A lot of people play a game with its author.
Less often, they play the game over Skype.
But how often does one author run the game on Skype for a group of people on the other side of the ocean which he’s never met?
And not once: twice.
For two weeks, Robert Bohl answered the questions and followed the discussions over Skype of two playing groups out of us at Janus Design. His game, Misspent Youth, features a group of young rebels facing the stomping boot of the Authority, role that Rob took up for two separate evenings.
I played the second group, and let me tell ya: in this game, when everyone feels things are “disgusting… but in a good way!”, you’re having a blast.
In one scene Rob portrayed a weasely, patronizing priest, who forced our girls’ hands into taking part of the hideous show-business based system we had designed together by tricking us into poisoning him.
He then went on to choose as his own objective in a conflict something that he knew we wanted — thus pushing us to choose other routes and trying desperately to avoid doing what the Authority wanted, filling us with righteous rage at this betrayal: this is, hands down, the core of what the Authority does in the game, delivered smoothly and swiftly.
Playing the game at its fullest, having everybody at the table buy into its concept, supporting each other’s vision while opposing the characters in the nastiest way possible — that’s what Rob Bohl did, over Skype and 6 timezones.
So that’s why I want to shout out Hell Yeah, Rob Bohl!