Monday, 22 September 2014

Hell 4 Leather, part 3

A Role-Playing Game of Bloody Revenge on Devil's Night

Catching The Late Train

In this episode, we play through a game of Hell 4 Leather, a Tarot-based game of vengeful murderous undead bikers. There are no spoilers here, so listen away as you please.

As always, be aware that the podcast is not really family-friendly, if that sort of thing bothers you. This particular game (specifically, episodes 3 and 4) briefly includes actual on-screen sex, for which blame the source material.

Episode 3

The Episode

I really like Arthur's character, which makes it something of a shame when he bites the bullet this episode. This is probably not unrelated to Paul being the most well-developed of the characters. In fairness, Arthur is familiar with the genre and also owns the game, so it's not entirely surprising that he came up with a good character - thinking of characters is what you tend to do when looking over a game with a view to playing it.

The gunfight is one of those scenes which would probably play out well in the straight-to-video film, which is basically the point. I do like the idea of Walker turning into this unkillable figure out of legend, but that's the wrong genre I suspect - either supernatural action or Warner Brothers, whichever you prefer. The gratuitous sex is gratuitous, but it is apparently a direct homage to Drive Angry and so I don't think you could complain about not staying true to the source material.

As discussed last episode, having decided that "is physically injured" is an acceptable reading of the "you are changed by your near miss with death" events, two of the near-misses this episode feature us doing this (a third, as far as I can remember, features very little happening, although I suspect Arthur had some ideas that weren't explicitly voiced). One of these would have been a good opportunity for some genuine character development, so it's shame it was missed out.

In my case the issue became moot fairly quickly, but I really regret not having thought about this beforehand after first hearing about the rule, and come up with some way for my character to be affected. The most obvious would be for his swaggering confidence (as poorly-depicted in actual play) to be shattered by having actually failed at something, which could easily switch round into desperation or fear at having run into something he couldn't bully nor beat up. He could also have moved into an angrier, frustrated mode, since I'd already established (OOC, admittedly) that he was resentful of being held back by Nick Crow, and just when he thought he had free reign, here the bastard is back from the f*cking dead to get in his way again - won't the guy ever give up? Can't he ever just be left to run his own affairs?

Copyright and suchlike

Hell 4 Leather is copyright and/or trademark Price of Darkness Games. The podcast theme music is Vltava from Smetana's Má Vlast as taken from Wikimedia Commons under the CC0 licence. The episode intro is Hell Bent for Leather by Judas Priest. The outro is Bat out of Hell by Meat Loaf.

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