Token-less and Dice-free

cow-tabletopIt’s possible that I’m coming to a turning point with the whole system and approach for The Dee Sanction and the 214 system in general.

Running an adventure without using half the system – and finding it works well – might prove worthy food for thought.

I ran a new adventure – Thunder and Steel – at the Seven Hills gaming event in Sheffield.

The characters only recently made the trip to Europe with Dee and Kelley, and the call of angels in Edward’s ear seemed to be making the trip a long-winded one. Halfway through Moravia, Dee heard rumours of a young girl with prescient dreams who had foreseen the assassination of the Virgin Queen, so sent the characters off to investigate. The trail started in a hamlet nestled in the Little Carpathians and led them on a trail of lies, deceit, bad weather, and unfurnished accommodation.

One way or another, the game system element of this session never kicked in – but, the story felt fairly satisfying.

I had good comments about the atmosphere and background of the tale, and a chat with players afterwards gave positive comment on the snappy three-card character generation process. Interesting also to have players asking about the history itself and explaining the seeds of truth behind the setting and the adventure itself.

I have now played three adventures and many sessions of the system and I’m seeing a leaning away from the fiddly token approach and more toward something that drives and supports the interaction and character.

The character cards offer a view of who the character is and what they’ve got themselves into. Between the three cards, everyone has a clear idea of where their strengths lie and the sort of personality they might have. Perhaps I still could so with a relationship mechanic, but it didn’t feel necessary in this session. I actually choose to reamble my games with a few statements about playing characters as a team, giving each other a chance to speak and contribute, and engaging in the adventure with energy and a splash of derring-do.

I suspect I’ll ruminate on the feedback and my own experience – and then see what I can tweak before I run the adventure again at UK Games Expo at the end of May.

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