poorlovefool: (smile)
Eric ([personal profile] poorlovefool) wrote in [community profile] notasstrange 2017-06-25 12:43 am (UTC)

First of all, congratulations on finishing R1 and running a really fun game! I had a great time, and I think I will have a lot of feedback both good and bad. So let's start with what was good.

For starters, I very much liked the themes of this game. This is as someone canon blind to Skyrim, I thought it was super neat reacting to all of this weird fantasy stuff that kept cropping up like the moths, potions, special weapons in the final investigation, and of course our powers! It was fun enough that I went out of my way to use all of them. I also liked that poking around for lore never seemed to disappoint. The lore was also very well written, I could tell you put tons of thought into it which was much appreciated. You were also flexible and put up with all of the rioting our violent little hearts desired, never a bad thing.

Second... and this is not just because it was a role that was given to me, but also as a former mod and fan of murder games... I am IN LOVE with the Fabricator concept! I haven't paid attention to too many all-or-nothing style murder games so I dunno if you came up with it yourself or not, but if you did, pat yourself on the back. Honestly I generally dispreferred the "culprit wins, everyone dies" combined with randomization format and one of the reasons was it seemed to create too many accidental or sympathetic killers, or cases that were plainly too simple to pose a challenge because of the fear of bad ending or the case taking too long to solve. Therefore I think that having someone who is explicitly there to mess up the crimescenes and provide misdirection is exactly what this style of murder game needed. It keeps things complicated and mysterious. I was very glad that all of the cases in this game definitely took two days to solve, and that you were willing to make the cases go that long. I would like to take a leaf out of your book in future modding in these respects. I still think case 1 was amazing - great use of powers plus a good case full of twists.

Now for some stuff that was kind of "eh." I helped you a lot in the second case and was really approving of the use of NPCs given the circumstances, but I don't know that I would have had the same opinion if I had known the third case would also be an NPC culprit. I understand that these were pretty bad circumstances behind the decision to run the second case that way and I think you did the best you could, but 2/3rds of the cases being NPCs just doesn't sit well with me. I did like the theory behind using Maglor as a decoy culprit to make that more interesting, though. However, in the future I think you seriously need to pay more attention to people's activity when you put them in important roles. In particular you had to use an NPC for the second case because both the culprit and victim rolled were inactive, and I think you see now that having an inactive culprit is asking for trouble. So it would be much better if you would roll inactive players as victims only - in a double murder if needed, but next time with a PC culprit (possibly with Fabricator accomplice the way we did this time.) If needed, you could give yourself more time by rolling culprit/victim a week in advance (ie. Start planning cases week 1 with no murder, roll out that case in the second week, start working on week 3's case at the start of week 2.) So that there are two weeks to work on the case and you'll have more time to work things out if someone bails on you.

Speaking of NPCs, I wished you would have icons for them on your mod account to keep them more distinct from each other, at least to upload as they were revealed. I am not sure why it wasn't that way, though if you are trying to keep it clean for future rounds then I guess that's cool. I also didn't really see the point of the NPCs from the parallel murder game... they were sort of fun I guess, but didn't add much to the plot. Serana added even less. Was she only there to explain how they got the blood for the arrows? It got a bit excessive. However since there were a lot of long stretches where it dragged towards the end, I suppose it was good that they kept the discussion going, but you could probably have accomplished that with less characters. Maybe had the Intercessor grow a spine back instead.

I did like Elenwen as an NPC though, and the whole Mantling backstory even if I found the lore leading up to it a bit hard to digest with my canon blindness. I appreciated that we had a mastermind with interesting reasons, as opposed to the "for the evulz" "despair" that is common in this style (not to knock that of course, Enoshima style is a classic, but a change of pace is nice!) Weakening gods and then killing them motive? Good shit. Very nice. Keep doing stuff like that. I think you could have used Sheogorath more too, since he only appeared in one other thread with Futaba, but I liked that concept for an NPC as well.

I think the only thing I was outright disappointed in was the final trial, and how it dragged on for a week when it really shouldn't have. I hate to say it, but there were times when you left plot questions hanging for hours. I hope in the future you pay attention and make the game you are running and its players your top priority. It was especially frustrating to me because your game was super good and it deserved it.

Anyway, I hope this feedback was useful and best of luck with R2!

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