Other Games [Troublemakers] From Russia With Gobstoppers

#1
I got a late-stage playtest of Troublemakers recently, which is my PbtA game of childhood adventures for those who don't know. The opportunity here was to test out a more streamlined game economy with fewer moving parts; the challenge was that I had to run a game for seven players.

So, with 8 of us sat at the dining table, we agreed on a 1950s England setting, in a Cornish village where some kids had been evacuated to during the war and I dished out playsheets. The guided choices the players then made created this character line-up:
The Daredevil and The Crush were sisters, with the latter never going anywhere without her toy rabbit Waggy.
The Knuckle lived with The Delinquent's family, which was a great trial to the latter's father, who was the local vicar.
The Ranger and The Mouth were cousins, and the latter owned The Dog (who actually was best friends with The Crush)

I asked a few leading questions and got a framework for the story: a haunted lighthouse rumoured to contain a great treasure that was the rightful property of a local beggar, but was unreachable due to wartime defences surrounding it. Now, suspicious people had been seen around the village, and one Sunday morning The Ranger, Mouth, Knuckle and Dog skipped church to spy on a man taking photographs on the beach: he had a black coat with a fur collar and a round, black furry hat. (Also, at various times in the narrative, he was seen eating caviar, drinking vodka, wearing a hammer & sickle badge and carrying a copy of Das Kapital)

While this spying was taking place, the Daredevil, Crush and Delinquent were making trouble in church, so they were glad to eventually join their friends on the beach and help them search for the Russian Spy stranger who had gotten away from them. Following a tunnel downwards, they were surprised by the local beggar, causing the Mouth to run away and slip into a storm outlet at a water pumping station; the rest of the kids followed after a brief stand-off with the beggar and together, they all got up to a machine shed that showed signs of tampering, with the newly installed parts labelled in Cyrillic letters.

Fiddling about with the machinery almost drowned the lot of them, but a protective worker showed up and ordered most of them out, with only the Ranger and Mouth hiding behind the shed; now separated from their friends, they wound down further until they arrived in a secret cove... with a Russian submarine surfacing! As they somehow crept on board, their friends engaged in a series of increasingly unlikely stunts, culminating with the Daredevil riding their bike off the cliff and landing perfectly on the deck of the submarine!

As they were variously caught by Russian sailors, they had time to launch some torpedoes and get taken to the infirmary after the Mouth persuaded their guards that this was all a test; this was when guesht shtar Sean Connery joined the action and clued them in that the Russians were here to steal a British superweapon hidden in the lighthouse! As he took care of the submarine, the kids pursued the Russian Spy via motorised dinghy and had a final encounter with him in the lighthouse, where he had targeted the Photonic Accelerator on the kids' own village! With some fast and plucky work by the Dog and the Daredevil, the Mouth was able to tease the spy outside and gave the kids time to point the weapon at the submarine instead! With a bright flash, and some perfect timing, the beam of light zapped the spy and the submarine out of existence! The story ended with all the kids getting medals and the Crush being presented with a real rabbit as a pet, to replace Waggy, who was lost at sea (and also blown up by torpedoes.)
 
#3
Really positive: the playbook moves are hitting the mark satisfactorily and the new game economy had chips flying around the table. It really is at the stage where I need other groups to playtest it, where I'm not present, so I can get some more objective feedback. Mechanically though, the game just sings :)
 
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