“A Marvel to Behold”

There are times when the long hours and pitiful amounts of money become completely inconsequential. Such as when you get feedback like this G+ post from a customer.

Last night I took the plunge and ran my first 6D6 game. We only got about halfway through Outbreak! but we all had a blast. The players very nearly didn’t make it beyond the opening scene. Not because of the events in that scene but because they began arguing and fighting over mundane items. If I hadn’t treated this squabble as non-lethal at least two of them would have been killed by their own hands. They made it to the house in the woods and are ransacking it for goodies it may yield to improve their survival.

Anyway a short review of how I found the system.

Four of the five players knew nothing about 6D6 but 5 minutes of explaining the rules they had all grasped the basic mechanics. Chris, I applaud you and all involved in the creation of 6D6. Never have I witnessed players digest a new systems mechanics so fast.

The first thing I noticed was that without a bunch of numbers in front of the players the role-playing came more naturally as the only sheet of paper they had was a character background to read.

The freeform nature of actions in 6D6 is a marvel to behold. The core rules do not define a set of legal actions your character can perform as found in the majority of RPG’s. Granted your characters has a limited set of cards representing attributes, skills, life experiences and equipment but how you use them is limited only be your imagination. That and appropriateness of the cards.

The main problem that I had was getting the players to judge the appropriateness of the cards used to perform actions, and not look solely to me as Game Leader to provide this function. This is not a criticism of the 6D6 game system. I guess the players are just used to Game Masters being arbiters and just highlights a cultural difference to other RPG’s.

The only stumbling block I had was with the group action in the opening scene of Outbreak. I’m sure I handled this wrong in the as the players passed with to much ease. I let them each use a maximum of four cards. Looking back through the core rules this morning maybe I should have treated this as an assisted action where each player beyond the lead gets on less card to play.

So my one question so far, are group actions the same as assisted actions?

As you can imagine I was a little happy to get this sort of feedback and I replied immediately.

Many thanks for the kind words about the system and adventure (written by Ben Jackson who you can find on G+).

Having the players squabble is part of Outbreak! At least one group has spent an hour of real time with in-character arguments about who’s fault it was that the bus crashed.

Developing a sense of appropriateness takes time and even among our play-test groups, players will tend to look to the Game Leader. I’ve found that as Game Leader it is best to accept a certain amount of this and just a give a quick yay/nay answer. However, the skill of the Game Leader is knowing when to calls everyone’s attention to the question and start a discussion. I save this for things that are going to set a precedent or effect the feel of the game.

The bus crash scene is deliberately easy. It was written to make the players look at and think about their cards rather than pose a real problem. Most groups sail through it without a scratch.

The term group action is a bit of a misnomer and comes the adventure being written before 90% of the rules existed. In this case it simply means something that effects all the group and/or is a slight non-standard situation. Thanks for pointing this out. I will get Ben to update the Wiki and the PDF.

Again thanks for the kind and double thanks for the time spent writing it up. Can I share your write up with my followers? It would be great if I could put it on my blog as well.

Sweet Music

I’m on holiday for a few days at Womad from tomorrow so this was a great going away present. Whilst I’m away I will be giving some thought to where 6d6 goes next so watch out for some news when I get home.