XP: They Became Flesh

9 May


I have very mixed feeling and experiences about this game. And you guys are probably getting the feeling that the majority of our gaming experiences at RSG are disappointing. I swear this isn’t the case!


I had an awesome play of this game with Elizabeth Sampat at Gamestorm. And it felt intuitive and obvious and it clicked and sang. I went away feeling like I knew exactly how it worked.


Then I read the text. And it almost seemed like a different game. And our play felt like a different game.


Alright, I gotta get some things off my chest.


Elizabeth, WHY are the online character sheets a kickstarter backer only resource? What the crackling hell is that about?


Why aren’t Revelations explained in the text? A reader could almost miss that, but it’s one of God’s main tools. Not to mention, any advise on how to use them effectively. Or any advise on how any of the players do anything effectively.


This text lacks a discussion on play style and approach. It appears to assume that a certain style is obvious. This kind of assumption is a cardinal sin of game texts. And seriously, the game is only thirty pages long. It would have been no issue to add in even five pages of discussion on this.


Every role needs more assistance from the text in terms of how they apply pressure and how that influences the other players. Every players needs more guidance in regards to how the conversation and story is built.


As a result, our game played out backwards. In retrospect, it began with the climax and moved towards the opposition. Even after having an excellent model from my own experience to draw on, at the table I felt powerless to mediate the relationship between the players, the game and the fiction. This was one of the most unusual experiences I’ve had at the game table.


Further, because the game is so open ended to various approaches, it suffers from a certain kind of incoherence as players all pull in different directions. The social atmosphere became somewhat polluted.


I really want to like They Became Flesh. I think I love the game it means to be. But this text is woefully incomplete and fails to do justice to the absolutely stellar concepts within. Much like many older story games, this game will not be widely accessible until there is some public wisdom about how one actually plays this game.


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