The Angry GM Plays Reflections at GenCon

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Hey guys! I have a special treat for you! Remember how I mentioned that I was doing a secret thing at GenCon with Jim McClure, host of the Talking Tabletop podcast? Jim McClure who has his first game ever on Kickstarter right now? Reflections: A Game About Figuring Out Why Two Samurai Are About to Murder the Motherloving F$&% Out of Each Other? A kickstarter that is in its last 48 hours RIGHT NOW (at time of posting… ish)?

Well, he made me play the damned thing. And we recorded the whole session. And you can listen to it. Right now. Below. Or download it for later listenage. Below.

Here’s the deal. Jim is a friend. Yes, I have friends. And Jim and I have become buddies ever since I was on his podcast. And I agreed to try the game and record it, but the agreement was that I wasn’t going to post the thing if I didn’t like the game. Because that’s how I roll. That’s why I don’t talk up Kickstarters often. Because until I play the damned game, I can’t speak for the quality. It’s an integrity thing. So, yeah, I’m using my website to support a friend, but only because I actually got to play the thing. And I believe in it.

I’m not going to review it or anything. This little introductory spiel is just to tell you what you’re about to listen to and warn you that Jim is a personal friend in case that flavors your view of my opinion. The game speaks for itself. Just listen to the session. And understand that I went in with no knowledge of the game and no prep. I was also freewheeling a bit because I have no knowledge of samurai story tropes. He didn’t give me much warmup. He handed me the sheet and started recording. And the session has been very lightly edited. Nothing of substance was cut out. It really does play in an hour. And the opinion I voice at the end is an honest, genuine opinion based on that session and nothing else.

Oh, one last thing: in case it isn’t clear, the “character sheet” provides some prompts for the scenes. There are mechanics. It isn’t entirely freeform. It just sounds that way. The game is extremely well structured to provide exactly the experience it promises. Anyway, enough from me. Here’s the session. Enjoy.

Download The Angry GM Plays Reflections for Later Listenage

10 thoughts on “The Angry GM Plays Reflections at GenCon

  1. Backed!
    Thanks for alerting us to this awesome kickstarter.
    I like to pepper my other RPGs with mini games and epic backstories. Reflections the game by itself is cool, and the ability to use this to help generate backstories on soft games nights will take my other RPGs to a whole other level.

  2. Can you explain the relationship between Reflections and A Single Moment a little, by any chance? I’m deeply confused by the “It’s inspired by A Single Moment, and we have the designer of that game on board as a Co-designer” thing.

    • So, Third Act Publishing was originally planning to make “A Single Moment Second Edition”, but in the process of development they decided to change the mechanics to better suit a different style of play. I haven’t read A Single Moment so I couldn’t tell you exactly what is different, but if you back the kickstarter, I know that Tobie Abad is offering a free copy of ASM to every backer. Hope that clarifies things a little for you.

    • After listening to actual plays of both games, the main difference boils down to A Single Moment having a more complex dice system with an emphasis on strategy while Reflections has a more streamlined and simpler dice system with an emphasis on dramatic role-playing

      If you want more detail–here’s what I remember off the top of my head:

      In ASM, actions in the scene are turn-based and players split 7 dice over the course of the scene based on who got the advantage during that turn. They roll at the end of the scene to earn edge and hatred for the final duel. The final duel also takes place over multiple turns, where the players use a betting system to reduce each other’s dice pools until one player runs out of edge and loses. There’s definitely a lot more of a “game” to the dice system in ASM.

      Meanwhile, in Reflections, the only time dice is rolled is at the end of the game, and it all ends in a single strike. The “pick-an-objective” approach replaces the turn-based attacker/defender system and is great at driving conflict and providing motivation.

  3. I had already backed it after you first recommended it, but this playthrough made me even more excited!

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