For The Queen on Shadowcon
Gina has been running Shadowcon - a part of the Happy Jacks RPG network that specialized in lesser known and sometimes older or independent RPGs - for many months now. I was invited to come on the show and run For The Queen, a game which I have blogged about previously.
It was the five of us: Gina, JiB, Morgan, Gene, and myself. Although I took on the role of “facilitator”, anyone who’s played the game knows it needs little to facilitate. Sure, I’d chime in here and there about my “pro-tips” or what has worked well for me in prior games, but you wouldn’t need that to play or have a great time with it.
I won’t go into the game again and what I find so great about it, as I’ve done so before, but I will say that this particular actual play (AP) was a pretty solid one. All the characters ended up feeling very balanced, and vital to the narrative. The queen was somewhat fleshed out, but unlike some games where she becomes a focal point, I felt like the inter-party relationships were somewhat more interesting to see develop. This was also the second time I’ve used these draft final version of the cards. We placed the end-card about 2/3 of the way in the deck, and the game ran about 2.5 hours.
To watch the AP itself, just check it out here:
Additional thoughts on facilitating the game and the influence it has
I’m curious how much of the game play-style is due to my influence as a moderator. In early games, some close friends gave feedback that they wanted more about the inter-personal relationships of the player characters, and I even made a special deck to explore that, however as time has gone on I’ve come to the realization that by posing more questions to the active player that have to do with inter-party relationships (vs those of the queen), you are able to actively change the focus of the game to be much more about the PCs. I’ve had a few people say that the way I was showing off the game impacted their play, as they felt like it gave them permission to do things more explicitly (whether that was role playing, or scene framing, or the types of questions asked).
Similarly Morgan had played twice before, and Gene had played many times (including facilitating it himself at Big Bad Con lobby-style), and its becoming increasingly interesting to see how the game is influenced by players who have played it before and know what it roughly does, and how they want to influence that.
I’m certainly not alone in watching this shift in how the game is played, as I’ve discussed some of this with some of the other folks who’ve had the opportunity to play this game, either a few times, or a lot. But really it’s just an interesting realization that the game just has so much opportunity to morph, despite its very simple and elegant premise.
If you are interested in just the debrief of the above Shadowcon game, we do that at 2:26:00 mark, and carry on for about 25-30 minutes about it. There’s some interesting conversations there about what the game does, various peoples experiences with it, how the safety tools are integrated into the game, and more.
You can see that here: https://youtu.be/1jH5N8dX0PE?t=8731. Note that this is the same video as above, but this link takes you to the debrief starting point.
For more info on the game
Check out the For The Queen page on the Evil Hat Productions website. As of this writing, they recently sent out a tweet that the game is being sent to production, so it looks like it’s on schedule to be released by mid-2019!