Table Top's Dragon Age Game - What do you think?

edited February 2013 in Story Games
youtube.com/watch?v=Y-61i3R5y9Y

This seems to be a hot topic! Wil Wheaton and crew play Dragon Age on Table Top. My opinion is that it did not go so well. What do you guys think?

Some discussion has taken place here, on Alessandro Piroddi's G+.

Comments

  • edited February 2013
    At least in part one, I'm not really sold on the game, but more because I don't much dig Pramas as a GM. I mean, the scenario he's running feels like a straightforward quickstart adventure (ie, low on anything particularly interesting as far as the characters or the setting goes, but generally easy to follow), which is probably appropriate for that group at that time, but doesn't exactly make for gripping viewing. Which is sort of sad, because what I'd heard about the system sounded kind of fun, but man, you'd never know it from this session.

    Maybe it was a "you had to be playing it" situation. Being charitable and all.


    edit: What's bugging me about Pramas is that he seems to have checked out from the whole session. I mean, for all the enthusiasm he shows for the setting and the action, you'd think he was reading a powerpoint presentation. And a particularly dull one, at that. I've played both of the computer games, the setting can support much more interesting things than we're seeing here; it can even go as zany as Chris seems to want to go with it.

    I mean, you'd think he'd at least take Wil or Sam up on their occasional attempts to engage with the setting for the game or give them some room/reason to interact in character, but no, so far it's just one limply presented and poorly described fight scene (or brief "go here for the fight scene" conversation) after another. And since they're editing around the actual dice rolls and combat mechanics, there's really nothing to see here. :(
  • Haven't watched the episode yet, but my experiences playing the game have been positive. It's fun and gamey.
  • It looked to me like a huge mismatch between Pramas and the players. Specifically, it looked like Pramas was running a standard introductory adventure and trying to be serious, and the players were interested in comic fantasy craziness.
  • The most boring episode I have seen. I have no desire to watch the follow up. Nothing from that episode told me why I would want to buy that game or what makes it any different than a thousand similar ones out there.
    For what attempts the players seemed to make to try to have fun with it, the dull story telling by the GM and the slow game mechanics just kept sapping the life right out of the game.
    Just made me enjoy games like Fiasco that much more. Just tell me what happens. Don't slow things down by making a dozen dice rolls, only to get to the same point you would be at if you just made it up anyways.
  • I saw some of this.

    Not exactly the way to sell a game. Mismatched GM/player tone agreement and Pramas was... well, not all that exciting.

    Hardwicke didn't help by being *that* guy...
  • Fonzor.

    I would have left the table at that point.
  • edited February 2013
    Well, now I really don't want to watch this.

    FWIW, on his podcast, Chris Hardwick recommended Dragon Age to Joseph Gordon Levitt. So... he had fun, I guess?
  • I bet JGL is an awesome roleplayer.
  • This is why actual play casts (video or audio) are bad - performance has different needs when it's the center of attention.
  • performance has different needs when it's the center of attention.
    Damn those cameras bombarding these innocent people with performo rays! Not even self-styled comedians or hammy actors are immune to their terrible effects.
  • edited February 2013
    I don't really know what "performance has different needs when it's the center of attention" actually means, but it's definitely true that what's fun to play isn't necessarily fun to watch.

    It's entirely possible that Pramas's ultra-low-key and generally indifferent demeanor works at the table, just because the players are enjoying thinking about whatever he's talking about, thinking about what their character is going to say or do next, thinking about what's on their character sheet and what they can do with it, and so on. It's even possible that there's so much going on in their heads that it would be a waste of time for Pramas to put anything more into his performance as far as the players are concerned, because they're already full up on things to pay attention to.

    But as a performance on video for an audience, it stinks on ice. There's so little going on for the viewer to actually, y'know, view here, that some kind of technical wizardry really should have come into play like the clever editing/film-grain filter for their Fiasco shows. Something that would actually be engaging for an audience, something to add a little verve and excitement to the affair. (Although asking the editors to fix a performance as lackluster and uninspiring as Pramas's may be asking way too much. I like the guy's work on paper, but he's just not bringing it to this table.)

  • Damn those cameras bombarding these innocent people with performo rays! Not even self-styled comedians or hammy actors are immune to their terrible effects.
    Lollll, that's not what I meant (but maybe what I said). I was trying to get at Pramas being a low-key style GM doesn't come across well, whereas players "going big" does come across well, but that's due to the medium of the show, not due to any trait of either of them.
  • I've little to add that hasn't been said: seriously bad looking play (though maybe awesome TO play). There were some actually cringe-worthy things throughout.

    If you want to use Table Top to promote interest in RPGs... show the Fiasco episodes, not THIS one. I'd rather have watched them play a Descent scenario.
  • I will also point out from what I hear they're having to cut down close to six hours of footage into probably 3 or 4 half-hour videos.

    The gag reel shows that there was a lot more fun-having that we're just not seeing.
  • I will also point out from what I hear they're having to cut down close to six hours of footage into probably 3 or 4 half-hour videos.
    Just two half-hour videos, actually.
  • It looked to me like a huge mismatch between Pramas and the players. Specifically, it looked like Pramas was running a standard introductory adventure and trying to be serious, and the players were interested in comic fantasy craziness.
    I actually enjoyed the video of them playing but I agree Pramas didn't seem a good fit for this group as GM. I think one of the players said he was usually a GM which means he's into roleplaying and the other players were pretty creative. My favorite character was the Elf who choose as his special power "Smell" something which Pramas had apparently intended for animals/pets. I was seriously inspired by how useful the Elf made his smell talent, but I think Pramas was disgruntled everytime the Elf wanted a smell check.

    The first sign I saw of trouble was when the PCs asked Pramas how the NPC boss received a message overnight? I could tell he just wanted to send them on their mission and just gave them a "I'm a Grey Warden with special powers" explanation. In contrast, in a game like Dungeon World, the GM could just as likely turn the question around and ask the players how the Grey Warden received a message. I think Pramas underestimated the Group.

  • I think one of the players said he was usually a GM which means he's into roleplaying and the other players were pretty creative.
    That was Sam Witwer. From the extended interview and his occasional guesting on a Star Wars Roleplaying Podcast The Order 66 Podcast it's pretty clear he's very into Roleplaying.

    I do agree though, the GM and the players seemed on 2 totally different wavelengths. Hell even among the players themselves there was a few different play styles on display. One was Chris and Wil's more zany style, The Elf with the nose of a bloodhound, and Sam's more serious tone.
  • I basically took two things with me from watching that episode:
    1. Kevin Sussman seems like a very pleasant fellow. I think it'd be really nice to game with him.
    2. A mild urge to try the AGE system. The stunting seemed pretty fun.
  • Second Episode aired... Much better than the first, actually saw some gameplay. But it still felt like the GM was a little bit of a mismatch.

    And I really want to game with Sam Witwer.
  • I agree the second episode was better and I would definitely look forward to playing a game with Sam.
  • edited February 2013
    I watched half of the first episode so far. Seems like the cooperation between the players and the GM is better. I'm really happy they're playing an RPG and I'm having fun watching but...

    I know they cut some stuff out, but I'm not sure what exactly. They might have cut out some of the fiction being described during the combat with the skeletons. I hope so, because otherwise the combat with the skeletons was totally dull and flat. From the way it played out, it was literally "Okay guys, roll initiative. Oh look, the skeletons win. Okay, Wil, you take 10 damage. Chris, you take 8 damage. Sam, you take 12. How much damage to do to the skeletons in return? Okay, that one takes 16, that one takes 5. My turn again."

    Like...really? If I didn't know anything about RPGs, this game would seem totally boring. I know stuff about RPGs and this game seems totally boring.

    Also - "I open the door, what do I see?"

    "An empty hallway with a door. What do you do?"

    On a side note - I would love to get a game going with these guys. I think Pramas would make a better player than GM.
  • edited February 2013
    I may have been a bit too hard on Pramas. I guess I had super high expectations since this is his game; but really he's in line w/ most of the GMs I've had and I certainly can't claim to be better. The players seemed to enjoy it! It's fun to see him getting irritated at times...

    "What happens when I do this?" (moves the crown up and down)
    "You're still a virgin"

    "What's it smell like?"
    "Duty"
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