What is the best game session you have had since August 2015?

There’s a lot of Gaming Story questions this year. The best session is a toss up between the end of my friend Kate‘s three part Apocalypse World mini campaign and a session of Rob’s longer Apocalypse World campaign that involved the remains of Omni Complex. Gaming stories can be on the dull side if you weren’t there, so I’ll keep my explanations to the point.

With Kate’s game, I would argue that the strongest session of the campaign was actually the second session. We played that session in July and it misses the question cutoff by a few weeks. The pacing of this campaign felt like an intense, short TV series. Both the second session and final session aggressively challenged the player characters, with the second session focused more on external threats while the final session explored the internal baggage all of the character were carrying. It ended with the player characters facing off with the psychic maelstrom itself and that conflict felt just as hopeless as you’d imagine. The ending was solid, wrapping up everyone’s personal stories in a way that felt satisfying. The game was by far the most cinematic game I’ve ever played in.

The session of Rob’s game was delightful in how it used the mechanics of Apocalypse World to put storytelling first. The plot of the session was simple: two player characters and their crew went to raid the remains of a major TV news network. The execution of it was fabulous and showed how the GM’s tools can be used to present a story that’s terrible for the player characters but also doesn’t feel like it’s taking all of the power away from the players. I could see how all of the Hard Moves fit into place, but that was only because I have GMed the system and could translate the changes in the story back into mechanics. If I hadn’t GMed the game before, it would have looked like Rob was presenting the complications that the story demanded.

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