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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › What We Played: Looters' Revenge (GHOST/ECHO)

What We Played: Looters' Revenge (GHOST/ECHO)

Mike Kimmel M.
Seattle, WA
Post #: 12
Looter's Revenge (March 25)
Players: Andy, Mathew, Susan. GM: Mike

We played GHOST/ECHO­, a pretty sweet "make up the setting and plot as you go" sort of game. Our looters had been sold out to the Wraiths by one of their own crew, and quickly discovered that the different groups of Wraiths were banding together for some unknown purpose. Having not completed their mission, they couldn't leave the Ghost World and go back to face Venom, so they tried to reorient themselves and get the goods. After getting lost in The Ruins, they struck a deal with the mysterious and powerful Walker: he'd let them go if they betrayed Venom! They managed to kill Venom in the end, but the fate of Vixen, the crewmember who betrayed them, is still unknown, and Walker and the Wraiths are probably still out there somewhere, too.

I wish we knew a bit more about the characters and setting, but we focused a lot on "what happened" instead.

It was fun to play a game that allowed everyone to add to the setting/plot as we went along rather than having a pre-established storyline. I think it would be interesting to play again sometime, starting from the beginning, and see how different two games of GHOST/ECHO can be, either with the same group or totally different people. Also, it almost seems like the game doesn't need a GM. Something to think about.
Seattle, WA
Post #: 3
We had a nice evening at Gamma, it was fun to see familiar faces and new players alike. Though I keep wanting to play the games I've already learned I'm glad the nature of the group has forced me to try new games each week. I have yet to be disappointed.

Playing GHOST/ECHO with Mike, Mat, and Andy was quite fun. As players Mat and Andy were really good - they were both experienced and assertive. It was fun to hear their ideas - they were always ready to make strong, interesting statements about the game world. After my last meetup I wrote about my desire to get comfortable with higher stakes/"don't hold back cool stuff" playing. Mat and Andy were a great team to practice this with. I caught myself once saying to Mat "those stakes are too big, that's too big a consequence/decision to rest on this roll, let's scale it back." Happily, they nudged me in the right direction and I realized my mistake. Big, high stakes rolls make better gaming.

The GM dynamic was definitely different than the handful of other story games I've tried. As Mike mentioned, it almost seems like the game doesn't need one. He may be right, but I think the need is great enough to justify having one. Mike did an elegant job guiding the game. He set up a bare-bones scenario with a few details and reminded us of the elements we had to decide during play. He also pointed out when some action we had taken implied or established other facts about the world. For instance, early on I casually mentioned that I wanted to leave a dimensional portal open so I could return later for more looting. He picked up on this and called our attention to that fact that I'd just established my willing (and profit-motivated) participation in the looting. Until then it hadn't been clear why this group was here.

I think his most crucial role came when we players got stalled in a scene. It felt like we'd "used up" the different things our players could try to solve a problem. Mike was quick to bring in new words/ideas from the rule sheet that opened new doors and allowed us to advance the plot. Though the games says any player could have done this it seems to me that having Mike watch out specifically for this problem kept the game moving.

Overall GHOST/ECHO was very approachable to me as new story gamer, and potentially as a novice GM. It looks like a suitable game for cutting one's teeth. It has a relatively simple dice mechanic and a good suggestion list that gives plenty of idea seeds. The cost (free!), low pressure GM role, short rules, and player-dictated story/setting also make it quite accessible.

Like Mike I do wonder how different two games could be, it will be fun to find out. See you guys at the next meetup!
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