experiences with Prince Valiant?

edited January 2012 in Story Games
Our gang is playing a lot of Greg Stafford's Pendragon, which is absolutely terrific, in part because it's so wildly frustrating.

I know that Stafford tackled similar content with Prince Valiant, but other than paging through it idly a couple months ago, I don't know what it's like in play. I know it was hugely influential on certain early segments of the Forge, though.

Anybody know the game well enough to dish about play?

Comments

  • edited January 2012
    I've played a few times a couple... more than a couple of years ago.
    I've paged through Pendragon several times, but never played or talked at length with those who have.

    Prince Valiant is charming. It reminds me of the egalitarian play of my particular group's AD&D2nd games,
    only much moreso. Someone's in charge, but everyone has a way of influencing that... though that's not the game itself,
    the influencing-the-gm. (or whatever PV's GM is called, i can't find the book right now).

    The fiction we created was very surface, very storybook, very unrealistic-but-enjoyable.
    I don't know if that was more the influence of the summer day and the yard in which we were playing,
    the ridiculous excited hilarity of three silly friends back together again after months apart,
    or the game itself. But we certainly didn't delve into our characters' inner workings.

    Also, the game seeks to use coins as 2 sided dice, which is a lovely concept. But in practice, "tossing" five
    coins and quickly reading the result was frustrating. Even laying down a towel on the deck we were seated on
    didn't prevent the coins from rolling everywhere. The tactile nature of the throw was very nostalgic, though,
    so i would replace it with rolling six sided dice with 1-3 being heads and 4-6 being tails. (as opposed to a d2 number generator)
  • I ran a Prince Valiant two-shot last year. It was fun. We did not get to try the bit where a player takes over as narrator for a scene unfortunately (and thus earns the ability to perform dramatic editing), which makes it a fairly traditional game, although we did use (optional) traits, which when role-played (positively or negatively), can earn you extra fame. Fame is an interesting mechanism, since it is sort of an experience equivalent (it makes you stronger), but it's really is fame too. It can make it harder for you to hide your identity, and if you slay a monster, but there's no one to see it and thus it's just your word, you earn less fame than if you had an audience.

    We used Ubiquity dice instead of flipping coins, and that worked very nicely indeed.

    It's a simple, clean little game with a number of innovative ideas (particularly for when it was published) that does a good job of encouraging play the follows the genre. It is worth noting, however, the genre is Hal Foster's pseudo-Arthurian kitchen-sink comic book setting, not Le Morte D'Arthur.
  • Posted By: Peter Aronson
    We used Ubiquity dice instead of flipping coins, and that worked very nicely indeed.
    Yes, I thought about using Ubiquity dice, too, but then, how do you manage the exploding up nature of the coins mechanic? (i.e. if you throw all heads, you get to throw an extra coin, don't you?)

    If you get a max result, then you throw another single Ubiquity die?
  • edited January 2012
    Posted By: viktor_haagYes, I thought about using Ubiquity dice, too, but then, how do you manage the exploding up nature of the coins mechanic? (i.e. if you throw all heads, you get to throw an extra coin, don't you?)

    If you get a max result, then you throw another single Ubiquity die?
    If I recall correctly, a max result in PV just gives you +1 to the result, not another coin to flip. This has the slightly odd result that the result of flipping 1 coin could be 0 or 2, but not 1.
  • edited January 2012
    Posted By: Peter AronsonIf I recall correctly, a max result in PV just gives you +1 to the result, not another coin to flip. This has the slightly odd result that the result of flipping 1 coin could be 0 or 2, but not 1.
    Yes, that's right. I remember now -- the system does have the effect that you can never generate exactly as many successes as coins you throw. I'm not sure that these kind of edge effects bother Stafford, because HeroQuest has a similarly interesting black hole in its mechanics on the break points where people acquire mastery ratings.
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