I'll Tell You No Lies
[jm] – No clear nemesis. Something weird is going on, but it’s not clear exactly what, and why the investigators should really be concerned about it.
[da] – Needs more sanity checks. Naturally, the Lizard People didn’t leave much evidence of their activities, but this also means we didn’t run into infected townsfolk, babies with missing parts, or crazed worshipers.
Needs more ‘minor’ antagonists. Feast had Rats, cultists, shaggai shan, Frau Trude, and several unknown entities like Orkliff, Asian lady, the voodoo boutique, and the constabulary.
I liked collecting blood samples as a clue-hunt. It would be cool to incorporate more Biology and Chemistry checks.
The props were very cool; I think they were a big improvement over Feast in terms of being able to refer to them for clues. For the most part we could separate it into “already solved” or “need for future”. In terms of coolness at the table, the dirtbox with the amulet in it was a really cool way to wrap up that encounter. There were also several overlapping clues, which helped; like one doc mentioning 16,000 years, and another 15,700.
[al] – The sense of danger was not nearly as immediate. In Feast of Fish we were clearly under a deadline literally and the build up of danger was rapid forcing us to focus on the most important tasks. Without this sort of impetus the game seems to meander more and flounder at times. Much more debate of what tasks and how to accomplish them due to the lack of focus.
Having more ‘minor’ antagonists is I think one of the key points that gave that sense of danger without pushing the main story at a breakneck pace. I personally like the having to pick between threats and manager our time wisely to achieve the most likely favorable outcome.
The clues in Sleepy Little Township were an improvement in general. Enough meat to dig into and pour over but without the bulk to wade through that Feast of Fish occasionally suffered from. While the props were very cool and well crafted some of them didn’t seem to serve much purpose in forwarding the story or moving the game along. A few very awesome props that we use frequently or have a major impact on the story would to me be more impactful that a large amount where most of them are looked at once and then dismissed for the rest of the game.
I’d really like to see more character development in the game. That was my favorite part of Feast of Fish that has been mostly lacking in the last two games. Little of our personal backgrounds and motivations were used and little to no “fluffy” (non-rules based) changes were made to characters as the games progressed. The end of Feast of Fish saw all the character greatly impacted by the events. With changed behaviors demonstrated in the game and the place of the characters in the world altered by the end.
It would also be cool to see more of the NPCs visibly affected by the events of the game. Even having the city around us alter could help increase the tension and sell the rising danger. One of the greatest differences between the games has been in the interactions with NPCs. Feast of Fish saw us having to really pick and choose who to trust and discovering alleys that were aware of the looming danger. While Barnum Institute of Science and Horror had next to no interaction with NPCs past the beginning and none were we had to decipher the motives of the character. Sleepy Little Township did have much more interaction but the majority of it was very clear that we couldn’t trust the NPCs, that may or may not have been due to the warns at the beginning coloring our actions.
I think the key point I’m trying to make here is that there needs to be more dilemmas. More points where we have to make choices with either unclear outcomes or have to pick the lesser of two evils. Even more choices that force us to take a moral or ethical stance and suffer the consequences would be good.