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The Between $15.00
Average Rating:5.0 / 5
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The Between
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The Between
Publisher: The Gauntlet
by Judd K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/16/2021 23:42:34

Evocative, innovative and fun.

I can't wait to play it more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
Publisher: The Gauntlet
by Stephanie J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/25/2021 12:57:36

I just love this game. My players love this game. I keep running this game overtime, three hours quickly becomes four, and we've almost played to five. I keep getting asked how this game is this good, this early on. Every part of the game contributes to the story. My favorite phrases are "The Day is yours, but the Night is mine." and "You are not allowed to tell me(or your fellow players) anything about your backstory unless you have a move to do so.". It's such a wild approach to have a very freeform player driven Day phase while a very intense gm driven Night phase. As well as having backstory insentivised through mechanical benefits.

Atmospherically I compare this game to a fine glass of wine, mature, sensual, and a required taste. It's intense, gorey, and honestly pretty sexy. Still it's very easy to adjust the game to your comfort level of how intense it gets. All threats have the same structure, and it does take you step by step as a gm how to create everything from scratch. It takes you by the hand for running session one; it practically runs itself while making you look like a genius in front of your players. If you have struggled with gming before, I would reccomend this game as at its core is an excellent resource for understanding how games work.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
Publisher: The Gauntlet
by Gabriel M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/20/2021 09:22:17

The Between is great. Every single part of the game adds to the story and deepends the characters. Even if you're powergaming, you have to powergame through the story. Each move, janus mask prompt, and dawn question (xp trigger) lead you deeper into story. Techniques like the Personal Quarters really force the group to listen to how each player introduces their character and builds the collaborative spirit from the very beginning. There is no fluff or wasted space.

The idea that you can only discuss characters' backstories when the game forces it is a really inspired choice and reinforces the cinematic feel that the author describes in the rulebook. We unveil relevant information only when it's relevant. As a player this also prevented me from feeling locked into a specific backstory for my character.

The book itself gives the keeper (GM) everything they need. The game itself is quite structured and the nature of the threats allow you to drop interesting and evocative details constantly. Everything is flexible enough that you can always incorporate something into the scene.

As with Brindlewood Bay the Answer a Question Move is absolutely magical. As a player and a Keeper it feels amazing to watch the group put all the pieces together and develop a story out of the various clues. The Between levels this up by creating more complex Threats where which question you answer can determine how a story goes and gives the players a lot of influence on what kind of story unfolds.

Edit: One thing I forgot to mention. Each threat is so flexible that you can play or run them multiple times and spoliers are essentially impossible. Each clue can come out in different ways and at different times based on how the group approaches each threat and which side charaters they engage with. As someone who GMs a lot, this is an enormous benefit.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
Publisher: The Gauntlet
by Shane M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/19/2021 18:57:16

I was a big fan of the designer's previous game Brindlewood Bay, and have been anticipating this one. So far I've run two sessions and am really excited for more.

This game does a great job of evoking a spooky Victorian atmosphere - with 50 atmospheric 'unscenes', sets of notable Moments and thematic prompts in each Threat, and playbook moves that are incredibly (sometimes horrifyingly) flavourful. The approach to presenting NPCs is incredibly efficient and lets me as GM create a compelling, diverse cast at the table with minimal preparation. I have started using this approach in my notes for other games I run and it works fantastically well.

As much as I hope I get to play a character in this game at some point, there is so much here for the GM to enjoy. The formalised play cycle (four phases - dawn, day, dusk and night) gives you a unique tool to pace the game dramatically. The way specific playbooks can trigger or unlock particular threats - the Pinkerton coming for the American, etc - is a really fun dynamic to run. The overarching campaign structure - the Mastermind - works like a special playbook, with fascinating questions and choices the GM gets to make as the game continues, and a play-to-find-out emergent narrative that drives toward a big dramatic climax. I really enjoy a lot of pbta games, but often find it hard to bring them to a satisfying conclusion, and I think this and Brindlewood Bay offer a really elegant and exciting solution to that problem.

I definitely recommend this game if the concept and tone appeal to you. Even if they don't, I think there's a lot of really useful mechanics and ideas packed in here that you can use or hack for other games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
Publisher: The Gauntlet
by Daniel Q. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/19/2021 09:02:24

I'm really exicted about several of the creative mechanics for this game, such as the Janus Mask, the Threat Investigation, the Unscene, and the Mastermind. The posted youtube video of author Jason Cordova running The Between with a great cast is very beneficial, and he explains the mechanics as the players play for the first time.

Can't wait to run it!

Edit: This game comes with a lot of resources to run it.

  • Reference sheets
  • Mood evoking Unscene prompts.
  • Mastermind tracker to work in their clues and schemes.
  • 10 detailed Threats (some based on specific playbooks). Each threat has Questions that must be answered, side characters, locations, clues, moments to add to the atmosphere, rewards, and consequences if the threat is not defeated.


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
Publisher: The Gauntlet
by Sasha E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/18/2021 10:21:01

Beautiful materials, really innovative mechanics for invoking that "prestige supernatural drama" feel. Really love the system of players being given tools to construct the mystery themselves, as I feel most mystery games just degenerate into "how well can players read the GM's mind?" Usually I'm very against players keeping character details secret out-of-character as it makes it harder to tease them out in play, but the Janus Mask mechanizes it effectively and ensures "dark, tragic backstories" actually get revealed in the course of the game.

The playbooks wear the game's Penny Dreadful inspiration on their sleeves and you'll definitely get a kick out of them if you're a fan of the show. Each are very unique with signature moves that have larger ramifications on the campaign, such as introducing new Threats or just giving the player a B-plot to pursue.

The Mastermind sheet is a very cool way of structuring the campaign, I would have loved to see two or three additional options but what's there gives you a good example to work off of if you do want to make your own.

Haven't had a chance to run it yet, it's got me fired up. I'm interested to see how players who aren't necessarily familiar with Victorian horror approach it, and how well the book's very evocative tone manifests in play.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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