Actual Play - [Hell for Leather] Half an Hour to Kidnap George Lucas

Posted by: Malcolm Craig On: Aug 31st 2010 edited

After the playtest of Sunshine at the Glasgow Indie Games group, we got to play a game that actually works. Hurrah! Now, we did break one of the cardinal rules of the game by placing the target on the floor (horror!) but, in our defense, table space was limited and we were in an alcove seemingly designed for the Glasgow Jawa Impersonators Society.

We use the basic frame (near future, hyperviolent gameshow) to get us started real quick. One thing that shone here was how fast we came up with a situation and characters. No more than ten minutes and we were ready to go. Here's the frame stuff:

Gore Threshold: 4
Drop Off: Monument Valley, Arizona
Destination: San Diego ComicCon

1: Kidnap George Lucas
2: Blow up the Hoover Dam
3: Break into ComicCon


The characters were all disgruntled ex-employees of LucasArts. They were:

Brad Ludendorff, obsessive bike courier with a gripe against Ron Jones.

Jonny Tampa, a cowardly delivery driver with a gripe against Robert Roberts.

Robert Roberts, a cowardly voice actor with a gripe against Tim Schaffer.

Tim Schaffer, a negligent writer with a gripe against Ron Jones.

Ron Jones, the embittered, obsessive original creator of Star Wars with a gripe against Brad Ludendorff.

Let's just put it the way: the entire thing was basically a massive riff on Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Dropped off in Monument Valley, the characters found themselves faced by a Sand Person that Lucas used to guard his ranch. Things did not go well.

The highest we got the tower to was eight, but it was collapso-rama on a couple of occasions. yes, I know that having it on the floor and kneeling to toss your dice off is less than ideal, but it was fun nonetheless. I've never seen a collapse where everyone playing hasn't uttered a groan or a cheer, depending on who they're supporting.

Because we were only playing for about forty five minutes, it was pretty much constant run scenes. Ludendorff got himself badly trauma'ed by George Lucas (Indiana Jone scimitar versus a bike pump) because of a bad collapse. But, it was thematically appropriate at least.

After some travails, we got nine victory points together and kidnapped Lucas (after destroying his cocktail cabinet with a flying midget). By this point, it was getting late, people were tired, and the bar was going to close. There was, however, a lot of enthusiasm for HfL, particularly for the tower and for the freedom that framing allows. Earlier in the evening, the flashy deluxe target attracted quite a bit of attention. At least a couple of people were very keen to buy the game after seeing what it had to offer. Actual play sells games! Who knew?

Anyway, our brief foray into networkland and the Lucas Ranch was good, quick, midget killing fun.


Posted by: Gregor Hutton On: Sep 1st 2010

It was a lot of fun and the chip economy helped encourage the banter going around the table (floor?). Mark Hamill's guest appearance as the Tusken Raider, holed out in a cave above Lucas' ranch became a much-beloved addition, that was brought back in again to much delight.

Another nice addition was the addition of a THX reference, suitably rewarded by a chip! It's nice when that sort of stuff flies around the table.

Also, the contraints of violence mean this is not always a game with gratuitous violence. Oh, no! Only when the dice tower is high enough. Hence Hammill only got a bit of a beating early on, while later in the game Lucas was kicked so hard between his XXXXXX and XXXXXX that he literally XXXXXXX his XXXXXXX all over Mark Hamill's face. Priceless. Uh, yeah. it's hard to write up the gory/fluid detail on a forum about this game once it gets going.

I really liked Alex's Ron Jones, who had penned the classic Star Wars but got zilch of the credit. Not over the top, just really hit a spot for me.

We got there with the bowling in the end!

Oh, Q from the play. When you roll more than 1 dice you leave the first one rolled on the target wherever it falls, right? That way you can get a knock-in (or whatever) that's highlighted in a picture.

Posted by: Malcolm Craig On: Sep 1st 2010

Gregor Hutton:
Oh, Q from the play. When you roll more than 1 dice you leave the first one rolled on the target wherever it falls, right? That way you can get a knock-in (or whatever) that's highlighted in a picture.

My reading of the rules indicates that when, for example, your Power is at two and your first die misses, you can leave that die there. What I'm curious about is what you do with the dice when you roll, fail, decide to take some risk and get to roll again. Does that original die stay there, or is it removed because this is a new, totally different test?

Sebastian: bestow your wisdom upon us!


Posted by: Pooka On: Sep 1st 2010

When I played the older version of HfL with Sebastian at Conpulsion you remove the previously rolled die when you Risk. I don't think that changed in later editions, but can't say with absolute certainty.

Posted by: Sebastian Hickey On: Sep 2nd 2010 edited

But I can!

When you Risk you re-roll that last die thrown. That means physically picking it up and re-rolling that die.

Now, onto the playtest report. That sounds really, really fun. I bet it would have made for comic gold. I wish there was an audio AP.

My advice for next time, if you are running out of time: just do one checkpoint and skip straight to the end game. The deathmatch/finale rules are my favourite bit, so I always push people to try them out.


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