that, inside, I was doing the Emma Stone meh face. I think I’ve talked myself out of this game.
So…I’m not sure where we go from here. It could be that it was just an off night, and we need to allow for off nights once in a while. Orrrr it could be that we’ve kind of seen what the game has to offer, and they’ve advanced enough that everyone’s is quite good, mechanically speaking, at getting what they want. (It’s true, everyone’s got 7 or 8 advances and it’s getting hard to really challenge them.) Or of course there’s the siren call of other games, games yet to be played on my list: Legacy, SCUP, Forbidden Lands soon, Mechatron, whatever. The list never gets shorter.
Or is it that thing at the back of my mind now, knowing that Plus is going away and the Indie Game Reading Club is either moving shop or closing shop. Writing here has been enormously fulfilling, occasionally more than playing itself. I know it’s gotta be a part of it.