Posted on September 3, 2019
Boardgame Geek gives Machine of Death a 5.5 out of 10 rating, which is pretty low, but also not terrible, since Boardgame Geek is the Pitchfork of Sitting Around a Table with Friends. This makes me think that this game isn’t that much funnier than the people you play it with, but that’s fantastic news for me.
I enjoyed the murderous improv and what amounts to Structured Bullshitting, which I suspect Boardgame Geek can’t figure out quite how to force into a metric, of last Sunday night.
How each round goes is this: You generate a target. A name, two possibly interesting aspects of their personality and a location.
Then you find out how they are going to die. This isn’t negotiable – someone who is fated to die of “Kittens” can’t be killed by bullets. They will die of Kittens, somehow.
Then, you make that happen.
As Predestinarian Assassins, you have to nudge the person – subtly or violently – towards their date with death. You are provided a budget, of course, of three objects (typically) to make that nudging happen. There’s a planning stage where you lay out what your plan is if everything goes right and during that time you collectively decide how likely each component is likely to work as intended.
When it comes to Murderplanisgo time, a 90-second timer gets flipped. You roll for your first element and if it works you progress to the next element of your plot. If it DOESN’T work, you draw another budget card and can then try and work that into the plan on the fly.
If you run out of time before killing your target… uh, too bad, they get away.
But if you do kill them, you can achieve bonus objectives (rolled randomly; like make a getaway, destroy evidence, throw a wake) using any leftover budget cards or a new one drawn from the pile.
There’s a tiny amount of things left to chance and a lot more just arguing about how to murder people and I think that is what makes it more fun for me than for the Boardgame Geek reviewers.Read More
Posted on August 11, 2019
Personal Log: Commander Soral, Stardate 48212.4
This is the personal log of Soral, Commander and Chief of Engineering currently serving aboard the USS Chiron in the Delta Quadrant.
Having situated myself with the current capabilities of this vessel, running through numerous simulations involving improving efficiency of our warp drive and energy distribution systems, interviewing the staff of our engineering department to introduce myself and become aware of their personalities, interviewing with my captain to learn of her philosophies and planned implementation of commanding our crew, I found myself greatly anticipating our first mission.Read More
Posted on July 27, 2019
Personal log, Commander Soral: Stardate 73034.2
This is my first entry as engineering commander for the USS Chiron, and I anticipate future entries to include higher levels of detail, as I am new to recording a mission’s relevant activities. I will endeavor here to include as much detail as would be relevant to a crew member, Starfleet officer, or other interested third parties including those of any species yet to be discovered as I anticipate my participation in our 5 year mission will reveal new friends, and foes alike.Read More
Posted on May 22, 2019
We finally (FINALLY) wrapped up Call of Cthulhu last night. As a test of 7th edition went… it wasn’t a great test. I chose an old scenario (which was very good and thorough, I thought) that wasn’t written for 7th edition, so I had to do more work than I really like doing to convert a handful of things and I HATE doing work.
Really, other than the easy switch to percentile stats, advantages and disadvantages, the possibility of pushing a test (did anyone even ever do that? I know it was offered, but I can’t remember anyone risking it) and the easy side of temporary insanity, we didn’t really dive too much into the new rules system. I’m overselling how much new stuff there really IS… there are only a few changes to the system, but it would have been nice to stretch our legs a little more on them. I’m a sucker for handouts though and this scenario had them in spades.
Character creation is a good process and the good characters that were created helped carry the game. A few small touches in character creation eventually came back around over the course of the story and that’s cool. Those little things can make all the difference.
Our heroes uncovered a scientific advance that seemed to be at the source of visions and madness and were able to tie the new illuminations on deprived South Walnut Street to the disappearance of an entire village in the previous century. They discovered the cave in which a dormant old thing from beyond lay waiting, the walls of the cave providing the material for the technology that was warping the minds of the poor inhabitants of South Walnut.
It ended with a chase, as the naive Professor who had been manipulated into helping awaken this Thing tried desperately to undo his error. In his fatal failure, he eased the old being out of its slumber as it sought to replenish itself under the light of its distant star. It was not to be, however, for while the minds of Swoosie and P.H. snapped at the sight of them, Tony Crazy Legs Balta, unable to see the thing began to recite the old fragment of the Book of Eibon that they believed would steal the sight from the waking god. He recited the song the musical trio had come up with as an aide de memoire and soon Pleasant Hannibal joined him in creating a sense-stealing shield to deprive the god of its nourishment. Swoosie, was temporarily convinced that Tony was her murdered mother (Gasp! Foreshadowing!) but eventually came to her senses and tried to stop the tentacled mass from heaving itself from the hillside.
They were attacked by one of the god’s alien servitude’s and it sucked into the air and then crushed poor Tony to a broken mass. Pleasant Hannibal persisted and the spell they cast stole the thing from the repulsive star’s ability to fully awaken and so they saved… the day?
They certainly seemed to save some of South Walnut Street’s slum dwellers, as the brisk pace with which they had been being driven insane/killed came to an abrupt end.
Swoozie, unfortunately, made the mistake of telling her lawyer about the sky-jellyfish crushing Tony in defense of the tentacled invisible being and the lawyer, sanely, had her and Pleasant Hannibal locked up in the looney bin.
Their stay was brief, barely worth the paperwork, as the doctors concluded that they were both sane but had suffered trauma caused by the sudden crushing death of their friend in a cave in. However, Pleasant Hannibal was roomed in a secur-ish cell next to the poor old Polish cripple who had glimpsed things beyond the veil of our mundane existence. In the few nights he stayed in Arkham’s premiere mental hygiene care facility prior to his immediate and slightly apologetic release, the demented old Pole whispered so many impossible secrets to P.H.