So we had the Attribute Auction last night.
I thought the sample Pirate Auction was pretty cool and gave people a feel for how the mechanics would work. I am a big proponent of sample auctions, especially for first time players, as many people learn by doing. Plus, it was a fun way to laugh and joke around the table before we got really and truly started with the SERIOUS BUSINESS that is the Attribute Auction.
I was a little frustrated it took so long to explain all of the powers and everything that WASN’T an attribute. I felt that since Jon and I had put a lot of effort to add all of that stuff to the wiki, people should have taken the five minutes it takes to review that stuff and get an idea on how much it costs. Of course, I guess I should be used to people not looking at the wiki, since that is the status quo. But, I can’t really complain since we had a few new players and they wanted to make good decisions. I guess it’s not truly fair that I know how much stuff costs and they don’t, even if it was readily available.
As far as the auction itself went, I still don’t know how I feel about private auctions. I understand the point is to simulate that we likely don’t all know each other and therefore we keep our attributes truly secret. But, the whole point of the auction is to simulate the centuries of jockying for position and competing against one another. Plus, I vastly prefer starting games out where everyone knows each other and comes up TOGETHER with a collective background. The auction aids that immensely. But, we’re doing blind, so that’s that.
I was very surprised that Psyche only went for 36. I got the feeling that one person was gunning specifically for that but wanted to make sure to spend as little as possible on the points. Given Drew’s frequent remarks about hanging spells off of the Logrus and asking about Sorcery (when he’s never even played before…) gives me reason to believe he is going for it. That and his propensity to blow things up in games for no apparent reason. I hope his character gets on Fiona’s bad side. However, whoever has the top two scores in Psyche shouldn’t get too cocky. It will be very easy to buy up to 1.5 or 2.5 in Psyche, even with starting from Amber level Psyche.
Strength went for a measely 43. Again, not much increase there. I think the same thing happened with one person gunning for it but wanting to spend as little as possible. Perhaps this was an NPC, but I don’t know. I’m not sure I like the idea of NPCs getting rank 1 in anything, but we’ll see how it goes.
Endurance was more like it. Someone wanted Endurance and wanted everyone to know it and backoff. He didn’t just want rank 1, he wanted to be head and shoulders above EVERYBODY. I was glad to see Endurance go for that high. I feel a lot of people neglect it to their own detriment, thinking it better to go with more flashy attributes, like Psyche or Warfare.
I was not surprised at all that Warfare went for the most expensive. I feel it happens ALL THE TIME. I don’t know if it is lack of imagination or what, but that’s what happened. I do like that it seemed to be two people competing at a high level, so first place shouldn’t get too cocky.
I’m not sure how I felt about the ability to bid less than the current max value. I think it removes the spirit of things, and benefits those who bide their time. Sure, being 2.5 versus 2 is a bit of a drawback, but when you can just buy a high psyche when you see it is going for very little without going overboard I feel the auction loses something. Just my personal preference for a live auction as opposed to blind. Also, we don’t have any idea what the rankings are. How are we supposed to spend endless time comparing each other’s abilities? We have to be a bunch of old yentas!
I still think good and bad stuff should have a limit of ten rather than twenty five. Bad stuff is supposed to be BAD. Even one point of bad stuff is bad! But specifically mentioning that three to ten bad stuff won’t be that big of a deal…I disagree with that statement. It just encourages people to get more points for no apparent cost. I hope good and bad stuff play a significant difference in the game in how people are treated.
I also disagree with some of the options listed as contributions. EVERYONE should do wiki maintenance. EVERYONE should do a player journal, and tell the GM what they thought of the game. Things like the Adventure Log, Quote Log, Character Journals, Trumps, those I understand. But I really don’t think I deserve ten points just for telling the GM what I liked and didn’t like about the game. A ten minute bitch and praise session? Easy enough.
Speaking of contributions, since I am, I feel it should have been stated AT the auction that the GM was taking contributions starting right then. I had thought it was made readily apaprent that I was doing Trumps for everyone, considering I already sent an email out a week ago about it, and gathered several images for the Trumps. I know this may seem like a bunch of whining, complaining, and bitching, and it is. But the whole point of this journal is to say what I liked and didn’t like, and this is one thing I didn’t like. At any rate, I hope that Trump creation is done better than just “here’s a random image I found online.” I think either desiging some sort of frame or backing for the Trumps (you KNOW the backing is important) and maybe even creating physical Trumps should be done. It is fairly trivial to print off a picture and glue it to an existing playing card, or to print it on card stock and maybe laminate it. Anyway, I hope that the Trump creation is done right.
So those are my thoughts. I know it sounds like a lot of bitching, but not really all that much happened last night. I am REALLY looking forward to this game, and I hope it can be the catalyst to increasing the caliber of role playing in the group. Call me a snob if you like, but that’s what I enjoy.
Oh, and the bacon cookies were surprisingly delicious.
And thanks to everyone for dinner.