Which games have felt the most distant from the action during play for you?
Old Deadlands had combat mechanics that sometimes required seven rolls with different types of die and numbers just for one action. I had to abandon that game, and that was under the period where I was really resistant to heavy systems.
Fiasco have a random generated ending, and I never felt that the randomized ending seldom mirrored what actually happened during the session. In some sessions, quite the opposite actually.
Dogs in the Vineyard. The die mechanics is too slow and calculating and breaks up the dialogue too much. That said, the mechanics of making all dogs (type of inquisitor) be like assholes is brilliant, but that’s more a case of emergent complexity (when all components forms one result) rather than what happens in the moment - in the system - enforces the how the game feels.
Which games have elicited the strongest emotional responses from you?
Psychodrame is using Dogs mechanics, but in a better way. The cards (instead of dice) are hidden, which makes the dialogue flow better, because the opponent can’t peak and the dice and do tactical calculations. Another thing is that you don’t use things that defines you, but feelings - which are easier to play out. I highly recommend to try this game.
Don’t Rest Your Head actually frightened me; I mean, them mechanics themselves did that! It’s using a form of loss aversion, and I wished more games did that. Dread is using it, in a way. Depends on how much you want to bend the definition, because the Jenga tower is more about the tension of drawing than the tension of making a choice, as in DRYH.
Montsegur 1244 is a game I haven’t played through, but I heard that people sink immensely into the role and thinks that death is a better way than abandon their religion … and this from secular Scandinavians. It’s a game without resolution mechanics, and I could tell that they followed the structure of how to achieve flow/immersion - based on Nordic LARP theory. The game pumped information to the players that they had to interpret based on their characters. By doing that, you’ll get immerse into the game.
Svart av kval, vit av lust (Black of Despair, White of Lust) is a Swedish game that is what Vampire should have been. The mechanics consists of letting your beast go to solve problems, and to sometimes obey the beast’s inner desires (suggested from other participants). The mechanics creates a “If I do what I want, I will tread a path of blood” feel, and I even had one guy screaming “Fuck you” (both upset and amused) to the rest of the participants for the choice he had to make.