28 July 2011

Blood Tragedy (Game Chef Review)

This year’s Game Chef requires the participants to review 4 of the other games and recommend one for advancement. So far I’ve reviewed 3 of 4 and have posted my thoughts on the Game Chef website. I’ll be copying my thoughts here as well. This is the first one.

Blood Tragedy. Okay, definitely going for a Tragedy here. That seems Shakespearean. Like all good tragedies we know that most everyone is going to die by the end. Everyone decides how they will die ahead of time. I really like this angle. It’s neat to decide what your ending is going to be and steer events towards it.

Reading on I see that characters can “dominate” a scene and this gives the player more control over the framing of the game. At first I was really turned off with the idea of scoring in each scene. “Get your points outta my rpg”, I thought to myself. That was a gut reaction and the idea of earning points did grow on me as I read on, but that initial reaction is something to keep in mind.

I’m torn over the Exile and Soliloquy rules. I really like the way that a soliloquy as been worked into the normal play of the game. It’s very Shakespearean. What I really don’t like is that a player can be “written out” of the game until the last act. That just doesn’t agree with me. I’d like to find some way to keep them included during the down time. In practice this might not be an issue at all, but it’s definitely a place where I could see myself adding a house rule.

I like the level of freedom that you are trying to give the players. In some games I think everyone will know exactly where they want to take things, but there isn’t much to fall back on if players get stuck. For this reason I think it might be nice to have some kind of central plot element that helps carry the plot forward.

I think it might be interesting to experiement with giving the different roles (rules, servant, etc.) different narrative powers that they could use at the cost of nature.

Overall, an interesting game. I think there is a lot of potential for a great game of tragedies to be made of it. With some expansion and tweaks to the midgame to help push players along and some more attention given to the scoring rules and I think you will be on to something good with Blood Tragedy.

If you’d like to play Blood Tragedy then you can find it here.


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