Actual Play – The Longest Night (7/16/2010)

GM: Justin Mitchel
Players: Sean, Ian, and Chad
System: D&D 4E (Iron Kingdoms Hack)

Description:

Welcome to the Iron Kingdoms, Scrub. You’ve been hired by Father Thomas to investigate a series of grave robbings. A deeper mystery lies at the heart of these strange events and its going to take guts, luck and a whole lot of bullets to get to the bottom of it. Think you can handle it? Think again!

This was the intro for Justin’s Good Omens audition game. He hosted us in the Double Tree at Berkley which was right on the coast and had a gorgeous view of the marina. All the boats might have biased me some… I love boats.

Justin took an Iron Heroes adventure and setting (originally set in 3rd Edition) and has hacked it into Savage World and then into 4E. We played the latter version and had a rocking good time.

What Rocked

1. His props were awesome. The character sheets were gorgeous and tailored very well for con play (very easy to read and very minimal). The character sheets had beautiful pictures from the setting that matched exactly with beautifully painted miniatures. We each picked up an ornately decorated letter (of our choice) that were placed in the center of the play area which gave our character a bit of story. The game tiles were set up perfectly, as were the monsters. Everything about the game looked like it would have been a demo from a company trying to sell a beautifully finished product.

2. The rules hacks were great. We played pretty close to 4E but he added in aspects (ala Fate) and ported over the races to fit the setting (I believe the Ogrin used the Minotaur stats for example, ensuring it was still a balanced race).

3. The game was quick moving and fun. We had 5 encounters (4 fights and skill challenge) plus a couple minor skirmishes (minions only). I thought each of the fights were fun, had interesting twists and employed some different, cool effects. We fought gobbers with smoke machines, a giant squid in the river, a necromantic priest, and the risen corpses of fallen witches. All in all, good stuff.

4. His skill challenge, something that I feel comes off very bland in many cases, was a lot of fun. We investigated all over, talked to various and sundry fellows (caretakers, nobles and crazies).

5. Justin’s composure throughout the game was upbeat and exciting. He adapted quickly and improvised well and kept the story fun as we rambled this way and that.

6. He was honest with us a players when something wasn’t going to work. One thing I really respect is when a GM can break the game and communicate the players as fellow players in a game we are all playing, rather than just the controllers of characters in a fictional world.

7. He’s just a fun guy to hangout and talk about gaming with.

8. Did I mention his props were great? Yeah, I’m a props whore.

Player specific stuff:

Ian’s portrayal of the squirmy little gobber (read:¬†goblin) was spot on.¬† He had all this crazy goblin logic that usually centered around not getting dead, which is pretty smart in general, but I drew the “glory hound” trait so we kept clashing with regards to safety.

Chad’s dogged pursuit of the man with the lightning scar was hysterical, especially because he was such an imposing figure to begin with (an Ogrin, similar in stature to an Ogre) that most people just wanted to run away from him anyway, which of course made him all the more suspicious.

What could have improved

There were some mechanical bits that should be cleaned up. Labeling daily, encounter, and at-will powers as such, doing more rules explanation at the beginning, and moving the skills around (or modifying the skill challenges) so that every character had a useful skill in the skill challenge.