Monday, July 13, 2020

Quiet Conclusion

I just realized I don't think I ever did a post from the end of The Quiet Year game that I played with my buddy Brendan from Chicago. It was a lot of fun. Here's a picture from the end of the game, to save me from writing a thousand words of play-by-play for a game we finished up a few weeks back:
We played on Roll20. Just a heads-up for anyone thinking of doing the same: the game is a lot of fun on Roll20, but it does have some technical hurdles you'll want to prepare for. Drawing is clumsier in the Roll20 interface than it is face-to-face, and labeling things with text is super-easy and more legible than it would be in-person, so we ended up with quick little scribbles and relied a lot more on our ability to put text on the map (than the rulebook officially discourages labeling, but on Roll20 it's a welcome tool). You'll notice that the fence on the map was drawn in by a couple hundred strokes of the drawing tool. By the end of the game, things were lagging a tiny bit, so it might be better to not draw every individual fence-post next time.

I was surprised the Roll20 version isn't quite ready-to-play straight-off-the-shelf. The default page has nowhere for you to note scarcities, abundances, or characters, so I changed the page size (landscape rather than portrait fit my screen better anyway) and added a section for notes on the side. It also doesn't come with anything to represent the Contempt tokens, and no placeable dice. So I used a token I'd uploaded for an old Warhammer RPG for Contempt, and slapped together a rollable table token of a d6. It was all pretty simple, but just be advised that if you do want to play it on Roll20, you can't just fire-and-forget at the marketplace, someone in the group is going to have to do a few minutes of work to prep the game before the first time you play. Thankfully, the deck is already loaded up, so it does save you a whole bunch of time and effort by not having to scan the deck in. It does feel worth the 8$ or 10$ it costs on the Roll20 marketplace, and I'm glad I bought it, but I was a little surprised that I had to provide my own dice and tokens. It seems like if the publisher had included those in the Roll20 assets, it wouldn't have cost them much time or effort, yet would have resulted in a much more polished product.

About half way through the second session, we realized that we should have been making notes in the chat window of each turn's development and what all Projects and Discoveries were. If we had done so from the beginning, then we'd have a nice chat log of what had happened, and it would have been much easier to pick back up when we came back two weeks later for the second half of the game. So file that tip away for next time.