Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, RPA Agent

There's only so many times one can listen to Queen's "I Want It All" or Iggy & The Stooges "Search & Destroy" while using the treadmilling machine down at the local gym ("Gime? What's a gime?"). Frequently, I like to listen to something nonmusical when I'm trying to work off that egg roll I had with the Kung Pao chicken I had for lunch. Sometimes I'll listen to Fox News or NBC or ABCBS, the three televisual options provided by the Young Men's Christian Association. Sometimes, I'll find me a bit of OTR ... Jungle Jim, Flash Gordon, or Terry & The Pirates. Lately, however, I've been on a podcast kick. My current favorite: The Sons of Kryos.

Last night, I listened to them run Cold City. I was first exposed to Cold City when I read Doug Pirko's excellent write-up of his own session. Listening to Jeff Lower and Judd Karima's adventure made me really get the hankering to run my own. For those unfamiliar with Cold City is a game set in postwar Berlin. The players take on the role of agents of the Reserve Police Agency, a multinational organization tasked with sweeping up the supernatural mess left behind after the fall of the Third Reich. Each hailing from a different nation, they must achieve the party goals as well as striving to fulfill their national and personal goals as well. Picture The Spy Who Came in From The Cold as written by Mike Mignola.

For a taste, check out the three parts of the Sons of Kryos Cold City session:
  • Download Part 1
  • Download Part 2
  • Download Part 3

    Last night, I found Mwaantaangaand, a game that admittedly draws heavily on Cold City, but, in the words of game master Jonathan Walton, "runs on a largely 'structured freeform' system that has a bit of strategy and resource manipulation involved in the way corrupted spirits are fought."

    Instead of playing multinational Cold-Warring strang-bedfellows, Mwaantaangaand PCs are a "coalition of soldiers from the various factions of the Angolan Civil War descending into the land of the dead to destroy the horrors created by Project Coast, South Africa’s biological weapons program." Walton's bent even won the praise of Malcolm Craig (Cold City's designer) himself.
    It's certainly an interesting and worthwhile take on things. I've yet to fully finish re-reading it and fully digesting the entire thing, but so far I really like what i see.


    It was designed as part of The Sight and Sound Game Design Challenge
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