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Vaesen RPG - A Player's Review

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20 Sep 2021 12:00 #326656 by thegiantbrain
Here I was though, in this odd place. A castle...

Upsala was a strange town. Tucked away in a god forsaken corner of Sweden, I would never have visited if it wasn’t for the summons. I had heard talk of The Society but given it no heed for more than a decade, just whispered talk amongst those of us who can see the supernatural, the Vaesen. Thursday’s Children they call us.

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20 Sep 2021 19:23 #326657 by dysjunct
I’m currently running Vaesen with my old CoC group. Investigative games are an odd duck, and you’re right that they can feel very unsatisfying if done wrong — if you ran a dungeon game where each room had one exit, until you reach the dragon, most players would find that remarkably stupid. Yet the same structure is often assumed in investigative games — each scene has clues that lead to the next scene, and players can either find the clue, or waste time until the GM takes pity on them and gives them the clue.

Vaesen is really helped by each scenario having an escalating series of events that happen if the PCs waste time (or sometimes they just happen regardless). This ensures that there’s constantly new information being given to the table, and the world marches on even if the PCs are faffing about.

The setting is really good; after decades of cosmic horror games I find it charming that sometimes the supernatural is just mad at you for not leaving it a bowl of milk by the door or something. The scenarios, so far, seem to put most of the real evil on humans — as it should be IMO. Blaming the supernatural for our misery is one of the oldest cop outs.
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22 Sep 2021 06:11 #326695 by thegiantbrain
Yeah I really like the dichotomy presented by the game. You are "against" the Vaesen but most mysteries revolve around the harm that humans have done to the world.

I am sure the advice for the GM is great, I just find with investigative games there is little 'mechanically' to help move things along. I have no real objection to a spot of rail roading but it then comes down to that 'good GM' thing that folk fall back on when CoC and other investigation games are criticised. I find it a really interesting problem to think about.
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22 Sep 2021 16:42 #326709 by Shellhead
Vaesen sounds really interesting. I will get around to looking into it at some point, but I am starting to do prep work for a Call of Cthulhu campaign since I now have three brand new players asking for it.

There is nothing inherently wrong with the Call of Cthulhu system, and the sanity mechanics are what really set the game apart from its peers. I've run a lot of Call of Cthulhu over the years, so I feel that I can safely say that the game succeeds or fails based on the quality of the scenarios. The best scenarios offer mysteries that have redundant clues plus stories that will unfold if the players fail to solve the mystery first. The worst scenarios require tightly scripted railroading of the players through a fixed storyline.
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