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Gaming - SteveCon - Time & Temp, Ocean

Attendence was a bit thin but there were six of us, enough for a couple of games. First we played Time & Temp, with three of the group reprising their characters from our Wednesday game and two players new to the game. It was a desperate story of Craxos, King of Sumeria in 17,000BC (we have very little knowledge of the period, or indeed its dates). We had a TPS on the period which specified three things:
- Those reciting the epic of Gilgamesh would be well received
- The crypt is a safe place to hide
- King Craxos has only got one ball

The mystery, as presented by Todd, was that someone had found a cruciform tablet in the middle of which was a shopping list in English. Our brave band of temps traced the originator to a description of a small woman with dark skin and black hair, wearing strange black and white garb, named "small shell". However they were soon distracted by the King's problems in conceiving an heir and became embroiled in a plot by the priests of Marduk to prevent conception. Their contribution was to provide an upbeat tempo for the King's business, much to the discontent of the Marduk priests. It ended up in them hiding in the crypt which the priests dared not enter for the presence of ghosts and then one of them covered in goat cheese to shine in the moonlight, ghostlike, or at least enough for the priests.

Of course, this had very little to do with Conchita, the Hispanic maid who was using a time slip to reduce her domestic burden, swapping modern conveniece food for authentic Sumerian cooking, but it was an entertaining game as did nothing to reduce my affection for Time & Temp.

Our second game was Ocean, the second time I've played this and the result was much as the first, so I won't go into in much detail. However, juxtaposed with previous entry about Robert Irwin's Exquisite Corpse, it struck me that this surrealist game is an excellent description for this kind of roleplaying game. If everyone is singing from the same sheet, has a good ear for the directions in which other players are going, and respect each other's creative impulses, then it is possible that such a game might produce some coherent output with a satisfying narrative. However, it is much more likely that the end result is more like this:

That is, good in parts, amusing, but ultimately grotesque. For the narrative to be more satisfying, the game requires more constraints.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 28th, 2010 08:46 pm (UTC)
Sounds like fun. If I were in London I'd try to get along to some of these.

Picky bit (you knew it was coming):
- Sumer;
- I ought to have a better memory of the dates, but that's way too early, more like 5000BCE give or take;
- cuneiform (less you mean it was cross-shaped)
- Marduk was Babylon (patron god of the city) rather than Sumer.
Mar. 28th, 2010 10:37 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed Time & Temp very much, perhaps most of all Simon getting distracted by the Marduk priests, and the ongoing joke of fermented goats cheese. Plus I was right about the Palace, of course.

Ocean didn't work for me, even though I got to wrap up the plot (by hoarding my few bonus dice). Too little structure. We may as well junk the rules and just tell a story together by shouting over each other.
Mar. 29th, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
I'd agree about Ocean - it was entertaining enough and short enough not to overstay its welcome but I can't see it being responsible for many coherent narratives. Since I didn't particularly like the "dice as health" mechanic, and the "protect/distrust" thing seemed contrived, I didn't really appreciate the features which stop it from being entirely freeform.

And as for Time & Temp - have you any idea how hard it is to get rid of the stink of rotten Sumerian goats cheese? Marigold will be getting an expenses claim forthwith! Though at least I got the chance to make pirate noises at ancient Sumerian priests. :)
Mar. 29th, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
It was my first time playing Ocean and I was little reticent about setting a scene that others might of had to follow. Still, had lots of fun. Nice old fashioned pub venue , the draught beer was decent too:) Very unusual for pubs that close to the centre.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )