Sunday, November 22, 2015

[Night Witches] Training

We kick off our group's "winter phase" of one-shots and mini-campaigns with Jason Morningstar's Night Witches. This Powered by the Apocalypse game follows the lives of the brave women who flew in the Red Army Air Force's 588th Night Bomber Regiment during World War II. There is no set Game Master (that duty can rotate between or even during sessions), but for this introductory scenario, the usual suspect took the GM's helm.



Our other natural-born Soviet airwomen this session include:

Jade
Jen
Renae
Dave S.

11 comments:

  1. Although these sorts of highly structured games (see also: Durance) aren't my cup of tea as a player, they make for brilliant and riveting APs. I've been hoping someone would post a recording of Night Witches since it came out, and of course you fine folks didn't disappoint. I really hope we hear more of this game because I'd love to see how the GM rotation and PC replacement mechanisms work out, among other things.

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    1. Apocalypse Engine games are by far my favorite "narrative-driven" systems, which I'm normally a little suspicious of myself. The one downside is that, with their explicit "GM Agendas" and whatnot, I end up getting a bit stressed out about running them, and always second-guess myself after a session for not pushing things as much as the rules suggest. That's probably one of the reasons I like these games so much, though--they push me to do better each time.

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  2. I was a little worried for Jade (her character being the one whose name evades me) when she mentioned being of a higher class than her landlord!s son. (Don't let the NKVD overhear things like that!).

    Also, was that plane that Liza repaired (the "lucky" one) the plane that Vera died in? That hardly seems lucky.

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    1. No, Valeria was in the "quirky" plane. Having half your head blown off--quirky!

      Definitely planning on hitting Vera's (Jade's) mysterious aristocratic heritage in future sessions...

      I put together a little info sheet to help keep track of who is whom: https://winter-phase-2015.obsidianportal.com/wikis/night-witches-info

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    2. Ah, okay. Quirky seems to make more sense. Like, "Oh, this altimeter is in Russian cubits instead of meters? Haha, how quirky!"

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  3. That was a lot of fun. Can't wait for next episode. I've wanted to run some Apocalypse Engine games for a while and I grabbed Apocalypse World form Bundle of Holding last time.

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  4. Well, that prompted an in-depth Wikipedia and Google binge to eat up a lot of backstory. That was a lot of fun to listen to, and I'm looking forward to see where it goes.

    I've had a little exposure to Apocalypse World, but wow this seems a lot deadlier and unforgiving than I'd expect out of some of the other adaptations. Especially since failure in most other games is like "Yes, I just got some XP!" not "Yes, I just got... sliced in half."

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    1. My own Apocalypse Engine exposure is minimal, but I think Night Witches is pretty far out on the lethality end of the scale, for obvious reasons. I'm hoping to run another game that uses this engine, Spirit of '77, that is decidedly less deadly...

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  5. I liked the game, but the actual bombing runs just seem so vague and remote. Sure there's danger, but it just seems to be 'make two rolls, and we're done'

    For something so deadly, I'd have expected there to be more to it.

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    1. It's a lot more horrifying in the pilot's seat, as it were. There may be only a couple dice rolls (likely 3 actually, since damaged planes are common, so wheels down rolls as well as wayfind and attack runs), so most of our time is spent figuring out which consequences to take for our not-perfect rolls.

      In our heads I keep thinking we're basically playing Sophie's Choice: The RPG.

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    2. I will say that my one issue with PbtA games is that, since they "give" you qualitative results, I find myself being less descriptive than if I'm interpreting, say, raw numbers from a dice roll. I tried to be a little more mindful about that in last night's session, describing the search lights and flak cannons and so forth a little more.

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