XP: Poison’d

8 Mar

Poison’d has always been kind of a mixed bag for me. I have played three crap sessions of this game, and one pretty good one. The good one was the one at RSG, thankfully. So, here is what I’ve learned.

It is very important that the sins and brutalities are not selected indiscriminately. These tell a story. What has your pirate done, and what haven’t they done? Why haven’t they done those things? This tells us more about your character than any other step, and it will help to know about it upfront.

Just about everything is a bargain. This pressure is a big deal and pushes the game forward. Anything that could maybe be interpreted as a bargain is a bargain, and hold everybody to it.

If no pirates are doing anything about a situation, make it an Urgency and start rolling dice. Either they will do something, or you will.

Get them off the ship. As soon as possible.

Have a map. This will inspire names of places and descriptions of the locale. If you have a group that can and will riff with few seeds, great, but my experience suggests that this is a borderline necessity.

The whole point of all of this is to get the game going in a direction right away and keep it going somewhere. Or it will stall in the ocean, just like a ship without a captain.

Finally, make all of the “moves” a pirate can make into cards. Put them on the table for all to see. There is a lot of interplay, and little of it is apparent. But it will be clearer if the players can see their options.

There is an amazing game here, but you have to meet it way more than half way and carve it out of the text. This game is way bigger than the booklet would have you believe. Read it, re-read it, and hand write those cards so you can internalize what is going on.

Then be a vicious pirate bastard.

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