We played IAWA last night. Having arrived home after a long bus ride where the driver missed a turn along the way, I am sitting in our living room, contemplating after midnight while the rest of the family are sound asleep. There were a couple of oranges left in the fruit basket, so I am sipping a screwdriver or two.
We are a number of guys running Games on Demand at Conpulsion in March, and since Vincent is the celeb guest this year I thought it would be appropriate to offer some of his games, other than Dogs that is. But not without playing them first, hence last night's IAWA.
Players were me, as GM and only one who had read the rules text beforehand, Pooka, who I've played with quite a lot lately, and Pooka's friend Raf. Raf plays in Pooka's weekly Wild Talents game and has recently been exposed to indie goodies such as PTA and Dogs, so he was more than up for trying IAWA. In fact, Raf had ordered the PDF the same day we played. I know Pooka is not entirely hot about Sword and sorcery/pulp fantasy, but he was keen anyway because he knows how ubercool Dogs works in play.
I re-read the rules in the afternoon, as I had this idea that I couldn't remember a thing. I also spoke to my friend Peter who stressed the absence of stakes or intent in the game. The only thing I was definitely shaky on was the multi-person conflict example - man, didn't I get that by reading through it twice.
Considering everything, I think we played for a couple of hours, maybe two and a half, and I enjoyed it along with Pooka and Raf, although it was a relatively quiet affair (considering the source material), especially because the two players were very...cautious? Every conflict came from me stressing or harrassing the player characters - IIRC there were no situations were a player character wanted something that I as the GM wouldn't give them.
Many things in IAWA are left to the individual group's interpretation - our first realisation of that was Pooka asking when he was writing his character down on the character sheet. He wanted to know what the different forms covered. "No idea," I said, "and it doesn't say in the book." Pooka looked stunned. "Really?" I think he was considering were it would be 'best' to place his different dice and the game just doesn't play ball like that
The evening's last conflict was the voluptuous wifey serpent-demoness Ku Aya (take that!) ritualistically killing her husband, the honest farmer Javid played by Pooka, to make him into a serpent-demon, right there on their kitchen floor. Or trying to kill at least, because we both rolled an 8 and a 5, I think. Re-rolling the lower dice both came up a 4! We dedided if anything was a tie, this was it, so Javid is still alive.
Pooka, Raf, chime in, as always.
Oh: the Owe list. YES!