A Dirty World: The Weight of Her Shadow – Part 2

Having unearthed far more than they wished, the grandchildren of the fallen Shelby Matriarch take matters into their own hands to determine the accepted disposition of her assets . . . and the truth. Will they follow the letter of the law? Will they mete out their own justice? Or will they act for their own benefit in this confusing matter?

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  1. I’ve got mixed feelings about this game. It was an interesting detective story, but it felt more like a CoC/DG game than some of the past DW games on RPPR (as some players mentioned in game). Part of it is the lack of abject cruelty and noir on the part of the living characters (oma and her shady dealing not withstanding), which sets a less oppressive and bleak tone than my favorite DW games like a wages of sin, or dangers of fraternization. That might be intentional, but it was kind of a letdown when I was expecting a lot more backstabbing. DW doesn’t need to be bleak, but who didn’t love the ending of a very thorough murder? (okay,the comments show a mixed reception, I guess noir isn’t for everyone)

    The PC secrets also didn’t seem to get pulled into the plot which might be a good place for the hooks the gang discussed during the game autopsy.

    I think the open endedness of the plot threads is cool from a design standpoint, but as a player, it might feel frustrating and overwhelming trying to figure out which thread to pull, especially if you don’t know that they are all valid threads and not a bunch of red herrings. I feel like the ending also leaves the PCs feeling unsatisfied because you’ll never really get to know all the secrets and plot threads unless you pull on all of them and flesh them out in game.
    Like, I really wanted Oma to be skulking around in the shadows, maybe trying to find out who betrayed her or something, when the farm guy got all paranoid about if she actually died or not.
    And the red cape and red sands, there may just be too much content in the game to feel like you unlocked all the achievements.

    Still, a fun listen and promising setup for a mini campaign.

  2. An alternative approach (that PCs mentioned) would be to have the GKs (grand kids) actually have fond memories of a doting Oma, and have flashback for each kid that pulls them in a specific plot thread direction. Open with each PC sharing a fond memory of Oma and the investigation being driven by a need to understand why everyone at the funeral and even their parents and the community seems to fear or dislike Oma. keep the backhanded eulogy by the oldest GK and use it to raise questions in the PCs.

    Keep the open ended design, but partially railroad the PCs at the start so the different flashbacks trigger on the discovery of a specific item in the house for each PC. It would make it less random, but if the flashbacks were predetermined, they could tie into the PC secrets, making them less likely to share it with the group. (e.g. a PC who sells drugs to make spare cash finds the ledgers that lead to a kilo of crack in the closet and remembers the suits at the wedding also at the restaurant and the discussion about gardening) it would leave the majority of the plot intact, but give each PC a reason to dive into a specific plot thread if they choose. (they could also just pocket the crack and join the others and pretend nothing happened)

  3. I really like how the legend of Oma just grows to accommodate any PC looking. I think it’s a really good way to do a game where the PCs are secretly in charge of the plot.

    I think this is more of a mystery than noir story as presented. And while it’d be great as noir I was glad the PCs were able to dig together and as deep as possible. I think it’s a pretty legit choice.

  4. it took me a while to get into this one, mostly because this wasn’t much of ADW. I think this sort of game would be more fitting in a diceless ‘thumbs up, thumbs down’ game where the group votes on if a character is successful or not.

    Shaun really loves in depth social structure, but there’s a certain need for mechanics in ADW that are really needed, that aren’t being used. The stories told are interesting, and I rather liked Cottonwood, but with how these stories go, there’s just no need for much of a game engine behind it unless combat breaks out

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