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Sinister Ornament

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A member registered Apr 12, 2020 · View creator page →

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Apologies, perhaps I was a little harsh. I thought it was a very good idea but I did feel disappointed and felt it needed a little more on the page. You did inspire me a little, (hence my suggestions some of which I admit were a little wild).

Little modern RPG for 3 to 5 players and 1 GM about escaping a house. Rules are two pages, in the tri-fold leaflet style. Things that I liked; 1).The countdown, the players can see how many rooms left till they escape, which I would expect add to the tension, like the fact the number of rooms varies linked to the numbers of players controlling the difficulty level of the game. 2). The brief room descriptions, these are evocative despite their brevity. 3). Random item list, this being here amazes me how much they packed into such a small space – some of this list is a little vague, giving the GM some wiggle room with his imagination. 4). The six variations of the main ‘Terrible Thing’ enemy, (along with the shuffling of rooms) gives this a lot of replay value. Love to get this to the table at some point (five out of five stars from me).

This rules set is around 178 words long, and could, I think, should have been more developed before it was released. It’s a good and novel central idea (we need more game that can be played on a journeys), but I think in needs more far more meat on the bone than what is here.

 Four things I would have liked to have seen.

Firstly, I would have like to have seen a way of incorporating large structures/landmarks seen on the journey into the narrative with some examples given (in this field…, at that warehouse…, in that lake…, along this road…, under this bridge…entangled in this pylon) rather than just announcing a mech.

 Secondly, how about mentioning themes other than giant Mechs? For example; Under this bridge the rebels hid, from the giant flying saucer that seemed to hover above for hours as the aliens deployed there giant electro-lizards to search the area for human forces…OR this warehouse is where the Vampire Queen sent those who were to undergo the special process.  

 Thirdly, how about where you start describing a structure but stop halfway, letting another player finish off the second half of that structure’s story, this would throw some curved balls into the narrative, and becomes more like a living shared collaborative narrative rather than individual story splinters.

 Finally Thirdly, I would have like some sort of point or scoring system to work out a winner, it didn't have to be complex, how about; at the end each player has to announce the story they enjoyed the most. Player with the most votes wins.

This is good One Page RPG, trying to do something a little different. I love surreal horror. I think this RPG does compare favourably to the ‘Don’t Rest Your Head RPG’, which is a considerable achievement considering this is only one page long! It does share some factors with that other RPG, the deliberate vagueness. Here in Wake the specific background of ‘The Sleepers’ abilities are undefined. 

It is a bit light on the scenario aspects so the GM is going to have to put some hard thought into what’s going to be encountered before this is played (A bit of a weak point). The real strength of this, apart from the spooky setting, is the use of cards as a mechanic. However I found this slightly confusing in one place (How do players HAND cards get there?).  The poker hand resolution for players’ fate is a great idea, but needed some directions on implementing it. 

 The messy version of the rules with the drawing is the superior version when compared to the clean rules sheet, as the writing in the margins is very evocative and inspiring and would help if used in game;- perhaps the hospitals signs and charts are all replaced by these words?

 In summary, I think ‘Wake’ is very interesting and intriguing but I get the feeling it isn’t quite as polished as it could be, but it’s still a good skeleton upon which an imaginative GM could build upon (four out of five stars from me).

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An excellent One Page RPG. This strikes a good balance between character background, hidden motives, mechanics and variable scenarios. Unlike a lot of other One Page RPG, this game I felt was pretty much playable after my first read.

I'm going to buy a sheriff’s badge (for the GM to wear), a load of silver counters, pencils and paper, and 3d6 and pop them all in a tobacco tin dedicated to this lovely little RPG (5 out of 5 stars from me).

Upon reading this I could just imagine the poor adventures cold, miserable, ill-equipped and covered in mud, sheltering from the heavy rain, there moans about the Baron 'volunteering them' suddenly interrupted by the roar of The Beast in the distance. This strong evocation of setting isn’t even the best bit of this One Page RPG, the best bit is the way The Beast is incorporated into the world.

Both of the Weakness tables and the Wants, and Lair tables all embed The Beast deeply into its setting, and influence the world of the game. Other touches are nice such as the equipment rating, and the 18th Century setting (yes, flintlocks!), but the stand out thing is the Beast generation tables, Lots of meat to love on this beast of a bone. (5 out of 5 Stars from me).