Actual Play – MAWS (10/18/2014)

sparksnevadaGM: Mike Olson
Players: Sean Nittner, Arturo Rubio, Gina Ricker, and Jason “JiB” Tryon
System: Sparks Nevada RGP (playtest)

I didn’t expect to play many games at Big Bad Con but when Mike said they had an extra spot in his Sparks game I found the time!

Last time I played Sparks, which was awesome, but I wanted to change it up so this time I took Croah, which I think, was almost better. Croach’s constant exasperation with Sparks is just so much fun to play. Add onus tracking to boot!

Our Cast

Everyone in the game were huge fans o Thrilling Adventure Hour and I think they all had listened to more Sparks Nevada than I have (I’m still catching up and was only at around episode 12o or so when I played the game). They were fan-fucking-tasting.

Gina had Red dead to rights. I mean, I think she could do fan fic TAH recordings and people would think she was Busy Phillips. She was fantastic at being both totally self possessed and saying things that made you think twice which promoted many a “Wait, whaaa-” from Sparks, a request for clarification form Croach, and a patent misunderstanding from Pemily.

Jason had so many “back in punishment soccer” references we could have made the whole show a flashback. He was great at showing how years of trauma on Earth’s Moon had shaped Pemily. I loved seeing her instinct for blood conflicting with both her desire to be a good deputy and her admiration of Red.

Arturo, though, was just over the top. Not only did we have some of the best Sparks/Croach banter (like when Croach told Sparks to ride on the space designated his “lap” as we needed to return with alacrity and Murcury (Spark’s horse, whinnny) was absent) that I could ever imagine happening at  table. On top of that though, Arturo channeled Lycos Bill, essentially playing a character that was not even present as a foil to himself. I chalk this mostly up to Arturo being in love with Lycos (I mean, who wouldn’t be) but somehow it fit in the game, as thought he was a second narrator.


Our adventure started with a typical hollering of Felton “HEEEEEEEELP!” As it turns out there was a great thumping. A thumping which came from a giant sandworm in the wastes of Mars.

After much hilarious bickering the sandworm was found, as it consumed a robot that was using a thumping machine to draw it forth, which he did, and then was eaten by the sandworm, which he had summoned.

Sand Doom

In our second Thrilling Adventure (TM) we faced the Sand Worm of Mars. After much hilarious bickering it was defeated by being given a citation for loitering and being insulted by Sparks, which bruised it’s rather sensitive ego.

Bank Stealers

While bickering over the fate of the sandworm, we got word that a bank was being robbed by Alloy Roy. Not that he was taking the contents of the bank, but that he was taking the bank itself! Sparks and Croach continued bickering whilst Red and Pemily made off to stop the thieves. Pemily riding on Mercury, Spark’s Horse (whinny)!

Upon realization that they had been left and there was marshaling to do Sparks set out, and due to his onus for delaying Sparks in the execution of his duties, Croach the tracker came was well. But how would Sparks get there without Mercury? Croach offered him a ride on his lap, on his hover saddle (gross). But sparks had another idea. He lassoed up the Sandworm and rode it to catch the bank. Sparks and Croach distracted the Robots who had previously caught Pemily and Red, thus allowing the two women to take the upper hand and save the bank!

Thoughts on this game

I really play it more for the bickering and repartee than anything else, which is fantastic, because Mike built that into the rules. The characters essentially “charge up” their powers by talking about them, bickering, showing their reluctant to admit admiration of each other, and otherwise acting like themselves. In this way Sparks saying “I’m…. from Earth” actually makes him better at doing things, as does Croach referring to his 28 sensory organs, and Pemily remembering punishment soccer. Really good stuff here.

I’m guilty of Bromance with Arturo. He’ll always be my Sparks. And for that matter my Lycos Bill!

3 thoughts on “Actual Play – MAWS (10/18/2014)”

  1. This was a really great game, and gave me warm feelings about the current state of the system. I’m glad everyone had fun.

    “Maws” ended with the Shai-Hulud demanding sacrifice and tribute, and Croach (via compel) agreeing with him.

    The sandworm was defeated in “Sand Dooms” not by Sparks, but by Pemily, who kicked a soccer-ball-shaped rock at it. The system and source material being what they are, this took out the sandworm — but it would’ve been weird to kill it that way, so instead its feelings were hurt. It’d been a bully on Mars for millennia and no one had ever had the courage to stand up to it… until Pemily came along.

    That episode ended with Sparks being compelled to do the lawman thing (paperwork’s the best part of the job!) while Red and Pemily swiped Mercury to stop Alloy Roy and his gang in “Bank Stealers.”

    1. Woah, I got so many things wrong. So many. Thanks for catching all that Mike, it’s what I get for writing things more than a month later.

  2. I’ve been bothering mike to play this game as soon as I heard of its existence. I would hear stories about people’s games and even be at an adjacent table wanting. I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome of the game and the team of people that I was playing with. Everything about that game was a success from top to bottom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *