This is very cool for me, because that podcast happens to be my favorite story game podcast out there. It’s concise, intelligent and filled with good information. You should listen to it if you enjoy the hobby.
Also, search Google+ for The Gauntlet and you can join their very active gaming community. They run story games online or in person in various places around the world.
Spirit of ’77 is a powered-by-apocalypse RPG designed by David Kizzia and Bob Richardson. The goal of the game is to emulate the characters and stories found in the colorful grindhouse cinema and kooky TV of the era.
In that, it does a good job. The tone and and moves are very thematic. Combining two playbooks (A story, and a role), give you a variety of character options. That happens to also be the one problem with the game. More on that below.
One of our characters was an actor.
I ran this game twice with two different groups. Both of them worked out really well and were a blast to play once we got over the initial hick-ups.
To illustrate the problem, here are the two groups of characters I ran through the same scenario:
Disco Ambulance Scenario Group 1
– An ex-cop sleuth
– An x-tech honeypot
– A glam magician
The X-Tech Honeypot
Disco Ambulance Scenario Group 2
– A glam Bopper
– An ex-con Stuntman
– An all-star Bounty Hunter
– An alien honeypot
– An ex-con Sleuth
The problem with the game is that each character is so unique that it is difficult to make their motivations align without railroading. And the included scenerios don’t really address this problem.
Adonis’s hit TV Show
With some good players, that is easily rectified by working together to tell a good story. With some bad or inexperienced players, the game can get pulled a too many different directions.
Besides that, though, Spirit of ’77 is a well-designed game and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the setting.
Before playing a game, or even introducing the rules, there needs to be a conversation at the table to set expectations. A game runs smoothly when all players understand what the group is striving for. But how do you do it? You use the CATS method! Everyone loves CATS.
This codified presentation will allow the facilitator to hit four essential topics quickly and easily. Just start from the top.
Pitch this game. At a high-level, what’s it about?
Explain what the players are trying to accomplish. Can someone win? Can everyone lose? Are we trying to tell a specific type of story?
Have a quick conversation about the tone of the game. What is the default? Are there different options for gameplay? (Serious vs. Gonzo, Action vs. Drama, etc.). Come to a consensus on what the group wants.
Explain what ideas might be explored during gameplay. Do they make anyone uncomfortable? Discuss what boundaries need to be set, if any.
Afterwards, everyone should have the same expectations for the upcoming game. This discussion shouldn’t be long, but it is essential. To significantly improve your gaming experience, spend five minutes with CATS before you play!
I’ve made a few short films in the past, but it’s been a long time since I picked up a camera. Until recently, that is.
A few weeks ago I decided to set up my Youtube channel and post regular videos. Some short films will be forthcoming, but for now I’ve been posting various things that wouldn’t quite be considered films.