Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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Golden Sky Stories

Fake-Book-FlatI ran Golden Sky Stories last week at my Wednesday game, with a couple of guest players (my niece and the daughter of another player, both aged 13). I pre-made characters because our Wednesday game only has a couple of hours.

The game went well, though even my most conflict-averse player said it was "too saccharine" even for him. By the end of the session, one of the kids wanted to attack things. We stopped after 3 scenes due to time.

Most of the players were kind of on board with "let’s help the fox by fixing up her shrine." But the between-scene mechanics were a little clunky– players didn’t know how to use their Dreams, and there was definite min-maxing of "okay, the bunny can form connections for fewer Dreams… and that gives more points in Wonder… so I need to increase a connection with the bunny!"

It makes me wonder if it’s even possible to get players to play a purely narrative game without min-maxing. Or if it’s a player problem/style (I wouldn’t call this a problem in the sense of being obstructive… it’s just frustrating when players don’t look beyond "can I get a higher bonus and how?")

I wasn’t entirely clear how the Content of the connections is supposed to be used. If I were going to run this again, I would limit the group to 4 players, and read more about the Content and connections.

Overall, though, I had a good time as a GM, the players generally seemed to enjoy themselves… and I am sure they will all like to get back to murderhobo’ing as soon as possible.

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2 thoughts on “Golden Sky Stories”

  1. Hey thanks for the write up. I stumbled upon this game through a TVTropes binge (so dangerous) and was charmed by the example adventure on the website.

    I had some of the same concerns about the game being a bit too conflict-averse for my players and wondered if early teens would be more willing to play in this way.

    What would you say are good games for conflict averse players? Right now, my players prefer Legend of the Five Rings (focus on diplomacy and short fights) or the new Star Wars (shared narrative control)

  2. Well, Golden Sky Stories is pretty good, but it’s maybe a little too “light.” Whispering Road is also good for conflict-avoidance (it mimics a Miyazaki film). I’d say LoFR and SW are conflict-heavy, but violence-light.

    Modified Fate games can be very conflict-light, especially if you change things to include stuff like a reputation stress track, for example, if you want to run a more political game.

    In truth, I think the variables of conflict and violence are complex. It’s better to have a GM who likes to run both styles and can blend them well. A good GM can make a 4th edition campaign political (I should know– the #movingforward campaign started out as a 4th edition game, but we’ve gone for months at a time without a single fight.

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