The Trail begins

So, first session proper last night and the team of 6 investigators are plunged into New York in the roaring twenties. Its January, its driving snow all over Manhattan. Time for opening scenes…

Every game tends to kick off with a Blind Date session of “what’s your name and where do you come from?”. The guys came up with some crackers, Ali is taking breakfast with Dorothy Parker, Marky is putting the final edition of the Times to bed and Steps is polishing off smoked salmon in her penthouse at the Waldorf Astoria.

At this point you realise that new players means new perspectives. There’s no sense of party cohesion, its more like each player is in their own story. Fair enough at the moment, it will be interesting to see what relationships develop over the coming months.

I’m not going to do a blow by blow, but some scenes of interest. Nasty brawl with some cultists on the 4th floor of the Chelsea hotel. Soon escalates to gunplay and players frantically rearranging their points so they can contribute to the scuffle. The rules are really light and to be honest they work fine. You roll 1d6 and aim high. Your abilities are pools you draw from to bump up your roll. Sometimes you announce the target, sometimes you don’t. The players need to trust the Keeper to not arbitrarily screw them over, but there were no complaints. Even when Tracy was being hung out the window 4 floors up, she still managed to fight off her attacker with a hatpin thanks to her Preparedness ability. The game still uses hit points which is a bit old school but they get the job done.

One of the best things about Masks is the number and variety of handouts and the team grabbed about a dozen clues before fleeing the scene. This is always the tricky part of investigations, where do you start? What do you do? Where’s the plot? This is where being an old hand came in handy as the newbies were floundering a bit. After a while they divvied up research missions and I jotted down some notes. I’m going to give each player their info by e-mail so when we all get back together they all have something to share. The team are still a bit timid with each other and no-one wants to step up and lead because they are too polite! That will change.

Overall I thought it went really well. A bit of danger, some mystery and my home made pizza. What’s not to like?

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