I’ve been running Night’s Black Agents, a Gumshoe game, for nearly a year now, and other Gumshoe games (Fear Itself, TimeWatch, Trail of Cthulhu) for longer. I’ve become familiar with the system, how it works and how to make stuff up on the fly. It’s now my ‘go to’ system.
It used to be World of Darkness, though. I learnt to GM by running Vampire: the Masquerade. The first game I ran to an actual conclusion was a Hunter: the Reckoning/Mage: the Ascension mash up. I loved the games and the Storyteller/telling systems.
I still have a great fondness for them, and hold them in high regard.
So I’ve been thinking about what I would like to run once NBA finishes. I decided that I would like to run Mage: the Awakening. I’ve always had a soft spot for Mage, and would like to do something with the nWoD game.
I play almost exclusively over Google+ Hangouts these days, and we use Google spreadsheets as character sheets. This means that there’s a one off exercise of transcribing the character sheet to a Google Sheet format.
I did that this weekend, and realised that WoD games, and Mage: the Awakening in particular, are really complicated.
Keeping track of three different types of damage – Bashing, Lethal and Aggravated? Awakening also throws in Resistant damage as well, for four(!) types.
Tracking Willpower, Morality trait (Wisdom in Awakening), Mana, Gnosis, Paradox, spell tolerance and Virtues and Vices is a massive drain on the player and storyteller before you start adding temporary health, speed, initiative and defense bonuses.
I don’t think I can do it anymore. It just seems like so much effort.
Which is a shame – the settings and a lot of the game conceits are excellent.