The Face of Angels

2008 Feb 21

Story Games Boston played Clinton’s The Face of Angels last night. It was fucking boss. Definitely what Rising Stars promised it would be and then failed to deliver: a small community of everyday people growing up with super-powers, slowly shifting from small-town problems to world-altering problems. And the system feels relatively unique and refreshing. Characters have no traits at all, hardly, and play is structured around “doing” stuff rather than “being” stuff, which is a design tactic that I’m a big fan of.

Face of Angels is now on the top of my list of “great games not available in print.” Everyone should go play it right now. The only confusing bits were some relatively minor issues of “who gets to narrate what when,” but I’m not sure if that was us being confused, the text being unclear, or Clinton doing that thing where he’s intentionally vague about less important stuff so that player groups can do whatever feels best. I’ll have to read the game myself later (Adam Flynn was running it) to get a better grasp of things.

4 Responses to “The Face of Angels”

  1. Adam Flynn Says:

    I started a thread at Story Games to discuss the game and I would appreciate any insight you care to contribute:

  2. Jonathan,

    I very much liked what I read in The Faces of Angels. I liked it so much in fact, for its simplicity and open form that I think I’ll not only use it in an upcoming game to bridge between ‘novels’ but I’m going to use it as an acting tool when I direct and teach my acting classes.

    Thanks for pointing this out and kudos to Clinton. While I have not always agreed on many things he’s said or done, this one was really dynamite.

  3. Jmstar Says:

    It took us about ten hours of play to finish a game – how much of it did you guys see?

  4. Adam: I’ll be right over. I chatted with Clinton a bit about it yesterday and will post what he said.

    Michael: Awesome. Yeah, I think Face of Angels has the chance to be one of those gap-bridging indie games that does some kooky weird shit but it really solid and accessible. Definitely my favorite thing Clinton has done so far.

    Jason: We played through the prologue, Act I, and part of Act II all in a single session, which was really overkill, but Adam really wanted to give it a run-through and see how it worked. I think it would probably be best to stick to 3 sessions: prologue + act 1, acts 2 + 3, and then a session just for the final act. How did you guys break it up?

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