The players at last Saturday’s Mini-Campaign Indiemeet were everything I could have wished for: engaged, enthusiastic and clear about what worked and what didn’t.
Sridat helped me with some of my wonky pseudoscience and agreed with James that the conflicting agendas among the characters (PvP) were insufficiently supported by the way I’d hacked the system. James preferred the survival horror set-up to the quantum flim-flam climax. Tom said he said felt adrift at the end because characters had to spend attributes to act: yes, I’ll change that. And Christel made the point that the first half of the story felt like the book and the second half like Tarkovsky’s film adaptation, becoming “a bit too metaphysical”. Spot on.
We’re hoping to get together for a sequel using new characters.
The consensus on Stalker seems to be that the setting is great but the system difficult to apply. I like the system: I think it’s a case of using its toolkit to develop the playstyle you want. This is easier to say than to achieve, as I’m no kind of game designer. The game has me in its grip, however:-
“To be in the Zone is to be part of the Zone.”