Friday, 8 March 2013

A Skype to Victory?

Recently, I've been playing in a number of games based on Skype or Google+ Hangout. These were/are:

Atomic Horror - An alternate history game using the Savage Worlds system which can perhaps best be described as a Manhattan Project spy caper with stealth Cthulhu and giant atomic laser ants. It marked perhaps the only time I am likely to play an actual Nazi.

Troy! - A 'bronze age superhero' game running under Strands of Fate, in which the PCs are the heroes of Troy, super-powered by their semi-divine parentage. Of all the games discussed here, this one works best, in part because it is the one most reliant for its success on verbal sparring and superhero in-jokes.

Stars Without Number - Post-ubertech space opera. The other two are run by +Jon Lea; this one by +James Holloway.

In all three I took the role of team weirdo, but then I seem to do that anyway, although I hope without disrupting other people's games.

It's an odd way of playing, although pretty good if you get used to it. The only problem I have found is an exaggeration of the tendency for 'the talker' to monopolise the game, where one exists, as it is harder to stay in the GM's view and consciousness when the screen switches to the current speaker.

ETA: I don't actually feel this is the fault entirely of either the talker or the GM; the rest of the players also chip in by not chipping in, as it were. I think that there is a false sense of almost telephone manners that takes over, however, and the medium itself essentially encourages us not to interrupt.

Still, it's working better than my efforts to get a table top game going and on most days it goes well.