Thursday, December 29, 2011

Adventures of Sympathy Sam and Jennifer

Yesterday we played a couple of games of When Darkness Comes with two players.

We played the zombie shoot-up scenario and Last of the Tzimovars scenarios, and I guess playing other scenario than the first opened up some thoughts about the game's workings.

However, brief summary of the games.

Both Sympathy Sam and Jennifer were characters who sucked at combat and were slow, but good at persuasion, particularly at flirting.

Sam was better at medical skills and was a huge tank with defense/health of 5 and Jennifer was more dextrous.

This lead to a funny start - without weapons or victory points, neither character could beat any monster, no matter how good rolls might be. Whoops.

Also, Sam quickly found out that there was a Mega-Adversary in the town hall/jail with a perception roll. So characters quickly escaped.

But once Sam found a shotgun and a pistol and a wrench for Jennifer (Jennifer had hand-to-hand combat skill and Jennifer was horrible at searching things), things started rolling.

This scenario was played a bit wrong, which must be forgiven, since this was third game of WDC ever, and first for my friend. Somehow I had been thinking that you could buy 3 dice and 3 re-rolls per fight round, when in fact you could buy such things per your whole turn.

Well, it burned out victory points with our characters' measly attack skills, but at least made some victories possible.

In the end it happened so that Sympathy Sam killed the last of the five zombies. He scored only a couple victory points more than Jennifer, but still, he gained the attribute rise. Which went into dexterity, Sam was frustrated enough at banging at the doors and yelling someone to open them.

Anyway - after two good plays of the first scenario, I feel that it needs some sort of time restriction or something. Even with horribly slow characters once you hit around 10-15 victory points, you don't have to walk on the tip of your toes so much. I don't know how much this changes when there are more players, but at least when both players are low on speed, there's no real penalty to it.

Then, the Last of the Tzimovars scenario.

This scenario was pretty simple and straightforward, but it did involve some good rolls of 3 straight with only 3 dice with no re-rolls. Sympathy Sam raided the church and packed himself full of holy water and crucifixes and then rushed to the mansion of Tzimovars.

He had cleared whole outside of the building when Jennifer was just leaving the doctor's office... He had used a couple of vials of precious holy water though, which was a bit risky thing, since killing Mega-Adversary was required for victory.

Anyway, Sam came to Gun Shop and helped Jennifer find a crossbow for her and took one for himself, too. Then the duo found their way into the mansion itself. Jennifer started acting unsportingly. She started flirting with Sam's allies, and as she had persuasion 4 + 1 dice from flirt versus Sam's persuasion of 2 + 2 dice from flirt, she managed to steal them more often than not.

Only comfort for Sam was the fact that he had nailed five zombies, where Jen had killed none. But that was about to change, when Sam stumbled upon Mega-Adversary.

He tried to fight the queen of the Tzimovars, but didn't manage to kill it with 10 dice + 3 re-rolls. Jennifer came around to help, but her next round she attacked the Mega-Adversary. She decided to stake the Mega-Adversary, because that way she would benefit from 2 sets of 2 re-rolls without using victory points.

She used all her holy water and bought three dice with victory points and started rolling. After 4 re-rolls she had 6,6,6,6 on board, and Mega-Adversary needed 5 of kind to kill it. Last roll came out as 6. Now, thinking of that, had Jennifer failed there, both of our wimpy characters would have needed astonishing luck to bring the main antagonist down.

After that fight it was a race for victory points. Offensive power had dropped pretty much as we had no longer holy water around and crossbows were starting to run out of ammo.

Last real excitement came with the last vampire, who needed 4 of kind to be defeated.

Jennifer, being the drama queen, did the same she did with Mega-Adversary. Last possible re-roll came out as 5, when there were already three 5's on the board. End of Tzimovars and a victory for Jennifer.

Anyway, after four games it feels like there isn't enough "pressure" in the game. It might change with more players, and especially with different character builds, when you need to take more into account who seems the probable winner. But at least now I feel like there should be some element of urgency, when there are two slow characters playing it feels like they got all the time in the world to, well, kill supernatural monstrosities that are terrorizing civilians?

Still a good game though, and having played only two different scenarios I won't judge everything just yet.

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