So last night I ran Psi*Run
for my gaming group. Oh, wow, what a fantastic game. The basic premise is that the PCs (Runners) are all amnesiacs that all have some sort of psychic ability. The game starts with a crash (literally) and the Runners escaping. The rest of the game is about them trying to keep ahead of the Chasers (could be some shadowy government organization, some twisted medical corp, or maybe aliens, whatever works) and trying to fill in the holes in their memory. Every chaser has 4 to 6 questions that have the chance to be answered during stressful situations (so when dice hit the table) as they get flashbacks from their past. Once someone has all their questions answered, the end-game is triggered and each Runner gets a sort of epilogue.
The dice mechanic is simple, but fiendish. Players always roll 4-6 dice (d6). Then those dice have to be used on different aspects on what's at risk. By default you always have a Goal, Recall (you might remember something), and the Chase (the Chasers might get closer or catch up to you -- if they catch up you risk being captured and if you're captured you risk disappearing forever). If you're using your special ability it brings in Psi, and if there's a risk of injury, you have to use Harm. Harm & Psi are where the 5th and 6th dice come in.
So, you might have a mediocre roll -- some high results, some medium results, and some low results. So you have to decide where to place them. Do you put your low result on Psi which means your power goes out of control, possibly causing death or destruction? Do you put the low die on Harm and risk being injured for the rest of the session? Or maybe you put it on Chase and the chasers get closer and possibly catch up to you. Maybe it's suddenly not worth it to accomplish your Goal or maybe you don't want to remember anything out of your past that the situation may have triggered.
It's fantastic. Nearly every time (minus a couple really great rolls) the dice were rolled the player would agonize over how to place the dice. The other beautiful part is it varies who gets to narrate each piece. My favorite is probably Recall, with a 6 the player gets a question answered and gets to narrate it. A 4-5 they get a question answered, but the other players get to answer it. So, then the other players have a chance to really make that player's life more interesting and possibly take them in a direction they hadn't foreseen. For example, one of my player's had the question "Why do I carry this white bishop?" Later on the other players got to answer it and they decided it belonged to the first person he ever killed. He moaned and groaned because it wasn't anything like what he was envisioning and it was a fantastic moment.
So, yeah, I highly, highly recommend the game. It can easily be run in a single session (if you keep the players to 4 questions) or possibly stretch over 2 or 3 sessions if you go for the full 6 questions each. If anyone's interested in more I'll probably unpack the game a bit more and post an AP on my blog in the next couple days.