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Endgame - Oakland Demo


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#1 wraith428

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 08:10 AM

So I've been follow the WFRPG 3rd edition posts on Fantasy Flight for a while and was generally interested in the game.  Previously I have no Warhammer experience.  I fact I avoided the money sink of the miniatures game like the plague... but then Fantasy Flight suckered me in with Chaos in the Old World and Warhammer: Invasion and I thought... what the hell!  4e isn't working for my group.  We need something new.  Maybe WFRPG 3rd might be it.

 

I went to this demo at Endgame in Oakland  hoping to learn a lot about the game and was unfortunately disappointed.  Less in the game than the event itself.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm really happy this local game store took the effort and time to buy and run the pre-release event but I just don't think they handled it very well.  First off they didn't run the adventure.  They broke their time into 1 hour blocks where you got an intro to the rules and got to run through the first battle with the beastmen by the carriage.  Then the session ended.  Also the guy running it seemed really familiar with the Warhammer universe but not extremely sure of the rules.  He had the basics but there were a couple things I was able to point out to him based on the website articles that he'd missed in his skim.  To his credit he did say that the pre-release package had only arrived the Tuesday before the Saturday event.  

 

What I got was a general sense of the rules.  Liked the dice mechanic.  Liked the abstract movement.  The components look great.  The ability to aid others as a free maneuver each round is cool.  Perform a stunt looks fun.  Initiative as a choice of who goes when is a great tactical choice.

 

What I got no sense of was roleplaying, non-combat skills, magic, character creation, the world, how talents, skills, action card work (i.e. how you get them), how experience and advancement works, and much more.  I really wanted something more immersive that really showcased the system and sold me on it but this just wasn't it.  Maybe the full adventure would have done this but a basic glance at the rules and a 20 minute battle just didn't do it. 

 

Still on the fence.

 

Wraith428



#2 dvang

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 09:31 AM

I could certainly see what you are saying and where you're coming from. The demo adventure would have only been able to cover some of your concerns, since things like character creation, advancement, etc aren't involved in the demo.  What I might suggest is if you get in touch with that store and see if you can sit down with the books for a little while and read them.  Maybe, if you're feeling adventurous, bring a friend or two and play around with the game at the store.  Try some character creation, simulate some advancements, try a fake social encounter (or if you can borrow the demo adventure, play out that portion) or other non-physical encounter. 



#3 Bisikoff

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 10:20 AM

As the GM running the demos, I'm sorry you didn't have a better time.  I think your feedback's pretty straight-on - and I appreciated the rules input your provided during the event.

A few clarifications / comments:

The store set up four one-hour demo sessions, based - I believe - on FFG guidance regarding the event.  The idea was to accomodate as many folks as possible with a relatively short commitment of time.

The demo / rules kit arrived at the beginning of the week (Mon or Tues) - I picked it up a few hours after it arrived at the store. I had been hoping we'd have it at least a few days earlier, so I could have at least spent a weekend or so focusing on it. Sadly, I'm not a full-time GM and didn't have much time during the week.

I did run the demo adventure with the pregens, or at least what could be fit in the session. The letter for the demo kit put the run time for the adventure at 60 - 90 minutes for the entire thing.  In hindsight - having run it three times - it's at least 90 - 120 minutes, covering rules intro and play time I think. 

The full demo adventure would have introduced some social dynamics and roleplay. I don't believe it would have covered many of the other aspects you outlined - advancement or chargen.

In hindsight, I would have opted to run a longer adventure with rules intro and perhaps chargen - ideally two games at once. Two 2-hr sessions might have been viable as well. Doubled up would have been best, but stores were limited to one copy each.

One of the other players typed up their thoughts as well in a separate thread.

I appreciate the feedback and comments!

Thanks,

Brian



#4 wraith428

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 10:32 AM

Bisikoff,

 

Thanks for running what you did.  It continued to fan my interest in the game.  Its just the price tag is steep enough that I'm not certain yet its worth it for my group.  Not saying another hour would have done it... but it might have helped.  

 

Thanks,

 

Wraith428 



#5 szlachcic

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 11:37 AM

" Its just the price tag is steep enough that I'm not certain yet its worth it for my group. "

 

IMO splitting something that is the same cost as a video game (from Amazon) with a gaming group wouldn't be that huge of an investment.

 

However, it does suck you couldn't get the whole adventure in and can sympathise with your feelings.  I wish I could have taken part in the event, but I couldn't make it to the only store that was running one in my area.



#6 dvang

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 01:23 PM

Yeah, Bisikoff. I've learned over the years to double expected time to run a demo.  While the demo "playing time" for me was about 2 hours (and might have been compressed a bit more", another hour was used giving a rules briefing and getting basics down.  I'd rather allocate more time than needed, and have time to answer questions of give people time to look at the stuff, than run short of time (which has happened too often in the past).

It would also be a bit rougher with less time to prepare. Luckily, I was the only GM from my store, so I didn't have to share the box.  As well, I managed to dedicate several hours a night to prepare for the entire week.  I still got a few things wrong, and needed to consult rules a couple times. So, yeah, time constraints can be a pain too as a GM.

You are right, a lot of the things mentioned are things not in the demo. They're the sort of things people need to look through the books and talk about after/before the game.

As I said, if you're willing, I'd suggest trying to set up another demo game or two.  There isn't anything saying you can't run the adventure again.  Sure, if players play again they might have an idea of what to expect... but it really wasn't a great surprise as it was.  I don't think having played the demo will ruin it for the players to play it again. See if you can read the rules again, get more time to prepare plus you've got experience. Try it again, allocate a full block of time (like 3 hours, just in case).  That's my advice, anyway. You'll only get better with practice.



#7 wraith428

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 07:13 AM

I'd totally be game if the demo were to be runned again in full.

 

Wraith428






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