Thursday, 1 August 2013

Subversives never learn

Nothing too Euro Strenuous ( or indeed Euro at all ) afoot at the Ribs this week, with Elder Sign, King of Tokyo, Saboteur, Arabian Nights and The Resistance getting play time.

A fresh set of newcomers for the week - a hearty welcome to Caroline, Jarryd and Jennifer - taking us to what must be a new monthly record of nine fresh victims new players.

Elder Sign was first up for five of us, Jarryd, Caroline, Ewan, Robin and myself taking on intrepid / hapless investigators trying to prevent in this instance Nyarlathotep going about his evil doings. As seems to be the pattern with Elder Sign the investigators do a reasonably fine job all except for one person. Who tends to fail. A lot.
Elder Sign. Secret Cultist Joe Diamond skulks on the left.

Last time it was Dean's pretend magician who got stuck in a cupboard moping about his failures and then died having achieved precisely nothing. This time round it was Robin's PI Joe Diamond, who seemed to lurch from encounter to encounter doing little more than spawning monsters and putting doom on the track. A subversive cultist if ever I saw one.

Despite Joe's  best efforts to aid his lord and master Nyarlathotep, the rest of our derring band managed to slam the lid shut on the squirming tentacles of the outer god, and we all skipped back home in one piece for a nice cup of tea and a scone.

A ruthless game of King of Tokyo then ensued, the brawling with five was ceaseless, and both Jarryd and Caroline achieved a win by beating everyone else bloody. Victory points be damned.

Finally Saboteur made it out, and with it Pete appeared from his hiding place to join in. Pete managed some epic silver tongue shenanigans by getting one Saboteur - Jarryd - to sabotage the other saboteur - me. A sad day for the saboteurs. Robin and Ewan managed to scarper from the mines with the most gold stuffed in their pockets, despite them both losing the final round. I call it greedy.

Meanwhile on the other table situated by the verandah over the river, the summer sun twinkled from the water to play over the miraculous and at times dubious shenanigans of the Tales of the Arabian Nights. Jennifer, Bondy, Sam, Rich and Fletch took this story telling game out for a spin, each taking it in turn to read out loud from a hefty book of pick your own story style paragraphs and lay down the path of fate for one of their compatriots. The game is somewhere in between a board game and a roleplaying game, with the main thrust of the game based around story telling, making the odd decision and developing a character that obtains or has thrust upon them certain character traits. Fail to charm the princess and see her stalk off to her life of luxury ? Gain the trait Envy.
Tales about to start. Bondy hasn't got his fish yet.

Perhaps my ears are attuned to such things, but everytime I stopped to listen to the tales going on, there seemed to be an inordinate amount of dubious women prostituting themselves, being enslaved, and or taken by the players. Fletch encountered an imprisoned prostitute and 'took her for himself'. Apparently this meant he had married her. Personally I had visions of a subterranean dungeon.

Bondy on the other hand following a similar fate, managed to get his hands on a fish during his quest. Not just any fish. A multi coloured fish.

Hmm.

I guess entertainment is light in the lands of Arabia. No TV I bet. Or board games.

What have you got there ?

A fish !

Uh huh.

No, no, not just any fish. Look. Its a multi coloured fish.

Uh huh.

If it were me I'd feel hard done by, going on a quest, delving beneath the ocean, and coming back with a lousy fish. Then again if your adventures take you beneath the waves, a fish reward is probably quite likely.

No chips.

After a time, when the wow factor of the multi coloured fish wore off ( it got not so colourful and began to stink ), Bondy attempted to cook the piscine, only for it to turn into a woman.

Which I don't know about you, but happens to me all the time. A common kitchen problem. Deceased fish turning into women.

I lost track of what happened to his fishy pan woman and whether he had burnt her ass on the stove, but at some point he got a gift of 100 wardrobes ( more a curse than a gift I would have thought - imagine man handling 100 wardrobes into your living room ), opened them all, got greedy and was set upon by an Efreet. That's a fire djinn. ( I know far farrr too much about Djinn after spending 3.5 years roleplaying a Djinn pathfinder campaign ).

The morale of the story is... I don't know. Never accept 100 wardrobes as a gift ? A cheque will suffice. Or better yet cash. Cash good. Gold even. What's wrong with your good old clich├ęd chest of gold trope. Gold Great. 100 wardrobes. Not so much. Anyone offers you 100 wardrobes as a reward, start backing away is my advice.

The game occupied most of the night for the group, it seemed like fun, I think this very much depends on who you have playing, and how open to roleplay you are. Those with a phobia of roleplaying and a desire for crunchy euro mechanics need not apply.

Finally the evening finished off with an epic 10 handed game of the Resistance. Fabulously noisy, argumentative, hurtful and deceitful, the government spies once again brought the Resistance crashing down. I was evilly chuffed at my own spy shenanigans that managed to sow discord amongst the good guys - Fletch to Rich and Pete "you're going to be so sorry when this game ends and I am not a spy" - and got enough trust and plausibility that the good guys supported me.

Kudos to the other spies, Ewan did a fair number of honestly self implicating himself as a spy to seem to gain the trust of everyone else. And Jarryd fenced verbally back and forth across the table sowing confusion amongst the logic, and finally Caroline did a good number being relatively quiet and non suspicious, backing me up as "not a spy" when put upon ( despite the split second pause and blink when quizzed what *colour* was the card..... uhh... Blue ! she lied... ), and tanking the final mission when required. Muah ha ha ha ha.

High fives for the government. Blind folds and a firing squad for the Resistance.

Will you never learn subversives ? You can't fight The Man.

3 comments:

Alfonso said...

Quinns did a full review of Arabian Nights this week...

http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/arabian-nights

Mr Bond said...

I think Sam bought it based just on that review. He'd only had it a few hours and it had that lovely new smell. Mmmm.

Matt D said...

This looks like great fun, can't make it to the Ribs this week but will try next week.