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July 16, 2008 / jadettman


Last night, James came over and I ran the third session of my Nemesis game. Overall, I think the game went all right. It was a Lovecraftian investigation scenario and Britt and James were playing FBI agents that had been assigned to a crappy little office near Roswell.

System-wise, Nemesis feels a little soft but considering the brevity of the rules (they’re free, so check them out yourself) that came as no big surprise. It didn’t help matters that there had been a big gap between our first and second session, so we didn’t have a good experiential learning curve on it and we spent a lot of time fumbling around trying to keep various rules straight.

GM-wise, I don’t feel that it was my best work. My unfamiliarity with the system felt like it kept getting in the way anytime we engaged with it and that felt like a detractor. The investigative parts, where we mostly just went back and forth descriptively and didn’t engage the system, I thought went pretty well, which isn’t much of a surprise. I do seem to have retained my diceless-GMing muscles.

So, I think if we keep playing this game I’m going to bust out Wild Talents and Reign to get a better grasp on the system and see if that goes any better.



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  1. Britt / Jul 16 2008 7:38 am

    I don’t think it was that bad… The taser rules are certainly unclear, so one can’t fault you for that, and I think it’s kind of dumb that they don’t have the appropriate Statistic labeled next to each of the madness meters—that would have saved us from some flipping. I’m pretty sure that I made the wrong Self roll at some point, but whatever.

    It’s a small group and we were all learning the game, so pausing while the GM reviews the rules to get it right isn’t a problem for me. I don’t expect the GM to have already memorized the rules set in a situation like that. Now, if you had invited a large group to play and we were all sitting around the table while you fumbled through the rules trying to understand the really basic stuff, well, then I’d have been grumbling that perhaps you ought to have done your homework.

    Still trying to wrap my head around why setting one die to a particular value is the penalty in a called shot roll, yet somehow the advantage of having an expert die.

  2. James / Jul 17 2008 11:48 am

    I had a lot of fun. I agree that the taser rule is kind of unclear. The one problem I have with the system is that the best you can do is a 10. This is fine for things like combat where you hit someone in the face and damage is based on number of tens that one gets, but I feel like certain supernatural/non-human creatures should do better at things then a 10. For example if I search for something and Superman is also searching, we both get 10 he might do it faster but the best he can do is also 10 that does not seem right as Superman can see much smaller things then the best human being and should just be far better then humanly possible and searching in addition to faster.

    I felt on the whole though that the mechanics were fun. Having never played in horror style campaign I found it enjoyable. I think that despite the fact that the GM did not know all the rules by heart, and neither did any of the players that it went really well. I really like the rules regarding what happens when players encounter violence, the unnatural excreta.

    I do agree with Britt who said “Still trying to wrap my head around why setting one die to a particular value is the penalty in a called shot roll, yet somehow the advantage of having an expert die.” It seems to be a very real advantage because it greatly increases the odds of succeeding, since you are guaranteed to have at least 1 of whatever the die is set to.

  3. J.A. Dettman / Jul 20 2008 8:39 pm

    Well, I’ll crack Wild Talents again soon and let you know how Superman gets to be more super than a regular man, James. I have the funny feeling that it involves breaking the normal rules that regular folks are subject to.

    As for the called shot roll: I think that you’re supposed to discard a die from your pool in addition to setting the value of one of your other dice. So the discarded die would be the penalty. Again, I’ll review the rules again soon-ish to see what I missed.

    I’m glad the two of you had fun with the game. I had a good time running it! 🙂

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