Playing A Taste for Murder by Graham Walmsley

Back in January I read A Taste for Murder. It seemed like a nice game at the time, even if I complained about the lack of character sheets for downlaod, and feared that I would need to translate stuff before playing.

We drew our own character sheets and translated the circles on the spot. And now that I have played four games I thought I’d return to the game with a Playing post to make a report on how the game works in actual play.

When I wrote Playing posts for Zombie Cinema and Montsegur 1244 I had a lot to say, and some advice on how to play the game to share. But this time I don’t have much of either to offer.

Playing A Taste for Murder

Playing A Taste for Murder

When having four players it fits comfortably into a four hour slot. At five and six it might feel a bit rushed, at least at when going into some detail in the side scenes. That said I think the sweet spot is five players. With six there’s a little too much down time, and at four play feels a bit constricted in act two when one player moves on to playing Chapel.

It would have been nice if all the tables (weather, activities and rooms) were on the same spread, as it is every group scene is preceded by frantic page turning, but that is a minor problem.

I have seen the game go some pretty dark places, quite possibly due to the preferences of the groups I have played with. And while we’ve never seen darkness at Montsegur 1244 levels, I still think I’ll make a mention of it while pitching the game at cons, so the players can make an informed choice of whether to pick another game instead.

We have drifted the game a bit. In the denoument scene at the end of the game, it usually turns into a shouting match between the prime suspects, rather them taking turns making their respective defenses. It has worked out well enough, and I see no reason to enforce the sequential way suggested in the rules.

In conclusion it is a nice game that captures the murder drama genre very well, even if it never becomes much of a mystery since no one is really looking for clues and there’s no real investigation in the game.

The Academy – Status update and other things

Part of an illustration by Daniele Poma for The Academy

Part of an illustration by Daniele Poma for The Academy

It feels like it was only yesterday that I last posted about my game project. Then I had just come in contact with Daniele Poma and ordered the interior art for what was then called The Cadet Game. Earlier this week I got an update from Daniele, all the art is done!

Now it is merely up to me to assemble it all into a game. But like our heroine on the left, I’m not quite ready yet. I’m still not done with revising the rules, and then there’s the whole matter of actually writing the game. And doing layout, proof reading, finding an editor and printing and dozens of other little things that are needed to make an idea – even one that has been subjected to playtests for several years – into a complete RPG to put on the shelves.

The Isabella card

The Isabella card

I have been distracted from my work with The Academy, I took part in Game Chef 2011, and competed with a game called The Daughters of Verona. We have played it and I must say it captures the feeling of a Shakespearean comedy very well, and it’s fun game too.

I have also been hacking While the World Ends into a game about courtiers in the palace of the Mad Sultan, and there are more hacks on the way. But I’m shifting my design focus back to The Academy for now, when I still have the buzz from the pretty pictures.

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