[PbtA] Actual Play : Rapscallions - The Accursed Gold of Villacres

A little actual play of the ashcan edition of Magpie games Rapscallion - a crazy pirate centric adventure with weird supernatural elements and a pretty tongue in cheek attitude along with a massive splash of daring do!


I had a group of 5 players - a captain who got his ship by sacrificing his old crew while killing a huge titan shelled sea snail that he now sails, A cyclops matelot with a massive squid phobia, a Chronicler, a Montebank worshipping the demon Pazuzu and a Navigator skeleton with an obsession with impersonating the grim reaper.

As you can see the playbooks and the atmosphere of these games really inspired my players and they came up with some killer ideas that were sparking at the table. As we were doing a short one shot, we skipped drawing a map but im sure if we had I would have some equally impressive ideas hitting the table. Something about the setting how well the playbooks are presented really made the game shine.

The first scene started with a crazy monolog with a guy with a treasure map tattooed his back in the middle of a dive bar - leading to a huge fight to get their hands on the geezer while other pirates fought them, a chase thru the port of Turtle-tuga and a visit to the illicit underground domino parlours of the damned.

Again the system sang in these intense action and social scenes. I did at other points find myself missing a generalised “Roll this to overcome physical danger” move - when it wasnt someone directly fighting - I think the basic moves could do with something like Defy Danger in dungeon world.

After finishing the game after two sessions, all the scenes were great to run, and as I find with dungeon world, the setting just keeps on giving in terms what is obvious and cool to happen next. Plus I am very impressed by the quality of the playbooks and the moves they have for inspiring players as to what to do next.

We tested out pretty much every move in the book, including a successful and failed last breath roll - all really felt well thought out and effective. Break In and Out was a particularly well used in a variety of situations.

The ability to give characters weaknesses as a result of failed rolls added a nice dimension to the GMing, and I used it quite often, tho remember just what everyone had as quite a chore at times.

I did think ship combat could have more to it, but I muddled thru it with a mix of the only 2 ship moves available and ordinary character moves which was very entertaining.

Overall a great ashcan edition, a highly recommended game and one I am determined to run a campaign of at some point.
Sold! I'm highly to pick this up when the final version is available. I'm even tempted by the ashcan, though ashcan versions can ruin the final product for me.
The ashcan was very impressive and I did not feel it missed much, well worth the small investment for a game you will definitely want to try