I love spontaneous teamwork that builds off the choreography of the moment. One player is in motion, another participant builds off what has been established without ambiguity or abstraction. A recent game of Hero Wars had such a moment.
We are playing with the old module “The Legendary Duck Tower” written by Jennell Jaquays and Rudy Kraft.
- Adrean played Greer, a Dara Happan Hunter who follows Durbadath, The Lion.
- Syri is playing Gahz’lynn, a Herotling Duck Initiate of Humakt.
- Sally’s character is Toemi, a Troll Merchant who worships Argan Argar.
The band was being ambushed by Gargoyles after disturbing a large pile of skulls in an dilapidated courtyard. This began our first Extended Group Contest in Hero Wars.
I’ll break down the sequence of events in a direct manner, rather than attempting a prose description. This is in the middle of the fight, so round numbers are there for clarity.
Turn 1 – Gargoyle: A Gargoyle swoops down at Gahz’lynn, who responds by leaping in the air and meeting the attack with their own. The Gargoyle is more successful and Gahz’lynn is sent flying backwards in the air.
Turn 2 – Toemi: The player, Sally, asked if she could catch Gahz’lynn and throw her at the Gargoyle. Syri was pretty excited as her turn was next. In Hero Wars, a character may use their turn to Enhance an Ability on another character or themselves. Toemi used their ability Large to catch the Duck and throw her at the Gargoyle.
Turn 3 – Gahz’lynn: Is being thrown through the air, and attacks the Gargoyle, succeeding enough to knock it out of the Contest.
WOAH! This was such a great and cool moment – a spontaneous and unplanned “Fastball Special” (from the X-Men comic books)! I live for such moments in play, where the choreography of bodies in motion is perfectly captured by the chosen mechanisms. No need for clever descriptions, appeals to authority – just spontaneous, no BS, play.
How coincidental was this though? It’s easy to look at the turn sequence as happenstance, one turn followed by the other. However, Hero Wars has a great mechanic, where character’s can spend Action Points (a currency used during an Extended Contest) to jump ahead in the sequence. If Sally wasn’t going next, I would’ve had her spend Action Points to take her turn *right there*.
Hero Wars has been a wonderful game, and we’re hopefully going to continue playing it for the foreseeable future.
Have other people’s experience this kind of emergent teamwork within an Action Sequence? I’d love to hear about it!