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Feedback on Hill 936 AKA Oh God why is this happening to us...

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Sep. 3rd, 2012 | 04:21 pm
location: Lancaster
mood: exanimate exanimate
music: Dear Old Home -Piano-



The awesomely great bits-
  • The emotional rollercoaster, which was both horrible and lovely at the same time. I loved roleplaying this, all the tears and guilt, but at the time it was pretty horrible because I actually WAS experiencing it. It felt like close friends were dyng all around me and I couldn't do anything about it. She felt the attack by Bab's was all her fault, and she should have taken the damage Barry and May-be took instead of them.
  • The jungle trek was amazing, it was scary, physically and emotionally exhausting and kept me constantly on guard. The relief upon reaching the temple was amazing. The traps were very clever, the fear of only having one gun in the 'reserve' party was horrible.
  • The Temple was a great set, the amount of detail was stunning and the Priest NPCs did an amzing role, being so calm and placid yet still being creepy as hell.
  • All the characters were great. Well written, mostly everyday average people flung into the middle of war to see how they coped. I enjoyed roleplaying with everybody, and felt geniune sadness when people died.
  • The radio as a whole was great, from hearing the poor girl in another station begging for a helicopter then dying, to talking with the Brits and going a bit wibbly from doing so.
  • The jungle and war noises were great and scary, when the bangs and gunfire picked up it really felt we were going to be under attack any second. I loved how the conversation stopped when we heard a missle or plane overhead, then picked up again when it was safely gone.
  • The food was filling, tasty and setting appropriate. I didn't want to be eating fancy posh food in this game, I was prepared to slum it and I'm glad we did.
  • I really enjoyed my character, I was happy to have an able, highly skilled nurse who cared about people for a character. I don't like not having things to do in games, and it was nice to be kept on my feet all the time caring for people.
  • The monster/crew time were awesome. I have no idea how they managed to be in all those places at once, I really don't. And they were genuinly scary buggers who were good at stealth.
  • I loved being able to break down in tears multiple times for different reasons. That was awesome.
  • I liked the free-form style of sanity loss. I liked being able to decide what got to Angel and what didn't.
  • I liked developing Angel's backstory more than what I had been given, giving her a large family, what her future plans were, her first date, that was all fun.
  • The first aid and medical skills were easy to follow stat wise, which helped. They were straight cut, realistic and simple.
  • The amounts of supplies gradually reducing as time went on was great to roleplay. When it got to pulling dirty bandages off corpses, it really felt like hell was happening.
  • The fear of the dark aspect was great, as was the fear of snakes. Combined, these two nearly made Angel run away when they started talking about bringing back a live Naga egg, something she believed to be a giant snake egg that would hatch in her sleep.
  • I used a cap gun for the first time! I wasn't even too scared by it, and felt kind of empowered. I don't even know if I hit whatever was out there, but it felt like I was DOING something.
  • I liked how Angel developed little crushes on the manliest of the soldiers, even the horrible Corbin.
  • I really liked the scene where I had to perform major surgery on May-Be, even though I was no where near qualified to do so, and it was only something she had read a paper on out of interest. Angel had to make the tough decision of cutting her intestines or stuffing them back in. Of course, this was after she had to fight the urge to just inject her friend full of morphine to end her suffering.
  • Before that scene after the attack, she made a choice without realising it. Barry had been badly hurt in front of her, so she got to work on his leg first, only to hear that May-Be had died, instantly she realised that she had saved Barry, but possibly at the expense of May-Be. As she worked on May-Be, she looked around and saw all her fellow nurses expect Major on the floor, possibly dead. That was horror. The relief when they gradually all got back up again was immense. Angel felt a strong bond to her fellow nurses and it crippled her when she thought she lost them.
  • A similar experience was when Major went down. Angel loved Major like a family member. After she had killed the Merc by using up the morphine, she felt so guilty when Sister asked for it to help the Major. Then came the horrible fear of being out in the open with the Sister. I feel Angel would have stayed awake as long as she could holding onto Major to get her through.
  • I think the Major gets her own point. She was so scary when she yelled. It was more the yelling than the gun that made me back away from her.
  • Refs were amazing. You can tell how much hard work and stress went into the event, but they pulled it off and I think they did a wonderful job. I had a really, really great time.
  • Most of all, the un-ending horror, sheer terror, and absolute fear. I never felt safe once on the weekend. I always felt I had to keep my guard up. From Craig's character explaining he couldn't make it after we were thrown into Vietcong territory, Wrong Mike's character just exploding and splattering our group, the first group of Tcho-Tcho attacking to the very final scenes of desperatly trying to read a scroll, but being too weak, too tired to do so and just giving up. Every moment was terror. This game scared me more than Amnesia: The Dark Descent. And I loved every minute of it.
The not so awesome bits-
  • Oh God the cold. The temple was very, very cold to sit in. Even the hut was cold. I was glad I decided to put 5 layers on, including a thermal! But yeah, refs can't control weather. I'm just glad it didn't chuck it down.
  • The hut was very damp and cold. I was informed that there would be spare sleeping bags lying about, but I didn't find one and spent the first night shivering under the thin blanket with no pillow. It's my own fault for not bringing them along, but I thought there would have been a spare. I think I only got about 10-20 minutes sleep before getting up at 6 just to keep warm. The damp wasn't too good for my asthma either, I got a cough going but that cleared up when we went in the fresh air, I was almost wanting to spend the final night in the temple rather than the hut.
  • Sorry for the repeat, but the combat system. I am rubbish at system. I can't deal with numbers in my head well. Especially if I'm tired and scared. I made mistakes. There was a point where a ref told me I should have taken Bab's attack, but because I thought the weapon table was used for melee as well, I took the Miss as stated on my table. I felt very, very bad about not taking it, and embarassed. I thought people would hate me for meta-gaming. So, to compensate I upped all damage I would take from then onwards. A shot that was meant to deal 1 point I upped to 4 points. I upped the next shot to 2 points. But as it turned out, the ref who told me was wrong, and I was right about the hit chart. I felt the combat system was a messy and hard to follow in the chaos.
  • I felt some people did not roleplay their injuries well. Some people were amazing at roleplaying, Paul D. and Weasel come to mind first of all, but some people were walking around after being hit with MASSIVE injuries. With the kind of injuries you'd be lucky to be able to sit up from, let alone walk around as if nothing had happened. I know this may have been the character trying to ignore the pain, but it would have SERIOUS impact on the wound. Stitches would pop, bleeding would start again. you'd maybe pass out, as Jacob did. Even after the request from Mish that people roleplay them better, I feel people could have paid a little more attention to them. Getting an injury for me was a valuable roleplaying experience which I enjoyed, I know it was a little hard to pretend you have pain where you don't, so maybe an ocassional tap on the shoulder would have been useful.
  • Names. I couldn't remember most of them, and still can't.
  • My accent was terri-bad and I'm really, really sorry. I know it must have annoyed people.
  • I looked hideous. The boots and dress showed off how fat and frumpy my legs were, my makeup rubbed off and showed my spots, and I felt that Angel should have been a lot more pretty than Mew is.
  • Not really a bad thing I guess, but I found out I can't eat baked beans right in the middle of the event. Luckily the worst symptoms only arrived when I got home. Blood everywhere. I've also scratched my legs to hell kneeling down rocks and stuff, but I don't mind much. War scars.
  • There wasn't much wind-down time after the event, I like being able to chill out Sunday afternoon chatting with a roast dinner and games after an event, swap character sheets and have a good old chat. I know we had a time limit that can't be helped though, and I wouldn't fancy cooking a roast dinner in that kitchen.
  • That. Boiler.

Overall, a fantastic event. New ideas that worked well, some niggles that could be sorted out, but I was very, very happy and satisfied by the event. I got to be scared out of my wits, which I reallllllly loved. As for Angel, she'll probably go home, hold her new niece or nephew or both, try and track down the rest of the group to see if anyone at all lived. She might consider becoming a Nun like Sister Honeycutt, and discussing this with her. But I feel that after a while, despite what's happened to her, she might just go back to 'Nam to continue her work, trying to make up for the death's she feels are her fault. That is, if she dosen't get in trouble for the whole 'creating uber powerful zombies' tonic stuff. But, she's alive for now. If God wants her alive so much, she'll continue to do His work.

On that note, if you have any feedback on how I roleplayed I'd like to hear it. I sort of get the feeling I was annoying or didn't roleplay that well, and I'd like to know what improvements I could make.

One final point I have to make. The real horror for me in this game was that it actually happened. People, just like our characters went through what we did and a lot worse. When I wanted to complain about the bags being heavy on the trek, I remembered that people carried triple what I was carrying. In horrid heat and humidity. The injuries, people got them and worse. The deaths, people had them worse. What we went through may have been a game, with no real pain or death, but it did happen to others. We all went home comfy in cars. Many of them went home in coffins, if they went home at all. I think it's important to spare a thought to all those men and women who lost their lives in Vietnam, combatants and civilians. May they rest in peace.

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Comments {8}

luvlymish

From: luvlymish
Date: Sep. 3rd, 2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
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There were spare sleeping bags, two of them and two spare blankets, I went round as many players as I could checking if you were ok with what you had, I am very sorry to have missed you.

Thankyou for your feedback.

I'm also really glad that it made you think about the real thing as that makes me feel like we did it properly.

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dango_mew

From: dango_mew
Date: Sep. 3rd, 2012 05:47 pm (UTC)
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It's ok, it was mostly my fault for being so IC and sleepy that I didn't remember I could have just asked a ref. All part of the experience!

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Archangel

From: archangelonline
Date: Sep. 3rd, 2012 05:56 pm (UTC)
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Re the injury issue (obviously I wasn't at this event, so I'm talking in generalities) is that the majority of roleplayers, through no fault of their own,

DON'T HAVE A FUCKING CLUE

about how dramatically the human body, an extremely complex, yet delicate machine, breaks down when you damage it.


I think it comes from fantasy novels written by people who think mead is a type of beer, action movies where the shoulder contains no vital body parts and car doors can stop bullets, and, of course, roleplaying games where you can shrug off a hit from a two-handed battle axe with only the loss of D12 + Strength Modifier hit points.

These assumptions are easily handled in a tabletop RPG because the ref is always there, adjudicating every one of each player's actions. In a LARP, a lot more responsibility is placed on the players, and if they have different assumptions about what's possible (not to mention the ability to actually forget that they're meant to be suffering a debilitating injury in the first place), then a lack of consistency in injury-roleplaying ensues. Thusly, it's more important in LARP that players are at least vaguely aware of how the game's reality works (in horror, that's usually pretty close to the real world's reality).


There was an article on Critical Miss once that covered traumatic injury and its effects in an extremely informative way: http://www.criticalmiss.com/issue4/traumaticinjury1.html

This, or perhaps the harder-to-find expanded injury section in Godlike's supplement Will To Power are great reads for getting a basic layman's understanding of exactly how easily it is to fuck up a human body.

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dango_mew

From: dango_mew
Date: Sep. 3rd, 2012 06:07 pm (UTC)
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I agree with that, maybe because I'm interested in medicine and nursing, I pay more attention to what exactly happens when a certain part of the body gets hurt. But it's when I see people using limbs that they would have no physical feeling to probably, walking around without so much as a limp after nearly dying from a stab wound or likewise, it just irks me.
There is no 'safe' place to be shot, arteries and nerves cover your entire body.
People who play these games have probably never been shot or stabbed, so they wouldn't know what it feels like, but if you relate it to other common injuries they might understand a little more, for example asking if they've had an ankle so twisted they couldn't walk for days, then saying the pain is triple that.
Jez posted the Delta Green live system, the wound chart did have little explanations next the locations, something I thought would have been nice to see in game.
But overall, I guess it irks me most because I just know a bit about medicine and anatomy.

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Archangel

From: archangelonline
Date: Sep. 3rd, 2012 06:17 pm (UTC)
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I've not looked at the Delta Green CAG system yet, although it wouldn't surprise me that it was good with the realism - the DG stable of writers are the same crowd that did Unknown Armies, Godlike and similar.

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evilbilbo

From: evilbilbo
Date: Sep. 3rd, 2012 06:32 pm (UTC)
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I'm glad you really enjoyed it :) Angel was cool, and a little disturbing at times :p

I know I was doing more than I should of been but I started doing that after I realised if i stayed on the floor I'd freeze up. On the other hand I tried to always move very carefully, kept that side still, stayed still a lot and kept the wound supported.
I also put it down to Isabelle being extremely stubborn ass.

Edited at 2012-09-03 18:34 (UTC)

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dango_mew

From: dango_mew
Date: Sep. 3rd, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
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I thought you roleplayed the injury very well, especially when you had the stick and had to fumble with things in your hand whilst keeping one on the wound. When the Major went down I went on a mad burst of speed to get to her, but instantly regretted doing that, because that cannot have been good for a stomach wound. Sister was very, very stubborn. We had orders to put you to bed if you didn't go :P

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evilbilbo

From: evilbilbo
Date: Sep. 3rd, 2012 07:19 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, it took an hour after my shift ended on the first night to be sent to bed sinc her responce was usually 'I'll just sort out breakfast' etc.
She didn't like going when there was work to do.

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