Bryan, Rob and I set out on our first adventure using the PDQ based setting Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies. Bryan has been itching to run a PDQ game for me for about….I don’t know, since I met him, so I think he was very stoked to finally get some movement with this. Neither Rob nor I had a chance to really look over the rules and setting too much besides a quick once over. We jumped in and both came up with characters pretty quickly, the only hiccup was figuring out which of the Fortes we wanted to select. This was the biggest thing that gave me trouble, picking which ones just was difficult (mainly because this would affect the rest of the game). I ended up making a sort of swashbuckling rogue who used to be a scholar and a physician (to a noble house) in his previous adventures.
Now, at this point I must point out that all the Story Gaming that Bryan and I have done, or spoken about, over the last year is really starting to affect his game mastering….in a good way. He walked into the game without any prior planning. This is sort of a gaming mantra he and I have adopted (in my case, derived from the influence of Brennen I think). So as we played, Rob and I threw out ideas and directed the tale in ways we wanted and affected the story as ideas came to us.
We started out at a pub (cliché, I know) where we came across a fellow spinning a story that piqued my interest and immediately seemed questionable to me. I jumped in and used my style die (unintentionally I might add) and added a small detail to the game. I added that my character used his Alchemy to create an intoxicating truth drug that he hid in a ring of a skull on his finger. I drugged the guy, we interrogated him and I stole his clothing to use another Forte: Master at Disguise. Using the information we gained from the drunken man, we strolled onto the boat. We soon determined that the one boat we knew of was a decoy, and the other one was the real boat.
Overall, this is an interesting mix of trad-style crunch with a story game angle allowing players to add details to the world around them. I am not sure how much of the rules with regard to that were ‘doctrine’ as written and how much was Bryan letting his Story Game goodness run amok. Either way, it worked perfect. I think adding a few players would add to the details and interesting facets of the game only get better. I also think a little more familiarity with the setting, the strange country names, and general weirdness of the setting would only add to the ease of play. I think the mechanic are very, very cool and as Bryan put it…a natural extension of Risus, which of course is always good in my book.
I should also add that we were all messing around with OneNote to create character sheets and create a log of the game as we played. Due to our inexperience with this software, it might have slowed us down a little, but not to bad. I have attached my character for those interested (made using OneNote).