Review: First Time Running "The Unexplained"
I just got done running a session of "The Unexplained", Brad Younie's
nearly released game. My players were a group of 5 youth ages 10-17.
It was a great success! I used the starter adventure at the back of
the book (I have a pdf copy I got at Carnage, but it's also
downloadable from Carnivore Games).
The starter adventure came off beautifully. The system was easily explained, and we were able to make playable characters in an hour. (I've seen Dr. Nik get people to make playable characters in 15 minutes, but I don't that level of skill yet). The players took to the difficulty level ladder with no difficulty, and we never got bogged
down in rules law. The adventure itself is very well written, and the book gives excellent advice on how to run an session. Not surprisingly, considering his earlier Now Playing gaming system, Brad suggests TV episode style pacing. This works quite well, and several times I adjusted the speed of the action to match where we were in our episode. The Unexplained gives good pointers on building suspense and they work!
As an RPG rulebook, I think that the Unexplained may be the most readable I've ever read. If you don't know, in the game the players portray paranormal investigators. It has the perfect balance between the facts you need to know to portray an paranormal investigator and the game play. As always, the Fudge system encourages roleplaying, and each person was very successful at being their characters. But the
Unexplained gave it a real flavor and the story was beautifully constructed, with no real fluff.
After the game, everyone sat around and talked about game seed ideas that could be made into adventures. Perhaps the biggest evidence of success is when it's near midnight and the players don't want to leave the game table.
I'll be running this again. Thanks Brad!